The highest levels of contamination were found in the maid’s cleaning cart, specifically, on the mop and sponge. That’s a problem because it means that bacteria are being carried from room to room, according to the researchers.
Such cross-contamination could be reduced, though, by replacing cleaning liquids during housekeeping shifts, they said.
The lowest levels of bacteria were found on the headboard, curtain rods and bathroom door handle.
The researchers tested for bacteria in general, and did a separate test for cloriform bacteria, which are found in feces and are more likely to cause illness. Both tests showed that bacteria levels in hotel rooms were between 2 to 10 times higher than the levels accepted in hospitals.
The presence of bacteria’s doesn’t guarantee that people will get sick, but it makes it more likely.
The research was presented on June 17 at microbiology researchers’ conference in San Francisco.