Home Travel Inspiration

They clean the remote...right?

If you have ever stayed in a hotel and wiped down the TV remote control before using it, you are not alone.

If you have ever stayed in a hotel and wiped down the TV remote control before using it, you are not alone.

The Healthy Hotels Program provides advice on indoor environmental quality for travellers and explains the remote control situation further. If you can’t relax on holidays until you self-decontaminate your hotel room, you are officially part of one of the fastest growing trends in the tourism sector.

Independent studies of hotel guests conducted in Australia by research companies Colmar Brunton and Sweeney Research have respectively concluded that guest room cleanliness is a decision level priority for 9/10 people when they travel. Recent studies in the US, by the University of Guelph and University of Houston analysed guest room surfaces across sixty three hotel rooms of all class categories to review among other things, the sanitary state of remote controls.

If you are reading on a touch based device, you might want to reach for the sanitising wipes now. The studies found that the guest room remote controls produced average results of 67.6CFU, whilst seventy percent of ATP RLU readings were above 300 with the highest at 22,000. To translate the technical terms, a reading of more than 300ATP RLU presents a moderate to high risk for infection transmission.

A recent study by the University of Arizona found the average public toilet contains 8CFU. That makes an average hotel remote control eight times more contaminated than a public toilet seat. According to Dr Claire Bird of the Healthy Hotels Program, one of the reasons this happens is because whilst toilets and bathroom areas are typically disinfected regularly, other items like light switches and remotes are not.

What are hotels doing about this?


Apparently everything they can, but it’s not an easy problem to solve. If you’ve stayed in a Best Western in the US recently, you might have seen a housekeeper walking around with a Harry Potter-like ultraviolet wand, waving it over different surfaces. The UV rays act as a disinfecting agent and work on set exposure times.

Taking the chemical free disinfection effort further, a hygiene company from Texas has a patent pending device that cleans your remote for you using UVC. The housekeeper puts the remote in the device after they clean the room and by the time you check in, your remote is free from 99.94% of germs, according to the manufacturer.

“You can use the device for anything that will fit including pens, the room key and even your phone.”

Says CleanremoteUV inventor Tuan Dam from Austin.”

The green or chemical free trend is only just beginning according to founder and spokesman of the Healthy Hotels Program, Nicson White. “You only have to look to the US where the largest retailers are subjecting their suppliers to safer chemical policies as a result of consumer demand.” Said Mr White.

“We receive emails of support every day from travellers with allergies and chemical sensitivities. The demand behind this trend is strong and well embedded.” He said.

Whether you suffer from sensitivities or you simply take your hygiene seriously when you travel, rest assured healthier travel is here to stay.

Have you ever considered how clean your hotel room actually is?