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5 not-so-obvious places that can make you sick

By: Matt Hickman on Dec. 5, 2011, 8:28 a.m.
A hotel room in Arizona with sunlight filtered by curtains

Photo: Elizabeth Backus/Flickr [CC by 2.0]

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Hotel room

Sure the bed is made, the linens are freshly laundered, the carpet has been vacuumed and everything is seemingly spic, span and in its place, but despite being cleaner looking than your own home, a hotel room — even one of the four-star variety — is the kind of place where germs check in and rarely check out. That said, a hotel room shouldn't be overtly dirty (if it is, you're not spending enough time hunting around on, but deep cleanings that rid the space of pesky microorganisms aren’t performed for every new guest.

Given that disinfectants aren’t applied on a regular basis to frequently touched objects and surfaces — remote controls, light switches, faucets, doorknobs, phones, the room service menu — it's best to take full advantage of those tiny complementary soaps, along with plenty of hot water, during your hotel stay to ward off germs. And, of course, it doesn't hurt to have natural hand sanitizer along with a package of antibacterial wipes for your own hotel room scrub-down.