"It's mystifying why all hotels throughout the world choose only the most abrasive fabrics for their bedspreads."
In the film The Accidental Tourist, a travel guide book author mentions something nearly everyone in the industrialized world knows about - the hotel bedspread.
Even the occasional traveler knows about hotel bedspreads. They're rough on your skin, ugly in color and pattern; They're mentioned in movies, TV shows, and books, and your parents probably told you not to play on them when you were a kid. Germaphobe or not, you've probably been concerned about a lack of cleanliness in a hotel room at least once. No one's excited about sleeping on stained sheets or using sticky remotes or showering in a moldy bathroom.
Now, personally, I don't worry all that much about dirty bedspreads - it's a fact of life to me that you'll never really know if they've been washed or what previous occupants have done in (and to) your room. I don't sleep on top of the bedspread, just in case, but I don't rip it off the bed and stick it in a corner, either. If a bedspread was stained or smelly, however, I'd probably stuff it in the closet, but I don't recall ever coming across one that bad in 15 years of travel.
Ok, so you've got kids or are prone to illness or you actually believe cleanliness is next to Godliness - that's fine. Travel expert Peter Greenberg, says on Oprah.com, "Now, in most hotels, you can assume that the sheets and blankets have been washed. But what about that bedspread? Every time I enter a hotel room, I do not stop; I grab that bedspread and toss it into a corner. Then I never look at it or think about touching it again! (Read the article here)" Another option, according to Liz and Jay Fleming of TheStar.com, is to bring your own bedspread/comforter (see their recommendation here) with you when you travel.
Aside from purchasing a black light and seriously psyching yourself out, here are some tips to ensure your hotel room is up to your cleanliness standards, from Good Morning America & ABCNews.com (Video below!):
- To avoid potential contamination, keep personal belongings off the bedspread, including your luggage. (Don't put luggage on your bed when you return home, either - you don't want to contaminate your bed if you picked something up on your travels)
- The first thing you do when you enter the room - inspect it. Don't unpack or relax until you know you won't find any surprises throughout your stay.
- Remove bedspread from bed. You can ask the front desk for more blankets if necessary.
- Check for bedbugs. Although the bugs themselves are small, you will be able to see evidence of their presence. Look through the sheets, pull back the sheets and check the baseboards and the creases in the mattress - rust-colored stains, dark-colored debris or residue could mean bedbugs!
- Bring a small packet of sanitizing wipes for the television remote, door knobs, telephone, etc.
- Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer sparingly to avoid picking up germs.
- Check travel websites and reviews to give you a heads-up about what other travelers are saying about your lodging.
You can read the full article and watch their videos here.