• The reused hotel key cards had an average reading of 175.03. A very high reading, which means they were “clearly dirty” and “very likely contaminated,” according to the researchers.

• The new, unused key cards, had an average reading of 35, suggesting that even without use, they were already potentially contaminated.

• When it comes to the two different hotel categories, economy and mid-range, there was no difference between the key cards; they all had high ATP readings.

We might add that the researchers decided to take this study one step further. They wondered if cleaning the cards using a disinfectant, placing them in sanitising solution, or even running them through a dishwasher might lower the ATP readings.

They found that these cleaning methods did lower the ATP readings; the cards were less contaminated after cleaning. But what they did not expect is that the cards no longer worked. Apparently cleaning the key cards, at least using these methods, caused them to malfunction.


We can view this as an interesting story regarding a topic rarely discussed, but that would be missing the point. The real takeaway here is that, at least in the hotel and hospitality industry, contaminants that can potentially harm human health may be just about anywhere. Not just on the surfaces we generally think about such as counters, faucet handles, toilets, urinals, even high-touch areas such as light switches and guest room TV remote controls.

Like the key card, another area in plain view in hotels but that may be overlooked as a source of contamination is the floor. Just think about it:

• Hotel guests come from all over the world; clinging to their shoes and walked onto hotel floors may be germs and bacteria that are common in one area of the globe but not common in another. This means that people coming in contact with these unusual pathogens can become very sick.

• Hotel guests are invariably carrying luggage, briefcases, and travel bags into hotels; as soon as they place them on the floor, contaminants on the floor may now be transferred to these items. If touched, there is a possibility these pathogens will be ingested, causing illness.

• Hotel cleaning can vary widely around the world. Some  tools and equipment available, while others still use systems that are more than half a century old.

It is this last point we need to discuss in greater detail. Floor mopping is still all too common in the hotel industry. It’s often used because of its convenience: a mop and mop  But ease of access does not mean this is the most effective way to clean floors.

It is now well known that as soon as the mop is used it becomes soiled—as does the mop bucket—as soon as the  do is use an alternative floor cleaning system. For instance, a ‘dispense and vac’ system uses a trolley bucket to release fresh cleaning solution directly to the floor.

Once the solution is on the floor, it can be spread over the surface and lightly brushed into grout lines. This loosens soils that are then vacuumed up by the machine, allowing the floor to dry in seconds, eliminating concerns about leaving a floor wet and slippery.

While apparently we can’t clean hotel key cards very effectively, we certainly can clean hotel floors. The only thing we need to be concerned about is doing it right.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76