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HERE ARE THE RESULTS:


• 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.


CONCLUSION


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.


www.kaivac-emea.com


www.tomorrowscleaning.com


LEISURE & HOSPITALITY | 43


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