It would appear that the dirty little secrets in hotel rooms go far beyond what is implied in the tourism slogan, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." And it is not only travelers heading to Vegas who need worry - vacationers and business travelers throughout the country spending anytime in their guestroom using the remote control, may be catching a lot more than a movie.
The single dirtiest item in your room is one that virtually everyone touches numerous times during his or her stay - the television remote control. Dr. Charles Gerba, a professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona found that remotes in hotels are dirtier than the toilet, the sink handles and the much-maligned bedspread. Worse yet, the dirt is often not harmless dust or crumbs, but urine, semen or feces.
Even more troublesome according to scientists at the University of Virginia, cold viruses and other germs can linger in hotel rooms for at least 24 hours after a sick guest has departed, and this is despite the best efforts of the housekeeping crew. By design, remote controls are very difficult to clean, their nooks and crevices are difficult, if not impossible to reach, and most cleaning solutions can't reach these spots without damaging or destroying the remote control, making them among the highest risk items to touch.
Regardless of whether rooms cost $50 or $500 per night, most people expect clean towels, clean sheets and a clean bathroom - but until now little attention has been paid to the remote control. That is now changing as several thousand hotels and motels have begun using a state of the art remote control that actually resists germs and bacteria growing on it. This innovative product was invented by two cousins and aptly named, the Clean Remote. It is a universal TV remote, which has been clinically tested to be 99% cleaner than any other remote tested. The product's nonporous flat surface eliminates areas where germs and disgusting bodily fluids can hide and begin to incubate. The Clean Remote is uniquely designed not only for easy cleaning but the product actually resists bacteria.
The Clean Remote is made by New Remotes, Inc., (NRI). Daniel Ruback, who is NRI Senior Vice-President reports, "More and more hotels and cruise ships are realizing the true value of ensuring a more clean and comfortable stay to their guest." Ruback chuckles as he tells the story of how his cousin NRI President, Michael Monsky came up with the initial idea. "It was peanut butter. Monsky's young son accidentally got peanut butter on a remote. When Monsky tried to wipe the remote clean, he found it impossible, and that is what led to the design of the Clean Remote."
Ruback continues, on a more serious note, "That messy moment has lead to many big things for the Clean Remote including possibly saving lives. Hospital officials are also realizing that standard TV remotes are an infection control nightmare. Many assisted living facilities and leading hospitals like UCLA Medical Center and the University of Washington Medical Center have been replacing their standard bacteria laden TV remotes in high-risk areas with the Clean Remote."
Ruback also notes that even the world's largest hotel chain Best Western, is now suggesting its franchises switch over to the "Clean Remote" in all their guestrooms. Troy Rutman, a spokesman for Best Western, states, "Best Western is working to boost cleanliness in its rooms. We know that remotes are considered one of the dirtiest items in a room and we are looking for ways to reduce that."
Ruback jokingly concludes, "What happens in Vegas, stays on the remote."