Analyzing Hotel Room Cleanliness on a Microscopic Level

Researcher Information

Ahmad Khalid
Kodi Stevens

Project Type


Start Date

2011 12:00 AM

End Date

2011 12:00 AM

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Analyzing Hotel Room Cleanliness on a Microscopic Level

The cost of a hotel room is usually correlated to the quality of the hotel room and the quality of services provided during one’s stay; e.g. the cleanliness of the room and the thoroughness of the cleaning staff. The cleaner a hotel is the more desirable it is. The goal of this experiment was to analyze hotel cleanliness at the microscopic level to determine if pathogenic micro-organisms were present. Samples were taken from telephones, toilet seats, remotes, toilet flushers, bath tubs and doorknobs from five different hotels and grown at room temperature on nutrient agar plates, counted and then isolated. Each individual colony was then gram stained to differentiate between gram-negative and gram-positive bacterial species. A battery of biochemical tests were done including growth on mannitol salt and eosin- methylene blue agar plates, as well as using the API® Identification System (BioMerieux, Inc.) to identify the bacterial species. Several bacterial species were identified, most of which were gram- positive commensals, bacteria normally found on the body. The majority of those identified were nonpathogenic, though few had pathogenic potential such as Staphylococcus aureus. Surprisingly, noEscherichia coli was found. This experiment showed that most bacterial species found in hotel rooms of any rating are not harmful though the occasional pathogenic species may still be present. Patrons of hotels should not be overly concerned with the possibility of infection through contact with items in hotel rooms. This project was funded by Univision and the results were presented on “Aqui y Ahora.”