Your hotel room is your home away from home, with a few exceptions — hundreds of strangers from every corner of the world have slept there, and the hotel staff may not have the same standards of cleanliness that you do at home. It’s nice to have someone fold up your towels and make your bed while you’re out exploring the world, but in terms of sanitization, a neatly made bed does not equal a germ-free room. A study conducted by the University of Virginia found that people infected with a cold who spent a night in a hotel room left contagious germs on nearly 35 percent of objects they touched. The study showed that a virus can live on objects like faucet handles and ice buckets for at least a day — disturbing evidence of what might be waiting when you wheel your suitcase into a suite. It’s highly unlikely that a slightly soiled bathroom floor will put your life in danger, yet an unclean hotel room could affect your health; the most common afflictions are colds or stomach viruses. Try the following tips and sleep more soundly on your next adventure. How Do I Make Sure My Hotel Room Is Clean? Put your black light away. We’ve all seen footage of people scanning dark rooms with the revealing black light; stains and smears, invisible in the daylight, pop up in the most unexpected and shocking places (not the pillowcase — anything but the pillowcase!). But traveling with this device, which is a great for dramatic effect on television, is far from necessary. Here are a few other, less obsessive things you can do to rest assured you have a clean hotel room: 1. Read the Reviews Find out what your fellow travelers are saying about the place. 2. Wash your hands Mom has been telling you to do this for ever- need we say more? 3. Ditch the bedspread- Most hotels do not wash the bedspread after each guest-yet most of us sit on the bedspread in some state of undress or another. 4. Disinfect It is always a good idea to quickly spritz the faucet, door knobs, clock radio and remote control to eliminate any little buggers (germs) left behind. Try these easy things to make your next hotel stay more enjoyable and possibly healthier. I personally like to find a brand and try to stick with that brand when I travel. While most hotels are either owned by corporate giants or are franchised- you can usually count on the brand culture being fairly consistent from one hotel to another. Happy Trails!