Hotel chain uses new tools to battle germs in guest rooms

UV light, black light coming to all Best Westerns

A major hotel chain is taking germ fighting to the next level after studies showed clean rooms are the number one priority for guests.

No matter how much the housekeepers scrub, germs get left behind and guests know it.

Studies show consumers don't expect a clean room when they book a mid-scale hotel like Best Western.

That's why Best Western is looking beyond traditional cleaners and adding two secret weapons to their arsenal.

The chain has started inspecting rooms with a black light to make sure they're thoroughly cleaned.

After all the cleaning is done, a UV light is used to sterilize the room.

"Any bio hazardous germs or anything like that it can get rid of," said Best Western General Manager Monica Corbin. "You can actually kill 98 percent of germs."

The technology is used to kill germs in operating rooms.

Chris Woolverton, a professor of environmental health sciences, said UV light can kill the waste bacteria and germs from coughing and sneezing in hotel rooms, but only if used properly.

"It's a good step forward," he said. "If they get the right exposure time, you will get killing."

It's an attempt to make rooms cleaner, but experts say don't count on germ-free rooms just yet.

The new tools are being rolled out this year at all Best Western hotels. The chain said guest satisfaction is already improving.

Other hotels say they're considering the UV light but wouldn't say whether they've used it yet.
 
One concern is how many germs are actually killed with a small wand and short exposure.

UV lights are dangerous to eyes and skin, so they must be used by properly trained staff.

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