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Hotel chain using blacklights to clean rooms

PHOENIX — Research shows that consumers are not confident that the hotel room they’ve just rented is clean.

This is especially since media reports of bodily fluids being found on hotel surfaces such as telephones, bathroom fixtures, and light switches, causing the Best Western hotel chain to roll out its “I Care Clean” program.

Best Western’s Ron Pohl said cleaning crews are now armed with two new tools to fight dirt: The black light and the ultraviolet wand.

“They use the black light to identify where additional cleaning might need to be,” he said. “Then, they do their normal clean over surfaces with disinfectants and antibacterial type of cleaning.

“The third element of that is going over that surface with the UV wand to kill any germs that have survived through the other methods of cleaning.”

The hotel chain is also dealing with dirty TV remotes.

“We’ve actually changed out the remote to what’s called a ‘clean remote,’ ” said Pohl. “It has no crevices in it. That allows you to spray it with a chemical to clean it. You can also go over it with the UV wand to make sure it is cleaned.”

Pohl said the remote and extra pillows, blankets and towels will also be wrapped in plastic to show that they’ve been cleaned. The policy will cost each hotel about $2,000 to $3,000 to implement.

It will be in place at all 2,200 Best Western Hotels nationwide by the end of the year.