The word ‘hotel’ can make us think of 5-star international hotels. Or we may think of a comfortable, more affordable place to stay. In this article, the term ‘hotel’ refers to any business that provides hospitality and accommodation services. This includes hotels, inns, and motels. It also covers bed and breakfast operations, conference centres, resorts, and lodges. These businesses can be run locally or be part of multinational chains.
What is housekeeping in a hotel?
Housekeeping in a hotel refers to all the activities that go into keeping the property clean and orderly. The goal is to keep the property attractive, comfortable, and welcoming. Hotel cleaning services aim to maintain a tidy, hygienic and dust-free environment.
There are a lot of different areas in a hotel. The Housekeeping Department looks after the cleanliness of:
– guest rooms and guest bathrooms
– conference halls and banquet rooms
– public areas such as elevators and lobbies
– administrative offices, and
– the outside of the building (parking lot and gardens).
Cleanliness impacts guests’ impressions and their satisfaction. An attractive, clean property impresses guests and makes them want to return. Guests who have a positive experience at a hotel MAY tell others. But guests who are NOT impressed will definitely tell others to stay away from the property. Online hotel review sites make it very easy for unhappy guests to air their grievances.
Who is involved in housekeeping?
Many people are involved in housekeeping in a hotel. There is the manager or executive director who has overall responsibility for housekeeping. Small hotels may hire individuals to do housekeeping. Larger hotels may organize housekeeping teams to clean guest rooms, do general cleaning, and handle laundry. Other cleaners may maintain outdoor areas.
What is contract cleaning in a hotel?
Some hotels hire commercial cleaning companies to do their housekeeping. These contract cleaners can provide general and/or specialized services. General services include cleaning public rooms, washrooms, kitchens and bedrooms. Specialized services involve periodic cleaning of:
– ceilings and walls
– carpets, drapes and upholstered furniture
– windows, and
If you want to do housekeeping on contract for a hotel, make sure that your contract specifies the following:
– Basic information about you and your client (names, addresses and contact information)
– The professional relationships of each party
– Each party’s obligations
– The work location(s) and detailed, specific information about the services to be provided (what parts of the property you are to clean)
– How the cleaning jobs will be carried out
– Frequency of service
– Daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal or annual cleaning duties
– Expectations of each party, e.g. what supplies each party will provide
– How you will be paid
– The way the contract will be renewed or terminated
– How disputes will be resolved.
Hotel Housekeeping Cleaning Checklist
- If you use a cleaning cart, make sure you have all the supplies you need on your cart at the start of each cleaning session. This will help you to work efficiently.
- When you enter a room, open up the curtains or blinds and let the light in. This will help you see what you need to clean and will reveal dust and dirt.
- If you can, open the window and door to allow fresh air into the room.
- Clear out the clutter. Remove the linens, towels and bathmat. Gather up the used personal care containers in the bathroom and used food and drink containers. Empty the refrigerator. Remove the garbage and empty the recycling container. With these out of the way, you will see progress already!
- Start cleaning in the bedroom area. It helps to control the spread of germs if you start with the cleaner areas and finish with the dirtier areas.
- Dust all areas of the room starting with areas higher up and working your way down. Remember to dust the tops of light bulbs so they will shine brightly. Replace any light bulbs that have burnt out.
- Remake the bed(s) with fresh linens. Check that the bedding is clean and free from stains. Also, check that the bed frame and headboard are in good condition.
- Put away the luggage rack and put furniture back in place. Check that all furniture is clean and in good shape. Tidy up the amenities in the desk area and restock as needed. Confirm that all equipment provided in the closet is present (e.g. iron and ironing board, luggage rack, hangers, extra bedding).
- Clean and sanitize surfaces that people commonly touch. This includes:
– light switches and remote control
– bedside table
– chair arms
– coffeemaker, ice bucket and tongs,
– refrigerator handle
– faucets, and
– door knobs
- Vacuum furniture to remove dust and dirt. Every few days, shake out the curtains before you vacuum the floor. Dust air vents.
- The last part of the guestroom to clean is the bathroom. Spray down the shower walls, toilet and sink and leave the spray on those surfaces while you clean the mirrors and windows. Then, go back to scrub the walls, sink, countertops, bathtub, shower, drains and toilet. Use a toothbrush to clean small, awkward places like the screws at the base of a toilet.
- Restock the supplies in the bedroom area, kitchenette, minibar or coffeemaker area and bathroom. Replace the towels and bathmat.
- Close the window if you opened it when you entered the room. Leave the curtains and the thermostat in the recommended position.
- Vacuum all floor surfaces then finish by mopping the tiled and hard surface floors.
- Take a final look at the room to make sure you have completed all the cleaning tasks and haven’t missed anything. Is the art hanging straight on the walls?
- Take note of anything that is not working properly or is broken and inform the appropriate person so they can fix it before the next guest arrives.
How can I be a good housekeeper in a hotel?
- Bring a friendly, positive attitude into the workplace. Be trustworthy and reliable.
- Be thorough and don’t take shortcuts. Don’t just dust around objects. Remove objects from surfaces and dust the whole surface area. Similarly, make sure you are thorough when vacuuming. Move the chairs as there might be some cheezies or peanuts hiding under them! Lift up the bed skirt to see if there are any surprises. If you spot a stain on the carpet or furniture, take time to remove it. Be sure to use the right product for each task.
- Pay attention. Be careful when moving furniture. This will help you avoid injury and will also be better for the furniture and floor. Don’t put objects on a wet surface as they can leave ring marks. Make sure the surface is dry before you put objects back in place.
- Make sure that everything is functioning well in the guest rooms:
- Are any doors squeaking? Is a door lock not working properly?
- Is the water pressure adequate in the sink and tub faucets? Or a tap leaking?
- Do light bulbs need to be replaced?
- Are pieces of tile grout falling out?
- Is the ventilation system not working properly?
Let the people responsible for maintenance know about any problems so they can be fixed before a guest makes a complaint.
Cleanliness is a key factor in a hotel’s reputation for excellence. Hotel housekeeping can have a big impact on guests’ satisfaction with the hotel. Always take pride in the quality of your work. Take a final look at each room you have cleaned to make sure you have done every task to perfection.