We’ll share some tips and tricks to help clean your hotel room and satisfy your guest’s expectations. Whilst making a housekeeping plan a high priority for you. During this guide, you’ll know the way to properly clean your rooms and bathrooms. This guide will cover:
• What are the duties of housekeeping during a hotel
• Creating a housekeeping strategy
• How to scrub a hotel room: a step by step guide
• How to scrub a hotel bathroom: a step by step guide
• Cleaning products, equipment, and supplies
Uncomfortable beds, poor service, or scratchy bathrobes are the least of your worries. Hotel guests are most likely going to be put off by poor housekeeping. if you are run a little country B&B or a five-star city centre hotel, guests never want to find dust, hair, or dirt in their room, complaints and negative reviews are inevitable if this does happen. Given that the majority of customers now read online reviews before booking a hotel these things can pose a real threat to your business.
What are the duties of housekeeping in a busy hotel?
Housekeeping is a service, within hotels that guests only notice if your staff fails to deliver the expected standard of cleanliness. A bedroom could play host to several guests monthly, but no guest wants their room to feel used, which is why it’s the role of your housekeeping staff to create and make sure no evidence of any previous guests staying in there. The area must be completely cleaned from top to bottom.
On a daily basis, the housekeeping staff are accountable for cleaning guest rooms and ‘turning down’ beds, in addition, they will be replacing dirty towels and refreshing other amenities. On days when a bedroom has to be ready for the new guests to arrive, an intensive clean and complete change of bedding is required.
As well as cleaning guest bedrooms, a team of housekeepers will be in charge of cleaning other front of house areas within the hotel such as the reception area although generally there will be a variety of teams and shift patterns for this.
Usually, housekeeping is managed by a supervisor, with a higher manager overseeing each floor. They’re usually the ones who are organising shifts, checking and inspecting the work of housekeeping, organising and ordering supplies, and reporting any faults or problems with guest rooms to the correct person. Laundry porters and linen room assistants also help to check there’s a supply of fresh bed sheets and clean towels. All of this may be double-checked by the housekeeping manager, who works alongside the rest of the hotel management team to make sure the hotel runs smoothly.
Creating a housekeeping strategy
Working out the amount of your staff you’ll need per day is key to having a smooth-running hotel. If you would like your hotel to be as clean as possible, you’ll need to have an efficient cleaning plan in place. Having checklists, staff can follow ensures your cleaning standards are met.
It’s essential to know how many members of staff you need on each shift during different seasons as the number of people staying will vary. It should take around 45 minutes for housekeeping to complete a room, however, it will take less time if it’s only a basic turn-down service.
If a housekeeper is working an 8-hour shift with a 30-minute break they should be able to clean roughly about 10 rooms per shift, depending on the size of the room. So, by dividing the total number of occupied rooms by 10, you should be able to work out how many staff members you need per shift. This isn’t an exact representation of the total number of cleaning staff as you’ll need staff to cover other areas of cleaning, not just the rooms. You’ll also need to take into consideration staff need breaks, holidays and even days off due to sickness.
How to clean a hotel room: step by step
If your staff have a plan in place and which steps to take for each room, it will help stop anything from being forgotten or overlooked. Hence why it is helpful to provide your staff with a checklist they can follow.
Here is a step-by-step guide on cleaning hotel bedrooms and bathrooms, which can help you create your own checklists. If you have different room types, you’ll need different checklists for each one. An example might be more staff needed for suites.
To get a 5* clean that will defiantly make your guests happy with the standard of their room, your housekeepers should carry out the following steps in each bedroom before welcoming a new guest:
- Air out the room: Before starting, open the windows and any balcony doors. This will help to bring fresh air into the room, and stop the smell of any cleaning chemicals from lingering. The housekeeper should also leave the main door open while cleaning this helps with ventilation
- Change the bed: Remove bed linen and place it in the laundry bin in the housekeeping trolley. If the guest is staying for more than a night, they don’t always need new bedsheets, in which case the housekeeper should just remake the bed and get the room ready for them this is called a ‘turndown’ service. The guest can place a card on the bed or doorknob to request a full linen change
- Remove rubbish: Empty the bins and rubbish from around the room. Refresh bin liners
- Remove used cups: Replace any used cups and crockery for clean items and refresh the hot drinks service with fresh supplies. If there is a mini bar with items used it should be noted and replaced
- Dusting: Dusting all surfaces, from the highest point to towards the floor. Don’t forget to dust any high or easy-to-miss areas, like light fittings, headboards, under the bed, and also on the top of wardrobes. An extendable duster will be handy if your hotel has high ceilings. Nobody likes a dust web!
- Vacuum furniture and upholstery: Any pieces of upholstered furniture should be vacuumed. This can keep it free of dust which may cause allergies. Curtains should be vacuumed
- Clean surfaces: Clean and sanitise all surfaces. If any guests’ items are left, carefully move them to one side while you work, and then replace them afterwards. Don’t forget to wipe down the insides of cabinets and wardrobes.
- Making the bed: Check the mattress for any damage and report any problems to the shift manager. If no problems are found, put fresh sheets and pillowcases on the bed. Then style with throws and cushions
- Sanitise and dust electricals: Wipe and sanitise any electrical equipment such as room phones or television remotes. TV screens get dusty, so wipe these with a dry cloth
- Clean the floor: This should be your last task, to make sure you aren’t making more work for yourself by making it messy again during other cleaning processes. Wooden and tiled floors should be swept and mopped, while carpets should need to be vacuumed
- Close windows and perform one last check: Close the windows and any balcony doors. Try and air chemical smells however if they still remain, an air freshener can be used. The thermostat needs to be adjusted back to your hotel’s default temperature if it has been changed. Do one final check of the room to ensure nothing has been missed before the room is left
To help keep your rooms as clean as possible, you’ll need to go above and beyond your daily cleaning checklist, and even use some specialist deep cleaning equipment or hire a cleaning company. You should look to doing the following list at least once every three months:
- Deep clean carpets using a steam carpet cleaner
- Deep clean upholstered furniture and curtains using a steam cleaner
- Get hard floors and tiles looking as good as new using a floor polish
- Vacuum the mattress and launder any covers or protectors. If mattress needs rotating, this should be done every six months
- Wash your pillow protectors every month. You should look wash your pillows every six months. Pillows should be replaced at least once every two years or as soon as they go out of shape to ensure they are comfortable
Take into account you will need to schedule extra time for these tasks. It’s best to try and plan them for a quiet period or bring in professionals to help with these tasks.
How to clean a hotel bathroom: step by step
Bathrooms usually are the most prone to dirt, mould, and hair in a hotel than the bedroom, your staff need to be extremely thorough when cleaning this area. If you want to impress your guests, your bathroom should feel completely clean and fresh.
For a hygienic, clean bathroom, your staff should follow this routine:
- Open windows: Open windows to allow fresh air in, or switch on ventilation units to help air out the room and stop the smell of cleaning products
- Remove towels and mats: Soiled towels can be placed in the laundry bag. The usual protocol is to request that guests place dirty towels in the bath or shower
- Empty the bin: Remove any rubbish and place a new liner in the bin
- Tidy guest belongings: Any toiletries or other products belonging to the guests should be neatly moved aside to allow for cleaning. These should be neatly replaced once finished
- Clean the shower and/or bath area: Glass, tiling, and chrome shower fittings and taps should be cleaned using specialist bathroom surface cleaner or glass cleaner to get rid of watermarks to create a shiny appearance
- Clean the sink area and taps: Using bathroom cleaner and a cloth, wipe the sink and surrounding countertop. Clean the taps thoroughly to remove any watermarks and provide a shiny finish. Clean the mirror, being careful not to leave streaks. Ensure the plughole is clear
- Clean the toilet: The toilet should be thoroughly cleaned using a toilet disinfectant, and bleach should be applied and then flushed away. Pay attention to underneath the rim. Check for limescale as it can build up. When you finish lower the seat and close the lid
- Dust: Dust the lights and the corners of the ceiling to remove any cobwebs or dust, and clean behind and underneath towel rails and radiators. If any pipes are visible behind the toilet or under the sink, ensure that these are dusted
- Wipe the towel rail: This can collect a surprising amount of dust and dirt, so don’t forget to wipe it
- Restock amenities and toilet paper: Refill any missing toiletries, such as shampoos, shower gels, soaps, or toothpastes. Restock clean drinking glasses and toilet paper
- Clean towels: Put out clean towels and bathmats, as well as any bathrobes and slippers if the old ones have been used. Some guests may opt to re-use their towels, fold them neatly and re-hang on the towel rail
- Clean the floor: The floor needs to be swept, and then mopped using a hard floor cleaner. When it comes to bedrooms, it’s best to do this last, incase you make a mess when cleaning other surfaces
Your team needs access to lots of various cleaning products and equipment over the course of a shift, alongside bedding, towels, and replacement supplies — like toiletries or minibar refreshments — between rooms. A housekeeper trolley will allow them to manoeuver everything easily, whilst keeping things organised.
When choosing a trolley, you may want to consider:
- Separate bags for rubbish and soiled linen
- Multiple tiers and shelves to separate cleaning products and supplies
- Compartments for storing guest toiletries and refreshments. If you offer hot drinks or mini bar, you may have glass and ceramics items that require the need to be stored carefully to prevent breakage
- Smooth, multi-directional wheels with brakes. This gives your staff easy movement and to be able to park it safely
- A vacuum holder. Storing this on the trolley will save your housekeepers from making two trips when moving from room to room
Think about the size of your hotel keep in mind, as you must consider staff need to move the cart. If you own a small B&B with just a small amount of rooms to clean, there’s no reason to use an oversized trolley or if your hotel has narrow corridors or no lift, your staff won’t be able to move it from room to room, so a smaller hand-held cart may be more suitable.
Cleaning supplies and equipment
For your staff to do their job thoroughly to an amazing standard will need the correct cleaning supplies and a way to transport them all from room to room. In the section, it will explain the equipment that will be useful to you.
Your trolley should be supplied with the following:
- Vacuum cleaner
- Mop and bucket
- Floor cleaner
- Surface cleansers and sanitiser
- Cleaning cloths
- Paper towels
- Dusting cloths
- Dusting tool
- Furniture polish
- Bathroom cleaner
- Toilet cleaner
- Scrubbing brush
- Drain cleaner
- Air freshener
- Rubber protective gloves
- Bin liners
- Bathroom bin liners
If you would like support and help to choose the best cleaning products and equipment for your hotel, take a look at our janitorial supplies on our website
Guest supplies and amenities
Whether it’s a chocolate on the pillow, mini toiletries in the bathroom, or a toweling robe, guests appreciate complementary products, they’ll always go down well. Your housekeeping team are accountable for replacing these supplies as required, in order to have enough in their trolley to restock each room they clean that day. Ideas of complimentary toiletries products could include:
- Shower gel
- Body lotion
- Hand soap
- Toothpaste or dental kit
- Robes and slippers
As well as the above products, your housekeeping trolleys should have the following essentials:
- Bed sheets and pillowcases
- Toilet paper
It’s now quite common to offer your guests a minibar and hotel room beverage service, so they can help themselves to refreshments. So, you should also stock your trolleys with:
- Mugs — using real glassware and crockery instead of disposables can add a real luxury feel.
- Tea and coffee
- Sugar and milk
- Spoons or stirrers
- Mini bar supplies (like alcoholic drinks and snacks)
How to set up a housekeeping trolley
The trolley needs to have adequate supplies to service every room on the shift, as running to and from the stockroom repeatedly will use up valuable time. But you also don’t want your housekeeping trolley to be so overloaded with supplies that it becomes difficult or dangerous for your staff to push. That means you need to strike the right balance between having enough supplies for the shift ahead and ensuring that your trolley is safe to push. The best course of action is for your staff to stock up their trolleys twice every shift: once at the start, and once in the middle of their shift, perhaps after their break.
Ideally, you should keep refreshments and guest amenities towards the top of the cart, and sheets, towels, and paper hygiene products neatly folded underneath. Dirty laundry should also be kept in a separate bag, so it’s clear what is soiled and what is clean.