Friday, October 2, 2009

updated housekeeping notes..for the upcoming test!--part 3



The guestroom is the main product of a hotel, as it contributes to more than 50 per cent of the total sales, making the profit percentage from room sales very high. The ‘sale’ of a room means leasing the room for occupation for 24 hours at a pre-determined cost. Thus, a room sold on a particular day earns revenue for that day, and then it can be sold again, and again. Rooms are sometimes referred to as ‘highly perishable commodities’ as rooms not sold for the day lose out on the revenue for that day. In addition to earning revenues, guestrooms also have a role in the image-building of the hotel.

Guests may stay in a hotel for pleasure, convenience, or from necessity. Whatever the reason for the stay, the will always expect a certain standard of service and comfort. It is hence essential for each and every hotel employee to understand the importance of a guestroom for a guest. The housekeeping staff, in particular, has the responsibility of making the guestroom ‘a home away from home’ for the guest.

Importance of the guestrooms to a guest

It is extremely important to understand the expectations of a guest when he/she pays to stay in a room. People nowadays travel a lot more than they did earlier, and the expectations from hotels are constantly on the rise. In such a scenario, continuous analysis of guest expectations becomes necessary. Given that a hotel is often referred to as ‘a home away from home’, there would be similarities in a guest’s expectations from a hotel and from a home. These similarities would dictate that the guestrooms be neat, hygienic, comfortable, private, and above all, safe. The most important consideration here is staff needs to understand and respect the guest’s expectations from the guestroom and the hotel staff.

Primarily, a neat room is the basic minimum expectation of any guest, and the staff needs to ensure this by laying out fresh linen and presenting a clean room on a daily basis. The room should not only be attractive, but also comfortable and functional. Hotel guests expect a high degree of cleanliness, leading to a hygienic environment to stay in. For instance, guest that the hotel has provided them a sanitized toilet when they see a disinfected paper strip on the toilet seat.

The ‘basic necessities’ in a guestroom are constantly varying. Nowadays these may include Internet and Wi-Fi connectivity, channel music, television, temperature control, and so on. Guests also expect that they will not be disturbed often and that the location of the rooms would be such that they have a good view. Safety, as we have already mentioned, is a key factor with regard to guestrooms - guest would like the guestroom location to be safe and not accessible to one and all. The doors of a guestroom should have a double locking system operable from inside, along with strict control measures in the hotel with regard to the handling of guestroom keys and master keys. Fire-exit layouts being placed in the rooms is a necessity as well.

Irrespective of its location, a guestroom should also offer easy access to other guest service areas, such as restaurants, gymnasiums, swimming pools, and so on, with clear directions to and from the room or elevator being posted in corridors.

The guest would also expect to be able to get in touch with ancillary departments providing other services to guests from the room itself. The various services- such as room service, restaurants, housekeeping, valet, and so on- should be clearly indicated with explanation and intercom numbers in the literature on the house rules and in the information kits placed in each guestroom.


It used to e customary in many hotels to have rooms of more or less the same standard throughout a property, but the trend is changing now. Guests are now being offered a choice of more expensive rooms with upgraded facilities, as well as the establishment’s standard options. Hotels now offer a wide variety of rooms catering to the needs of different types of travelers. They are as following:

Single room- A room assigned to one person, having one bed.

Twin room- A room with two beds meant for one person each.

Hollywood twin room- A with two twin beds but a common headboard, meant for two people. If so desired, the beds can be bridged together to make it appear single bed.

Double room- A room with a double bed for two persons.

Triple room- A room assigned to three people, which may have two or more beds.

Quad room- A room assigned to four people, which may have two or more beds.

Queen room- A room with a queen-size bed.

King room- A room with a king-size bed.

Double double room/Twin double family room- A room with two double beds, meant for four people.

Studio room/Extension room- A room with a studio bed.

Sico room- A room which has a Murphy or Sico bed or similar (a pull-out or convertible or foldaway bed)

Mini suite/Junior suite- A single large room with a bed and a sitting area.

Suite room- A combination of one or more bedrooms and a parlour. It may also contain a bar, a small kitchenette, and other facilities.

Connecting rooms- Rooms with individual entrance doors from the outside and a connecting door between, so that the guests can move between rooms without going through the hallway.

Adjoining rooms- Rooms with a common wall but no connecting door.

Adjacent rooms- Rooms close to each other, but not necessarily adjoining- perhaps across the hall or corridor from each other.

Cabana- A room adjacent to the pool area, with or without sleeping facilities, but with provision for relaxing in a sofa. These re mainly used for changing.

Duplex/Bi-level suite- A two-storey suite, with parlour and bedrooms connected by a stairway.

Efficiency room- A room containing some kitchen facilities.

Hospitality suite- A parlour with a connecting bedroom, to be used by guests to entertain his own guests or for companies offering cocktails during conventions, entertaining, and trade shows. A hospitality room usually contains a bar and occasional tables as well. This type of room is let out and charged on an hourly basis.

Lanai- A room overlooking a landscaped area, a scenic view, a waterbody, or a garden. It may have a balcony, a patio, or both. This type of room is commonly found in resorts.

Parlour/Saloon- A living or sitting room; a room not used as a bedroom.

Sample Room- A display room that is used for showing merchandise. It may or may not be provided with sleeping facilities.

Family room- A room with two double beds, meant for two, three or four persons.

Penthouse- A room that opens onto the roof and may be accompanied by a swimming pool, patio, a tennis court, and other facilities and amenities.

Executive room- A room that has a large bedroom with a sitting area provided with chairs and usually a sofa and coffee table. This type of room typically has a workstation/lounge near the window. This is really a combination bedroom-cum-sitting room.


Guest supply includes all items that are conductive to the guest’s material comfort and convinience.They are subdivided into guest amenities,essentials,expendables and loan items. Many hotels follow common pattern in placement of guest supplies in their guestrooms.


The guest supplies placed in various areas of the guest bedrooms are discussed in this section.

BEHIND THE DOOR: The following are placed here:

· A DND card, the reverse of which may be ‘please make up my room card’ on the door knob on the inside of the door.

· Room’s rates for different kinds of rooms offered, in the frame or plastic holder behind every door.

· A detailed map fire exists is ideally affixed behind the door.

A notice reminding the guests of the safe-deposit facilities at the cashier’s desk.

Most hotels now have an electronic safe in the guestroom, however, in which case this notice is not required.

AT WRITING TABLE: These are usual supplies on and around the guest desk.

· A guest stationary folder with monogrammed note papers, envelopes, and post cards with hotel pictures, telegraph forms and guest comment forms are placed on the table. A pen and a pencil are also placed alongside.

· Tent cards (publicity cards placed in the shape of a tent) giving information about special events and shows in the hotel are also placed on this desk.

· An ashtray.

· A candle, a candle holder and a matchbox.

· The hotel brochure.

· A waste paper basket next to the writing table, on the floor.

· A chair with a backrest placed in front of the writing table.

ON THE BEDSIDE TABLE: Any variety of supplies may be found on or in the nightstand.

· The telephone and the service dictionary are placed on the bedside table.

· A notepad and a pencil are placed beside the phone.

· An ashtray and a matchbox. In twin rooms two ashtrays along with matchboxes are kept on the two bedside tables.

· A breakfast shelf knob card is usually kept on the first shelf or in the drawer of the bedside table. This card is kept on the pillow during evening service in many hotels.

· The local telephone directory is usually kept on the lowermost shelf on the bedside table.

· In the same location, a Bible, a Gita or Quran may also be placed. In Buddhist countries, “THE LIFE AND THOUGHT OF LORD BUDDHA” may be placed.

· A channel music panel may be affixed to the bed side table.

· A bedside lamp is placed at the bedside table. If there are two tables’ two bedside lamps maybe placed.

· A flask on the tray with two glasses may be kept beside the bed at the bedside table.

ON THE COFFEE TABLE: These are the usual supplies here:

· An ashtray and a matchbox are placed on the coffee table.

· The house magazine or some tourist magazines and a newspaper are also neatly arranged on the coffee table.

· The room service menu is placed on the coffee table.

· A letter of greeting signed by the general manager, wishing guests in special holidays and feasts, may be placed on the coffee table.

IN THE DRAWER AND THE CUPBOARD: These are usually found in the wardrobe or chest of the drawers or else sometimes in the nightstand drawer.

· A sewing mending kit (a Dutch wife) is placed in the drawer.

· Laundry bag and a list of laundry facilities and charges.

· A few plastic utility bags may also be placed in the wardrobe for guests to keep their shoes or wet swimming suits in, or to use for other purposes.

· Cloth hangers are hung on hooks or a hanging rod inside the cupboard.

· The guestroom safe is usually affixed inside the cupboard.

BELOW THE LUGGAGE RACK: The luggage rack usually has a lower shelf for guests to keep their shoes on. The shoe mitt or a shoe kit may be placed on this shelf.

AT THE DRESSING TABLE: These supplies may be on or near the dressing table where there is one else they will be a part of the vanity kit in the bathroom:

· An upholstered stool is placed under the dressing table and it can be pulled out when required.

· A mirror is mounted on the wall with appropriate lighting facilities.

· Combs and brushes are placed in the dressing table drawer.

ON THE BED: Ideally , there would be nothing on the bed except the bedclothes listed below , but sometimes a small gift box or a box of chocolates may be placed on the pillow as the part of the turn-down service.

· A mattress, with a mattress protector on it.

· Bed sheets, night spread, pillows with pillow cases, blankets and a bed spread.

IN THE TELEVISION CABINET: This, of course, is fairly obvious-this is where you’d find the television, usually, one equipped with satellite network and a remote control.

IN THE MINI BAR: All, some, or none of these may be include, depending on the type of hotel and the type of guestroom, as well as sometimes the profile of the guest.

· Mineral water bottles.

· Beverages such as liquor and soft drinks.

· Ice trays.

· Lemon wedges.

· Some snacks.

ON THE MINI-BAR CABINET OR DRESSER OR CONSOLE TABLE: These supplies may be on a small side table near the guestroom entrance, by the bed or on the mini bar.

· A tray with tea bags and sachets of coffee powder, milk powder and sugar.

· On the same tray a couple cups, saucers and spoons.

· A kettle and/or coffee maker.

· An ice bucket.

IN THE SITTING AREA: The following items are usually found in the sitting area:

· A sofa and two easy chairs.

· An occasional table.

· A lampshade.

IN THE BATHROOM: A bathroom usually has the following fixtures and guest supplies:

· A full length mirror at the entrance.

· A bath tub and a bath mat.

· A water closet.

· A tissue holder with a tissue roll, affixed on the wall near the WC.

ON OR NEAR THE VANITY UNIT: Supplies near the vanity unit are as follows:

· Monogrammed soaps, shampoo bottles, moisturizers, cologne, aftershave lotion and shower gels.

· Shower caps, gargle glasses, tissue box, razor blades, dental kit and shaving kit.

· A mirror mounted on the wall with appropriate lighting facility.

· A sani-bin beside the WC or under the vanity counter.

ON THE TOWEL: The towel rack consists of the following supplies:

· Bath towels and bath sheets on the towel rack.

· Hand towels and face towels (these may also be near or on the vanity unit).

· Wash cloth.

· A bath mat.

Cleaning Guestrooms

· Understand the nature &types of soil on various surfaces & the ways in which soiling presents itself

· Lay down the standards for cleaning

· Understand the scientific terminology that appertains to cleaning

· List the principles of cleaning & describe the various procedures of cleaning

· Categorize cleaning tasks with regard to their frequency & explain how cleaning may be organized in various ways in hotel

· Describe the procedure of bed-making & discuss the daily cleaning of guestrooms

· Outline the procedures for the turn-down service & second service

· Appreciate the importance of ‘closing down’ after cleaning & give an account of the procedure to be followed


Cleaning is the removal of dust, dirt, foreign matter, tarnish & stains from various surfaces with the aid of certain cleaning agents and equipment. Dust, dirt, and foreign matter deposited on a surface are referred to as soil. This may include substances such as sand, mud, pollutants, smoke, & fumes brought into the building from outside. Some types of soil, such as sewage, hair, dead skin cells, and fibers shed from the clothing are generated by the occupants of a building.

Cleaning is carried out for the following reasons:

Aesthetic appeal The environment is made visually attractive & appealing.

Hygiene Effective, frequent cleaning controls the growth and reproduction of pathogenic bacteria & other germs.

Maintenance surfaces & articles, however good in quality, will have a long functional life only when they are cleaned on a regular basis.

Safety Cleaning is done for safety against health hazards, fire hazards, and slip hazards.

Types of soil

Dust this is composed of loose particles deposited from the air. It contains both organic (human & animal hair, dead skin cells, particles of excreta, pollen from plants, & so on) & inorganic (sand, dry earth) matter. Although dust is light it is heavier than air & thus settles readily on any surface, horizontal as well as vertical.

Dirt This implies dust held together firmly by moisture or grease on rough surfaces.

Tarnish This is a discoloring or deposition on a metal or alloy surface caused by chemical reaction with certain substances found in air, water, and foodstuffs. Each metal gets a different type of tarnish when exposed for too long to these substances. For instance, iron gets reddish-brown rust, copper gets a greenish deposit of verdigris,& silver gets blackened. There are different methods for the removal of tarnish from different metals.

Stain this is a discoloration caused on a hard or soft surface by a substance containing dyes, proteins, acids or alkalis. Stains are difficult to remove by routine cleaning processes. Any stain must b removed as soon as possible by using powders to absorb it, solvents to dissolve it, or alkaline cleaner to neutralize it.

Foreign matters These may be dead flowers, contents of wastepaper basket and ashtrays, as well as stains from the deposition of foreign substances (as opposed to the result of a chemical reaction).

Nature of soil

All the above types of soil may be categorized under at least one of the following heads, depending on the nature of the substance responsible.

Inorganic or mineral: A homogeneous chemical element or compound, solid, liquid or gaseous substance, having a chemical composition resulting from the inorganic processes of nature.

Organic: A substance that has a plant or animal origin. Organic compounds are basically hydrocarbons, that is, they essentially contain the elements carbon, hydrogen & oxygen.

Osmological: these are substances containing either organic or inorganic matter that emit an unpleasant odour.

Bacterial: some soils may contain live bacteria or their spores, which may cause diseases or infections.

Entomological: These soils harbor insects, especially those that are carriers of disease & infection.

Standards of cleaning

Depending on the purpose of the area & surfaces to be cleaned, various standards of cleaning may be imposed. Once a standard has been established, there should be strict adherence to the cleaning methods required, & efficient training & supervision is called for. There may be different standards of cleaning for different surfaces and areas, as follows:

Physically clean: when the standard is set, the area or surface is supposed to be free from apparent dust & dirt, as when wiped by hand.

Chemically clean: This standard means that the area should be free from harmful chemicals on the surfaces & in the surrounding air.

Bacteriologically clean: To meet this standard, the surfaces should be cleaned so as to be free from any harmful bacteria that may cause disease or infection. This is referred to as ‘clinical standard’ as most hospitals follow this standard for their general wards.

Entomologically clean: this means that the area should be free from harmful insects or pests.

Osmologically clean: This cleaning standard demands that the surfaces & areas should be free from any organic or inorganic matter that may emit an odour.

Terminally clean: this refers to the standard of cleaning usual in operation theatres & intensive care units in hospitals, where surfaces need to be constantly sanitized against all kinds of pathogenic microbes.

The science of cleaning

To understand the process of cleaning using various agents, one needs to know the terminology associated with cleaning, & the surfaces being cleaned.

Terminology of cleaning

These are certain basic terms from chemistry & biology, knowledge of which is required for a better understanding of all that the cleaning processes entail. The list given below organizes them alphabetically to understand all the terms.

Terminology used in cleaning

Acids: Substances made up of hydrogen ions combined with anions. See anions.

Aerobic: refers to the presence of oxygen in the reaction.

Aerosols: particles dispersed in gas and packed under pressure with a device for releasing them as a fine spray

Alcohols: organic compounds containing the OH- ions as the reactive group. They are commonly called as “spirits”

Algae: these are mainly aquatic, eukaryotic, single celled or multicellular plants without true roots, leaves and flowers. They are typically autotropic, photosynthetic and contain chlorophyll. They may also attach to underwater structures, rocks or the submerged surfaces.

Alkali: an inorganic compound made up of hydroxyl ions (OH-) combined with cations. See cations

Anaerobic: refers to the absence of oxygen in the reaction.

Anion: a negatively charged ion. See also ion.

Antiseptic: an agent that makes the environment non-conducive to the growth and reproduction of disease –causing (pathogenic) microbes.

Asepsis: rendering a surface free of microbes and infection

Atom: the smallest particle of the element that displays the properties of that element

Autoclave: equipment used to sterilize articles using steam under pressure.

Bacteria: single celled micro-organisms that can exist either independently or as parasites

Bactericide: an agent that kills most bacterias but not their spores.

Bacteriostat: an agent that makes the environment non-conducive to the growth and reproduction of bacteria.

Biodegradable: substances that can be decomposed by the action of living organisms.

Cations: a positively charged ion. See also ion.

Caustic alkalis: very strong alkalis such as sodium hydroxide (caustic soda).

Cells: all living organisms are made up of basic units called as cells.

CFCs: chlorofluorocarbons- organic compounds containing chlorine, fluorine and carbon. These are the substances used in air-conditioning and refrigeration systems. When these substances break down on exposure to ultraviolet rays, the resultant product reacts with the protective ozone layer of the earth and damages it.

Chemical compounds: substances whose molecules are composed of atoms of at least two different elements. For instances, sodium carbonate (Na2CO3)

Chemical reaction: a process that lead to chemical change. The substances that take part in the reaction are called as ‘reactants’, while the substances that are produced in a reaction are called as’ products’.

Chlorine: an element of the halogen group used as a sanitizer and bleach.

Corrosion: the wasting away of metals layer by layer due to formation of metal compound on the surface is called as corrosion. Corrosion in case of iron takes the form of rusting.

Detergents: cleaning agent that which used in conjunction with water, can loose and remove dirt, and then hold it in suspension so that the dirt is not redeposited on the clean surface. They can be of two types –soapy detergents and synthetic detergents (non-soapy).

Dilution: the process of reducing the strength of a cleaning agent by adding other solvents, usually water.

Disinfectants: substances used to destroy pathogenic micro-organisms. The term ‘disinfectant’ is now used as a general term that covers all kinds of agents that bring about germ control.

Elements: these are substances, metals or non-metals, that cannot be further divided into two or more substances

Germs: a common term used for germs especially bacteria.

Halogens: a group of reactive elements belonging to the seventh group of periodic table. The important elements in this group are chlorine, bromine, iodine and fluorine.

Health: a state of complete physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being, and not just the absence of disease/infirmity.

Hydrocarbons: compounds containing carbon and hydrogen.

Hydrogen: the lightest element, existing in gaseous form at standard temperature and pressure. It is a component of water, acids and many other compounds.

Hygiene: the science that deals with the preservation of health by maintaining high standard of cleanliness

Inorganic compounds: compounds that consists of chemical combination of two or more elements that are not carbon.

Iodine: a deep brown halogen, used as a disinfectant because of it highly reactive nature.

Ions: an atom is composed of positively charged nucleus and negatively charged electrons moving around it. An atom is electrically neutral, but if another electron is added to it or removed from it, the substance acquires a electrical charge and becomes an ion. If one or more electron is added, the charge of the atom becomes negative and it is called as anion. On the other hand, if one or more electrons are removed from the neutral atom, it becomes positively charged and is called cation.

Micro-organisms: very minute living organisms that are impossible to see through the naked eye and may only be viewed through a microscope. They include bacteria, fungi, protozoa, algae and viruses

Molecules: the smallest particle of an element or a compound that has independent existence. A molecule of an element displays the chemical properties of that element and a molecule o a compound displays the chemical properties of that compound.

Nitrogen: the most abundant gas in the earth’s atmosphere (78 per cent). It is used in the production of ammonia and nitric acid.

Neutralization: an acid and a base when mixed in appropriate proportions, form a neutral solution. Such a reaction is neutralization reaction.

Organic compounds: compounds containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

Oxygen: an element that occurs as molecules of O2, a colorless and odourless gas that forms 21 percent of the air. It is also a component of ozone (O3) and water (H2O).

Pathogenic: disease causing (used for particular kinds of bacteria or other micro-organisms).

Pests: insects or other small animals that are harmful or cause damage.

Pesticides: agents, usually artificial, that are used to destroy pests.

pH scale: a scale that indicate the acidity or alkanity of a substance. According to the scale a pH of 7 is neutral, acids have pH value less than 7, and alkalis have value more than 7.

Phenols: it is an organic, alcoholic compound derived from benzene and used in the manufacture of disinfectant. The old name for phenol is ‘carbolic acid’. Phenol is toxic; hence skin contact must be avoided when handling it.

Pollution: the presence of harmful and undesirable constituents in the environment resulting from human activities. Pollution may be of air, water, soil and sound.

Quats: quaternary ammonium compounds, used as disinfectants.

Radicals: in many chemical reactions, a cluster of atoms act as a unit. These clusters are called radicals. For instance sulphate (SO42-), carbonates (CO32-), bicarbonates (HCO3-), and so on are radical groupings.

Reagents: chemicals solutions such as acids alkalis or alcohols that are used in various reactions.

Saline: (of a solution) containing salt.

Salts: neutral substances which are formed when acid react with alkalis. The term ‘common salt’ refers to NaCl as formed naturally.

Sanitizer: an agent used for reducing the microbial count to acceptable level.

Spores: micro-organisms in their restive, protective state when environmental conditions are unfavorable. When conditions become favorable again, the spores develop into reproductive micro-organisms.

Sterilization: the process of killing all kinds of micro-organisms and their spores.

Surfactants: compounds that impart good wetting power, emulsifying power, and suspending power to detergents.

Valency: an atom of each element has a definite combining capacity, called its valency. It is measured with reference to hydrogen. For instance, the valency of hydrogen itself is 1 and that of carbon is 4, which means that an atom of hydrogen can combine with or displace a single atom of hydrogen while an atom of carbon can displace or combine with four atoms of hydrogen. The formula of a compound depends on the valency of the combining elements.

Waste: a collective term for that which is unwanted, unused, useless or discarded. The terms ‘trash’ ‘garbage’, ‘refuse’, ‘rubbish’,’ residue’,’ ashes’,’ biological waste’,’ liquid by-product waste’ and solid by-product waste’ all imply waste materials as referred to in various cultures or when in various forms.

Water: this is the universal solvent H2O, and the most basic cleaning agent.

Principles of cleaning

These are the basic rules to follow in any kind of cleaning activity, whatever the nature of the surface or the soil.

· All soil should be removed.

· Soil should be removed without harming the surface being cleaned or the surrounding surfaces.

· The surface should be restored to its original state after the cleaning processes.

· The cleaning process should be efficient, using a minimum of equipment, cleaning agents, labor & time.

· The simplest method should be tried first, using the mildest cleaning agent.

· The cleaning methods least harmful for the surface should be used.

· Cleaning should proceed from high to low wherever possible.

· When cleaning an area, start with the cleaner surfaces & then go on to clean the more heavily soiled ones, so as to prevent the spread of soil from dirty to cleaner surfaces.

· While wet –cleaning an area or polishing the floor, the cleaner should walk backwards while cleaning in front of him.

· Suction cleaning should be preferred over sweeping wherever possible.

· Sweeping should be done before dusting, and dusting before suction cleaning.

· Noise levels while cleaning should be kept as low as possible.

· Stains should be removed as soon as they occur.

· The cleaner should take all safety precautions while cleaning. In particular cleaning agents & equipment should be stacked neatly to one side.

· The cleaner should start cleaning from the farthest end of an area, working towards the exit.

· After the cleaning process is over, all equipment should be washed or wiped as applicable, dried, & stored properly; cleaning agents should be replenished & stored; waste discarded; &the area left neat & tidy.

Cleaning procedures

Cleaning processes may be either manual or mechanical. They may involve washing (using water as a cleaning and rinsing agent), friction (as in using an abrasive) , static electricity( as in using a static mop), suction ( as in using a vacuum cleaner), or force ( as in using pressurized water). The various types of cleaning processes are summarized in this section.

Manual methods

These do not call for mechanized or electronic equipment.

Sweeping: this is done to collect dust when the floor surface is too rough for a dust mop. Push brooms are used for large areas & corn brooms are best for corners & tight spaces. A broom with a long handle is most suitable ergonomically. Use short, smooth strokes and sweep directly into a long- handled dustpan without dissipating the dust. Keep the head of the broom flat on the floor at all times. When using a long- handled broom, use smooth strokes to sweep away from yourself. It is important in sweeping to develop a rhythm and ‘bounce’ the push broom to avoid rolling the bristles under.

Sweeping is not the most efficient, hygienic, or advanced way of removing dust, as so much of it becomes airborne. Sweeping has in many cases been replaced by the use of suction cleaners now. Sweeping with a dry mop is called ‘mop- sweeping’.

Equipment required: broom dust pan, dust bin for collection of dust.

Dusting: this task requires a systematic and orderly approach for efficiency & ease. Room attendants should start dusting articles at the door & work clockwise around the room. This minimizes the chances of overlooking a spot. Fold the duster three times & then thrice again. This gives you 18 clean folds, making the duster more effective. No corners of the duster should be left hanging.

A soft, lint- free cloth should be used as a duster. Avoid using old rags, which leave behind their own dust and lint.

In all cases, begin dusting from the highest surfaces so that dust does not fall on items already cleaned. In case a dusting solution is used, spray a small amount onto the cloth. Never spray dusting solution directly onto the surface being cleaned as it can stain or cause stickiness. The duster should not be unfolded in the room after dusting, nor be shaken outside the window. Carry the duster away carefully to such a place where it can be washed & dried.

Equipment & agents required: Cloth duster, feather duster, & dusting solution if necessary.

Damp dusting : This is the most preferred way of cleaning in hotels as surfaces can be wiped as well as dusted, removing any sticky or dirty marks at the same time. A suitable lint free cloth at the correct level of dampness should be used so as to avoid leaving any smears.

Equipment & agents required: Cloth duster, water, plastic bowl, & a neutral detergent if necessary.

Dust mopping/ dry mopping/ mop sweeping: This is the preferred way to remove dust, sand or grit from the floor. If these substances are not removed from the floor on a daily basis, they will continually scratch the surface finish, diminishing its luster, & will eventually penetrate down to the floor itself. Dust- mopping is done with a dust control –mop, that may or may not be impregnated with cleaning solution. Using such a solution stops the dust from rising. While dust- mopping, use figure of eight strokes & keep the mop head on the floor at all times. Do not drag the mop straight backwards. On finishing each figure of eight, swivel the mop around &, on the return, pass & overlap the areas that have been wiped by about 8 inches. When sweeping in open spaces, clean in long straight lanes, covering the whole area by moving up & down. Use a dust pan to sweep up accumulated thrash. Always carry the mop head upwards very carefully after you are done,& then shake into a bag to clean. Dust mopping removes gross soil but also redistributes &/or leaves behind large amounts of fine particulates.

Equipment required: dust – control mop, dust pan, dust- collecting bag, & dust bin.

Spot mopping: spot mopping is essential to the preservation of floor surface. Liquids & solids that are spilled on the floor, if left for any length of time, may penetrate the finish & stain the floor. Even acids from fruit juices may wreak havoc on a floor if they are not immediately cleaned up. Clean, cold water should be used so that the finish on a floor is not softened. Detergents should be avoided unless necessary- that is, unless the substance has been allowed to dry on the floor.

Equipment & agents required: Mop & bucket or a mop- wringer trolley, cold water, & a very dilute solution of neutral detergent if necessary.

Wet mopping/damp mopping: A damp mop is used to remove spills & adhered soil that were not removed during the dry removal process. Wet-mopping will remove light to heavy soil from the floor surface, which could otherwise become embedded in the surface or encapsulated in the seal or finish. Before the floor can be wet- mopped it must be dust mopped. Add neutral or mildly alkaline detergent to mop water for wet-mopping. The detergent used must be of the variety that needs no rinsing, or else spray diluted from spray bottle & mop with a damp mop. If using mop water, immerse the mop in the bucket & wring it out until it is only damp.

First finish mopping near base boards in smooth strokes. Then mop the entire area with figure- eight strokes. The water in the bucket should be changed when it becomes dirty. A brush may be used for stubborn spots & a squeegee should be used to help speed the drying of the floor.

Equipment & agents required: wet mop & bucket or mop- wringer trolley, squeegee, & detergent solution.

Manual scrubbing: For modern surfaces, very little hand -scrubbing is required. Scrub gently in straight lines away from yourself, working backwards. Rinse well in order to remove any detergent from the surface. Use a squeegee to clear away excess rinse water. Follow up with mopping.

Equipments & agents required: long – handled scrubbing brush, mild detergent, bucket, squeegee, water, & mop.

Manual polishing: Apply the polish sparingly. Use cotton rags to apply polish & a cloth for buffing. Use a soft brush for carved articles to get the polish into crevices. Use the polish appropriate for a particular surface. For instance, proprietary polishes for metals – Brasso, silvo, & so on- should be used on these surfaces.

Equipment required: Proprietary polish & cotton rags.

Spot cleaning: this refers to removal of stains from different kinds of hard &soft surfaces. To remove a localized stain, the whole surface need not be treated with stain-removal reagents. Just the area where the stain discolors the surface is treated & cleaned in the process of spot cleaning. Spot cleaning may be used as a cleaning method on walls, fabric, carpets or flooring.

Mechanized methods

These utilize equipment powered by electricity as well as mechanical equipments.

Suction cleaning: this is the basic & preparatory step to all other mechanized procedures & should be performed regularly. Very often it must also be repeated at end of these processes. The goal is to remove as much dry soil as possible so that it does not spread, scratch the finish, or damage the surface. Vacuuming with high- filtration machines is the most complete method of dry –soil removal as it picks up, packages, & removes soil without spreading it around.

Wet – vacuum cleaners are now available, which help to mop water from floors as well. These are usually dual- function machines that can be used for both wet & dry work. Extraction machines for cleaning carpets also work on the principle of suction.

Equipment & agents required: wet/dry vacuum cleaner with attachments & a mild detergent for wet- cleaning if necessary.

Spray buffing: This process uses a 175- or 300-rpm (revolutions per minute) floor machine & a soft pad or brush. The operator sprays a light mist of a commercial cleaning preparation or detergent & a finishing solution in front of the machine. As the machine goes over the area, soil, scuffs, light scratches, & marks are removed & the shine is restored to the surface. Vacuuming or dust-mopping is a follow-up step to remove loosened dirt.

Equipment & agents required: 175 –or 300-rpm buffing machine with beige pad, spray bottle, detergent, & finishing solution.

Polishing: This process uses a 175- 1500-rpm floor machine & a soft pad or brush to remove some soil & brush to remove some soil & put the shine back in the finish. Vacuuming or dust- mopping should be carried out as a follow- up step to remove loosened dirt.

Equipment required: 1500 – 2500 rpm floor machine.

Scrubbing: This process removes embedded dirt, marks, deeper scuffs, & scratches from the floor along with some of the finish. The pad or brush, the type of detergent, the water temperature, & the weight & speed of the machine all determine whether the process is considered light or heavy scrubbing. For instance aggressive pads, higher- pH detergents solutions & fast, heavy machines perform the deepest scrubbing. Light scrubbing removes just one or two coats of finish. Heavy scrubbing removes all or most of the finish, down to the protective sealing coat.

Equipments required: floor- maintenance machines with a green pad.

Stripping: this is a very aggressive process that requires removing all of the floor finish & sealer, leaving a bare floor ready for re-finishing. A strong stripping agent, a coarse pad or brush, hot water, & intensive labor make stripping a costly, time – consuming, & sometimes even hazardous process, which should be used only when no other process will achieve the desired results. Diligent use of other maintenance procedures delays the need for stripping.

Equipment required: Floor-maintenance machine with a black pad.

Laundering: this is the cleaning method used for washable fabrics. It is a process in which soil & stains are removed from textiles in an aqueous medium. It involves the sub - routines of washing, bleaching, drying & pressing, all carried out using specialized laundry equipment & cleaning agents, called ‘laundry aids’. Other sub-processes such as spot cleaning, starching, & softening may also be involved.

Dry cleaning: this is the method in which soil & stains are removed from textiles in a non-aqueous medium.

Frequency of cleaning

Cleaning tasks may be divided according to the frequency of their scheduling, which depends upon the level of soiling, the type of surface, the amount of traffic, the type of hotel, & the cleaning standards set. Employees should be given the procedures & frequencies for carrying out various tasks outlined in a handbook or manual. The information may also be displayed on a notice board in the floor pantries.

Daily tasks: these are the routine operations carried out on a day-to-day basis by the staff of the housekeeping department. These include the regular servicing of guestrooms, cleaning of bathrooms & toilets, suction- cleaning of floors & floor coverings, & so on.

Weekly tasks: These, as the term implies, are routine tasks carried out on a weekly basis. These may include the polishing of metal surfaces, dusting of hard-to-reach areas, & so on.

Periodic tasks: these are carried out on a monthly, quarterly (every three months), half -yearly or annual basis. Some of the usual periodic tasks in a hotel include the shampooing of carpets, washing of walls, cleaning of chandeliers, & stripping & polishing of floors.

Organization of cleaning

For cleaning to be efficient, it must be well organized. Different ways of organizing the cleaning of various areas are outlined below.

Orthodox/ conventional/ traditional cleaning: in this way of cleaning, a GRA completes all the tasks in one guestroom before going to the next room in the section allotted to him/her. On an average, a GRA may be required to clean 12- 20 rooms in an 8-hour workday, not including break times.

Block cleaning: In this way of cleaning, a GRA moves from room to room & completes the same task in every room, before returning to begin the cycle again for the same task on the list. This involves ‘blocking’ several rooms at a time to form a ‘room section’, & usually more than one GRA will be at work in the section. For instance, one GRA might make all the beds in that particular room section, while another GRA cleans the toilets & a third GRA dusts & cleans the area, replenishing supplies that are low.

Team cleaning: I this method, two or more people work together in the same area, either on the same task or on different tasks. To organize the team cleaning of guestrooms, two GRA’s may be scheduled to clean 30-35 guestrooms a day.

Deep cleaning & special projects: deep cleaning refers to the intensive cleaning schedule in which periodic cleaning tasks are scheduled for monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or annual frequencies. Deep cleaning is essential at periodic intervals since regular daily or weekly cleaning, however efficient, is too superficial to present an attractive, fresh-looking environment to guests over the long term. Deep cleaning involves some tasks that require the housekeeping department to work in coordination with maintenance department. Many tasks involved in deep cleaning are complicated & time consuming ones, requiring special equipment, techniques, expertise, & group effort. These tasks are usually scheduled as special projects. A through deep- cleaning process for various surfaces is presented in below table. Deep cleaning tasks include the following:

· Shampooing carpets.

· Vacuum- cleaning upholstery, mattresses & bed bases.

· Rotating & turning mattresses.

· Thorough cleaning of furniture & polishing of wooden furniture.

· Stripping, re-sealing, re-polishing & buffing of floors.

· Cleaning hard-to-reach areas such as ceilings, top edges of doors, fans, air- conditioning vents & so on.

· Cleaning ornate lighting fixtures such as chandeliers.

· Thorough cleaning of walls, windows & curtain tracks.

· Cleaning signage boards.

· Thorough washing of bathroom floors, walls, fixtures, fittings & shower curtains.

· Laundering of washable soft furnishings.



· doors and walls

· wash from the bottom, moving upwards, to avoid streaking& marking

· rinse from top to bottom, paying special attention to the baseboards

· leave to air-dry

· furniture

· Shift all furniture away from the walls.

· Damp- dust thoroughly, paying attention to the backs & castor wheels.

· Cane & wicker furniture should be vacuum- cleaned first & then damp- dusted with a well wrung out duster. A neutral detergent may be used. The final rinse should be of cold, saline water

· Dry thoroughly with a lint-free duster and then polish

· Lamp-shades (non-fabric, washable)

· Remove the lamp shades from the light fixture or lamp

· Immerse in a solution of neutral detergent in warm water.

· Clean gently with a soft hand brush.

· Rinse in cold water.

· Leave to air dry.

· Fabric lamp shades

· Remove the lamp shades from the light fixture or lamp

· Damp – dust with a wet cloth wrung out in neutral detergent solution

· Rinse and leave to air dry.

· Carpets

· Remove all movable furniture.

· Suction-clean the carpet.

· Remove any stains by spot cleaning.

· Prepare the correct dilution of shampoo (usually 1 part shampoo and 8 parts water). Shampoo corners and edges of carpet manually.

· Use a carpet-shampoo machine, cleaning small sections of carpet at a time. Work the machine in forward and backward straight lines, overlapping the preceding line by a few inches on each stroke.

· After shampooing is complete, empty out and rinse the tank of the machine, refill with clean, warm water, and rinse the entire carpet.

· Leave to air dry

· After drying, vacuum again and restore the furniture to their places

· Fans

· Turn off the power.

· Use a step ladder adjusted to a comfortable working height, to avoid overstretching.

· Damp-dust the blades and the body with a cloth wrung out in a solution of neutral detergent. For very heavy soiling, use a alkaline detergent.

· Dry and buff with a duster.

· Mattresses

· Turn and rotate the mattress on a regular basis- four times annually( that is, quarterly)

· Floors

· Move all furniture away.

· Use a general-purpose floor machine with an appropriate brush to scrub the floor at a low speed.

· Change the brush for polishing and buffing, and use the same machine at a higher speed for polishing and buffing the floor.

· Organize the cleaning by working in and finishing small areas at a time.

Spring cleaning: this is the term used for a periodic annual clean of the hotel guestrooms or the other areas, carried out in off-season periods (not necessarily spring, which was the traditional time for a thorough hose cleaning once).the term is often used interchangeably with deep cleaning. Spring- cleaning may involve a complete overhaul of the rooms & is therefore scheduled for the off season or very low- occupancy periods. Spring cleaning involves many tasks on which the housekeeping department works in close coordination with the maintenance department. Intensive cleaning tasks may have to be carried out, for which an entire floor of rooms will have to be taken off at a time. Spring cleaning tasks may include the following.

· Removal of all guest supplies, soft furnishings, & carpets from the rooms.

· Sending launderable articles to the laundry.

· Polishing wooden furniture, shampooing upholstery, & covering them with dust sheets.

· Shampooing carpets.

· Stripping & polishing floors.

· Cleaning accessories such as lamps, lamps shades & picture frames.

· Stripping any wall covering such as paint or wallpaper & re-painting the walls.

· Washing ceilings &walls.

· Thoroughly cleaning lighting fixtures, air-conditioning vents & windows.

· Thoroughly cleaning bathrooms, including walls, floor tiles, fixtures & fittings, & shower curtains.

· Vacuum- cleaning the mattresses.

· Airing the room.

· Restocking guest supplies.

· Restoring guest supplies.

· Restoring soft furnishing & carpets.

· Clearing the rooms to the front desk for sale at the end of a thorough clean.

Features that ease cleaning

Smooth textures; straight, neat, & smooth lines; & medium-toned colors are some of the design features in a surface that make for easier cleaning. Surface with these features collect less dust compared with rough textures, intricate raised patters, & grooves. Medium- toned colors show less dirt than surfaces of darker or lighter shades.

Furniture should be so designed that cleaning under & behind them is easy. Furniture on castor wheels & glides are easily movable, making cleaning under & behind them easier. Bed frames should not have a raised edge. Though raised edges help to keep the mattress sunk in place, they may graze the hands of GRA’s badly during bed-making.

With regard to carpets, the shorter the carpet pile, the easier the cleaning. Upholstery too should have the minimum of decorative features such as buttons, gathers, & ruffles.

Surfaces such as solid wood are now being substituted by laminates wherever possible. While solid wood requires regular buffing & polishing, laminates are low-maintenance surfaces. A regular damp- dusting is usually sufficient for laminates. The drawback of laminates is that they lack the richness & elegance of solid wood. Wood- polishes that are stain-resistant & long- lasting is a boon to housekeepers as wooden surfaces become fairly easy to maintain with the use of these polishes.

Another high-maintenance surface that requires constant polishing is brass. Brass becomes easily tarnished, & more so in coastal climates. Laminated brass surfaces are easier to maintain as they do not require regular polishing, & should be preferred in hotels.


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