Most of us learn how to clean a house when we’re little, from watching our moms. As we grow older we take over more and more of the duties, and eventually we have our own homes to clean. The techniques we use, though, are almost always the ones we have seen since we were children.
Hotel housekeepers have usually learned how to clean the same way. They may receive rudimentary training from employers, or may alter their approach from watching coworkers. But that doesn’t mean that they clean rooms the proper and most efficient way.
That’s why we thought it would be helpful to offer some of our favorite housekeeper tips gleaned from our many hotel clients and employees over the years. We use them to train our staff and hope they’ll be of use to you as well, whether you work in the hospitality industry or just want to do a better job making your home sparkle.
Housekeeper Tips – Step By Step
1. Have a plan or routine.
It’s always tempting to tackle the first problem that you see, but then you’re more likely to find yourself searching for other problems – possibly ignoring the ones that aren’t easily visible. If you always follow the same comprehensive strategy for cleaning a room, you’ll be certain not to miss anything.
2. Open the windows.
It’s easier to see dirt in natural light, it lets funky odors disperse on their own, and it ventilates the room as you use cleaning chemicals.
3. Clean the room before you clean the room.
Before doing anything else, remove the obvious messes: trash that’s been left behind, dirty towels and linens, the stuff that’s been left on nightstands, counters, sinks and toilet tanks. It’s a lot easier to mop, vacuum and wipe when you’re not working around obstacles, and you won’t end up leaving dirt or water stains underneath the piles you’ve waited to pick up.
4. Dust and clean from top to bottom.
It seems obvious, but unless you start at the top, you’ll end up with dirt falling onto areas you’ve already cleaned – and it’s human nature to avoid cleaning the same area a second time. Don’t forget the light fixtures and shades. Do this before making the bed; if you make it before dusting, you could end up getting dirt on the clean linens. And starting your cleaning gives the cleaning solutions time to work while you…
5. Make the bed.
Be sure to look for stains, rips and hairs, then smooth the mattress and make the bed. Remember, sheet and comforter tags go on the bottom.
6. Vacuum, then mop (or sweep).
If you do it the other way around, you’re likely to end up with wet hair on the floor that won’t get caught by the vacuum. Vacuum from the walls to the middle of the floor and out toward the door, so that you go over the high-traffic areas twice.
7. Finish cleaning the room and do the bathroom.
Your cleaning solutions have done their job, so wipe down the hard surfaces in the room and then tackle the bathroom, again giving the chemicals or soaps time to work as you wipe down the mirrors, fixtures and other areas before finishing the bathroom cleaning.
8. Check the areas you might have missed.
Fingerprints on the thermostat, phones or light switches? Hotel-supplied magazines or do-not-disturb signs missing? Make sure everything’s just the way it should be for the next guest, then close the windows – and you’re off to the next room.
Following these housekeeper tips will ensure that you’ve done a complete job on every room, every time. It’s what will keep your managers – and your guests, who are the ones who leave the tips – satisfied and happy with your work.