How long should it take to clean a hotel room, and how can you reduce the time involved?

Hospitality staff face dual challenges every day. First, cleaning each guest's room to the stringent standard of cleanliness required, and second, doing so within an extremely tight time frame.

The average hotel housekeeping worker is required to check and/or clean between 12 and 20 rooms in an eight-hour shift. That allows for only 20 to 30 minutes for room at best, since time to restock the cart and traveling between floors must be considered as well as breaks in the hotel housekeeper's shift.

A hotel housekeeping department can help improve efficiency by providing housekeeping staff with the best tools and cleaning products available. When housekeepers are properly equipped, their time can be used more productively, and corners will not be cut in the interest of getting on to the next room. This means the quality of housekeeping services can also be improved.

Steps for hotel housekeepers to follow

The primary tasks of hotel room cleaning staff is typically to do an entire room turnover, cleaning, and disinfectant process inside the previously mentioned tight timeframe. Ideally, cleaning will be completed in the following order:

  1. Cart stocking – Having a cart that is large enough to transport the linens and cleaning supplies needed for a day (or at least a hotel wing or floor) is crucial. A classic housekeeping cart can be easily maneuvered and has plenty of space to organise everything the housekeeping worker needs.
  2. Bedmaking – Depending on the hotel policies and guest requests, the bed may be stripped completely and made fresh with clean sheets and pillowcases every day, or it may simply be remade every day and linens changed every 2 to 3 days or upon guest request. Used linens can be quickly removed and placed out of view in a roomy, non-transparent receptacle such as a vinyl-lined linen bag, as should any other dirtied items. The bed should be remade impeccably and in accordance with hotel regulations, and the pillows fluffed before the bed is finished and turned down, if applicable.
  3. Bathroom cleaning – The cleanliness of a hotel bathroom is paramount. There must be no trace of grime, soap scum, or stray hair. A dirty bathroom can seriously damage the reputation of the hotel. Towels, hand towels, bath sheets, face rags, and bathmats should be inspected, and all used items removed as the linens were. The mirror, sink, and counter should be cleaned, then the tub and shower, then the toilet. Items used to clean the toilet cannot be used to clean other items in the hotel room. Disposable microfibre cloths may be the best choice for extremely dirty areas. Finally, the towels and used bathroom supplies can be restocked, and the floor mopped from the furthest corner backing out through the door. Run the exhaust fan while the rest of the room is being completed.
  4. Basic room cleaning – If applicable, doors and windows can be opened to allow the room to air out. Any room service items should be collected and placed out for room service staff to collect. Trash bins should be emptied, and lights checked to ensure no bulbs are malfunctioning. All surfaces should be dusted or wiped down, including any tables, bureaus, nightstands, televisions, blinds, and door and window sills. Mirrors and glass should be polished. Any kitchenette area should be cleaned, and the minifridge checked and items noted for restocking. High touch items should be carefully cleaned and disinfected with the correct type of cleaner. These include lamps or light switches, remote controls, and doorknobs. Disinfectant wipes may be used for this purpose. Finally, the room's carpet may be vacuumed, any hardwood, vinyl or laminate flooring mopped with a microfibre damp mop, and the room deodorized before it is marked complete.

Using the proper procedures and the right equipment can cut down on the time to clean a standard hotel room, freeing up extra time to handle guest rooms which are more challenging. For more information on Rubbermaid hospitality products, contact our team today.

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