Preparing to CleanIn most properties, the room attendant’s workday begins in the linen room. The linen room is often considered the headquarters of the housekeeping department. It is here that the employee reports for work; receives room assignments, room status reports, and keys; and checks out at the end of his/ her shift. Here too, the room attendant prepares for the workday by assembling and organizing the supplies that are necessary for cleaning.
Assembling Supplies:A room attendant requires a special tool to do his/her job. For the professional room attendant, these tools come in the form of the various cleaning supplies and equipment, linens, room accessories, and amenities that are necessary for preparing a guest’s room.
In a sense, the room attendant cart could be regarded as a giant tool box stocked with everything necessary to do an effective job. A well-organized and well-stoked cart is a key to efficiency. It enables the room attendant to avoid wasting time looking for a cleaning item or making trips back to the linen room for more supplies. The specific amounts of items loaded onto a cart vary according to the types of rooms being cleaned, the amenities offered by the property, and, of course, the size of the cart itself. A room attendant’s cart is generally spacious enough to carry all supplies needed for a half-day’s room assignments.
Stocking the cart:Carts are typically stored in the linen room along with the housekeeping supplies. In large properties, supplies are often centralized in a particular area and issued to room attendants each morning. Most carts have three shelves – the lower two for linen and the top for supplies. It is just as important not to overstock a cart, as it is not to understock. Overstocking increase the risk that some items will be damaged, soiled, or stolen in the course of cleaning.
Items typically found on a room attendant’s cart include: Clean sheets, pillowcases, and mattress pads Clean towels and washcloths Clean bath mats Toilet and facial tissue Fresh drinking glasses Soap bars Clean ashtrays and matches
Stocking the Room Attendant’s Cart: Check the list of assigned room; Refer to the list of room cleaning supplies specified by the property; Begin loading cart from the bottom up. Stock according to recommended quantities; Place mattress pads, sheets, and pillowcases on bottom shelf;
Place bath mats, towels, face cloths, and wash cloths on middle shelf; Place room supplies and amenities on top shelf; Stock hand caddy with cleaning supplies such as all-purpose cleaner, cloths and sponges, bowl brush, glass cleaner, and dusting solution. Position on top shelf. Position vacuum, broom, and other sweeping supplies on side of cart.
In most cases, all the cleaning supplies for the guestroom and bathroom are positioned in a hand caddy on top of the cart. This way, the room attendant does not have to bring the entire cart into the room in order to have easy access to supplies.
Items conveniently stocked in the hand caddy include: All-purpose cleaner Spray window and glass cleaner Bowl brush Dusting solution Cloths and sponges Rubber gloves
A laundry bag for dirty linens is usuallyfound at one end of the cart and a trash bag at the other. A broom and vacuumare also positioned on either end of the cart for easy access. For safety and security reasons, personal items and room keys should not be stored on the cart.
Room Assignments: After assembling supplies, the room attendant is ready to begin cleaning guestrooms. The order in which he/she cleans rooms will be determined by the room status report. A floor or shift supervisor uses information from the room status report to draw up room assignments for housekeeping personnel. Room assignments are generally listed according to room number and room status on a standardized form. The number of rooms assigned for a room attendant is based upon the property’s work standards for specific types of rooms and cleaning tasks.The room attendant uses the room assignment sheet to prioritize the workday and to report the condition of each assigned room at the end of the shift. After reviewing the assignment sheet, a room attendant will have a sense where he/she should begin cleaning.
General Sequence for Guestroom Cleaning: Step 1 : Enter the guestroom Step 2 : Begin cleaning. Tidy and air out the room. Step 3 : Strip the bed Step 4 : Make the bed Step 5 : Dust the guestroom Step 6 : Clean the bathroom Step 7 : Vacuum Step 8 : Make the final check Step 9 : Close the door and make sure it is locked Step 10 : Note room status on assignment sheet and proceed to next room
Guestroom cleaning begins the moment the room attendant approaches the guestroom door. It is important to follow certain procedures when entering the guestrooms that show respect for the guest’s privacy.
When approaching a guestroom, first observe whether the guest has placed a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door knob. Also, be sure to check that the door is not double- locked from the inside. If either condition exists, respect the guest’s wishes and return later to clean the room. If this is not the case, knock on the door and announce “Housekeeping.” Never use a key to knock since it can damage the surface of the door. If a guest answers, introduce yourself and ask what time would be convenient to clean the room. Note the time on your room status sheet or schedule. If no answer is heard, wait a moment, knock again, and repeat “Housekeeping.” If there is still no answer, open the door slightly and repeat “Housekeeping.” If the guest does not respond after this third announcement, you can be fairly certain that the room is empty and can begin to enter.
However, just because a guest doesn’t answer, doesn’t always guarantee that a guest is not in the room. Sometimes, the guest may be sleeping or in the bathroom. If this is the case, you should leave quietly and close the door. Should the guest be awake, excuse yourself, explain that you can come back later, discreetly close the door, and proceed to the next room.
When you do finally enter, position your cart in front of the open door with the open section facing the room. Doing so serves a triplicate purpose: it gives you easy access to your supplies, blocks the entrance tointruders, and in the case of stayovers, alerts returning guests of your presence. If the guest does return while you are cleaning, offer to finish your work later. Also, make sure it is, in fact, the guest’s room, by checking his./her room key. This is done for security purposes to prevent unauthorized persons from entering the room.
Entering the Guestroom (Summary) Check the room status; Check for a “Do Not Disturb” sign. Do not knock if a sign is on the door; Announce presence. Knock firmly and say “Housekeeping.” Do not use a key to knock on the door; Wait for a response. If you don’t hear an answer, knock again and repeat “Housekeeping.” Wait a second time for a response. If you still do not receive an answer, open the door slightly and repeat “Housekeeping.”
If the guest is asleep or in the bathroom, leave quietly and close the door; If the guest is awake but dressing, excuse yourself, leave, and close the door; If the guest answers your knock, ask when you may clean the room; If the room is unoccupied, position your cart in front of the door and leave the door open. Begin cleaning. If the guest returns while you are cleaning, offer to finish later. Ask to see the guest’s room key to verify that the key and room number match.
Most room attendants begin their system of cleaning by airing out and tidying up theguestroom. After entering the room, turn on allthe lights. This makes the room more cheerful, helps you se what you are doing, and allows you to check for light bulbs which need to be replaced. Draw back the draperies and check the cords and hooks for any damage. Openthe windows so the air conditioning and heater to make sure they are working properly and are set according to property standards.
Next take a good look at the condition of the room. Make note of any damaged or missing items such as linens or wastebaskets. If anything of value is gone or if something needs repair, notify your supervisor.
Remove or replace dirty ashtrays and glasses. Always make sure that cigarettes are fully extinguished before dumping them in the appropriate container. As you replace the ashtrays, be sure to replenish matches. Collect any service trays, dishes, bottles, or cans that might be scattered around the room. Follow your property’s procedures for taking care of these items properly. Some properties have room attendants set these items neatly in the hallway and call room service for pickup. Empty trash and replace any wastebasket liners.In occupied rooms, straighten any newspapers and magazines.Never throw out anything in an occupied room unless it is in the wastebasket. In rooms where the guest has checked out, visually scan the room and check the dresser drawers for personal items, which may have been left behind.Report these items to your supervisor, or hand them in to the lost and found depending on the hotel’s policy.
Remove any clothing or personal items from the bed; Remove the bedspread and blanket and place them on a chair; Check the bedspread and blanket for stains, tears, or holes. Replace if necessary; Remove cases from pillows. Place the pillows aside with the bedspread and blanket; Remove the sheets; Put soiled linen into the dirty linen bag on the cart; Check under the bed for trash or guest items. Remove them to a convenient place.
Step 5:Dust and polish the dresser. Open the drawers and dustthe inside surfaces.
Step 6:Dust the nightstand. Start with the top surface and work your way down the sides to the legs or base.
Step 7:Clean and dust the telephone. Check proper operation by picking up the receiver and listening for the dial tone. Use spray disinfectant on the mouthpiece and earphone (optional).
Step 8:Dust the top and sides of the television set and the stand it rests on.
Step 9: Clean the front of the television set with glasscleaner. Turn on the set to make sure it works properly, and then turn it off.
Step 10: Dust any tables, beginning with topsurface and workingyour way down to the base and legs.
Step 11:Dust wood or chrome surfaces on chairs, beginning at the topand working your way down the legs.
Step 12:Clean both sides of the connecting door to an adjoining guestroom, if applicable. Wipe from top down. Polish the knobs and remove any smudges around the knob area. When finished, make sure the door is closed and locked.
Step 13: Clean the closet: Dust both the top and underside of the closet shelf. Remove any smudges on the surfaces. Wipe down the closet rod. Dust hangers and hooks. Clean and dust both sides of the closet door.
Step 14:Wipe down light switches and clean any smudges on surrounding wall area.
Step 15:Clean both sides of theguestroom door.
Check the shower head to make sure it is positioned correctly. Wash the tub or shower walls and soap dishes using a damp cloth and all- purpose cleaner. Check condition of walls as you clean. Rinse the tub or shower walls and soap dishes with sponge.
Clean both sides of the shower curtain or shower door. Pay special attention to the bottom where mildew may accumulate. Wipe dry. Clean shower curtain rod or clean the tracks and frame of the shower door. Scrub the bathtub with all-purpose cleaner. Remove and clean the drain trap.
Clean bathtub fixtures. Polish dry to remove water spots. Hang clean bath mat over edge of the tub. Reposition shower curtain or shower door to the center of the tub.
Run some warm water into the sink. Add the correct amount of all-purpose cleaner. Clean the countertop area of the vanity. Clean the sink. Remove drain trap and clean. Clean sink fixtures. Polish dry to remove water spots.
Wipe dry the countertop area of the vanity. Clean mirror with glass cleaner.
Scrub the insides of the toilet and under the lip with the bowl brush. Flush. Using cleaning solution and a cloth, clean the top of the seat, the lid, the tank, and the outside of the bowl. Wipe dry all the outside surfaces. Close the lid.
Dust light fixtures. Using a clean damp cloth, spot-clean fingerprints and smudges. Wipe down all electrical outlets and light switches, paying close attention to the surrounding wall area. Wipe and polish towel bars. Dust all exposed piping. Clean both sides of the bathroom door.
Step 1:Clean the baseboards. Begin in the closet area and work your way around the room. Wipe all exposed area of thebaseboard to remove surface dust and dirt.
Step 2: Take a vacuum sweeper or broom tosweep large dirt. Sweep also sides of the room and under furnitures to where vacuum cannot reach. This way the dirt that cannot be reached by the vacuum will be picked up immediately and/or center the dirt so to possibly reach by the vacuum.
Step 3:Take vacuum to the farthest corner in the guestroom. Begin vacuuming. Take care not to bump furnitures or even dragging the vacuum over its cord. Vacuum side to side.
Step 3:Vacuum your way back to the door. Cover all exposed areas of the carpet you can reach including under tables and chairs, behind the door, and in the closet.
Step 4: Close windowsand turn off lights along the way.
The final check is a critical step in guestroom cleaning. It makes the difference between just cleaning the room and doing a professional job.
After reloading your vacuum and cleaningsupplies on your cart, take a few moments togive the room a careful look from the guest’sperspective, Start at one point from one point in the room and trail your eyes in a circularfashion from one corner to the next until you have visually inspected each item. By doing so, you may discover something youoverlooked or that was difficult to spot on the first cleaning.
Make sure that all the furnishings are back in their proper places. Look for little things like making sure the lampshades are straight and their seams are turned toward the back. Smell the air for any unusual odors. If you detect any unpleasant smells, report them to your supervisor. Spray air freshener if needed. Remember that your last look is the guest’s first impression. When you are satisfied that the guestroom is neat and thoroughly cleaned, turn off the lights, close the door, and check to see that it is locked. Note the condition and status of the room on your assignment sheet, and proceed to the next room on your schedule.
Step 1:See procedure for entering the guestroom. When announcing your presence, substitute “Turndown Service” for “Housekeeping.”
Step 2:Remove any guest items from the bed. Set neatly aside on the dresser or a chair.
Step 3:Pull back the bedspread so 15 to 18 inches hangs over the foot of the bed. Bring this slack part of the spread back over the fold so the fabric faces right side-up.
Step 4: Pull back the sheets.For a bed sleeping one guest, turn down the sheets on one side only, usually the side near the night stand or phone. For a bed sleeping two, turn down the sheets on both sides.
Step 5:Place the amenity on the pillow. For beds sleeping two, be sure to leave amenity on both pillows.
Step 6: Remove and replace dirtyashtrays. Replenish matches.