Types, Composition, and
Cleaning of Hard Surfaces
realize the importance of maintaining hard surfaces
gain knowledge regarding the types of hard surfaces
found in various areas of the hotel.
understand the and tear, tarnish etc.
assimilate the methods of cimportance and methods of
protecting hard surfaces from wear leaning and
maintaining the hard surfaces.
Housekeeping staff must have an insight into
the types, composition, care and maintenance
of all hard surfaces they are responsible for
cleaning. They must possess a good knowledge
of the chemical agents that can or cannot be
used on these surfaces.
The types, composition, and cleaning of hard
surfaces such as metals, their alloys, glass,
plastics, ceramics, wood, stone, leather and
rubber. protecting the surfaces by application of
different finishes is discussed in detail. Many
hard surfaces are high in cost and in most cases,
once damaged, they are not easily restored to
their original appearance and function.
COMMONLY USED METALS AND
Glass is a transparent, lustrous, and brittle material made from silica
or sand. A mixture of pure, fine sand, soda or potash, and other
ingredients is carefully measured out. This is called “Batch” The
batch is fed into a furnace and heated to an extremely high
temperature, above 13000
C, where it fuses into molten glass. From
the furnace, the molten glass is led away for shaping. After shaping,
the glass is cooled by a process called “annealing”, in which the glass
travels on a conveyer belt through an annealing oven. In the
annealing oven, after the initial re-heating, the glass gradually cools
as it passes through. Glass is used in making doors, windows,
furniture, vases, lighting fixtures, mirrors, partitions, tableware,
kitchenware, and bottles.
WOOD - Wood is hard, compact, fibrous, and porous. Good
wood makes for a rich, warm and beautiful surface. It is an
extremely versatile surface material, with its varied colours
and different grain patterns, and is used throughout hotel
establishments. Being a porous material, wood absorbs water
as well as dust. It is also prone to fungal attacks and pests
CLASSIFICATION OF WOOD - This categorization is
based on the origin as well as the treatment that wood has
undergone before use. Wood is used in hotels in various
MAINTENANCE OF WOOD
While all the finishes above render varying degrees of
protection to a wood surface, regular cleaning and care are
still needed to ensure optimum performance and long life.
This includes taking into account certain maintenance issues
with wood, which may require small repairs. That said,
wood remains a very versatile and fairly resilient surface for
its aesthetic appeal and price.
CARE AND CLEANING PROCEDURES FOR WOODEN SURFACES
Wood, being porous, deteriorates in contact with an
excess of water. Therefore, the least possible amount of
water should be used for cleaning wood. Always dry-dust
the surface first with an impregnated mop, or vacuum-
clean. Then remove excess soiling by damp-dusting in case
of small articles and light damp-mopping for larger
surfaces. Wooden floor surfaces need to be buffed with a
floor polisher two times a week. Spills and stains should be
removed immediately from wood surfaces so that they are
not absorbed into the surface.
Cork should only be dusted or vacuumed daily.
Leather is made from the skins of various animals—including
sheep, goats, pigs, and cattle—by tanning or a similar process.
It is one of the most durable and versatile of all natural
The skins are treated in various ways to give different varieties of leather,
ranging from the soft, flexible types such as suede and kid to the tougher
types such as hide and sturdy varieties of pigskin (see Table 8.6). Leather
can be dyed in a variety of colours and is used for belts, shoes, gloves,
purses, wallets, luggage, upholstery, desk tops, and book bindings.
Leather is expensive and should be kept supple to prevent cracking.
Leather also picks up oil and grease readily. General cleaning of leather
involves daily dusting or suction cleaning. In case of soiling, wipe the
leather with a soft cloth wrung out of warm water and mild synthetic
detergent. Follow with a damp-dusting with clean water and then dry
thoroughly. Occasionally leather may be polished with a good furniture
polish cream to keep it supple. Solvents should not be used on leather as
they will stiffen it.
Wall & Floor Coverings
Wall coverings are decorative as well as functional. The
primary consideration for wall coverings though should
be their functional quality, durability, and ease of
Hard floor finishes
Soft floor finishes
Non resilient Resilient
Selection of floor coverings should be on the basis of
Appearance, Comfort, Durability, Life expectancy, Safety,
Ease of cleaning & Cost
A maintenance program is a must for carpets since they get easily
soiled or damaged. Good maintenance can increase the life of
the carpet considerably. Most new carpets shed fluff for the
first few weeks. During this period, they should be only lightly
cleaned with a hand brush or carpet sweeper. After the first
month, clean with a vacuum cleaner at least once a week,
always making the last stroke in the direction of the pile so that
it lies flat.