A busy hotel or guest house requires the highest levels of cleanliness across the board. File pic

With millions of people visiting our shores each year and thousands of hotel nights being booked each day, our hospitality sector is certainly kept very busy. 

According to the annual SA Tourism Report, an estimated 10,285 million tourists arrived on our shores in 2018.

A busy hotel or guest house requires the highest levels of cleanliness across the board, from front of house right through to bedrooms and other areas. But what does it take to keep it all clean?

“Hygiene should be high on the priority list of any establishment which is to be someone’s home away from home,” explains Emma Corder, from Industroclean.

Just a hint of grime or a stain on a surface, can be harmful to a hotel’s reputation. More importantly, hotel rooms that are not properly cleaned put guests at risk of contracting infections and viruses.

“This makes the role of the housekeeper extremely important. These workers have to be properly trained, not only to ensure clean and comfortable rooms and bathrooms for guests, but to remain committed to adhering to Safety Health Environment and Quality guidelines set out by their employer, to avoid injuries, illnesses and fatalities.” she adds.

Regulatory guidelines

Hotels are advised to have clear guides for housekeeping staff on the correct usage of chemicals Pic: Diego Cervo

Hotels are advised to have clear guides for housekeeping staff on correct usage of chemicals, how to properly dilute them, when to wear protective masks and should be reminded to wash hands regularly, especially after contact with detergents.

Housekeeping trolley essentials

The ideal trolley should include gloves for protection, sanitiser and cleaning spray. Pic: Supplied

Most housekeeping guides maintain that, in order to effectively clean a hotel or guesthouse room, housekeepers must be armed with a well-stocked trolley, which has everything from colour coded buckets and cloths to prevent any cross contamination between bathrooms, toilets and bedrooms, and products that will leave the room with a neutral smell.

The ideal trolley should consist of gloves for protection, sanitiser, cleaning spray, toilet detergents, a toilet brush, window and mirror cleaner, surface cleaner and cloths and bin bags.

Caring for long-wearing items

It is important to also focus on long-wearing items in hotels rooms, like beds, upholstery, carpets and curtains, as they also carry bacteria and dust mites. While bed covers are helpful to protect mattresses, housekeeping should also vacuum and sanitize them regularly with an anti-bacterial spray. 

All curtains must be scheduled for dry-cleaning at least once a quarter and all carpets need to be deep cleaned periodically. Chairs should be vacuumed twice a week.