Hotel Housekeeping: Tips & Tricks for Cleaning Hotel Rooms

If you’re a hotelier, hotel housekeeping is one of your most important duties to manage. Guests expect a clean, organised room when they check in. It’s up to you to make sure that you or your room attendant are able to do this in a timely manner.  In this blog post, we share some tips on how to effectively keep your guests’ rooms clean and organised.

To start, a good housekeeping program that you can utilise in your hotel is the Japanese “Five S” system.

Sort, Set In Order, Shine, Standardise, and Sustain.

Implementing the Japanese “Five S” system can help to improve productivity and quality while also reducing waste and accidents. It’s a good idea to review your current hotel housekeeping strategy to make sure all five are being addressed.

  1. The first step is to sort through everything and get rid of anything that is not needed. This will help to declutter the work area and make it easier to find things.
  2. Once everything is sorted, it is time to set it in order. This means putting everything in its proper place so that it can be easily found and used.
  3. The next step is to shine, or clean, the area. This will help to make the work area more presentable and inviting.
  4. The fourth step is to standardise the area. This means creating a consistent system for how things are done so that everyone knows what to do and where things are supposed to go.
  5. Finally, the fifth step is to sustain the system. This means making sure that the work area is kept clean and organised on a regular basis.

The 10 Step Cleaning Process

Now that your rooms is organised, you’ll need to continue to clean it thoroughly. The best way to maintain a high-level of cleanliness in your hotel to have a system for how rooms are cleaned by you or your staff. Your staff should be trained to know what the standards are for each room type and how to achieve those standards. There should also be a schedule or some sort of system in place so that every room is cleaned on a regular basis. We suggest the following to ensure your room is cleaned thoroughly each time.

1. Ventilate the Room

You should properly ventilate a hotel room before guests stay. This is because guests expect a clean, fresh-smelling room when they check in. If the room smells musty or stale, they will be disappointed. This is also to disburse any chemical smells that may linger after deep cleaning. Housekeepers should open all doors and windows while they clean to ensure the room is properly aired out by the time the new guests arrive.

2. Change and Restock Bed Linen and Towels

Beds and linen should be made and replaced before guests stay. Not only will it make your room look neater, but it will also give you a sense of accomplishment when you start your day. This includes stripping the beds of old sheets, duvets, and pillow cases, and collecting old towels and facecloths. These should be placed in a laundry bin so they’re ready to be cleaned by the laundry company. Or, if you’re cleaning them yourself, be sure to wash your sheets in hot water and use a disinfectant cleaner to kill any bacteria.

If a guest is staying for more than one night they may not require new linen. To check this, it’s standard practice to leave door hangars which guests can use to indicate whether they’d like a “turn down” service, or whether they require no maintenance at all. It’s generally recommended that you change the sheets in a hotel room every three days – but always, in between guests. It’s also important to change the sheets if there are any stains or if they become wrinkled.


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If guests don’t require any new linen or towels, it’s still important to hang up all damp towels so that they can dry and the room remains odourless.

3. Remove Rubbish

It’s always important to remove rubbish left behind by previous guests. Make sure to empty the bins and replace them with bin liners, as well as remove anything else left behind. You’ll need to also check for this in hidden areas, such as under the beds and in the shelves. Any food that has been left behind by guests should also be removed.

4. Dusting

Rooms, even after a day or two, can become dusty. You’ll need to dust shelves, televisions and any surfaces that you can see this collect before the next guests arrive. This also includes ceilings and hard to reach places, so it’s essential to own an extendable duster. Dust and cobwebs tend to collect on ceilings and high surfaces, so start there and work your way down.

5. Wipe and Disinfect High Touch Surfaces

Now, more than ever, you’ll also need to wipe down all surfaces with disinfectant – including high touch surfaces and electronics. Think television buttons, remote controls, light switches and phones. This will help keep guests and your staff safe during the pandemic.

Don’t forget the details. It’s easy to overlook things like doorknobs, and baseboards when you’re cleaning, but taking the time to clean these areas will make a big difference.

6. Clean the Bathroom Thoroughly

Housekeepers should clean the shower and toilet in hotels before guests arrive. This includes scrubbing the tub, shower, and sink. The toilet should be cleaned with a disinfectant cleaner and the floor should be mopped. In the shower, make sure to clean any mould or mildew that may have formed and leave it dry.

7. Clean Mirrors and Windows

Mirrors, especially in the bathroom, can quickly become dirty and are noticeable to guests. Guests use these everyday, so take the time to ensure they are spotless. This also goes for windows that tend to collect fingerprints. Use special glass cleaner and microfiber cloths while cleaning to ensure they’re left streak-free and crystal clear.

8. Vacuuming Floors and Furniture

Vacuuming your carpets between guests is important for several reasons. First, it helps to remove any dirt, dust, or hair that may have been left behind. Second, it helps to freshen up the room and make it smell clean. Third, it helps to remove any allergens that may be present in the room. Vacuuming will help to make your guests’ stay more comfortable and will also help to prolong the life of your carpet.

Be sure to vacuum upholstered furniture and curtains on a regular basis too. The vacuum will come with special attachments for these specific areas.

9. Restock Amenities and Consumables

Next, it’s important to restock what is missing from the room – including any toiletries that you supply guests. These include soap, shampoo and toilet paper rolls. This will ensure guests don’t run out during their stay, and new guests will be ready to wash up once they enter in the door.

This also means replenishing drink sachets such as coffee and tea, and any other items that you offer on the counter or in the mini-bar. Depending on your policy, it’s important to log which items are missing so that guests can be charged accordingly.

Next, wash and dry all used cutlery and cups – depending on what’s available in the room. The sink will need to be left clean and tidy afterwards too.

10. Final Check

Before leaving the room, check that all windows are closed and doors shut. This will ensure the room temperature returns to normal before your next guest arrives. If there is any scent remaining in the room, you can use air freshener to help this. Finally, check that there’s no remaining rubbish and that the furniture is tidy, and that all the supplies have been restocked.

Now is also the time to check guest requests. If they require anything special in their room, you must supply these before you leave.


Personalise your guests’ stay using Preno’s Guest Profiles. Here you can store helpful information, such as their favourite coffee and milk preference, to create an unforgettable experience for returning customers. 

Handy Tips To Remember When Housekeeping:

  • Start with a plan. Before you start cleaning, take a few minutes to think about what needs to be done and make a plan of action. This will save you time and energy in the long run.
  • Use mattress and pillow protectors to avoid any costly replacements due to guest damage.
  • Housekeeping should aim to be as invisible as possible to guests. Try to keep a regular cleaning schedule in order to avoid disrupting guests while they’re staying at your hotel.
  • It’s important to test cleaning products regularly to ensure their effectiveness. If you can find better alternatives, it’s worth switching to these in order to save time due to the volume of rooms you’ll be cleaning. If there are sustainable options available which you aren’t currently using, consider changing these.
  • Make sure to reassess cleaning processes and measure staff timeliness regularly to ensure your business is running as successfully as it can be. If you find gaps in your process, take the time to change systems and train your staff accordingly.
  • Remember when housecleaning not to mix chemicals. Doing so can release toxic fumes that can be harmful to your health. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and use separate products for each cleaning task. Use different coloured cloths so you can remember easily which product you’re cleaning with. When using cleaning products, always read the labels carefully and follow the instructions.

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About the author

Preno's Head of Growth, Menilik, is highly knowledgeable around all things marketing & sales. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and sales, and seeks to guide hoteliers with their goals.

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