Hotel Cleaning Tips

by Michael Kupneski, R&D Section Head, P&G Professional


To deliver a great first impression of your hotel, consider the cleanliness of your property as you aim to create a memorable experience that ranks high in customer satisfaction. According to the 2013 Cleaning Industry Insights Survey from P&G Professional, managers of cleaning operations in the hospitality industry revealed that the most important business factor is “keeping customers satisfied.”

Additionally, the number one cause for worry about cleaning or disinfection overall is “customer dissatisfaction or complaints” (59 percent). With more than half of hotel management expressing concern in this area, it’s vitally important that managers ensure that housekeeping staff understand the difference between cleaning and disinfecting and the proper processes to do so.

Cleaning, Disinfecting and the Role of Multipurpose Products
Cleaning is defined as the process of removing dirt or soil from a surface, as soil can harbor germs such as E. coli, Salmonella and Influenza. Disinfecting is the process of killing these germs that can cause disease, odor and/or spoilage. Cleaning well allows the disinfecting agents to work more effectively than disinfecting alone.

In the professional cleaning industry, there has been general confusion and a lack of consistency regarding whether cleaning and disinfecting need to be done separately or if you can do both at the same time. By utilizing multipurpose products, hotel housekeeping staff can effectively clean and disinfect in just one step, which can save time, simplify staff training and may also help save money by using less product and less labor time.

Multipurpose products that are formulated to remove a broad range of target soils and disinfect simultaneously, such as P&G Professional’s Spic and Span® Disinfecting All-Purpose Spray and Glass Cleaner and Comet® Disinfecting-Sanitizing Bathroom Cleaner, can help get the job done right the first time. In the survey, the most helpful factor for performing cleaning services is “products that get the job done the first time” (57 percent). Respondents also noted that they were most likely to associate “value” in cleaning products with “high quality or effectiveness” (43 percent) or “versatility of use, single product for more than one purpose” (33 percent).

With multipurpose products, housekeeping staff can stock their cleaning carts with fewer products, which can mean less hauling and less switching between tasks. Of course, staff members should learn proper product usage, such as dwell times for disinfection.

Training for Cleaning Success
Also in the survey, managers of cleaning operations in the hospitality sector reported the top three challenges with managing a cleaning staff as “quality of work” (60 percent), “lack of interest/motivation/dedication” (50 percent) and “employee turnover” (43 percent). To maximize cleaning practices and staff morale, hotel management should consider these best practices for training.

  • Consider Different Learning Styles – When developing training programs, managers should take into consideration the different learning styles of workers, including auditory, visual and kinesthetic learners. Because some workers may not be skilled print learners, it’s important to include illustrations, cause and effect posters, videos, online tutorials and interactive demonstrations. Also, training materials should be created in multiple languages to accommodate those not proficient in English. For online training materials and information, check out P&G Professional University at
  • Value of Hands-On Learning – A good training program should provide employees with a clear understanding of why thorough cleaning is important. Hands-on learning through in-person instruction is often the most effective form of teaching. All forms of training should encompass employee safety compliance, personal hygiene, disinfection and germ elimination, and the proper use and handling of products.
  • Feedback and Refresher Training – Managers should continually monitor cleaning staff and provide opportunities for feedback. According to the survey, nine in 10 respondents indicated that the opinions and feedback of cleaning personnel regarding cleaning products is “important.”

Additionally, frequent refresher training is also instrumental in reinforcing good practices that will ensure safety and sanitation. 

  • Create Cleaning Checklists – Create checklist inspection sheets to make sure that every task is completed by housekeeping staff. Facility managers should evaluate the needs of their facility and how often each task should be accomplished. Managers should also make regular inspections to check that the job is getting done correctly and in a timely manner for hotel guests.
  • Cleaning Program Incentives – Find enjoyable ways to engage and motivate housekeeping staff in proper cleaning through contests and rewards. Set aside a budget allowance to offer employee incentives. And, remember to outline consequences for those not following procedures.

Through an effective training program and an efficient cleaning program, management can help housekeeping staff to meet hotel cleaning expectations and provide an atmosphere worthy of customer satisfaction and appreciation to keep guests coming back.