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Essential List of Hotel Housekeeping Materials - Unilever Professional India

Essential List of Hotel Housekeeping Materials

Organization is a key part of keeping your hotel clean. Different areas need different cleaning products - your tough bleach-based kitchen cleaners aren’t suitable for polishing wood.

In this guide, we’ve made organizing your hotel housekeeping materials simple. The ‘general materials’ section lists equipment and cleaning agents that are useful across your hotel, while the following sections break down specific materials for the common areas your housekeepers clean.

General housekeeping materials:

Vacuum cleaner

Vacuum cleaners are great at cleaning loose dirt and dust from floor surfaces, whether your hotel has wood, carpets or tiles.

They’re not a complete solution for cleaning floors. A dustpan and brush are more appropriate for larger dirt particles, and a mop is essential for cleaning liquids or mud. 

The vacuum cleaner’s strength lies in quickly clearing large areas of dust and small particles before focused cleaning takes place. Extensions and attachments make this equipment versatile, saving your housekeepers time as they can more easily reach hard-to-clean areas, like under the bed or behind the wardrobe.

Squeegee

There’s nothing worse in housekeeping than when something that has been cleaned looks dirty. Glass surfaces are notorious for looking dirty when the water used to clean them leaves streaks and marks.

Squeegees help your housekeepers achieve streak-free glass cleaning. They’re great for shower doors, mirrors and windows. We recommend buying squeegees with a ‘sharp’ blade.

Mop

Stubborn stains and liquids on hard floors are a vacuum’s downfall. Mops effectively clean this difficult dirt while polishing the floor for a sparkling finish.

You have many options when buying mops, and which one you go for depends on factors like the type of hard floors you have in the hotel. 

Flat mops: These come with a flat rectangular head, making them great for getting into corners and ensuring every part of the floor is clean. You can choose reusable (environmentally friendly and potentially cheaper in the long run) or disposable (cheap) microfibre cloths. Flat mops aren’t the best at cleaning stubborn marks, but they are easy to clean with removable heads.

Sponge mop: These are similar to flat mops, swapping the cloth head for a sponge. The rougher surface means they are better at cleaning tough stains than cloth heads. The sponge is also washable, making them cheaper than disposable cloth heads in the long run, so long as the sponge is kept clean. 

String mop: The ‘traditional’ option. String mops are falling out of favour as flat mops, and sponge mops offer a superior cleaning experience in many cases. However, string mops are very absorbent, making them useful for cleaning large areas. String mops still have a use case in housekeeping.

Bucket

While mainly used alongside a mop, buckets do have uses by themselves. Housekeepers can use them to dilute solutions for cleaning large areas, saving you from going to and from the sink for more water.

Of course, they are essential when using a mop, so you can squeeze out any extra and wash collected dirt off it.

When not in wet use, buckets also make an excellent container and carrier for your other cleaning materials.

Sponge

Sponges are great for various surfaces, so they are helpful in almost every cleaning job. For instance, in the kitchen, they are excellent for cleaning dishes without leaving scratches, as well as wiping down cooking surfaces and cleaning tiles and appliances.

Tough stains and stubborn dirt will require more heavy-duty cleaning equipment. Use a sponge for surface stains. 

Sponges need to be kept where they can dry when not in use. Sponges that are constantly wet will breed bacteria and can’t be used for effective cleaning.

Bristle brush

Some dirt is hard to shift, such as in the grouting between tiles. Sponges and cloths are too soft in these cases - you’ll only damage them.

A stiff-bristled brush is a perfect solution for areas that are tough to clean. The bristles break up and dislodge dirt, leaving the area free for wiping down. As bristle brushes are quite harsh, they aren’t suitable for surfaces that scratch easily, like glass.

Dustpan and brush

A vacuum isn't suitable for removing larger dirt particles, like clumps of mud. A dustpan and brush are helpful for quickly sweeping up areas where these larger particles have collected. 

Just make sure you have a garbage bag handy to deposit the dirt.

Microfibre cloth

Microfibre cloths are gentle enough for use on all surfaces without leaving scratches. This makes them particularly useful for cleaning glass and stainless steel. They’re also reusable, so put them in the wash when finished, and you can clean with them again the next day.

Like sponges, keep them dry when not in use.

Multi-purpose cleaner

As the name suggests, multi-purpose cleaners help in various situations in hotel housekeeping. Disinfectant cleaners such as Domex Disinfectant Multi-Surface Cleaner are excellent for killing bacteria in communal areas and restaurants. Some cleaners can act as degreasers for removing light grease stains.

Multi-purpose cleaners aren’t specialised for tough jobs, like cleaning an oven interior or toilet bowl. They excel as a general-purpose tool that helps housekeepers keep areas looking spotless and sparkling on a daily basis.

Multi-purpose floor cleaner: Multi-purpose floor cleaners are suitable for various floor surfaces. While they likely won’t achieve the same finish as a surface-specific cleaner, these cleaning agents are a good general-purpose solution for your housekeepers. They can contain anti-bacterial properties to disinfect surfaces.

Surface-specific detergent

Wood, marble, and glass are just three surfaces common in hotels, and they all need different cleaning materials for the best results.

While multi-purpose cleaners will clean most surfaces, the best results are achieved with specially formulated solutions for a specific surface. For instance, tile cleaner is made with chemicals that cut through the soap scum and mildew that accumulates in bathrooms.

Carpet cleaner: While vacuuming is good for removing dirt and dust from carpets, the constant traffic that this surface experiences can grind particles deep into the fibres. Over time, the buildup of dirt and stains can discolour the carpet and leave patches looking worn and dirty, even after vacuuming.

Carpet cleaner is a spray that penetrates deep into carpets, softening this dirt buildup. Your housekeepers can scrub these patches, fluffing the fibres and removing the dirt, leaving the carpets clean and vibrant.

Glass cleaner: Effectively cleaning glass is tricky, with streaks and water marks an all-too-common occurrence. Glass cleaner is specially formulated to lift dirt and grime without leaving these streaks, giving glass surfaces a polished finish.

Wood cleaner: Wood cleaner is a gentle cleaning solution used to remove stains and dirt from wooden surfaces, polishing them without stripping any protective varnish. These cleaners require a strong arm for shifting tough stains, but the results are worth the effort.

Bleach

Mainly used in toilets, bathrooms and kitchens, bleach is an essential cleaning material for removing stains and killing germs. 

Beyond cleaning kitchens and toilets, bleach is also helpful for laundry. It’s great for brightening white fabrics and removing tough stains - not just on blankets and towels but also on cleaning materials like cloths or mop heads.

Ensure that your housekeepers keep areas well-ventilated when using bleach and wear appropriate protection like gloves.

Alternative to bleach:

While bleach is an excellent cleaning agent, it can be harmful and, in areas where lots of different chemicals are used, may not be suitable. In these cases, bleach alternatives, like Domex disinfectant multi-surface cleaner, ensure your cleaning remains effective.

Air freshener

Air fresheners are aerosols, sprays, liquids or plug-in diffusers that remove unpleasant odours and add fragrant smells to a room. They add the finishing touch to a clean room. Don’t overuse  air fresheners, as the smell can become overpowering.

Laundry detergent

An essential material in the laundry room, laundry detergent removes accumulated dirt, skin cells and other particulates from clothes, towels and other fabrics. Detergents have different properties, such as being formulated for sensitive skin or being extra tough on stains.

Laundry conditioner

Where laundry detergent keeps fabrics clean, conditioner performs a different but crucial role - prolonging the life of frequently used duvets, towels and clothes.

Laundry conditioners strengthen fabrics and reduce their friction in a washing machine. Fabrics better maintain their shape and colour and feel softer when washed. For frequently used fabrics, the key benefit of conditioner is that it keeps them useable for longer.

Descaler

Descaler removes ‘scale’ (such as limescale) from surfaces. Scale buildup in appliances reduces their efficiency and damages them while leaving a chalky residue on surfaces.

Descalers are mainly used in areas with water, so they are an invaluable tool for cleaning kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms.

Housekeeping materials for cleaning kitchens:

Degreasers

Grease, dried food and burnt bits make kitchen cleaning difficult and time-consuming. Thankfully, powerful degreasers make this task easier. They are formulated to cut through the grease and mess that accumulates in ovens and on work surfaces.

Degreasers cover a range of cleaning materials that remove grease, from surface cleaners to heavy-duty solutions like oven cleaners.

Like bleach, degreasers are dangerous chemicals - the active ingredient in many oven cleaners is sodium hydroxide or caustic soda. Corrosive to metals, caustic soda causes severe burns when it touches the skin. Always ensure that your housekeepers are appropriately protected when using degreasers, particularly oven cleaners.

Steel wool

The dirt that accumulates in a kitchen is often tricky to remove. Charred food stuck inside an oven may prove too stubborn for even degreasers. 

Steel wool helps in this area. The metal strands work alongside the chemicals in degreasers to break down and remove stains, grease, charred bits and other tough dirt in kitchens.

Specific housekeeping materials for cleaning guest bedrooms:

Duster

While dusters should be used across the hotel, they’re essential in guest bedrooms. A dusty headboard or TV can undo all the effort that goes into cleaning a room. Giving the room a thorough dust completes the cleaning process

Most dusters are reusable once shaken out or washed. It’s essential to keep your dusters clean, or they’ll just move the dust around rather than remove it from surfaces.

Specific housekeeping materials for cleaning guest bathrooms:

Toilet brush

Toilet brushes are, unsurprisingly, the perfect tool for cleaning toilets. Combining a long handle with a stiff bristle brush at the end, they’re great at dislodging dirt on the inside of toilets, and work best when used with a strong toilet bowl cleaner.

Toilet bowl cleaner

Toilet bowl cleaners are usually bleach-based solutions that are used on the inside of a toilet. Some include a fragrance like lemon to make the toilet smell nice after cleaning it. Get a thick, clinging cleaner so it covers the whole bowl interior, rather than just slipping straight to the bottom of the bowl, and use it together with a toilet brush for the most effective clean.

For those bleach-based toilet bowl cleaners, ensure your housekeepers keep the room well-ventilated and wear protective clothing.

Drain cleaner

Shower drains are magnets for hard-to-shift dirt. Hair, soap scum and limescale buildup can cause water to drain more slowly and, left untreated, will eventually block the shower pipes.

Drain cleaner is a heavy-duty chemical solution that cuts through this dirt build-up. The most effective cleaners have bleach and other corrosive chemicals, so, as with all bleach-based cleaning products, make sure your housekeepers take all the proper precautions.
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