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How clean is clean enough?

By William May
Published: 03/15/13 Topics: Comments: 0

Lodging guests expect properties that are neat and clean to a very high standard. A level of clean far higher than most achieve in their own homes. Failing to maintain standards can result in discounts and refunds far exceeding the cost of cleaning.

Start Up Clean: Prior to a property being put up for rent, staff members visit each property to inspect it top to bottom. Almost all properties require some cleaning to be guest ready. Many require deep cleaning. Not all steps are needed in all cases, and some can be accomplished over several steps and over time. Each item on the Deep Cleaning list must be in good condition and ready for arrivals.

Out Cleans: After each stay, housekeepers soon triage the home to inspect for damage or theft, turn heat or cooling up or down, begin the cleaning work, and to turn off lights. The goal is to return the property to the condition it was prior to the last guests arrival, including linen washing, supply stocking. Work may be spread over several days.

Check Up: If a unit sits vacant for more than a few days, staff members visit each property prior to the arrival of guests to make sure all is well. They turn on a porch light, and adjust heating or cooling, and open certain blinds.

Freshen Clean: During the Check Up, staff members may find it necessary to freshen the property by dusting counters, wiping surfaces, sweeping and cleaning glass.

Deep Cleans: Fully deep cleaning a lodging property is a big job. Although Out Cleans maintain a home's condition, deep cleans review all conditions and undertake tasks that are needed periodically, usually twice a year, more or less depending on guest occupancy and guest use.

Standards: Quality hospitality housekeeping demands the kind of training, knowledge, diligence and care that Vortex members aspire to. A checklist is used to avoid missing essential work.

Checklist: Many steps are necessary to fully deep clean a lodging property. Not all are done during each deep cleaning session, but all must be attended to as necessary or budgeted.

  • Open windows & doors to air out.
  • Repeat items completed during out cleans.
  • Scrub behind toilets, inside closets, under sinks.
  • Super clean non-window glass surfaces such as showers.
  • Wash and disinfect trash cans, and waste paper baskets.
  • Open all cabinets, remove dishes and other contents.
  • Wipe out and clean interior of cabinets.
  • Open drawers, remove contents, dust/clean & return items.
  • Do not touch owner things that appear personal or sensitive.
  • Wash bed and throw pillows.
  • Wash window sills and moldings.
  • Disinfect remote control devices.
  • Disinfect toys & games left out for gusts.
  • Inspect and clean all flat floor surfaces as needed.
  • Spot clean carpets and/or recommend carpet cleaning.
  • Clean and vacuum blinds & drapes and hardware.
  • Inspect and spot clean furniture, wood and upholstered.
  • Clean underside of dining table & chairs.
  • Open & clean ranges/ ovens, especially range drip trays.
  • Clean toasters, toaster ovens, coffee makers.
  • Open, air out and clean refrigerator and freezer.
  • Open, air out and scrub dishwashers.
  • Clean hoses and all areas of clothes washer.
  • Clean dryer inside out, empty hose and screens of lint.
  • Inspect & spot clean mattresses, box springs top & bottom.
  • Move all furniture & appliances to clean behind.
  • Polish wood furniture.
  • Dust, vacuum and clean lamp shades.
  • Wash doors. dust ceiling fans.
  • Disinfect curios and knick knacks.
  • Dust behind pictures & mirrors.
  • Clean the back insides of appliances.
  • Open and clean inside all light fixtures.
  • Test switches and replace light bulbs.
  • Wash door knobs and grab surfaces.
  • Wash light switch and outlet plates.
  • Replace smoke detector batteries (daylight saving changes)
  • Clean knobs, vents and surfaces of TV's and Computers.
  • Vacuum fireplaces inside and out.
  • inspect and recommend chimney sweep.
  • Replace HVAC filters if necessary.
  • Vacuum baseboard heaters.
  • Degrease, clean refrigerator, oven & vent filters.
  • Inspect and clean grout lines as possible.
  • Wipe down all walls and ceiling.
  • Touch up paint (if paint available.)
  • Sweep all porches, wipe down rails & ceiling.
  • Remove, clean, vacuum and replace window screens.
  • Scrub barbecue grills, flame elements, legs and insides.
  • Clean cove base and remove scuff marks.
  • Clean moldings especially high fixtures.
  • Remove all cobwebs.
  • Inspect for evidence of rodents & pests.
  • Clean door jams and thresholds.

Author: William May – Volunteer, Vacation Rental Association
Blog #: 0344 – 03/15/13

Comments: 0

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