Simply, cleaning is the process of removing dust particles and stains from the surfaces and materials with the aid of particular cleaning agents or equipment. In the hotel, cleaning has a high impact towards guest attitude. Cleaning is not only a task done to preserve the life of building, furniture, linen and equipment but also to prevent bacterial infection.
The hotel premises are divided into three major parts for cleaning purpose:
Guest bedroom and bathroom
Public areas e.g. lobby, banquet, dining, stairways guest floor corridors, guest elevators, escalators, garden, etc.
In-house offices e.g. business center, account offices, executive offices, etc.
In the hotel industry, there is the immense importance of cleaning. Some of them are listed below:
For aesthetic appeal; i.e. the environment is made visually attractive and appealing.
For an effective sell off the guest room as 50% of hotel, revenue occurs from a sale of room and cleaning visually and hygienically attracts guest to buy the room.
Cleaning helps to maintain the standard of the hotel.
Cleaning preserves and prolongs the life of the materials, floor, furniture, and carpets.
Cleaning helps to maintain safe and hygienic surrounding.
Cleaning also protects against health hazards, fire hazards, and slip hazards.
That equipment that assists in cleaning is referred as cleaning equipment. These tools are essential for housekeeping department as cleaning equipment are one of the prime products of this department. The control desk must careful while utilizing these products as it requires a lot of expenses.
1. Manual equipment
These equipment are manually operated by the employees themselves. Some of the manual equipment are:
Basin and bowl
Polish applicator trays
A carpet or box sweeper
2. Mechanical equipment
Mechanical equipment is machines used in cleaning and generally operated by electricity. Some of the mechanical equipment are:
Vacuum Cleaner: It is the most commonly used mechanical equipment that works on its suction power. It is mostly used in a carpet for sucking the dust and dirt present on it.
Polishing/Scrubbing machines: There are used for carpet shampooing, polishing and spray cleaning which consists of both large and small brushes.
Hot water extraction machines: These are used for deep cleaning carpets that carry a tank of hot water and detergent. The hot water and detergent are shot in the carpet with high-pressure spray nozzles because of which the dirt is flushed to the surface and the soiled water are removed into the container of a machine.
Cleaning agent refers to any chemical such as water, acid, detergents, etc that helps physically or chemically in the cleaning process i.e. the removal of dust, dirt, stain etc. Cleaning agents are a most required element to clean the dust, dirt properly meanwhile it also maintains the clean appearance of the area. Various types of cleaning agents are used in cleaning as per the type of stain.
Some of the common types of cleaning agents are:
Water is commonly used a cleaning agent. It is used in rinsing, cleaning, finishing whereas precaution must be taken during the changing of dirty water with fresh water while cleaning otherwise it leaves the film of dust instead of removing. Warm water is more preferable than cold as it removes the grit easily. It is a universal solvent but only use of water is not effective.
Liquid cleaning agents
Liquid cleaning agents are either diluted or directly used with the help of cleaning equipment. Some of the liquid cleaning agents are:
Ammonia: It is an alkali that softens water and emulsifies grease.
Methylated spirits: Methylated spirits are effective against grease.
Paraffin: paraffin is also grease solvent. It is white partly clear waxy solid with no odor and taste.
Turpentine: Turpentine is a paint and grease solvent. It is colorless with no odor to thinner paints and varnish.
Vinegar: Vinegar is a mild acid which is used to remove light stains in the bathroom.
Hydrochloric acid: Hydrochloride acid is useful in removing stubborn stains in bathroom, but caution must be taken in its uses it is damaging to the skin and destroys fabric and light bathroom fitting.
Carbon tetrachloride:Carbon tetrachloride is excellent grease solvent. Care must be taken in its use as the fumes are harmful.
Soda based cleaning agents and detergents
Washing soda: Washing soda is used as a water softener and for emulsifying grease on drainpipes, gutters or stone surface. However, a strong concentration of washing soda could be injurious to skin, fabric brushes, wood, paint, etc.
Soda Bars, Powders, Flakes: Nowadays, soaps are replaced by excellent synthetic soap less detergent that are unaffected by hard water. Powder and flakes are useful in getting an instant lather but are expensive. Good bar soaps are still most economical but more strenuous than modern methodology.
Abrasives refer to substances or chemicals that depend on their rubbing or scratching actions to clean dirt and grit from a various surface. Although abrasive could leave scratches on the surface, they are used to grind, smoothen, sharpen and polish various surface or material. Abrasives come in soft and hard surface and can be of different types:
Silver, sand, steel wool, glass paper: These may be used for removing stains on wood, stone or cement floors.
Emery powder or paper: It is very much applicable for removing rust especially from iron.
Pumice Powder: It is used for removing stains from shower or bathtub.
Whiting: It is a mild abrasive mainly is used for cleaning white paints on the wall.
Nylon scourers: These nylons have an abrasive effect but still they prove less damage to the surface comparatively to other abrasives.
Polishes are created to produce a sign by providing a smooth finish, which reflects light and helps to protect the surface from general wear and tear. It is necessary to be able to choose the most suitable polishes as per the material as generally polishes are also grouped into three types: liquid, paste, and creams. These primarily fall into three broad categories – Spirit bases, oil based and water based.
Spirit based: These are used on mirrors, window pane and bake light (A kind of plastic which is shining).
Oil based: Used on stained, wax polished or painted wood, linoleum and synthetic floorings with an oil base, cork or wood paste, leather and leather substitutes, tiles, enameled and lacquered metal.
Water based: Used on sealed floor, thermoplastic floors and rubber floorings.
"Cleaning." Jha, Manoj Kumar and Saroj Singh Bhandari. Hotel Management. reprint 2013. Kathmandu: Asmita Publication, 2012.
"Cleaning" Oli, Gopal Singh and B.B Chhetri. Hotel Management. Revised Edition 2015. Anamnagar, Kathmandu: Buddha Publication, 2015.
Cleaning is the task undertaken by housekeeping department in a hotel.
Broadly there are two types of cleaning equipment: manual and mechanical.
Various types of cleaning agents are used in cleaning as per the type of stain.