How to clean a hotel room properly and quickly

Try out these tips and maximise your skills as a professional cleaner.

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Hotel guests expect to be able to relax in comfortable, inviting rooms after a long day of travel and sightseeing. This means that good housekeeping is essential to keeping guests happy and maintaining a hotel’s excellent reputation.

How do you clean a hotel room fast? Make sure you have a system! Below are some hotel housekeeping tips to ensure you clean rooms efficiently.

Note: In the UK, hotels and other establishments have adjusted their cleaning policies in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The UK government recommends that everyone – not just hotel staff – pay special attention to frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles, light switches, and electronic devices such as remote controls. 

Materials you need to clean a hotel room 

A typical housekeeping trolley will include the following: 

  • Mop and bucket 
  • Floor, surface, and bathroom cleaners 
  • Cleaning cloths 
  • Bleach 
  • Paper towels 
  • Furniture polish 
  • Scrubbing brush 
  • Air freshener and sanitiser 
  • Protective gloves 
  • Vacuum cleaner 
  • Toiletries, towels, and other hotel-provided items 

How to clean a hotel room step by step

1. Make your presence known before entering the room. 

This one’s a given but make sure to knock first and announce your arrival – just in case a guest is still inside the room. Courtesy always goes a long way in making a positive impression. 

2. Air out the room. 

hotel housekeeper opening window curtains and airing out the room

Ventilation is vital to housekeeping in hotels. Open the windows, balcony doors, and the room’s main door to let in fresh air (especially if the hotel is located near the sea). This is a vital step so the room won’t smell of chemicals after you clean it. 

3. Change the linen.  

You can skip this step if a hotel guest is staying for more than one night. But in cases when the guest requests it, or you’re preparing the room for a new guest, remove and change the pillowcases, blankets, and bedsheets.

Inspect the mattress for stains or any visible damage. In case of damage, make sure to report it to the hotel’s maintenance department. 

4. Remove rubbish and other foreign items from the room. 

Empty trash bins and remove any trash from drawers and closets. Don’t forget to remove used hotel items such as mugs, too. If the previous guest accidentally left valuable personal items like a watch, it’s best to bring this up with management so they can come back for it. 

5. Dust the room and wipe surfaces. 

Dust all surfaces, including phones and televisions, since these tend to attract a lot of dust. Also, sanitise tables, cupboards, and closets. 

6. Make the bed according to hotel procedure. 

If the bed has no damage, replace the pillowcases, sheets, and bedspread. Ensure that there are no stains, dirt, hair, or holes in the linen. You may have to do this task according to the hotel’s bed-making guidelines, right down to how you arrange the pillows. When applicable, replace decorative pillows as well. 

7. Thoroughly clean the bathroom. 

Disinfect everything in the bathroom, including the hairdryer, countertop, and toilet. Evidence of the previous guests, such as hair, fingerprints, and mirror smudges, should be gone. The tiniest detail is important! 

hotel housekeeper wiping toilet seat

Here are more specific steps when cleaning a hotel bathroom: 

  • Remove used towels and mats. 

  • Empty the trash bin. 

  • Clean the shower or bath area.

  • Clean the sink area and tap. 

  • Clean the toilet. 

  • Dust surfaces and wipe the towel rail. 

8. Replace hotel toiletries and other essential items. 

chambermaid holding fresh towels

Guests will expect their hotel rooms to be fully-stocked when it comes to their basic needs. Depending on the hotel, these could include fresh towels, bathrobes, hotel slippers, laundry bags, pens, notepads, coffee, and the like. 

9. Vacuum, sweep, and mop the floors.   

Clean the floor last to avoid sweeping or mopping a second time if dirt falls on the floor while you do other cleaning tasks. Hardwood floors need to be swept and mopped, while carpets need to be vacuumed. Remove any visible food spots and stains to prepare the room for its next occupant. 

10. Do finishing touches. 

Do one last sweep of the room before you move on to the next. 

  • Are the windows and balcony doors closed? 
  • Do chemical smells remain and do you need to use an air freshener?
  • Were you able to replace the towels and toiletries? 
  • Are all the lights working? 
  • Is the air conditioning at the hotel’s default temperature? 

Find more ways to earn money from your cleaning skills. 

And there you have it! We hope this quick guide has given you useful tips to quickly and properly clean a hotel room. Aside from cleaning hotel rooms, you can take on other cleaning jobs to earn extra money. Simply sign up on Airtasker to browse cleaning tasks near you.

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FAQs on cleaning hotel rooms

Cleaning a hotel room usually takes around 30 to 45 minutes. But how long it takes can vary depending on the size of the room and the state in which the previous guest left it. A basic turndown service may require less time. 

A deep-cleaning checklist may include:

  • Removing the mattress and cleaning the bed frame and headboard
  • Cleaning walls, window glass, and draperies, and
  • Ensuring all furniture is spick-and-span from the inside out. If you spot any damaged furniture, inform the hotel's maintenance department as soon as possible.

Deep cleaning hotel rooms is most ideal during the off-season when there are fewer guests. 

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