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Housekeeping Today’s Jack Fowler talks to companies who are at the very forefront of cleaning within the hotel sector – be they manufacturers of equipment, product suppliers, or training and development specialists. Each has its own views on this very important subject.
Of course, every company has something to sell, and you can’t blame them for promoting their products or services in the best possible light. Therefore, we have to consider their offerings and the advice that goes with them, in order to make up our own minds as to what is the best course of action to take.
“Deep cleaning helps a hotel to refresh and protect valuable assets while also enhancing the experience and making a great impression on guests,” says Donna Mitchell, hospitality and retail sector marketing manager at Diversey, UK and Ireland. “For example, the company’s TASKI procarpet machines simplify carpet cleaning by enabling interim encapsulation and deep extraction in a single design for the first time. This removes the need to purchase separate machines for these two critical carpet tasks, saving capital, supply chain and storage costs.”
Diversey are equally strong when it comes to washrooms. The company says that maintaining high standards can reduce the need for deep cleaning. Zenith Washroom Solutions, a dedicated division of Zenith Hygiene Group (now part of Diversey), offers a complete washroom management service covering the provision of cleaning tasks, equipment, products and ancillaries. These solutions are delivered for an agreed regular fee.
Such is Diversey’s commitment to the production of high quality cleaning products and equipment, that it looks at all areas within hotels to find solutions to meet their everyday needs. Matrix Cleaning Systems – a leading steam cleaning machine manufacturer here in the UK – has this to say about steam cleaning: “Steam cleaners can tackle both indoor and outdoor applications, cleaning small cracks and driving dirt from crevices that other machines cannot reach: this includes cleaning chores such as tiling grout in bathrooms and kitchens. With the right attachments, steam cleaning also comes into its own when used in hotel guest rooms, lounges and lobbies. Soft materials such as upholstery can be cleaned in situ, as well as mattresses and carpets. Regular steam cleaning helps maintain their ‘as new’ appearance, as well as removing stains and banishing smells by killing odour-causing bacteria and dust mites, in an instant.”
Jayne Brittain, head housekeeper at the Ardencote Hotel and Spa, comments, “We have benefitted so much by installing the Matrix Cleaning System, as it gets into all the places a sponge can’t – all the little hard to reach areas such as door seals in rooms that have built-in showers and hinges on shower screens.
“It’s great for shower traps too; we even use it in our spa for this reason as it is chemical-free cleaning and great for all sorts of areas and cleaning tasks.”
Carron Brown, head housekeeper at the Coombe Abbey Hotel, also praises the system: “Having use of the steam cleaner has helped us greatly. We are able to easily freshen curtains and fabrics, get in between grout and remove stubborn marks from tiles. Also, due to the high temperature, the steamer is especially useful for cleaning bathroom floors or, should a pipe burst, sanitising surface areas with ease.”
Environmental Excellence Training and Development Limited’s director, Delia Cannings, has a different take on the cleaning process.
She says, “Routine cleaning is that which is carried out regularly to ensure that all fixtures and furnishings remain clean, safe, and in good condition; thereby prolonging their life and minimising environmental risks.
“Why then do we regularly hear the term – deep cleaning?
“Surely if cleaning is carried out in accordance with an agreed specification the need for a deep clean becomes redundant?
“When cleaning is undertaken the cleaning schedule will inform what needs to be done and when. The subsequent cleaning audit will then provide the analysis of standards being met or not. To this end when failure has been recorded rectification should follow. However, this is where the problem sometimes lies. Often failure is a result of an inadequate cleaning frequency or of an operator training need or simply inferior cleansing mechanisms being adopted – it may be due to access problems or being carried out at the wrong time of day. Whatever the reason, if speedy action does not follow, soilage will accumulate. However, note that deep cleaning is not the answer. The costs associated with a deep clean are mainly financial; sadly though, the cost maybe inclusive of a reputation sting!
“It should be noted there are circumstances when due to operational constraints, some areas are difficult to access for robust cleansing: this may include kitchens and other similar areas. However, with a planned and scheduled maintenance programme in place detailed cleaning can take place at specific times within the year, organised to minimise disruption to the business activity.
“If an area is deemed to require a deep clean this is a clear message saying we allowed the area to become contaminated beyond reasonable expectations, and to my mind this is unacceptable. So, at what point do we restore the standard, and for how long will the unacceptable be the acceptable? Until the deep clean, maybe.
“Careful monitoring of the services provided, taking corrective action instantly, along with robust cleaning schedules and professional auditing, are the tools for success. Life cycle replacement can be delayed when we plan ahead. `Now that’s good news!
Cannings concludes: “So, what do we need to ensure safe and clean environments?
“We need the four T’s – Time, Tools, Techniques and Training.
“Therefore my advice to housekeepers and their staff is: Don’t deep clean – Keep clean!”
Words of wisdom, we are sure, but at the end of the day it’s your decision.
Don’t deep clean – Keep clean!”
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