March 4, 2022


New Sanitation Guidelines: How to Clean Hotels and Resorts (Post-COVID19)

New Sanitation Guidelines: How to Clean Hotels and Resorts (Post-COVID19)

In this post, we’ll summarize the CDC’s best practices for sanitation guidelines for hotels and resorts. We’ll also share additional organizational tips for streamlining procedures, improving staff communication, and enhancing compliance via mobile technology. 

Translation: Deep clean the property in preparation for future patrons, and create guidelines that will provide greater peace of mind.

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Sanitation Guidelines: How to Clean Hotels

While there are no “official” hotel recommendations, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued specific cleaning guidelines for businesses and communities

Before we begin, it’s worth reviewing the difference between cleaning and disinfecting. According to the CDC, though similar in nature, the two terms are distinct: 

  • Cleaning is defined as the removal of dirt and impurities, including germs, from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but it does decrease their number and, therefore, has many risks of spreading infection.
  • Disinfecting is defined as the process of using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs. However, killing germs remaining on a surface after cleaning further reduces the risk of spreading infection.

Here’s how hotels can effectively clean and disinfect their rooms, lobbies, and common areas.

1. Stock Up on Approved Disinfectants

sanitation guidelines for hotels

Dr. Mary Louise McLaws recommends a two-step process of cleaning visibly dirty surfaces before disinfecting them with a proper chemical solution. 

McLaws’  strategy includes wiping down commonly touched items before disinfecting them. The CDC recommends using diluted household bleach, cleaning liquids containing at least 70 percent alcohol, or EPA-registered household disinfectants. Using these products will clean the most germs. 

Disinfectant Solution Options:

  • Diluted Bleach Mixture: 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water.
  • Alcohol Solutions: Must contain at least 70 percent alcohol.
  • EPA-Registered DisinfectantsClick here for a list.
  • Products containing Sodium hypochlorite, Isopropanol, and Ethanol are said to be the most effective by the CDC.

**Tips for bleach activations: Follow manufacturer instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. 

2. Create User-Friendly Cleaning Checklists

sanitation guidelines for hotel

Put yourself in the shoes of a guest checking in. 

Follow the exact steps one would take from stopping at the front desk, swiping their key card, to finally turning out the lights when going to sleep. Everything that gets touched should, ideally, be sprayed and wiped down with disinfectant.

Below are some of the items that should be on the daily cleaning checklist:

Items to Clean Daily: 

  • Doorknobs
  • Counters, tables, and common surfaces
  • Payment signature pads
  • Pens, writing devices
  • Remote controls, telephones, light switches
  • Elevator buttons, room keys

Understandably, the biggest challenge operational managers face when issuing new cleaning standards is compliance. We’ve found that most staff members are happy to comply when they: a). Understand the importance of the task at hand and b). Have an easy system to follow. 

Beyond discussing “the why” behind the guidelines, you might want to evaluate your operational processes. If your hotel is still relying on paperwork orders, consider switching to a digital operations solution like MaintainX. 

Our user-friendly app simplifies the work order process from creation to assignment, allowing anyone with a smartphone to easily navigate checklists in seconds. Leadership can create sanitation procedures, track work history, create and manage standard operating procedures, and acquire foolproof accountability with digital audit trails. 

sanitation guidelines for hotel

Managers can assign work orders and also communicate with staff in real time via the app’s integrated chat feature. This is a great way to stay on top of what’s happening in all departments on a moment-to-moment basis. 
As MaintainX client Ron Pembleton, director of engineering at Pyramid Hoel Group, says, “MaintainX has quickly become our most used, most valuable, and most trusted workflow software. A task that would have taken me 15 minutes to complete on paper before, I can now do in 2 minutes.”

3. Review Recommended Hygiene Practices

Finally, hold regular meetings with staff members to review best practices for proper surface cleaning, hand sanitation, and self-protection. At a minimum, all cleaning team members should be provided with respiratory masks and latex gloves. 

Cody Millsap, Vice President of Stratus Building Solutions, a commercial cleaning and janitorial services company, recently told Inc. that “individuals should wipe in one direction while cleaning surfaces [because] wiping a surface in a circular or back-and-forth direction redeposits germs.”

Beyond teaching how to deep clean, managers should enforce CDC-recommended hand sanitizing procedures for the protection of both hotel staff and guests. That means washing hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60 to 95 percent alcohol. 

When to Sanitize Hands

  • After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After using the restroom
  • Before eating or preparing food
  • After touching one’s face or hair

Other Team Sanitation Tips:

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles. 
  • Place hand sanitizer in multiple locations.
  • Ensure adequate sanitary supplies are maintained. 
  • Cover your coughs.

Post handwashing signs in bathrooms that remind both staff and guests to wash their hands for 20 to 30 seconds. Some outlets recommend washing for as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday.

Enforce Safety and Sanitation Guidelines

We hope you now feel more prepared to streamline your hotel’s operational and safety procedures for future guests. Operational managers who create new cleaning procedures, maintain open communication with team members, and remind staff of proper sanitation practices can make life easier for everyone.

Let us know if you think we can help your organization enhance employee, guest, and stakeholder safety. We know we can.

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Caroline Eisner
Caroline Eisner
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