The housekeeping staff needs to clean various guest rooms, guest bathrooms, and a number of public areas in the hotel. The staff needs to take the help of various cleaning equipment while trying to keep the hotel premises to the highest standard of appearance.
Today, there is a wide range of cleaning products available in the market.
Selection Criteria for cleaning equipment’s:
Efficient cleaning and maintenance and maximum work productivity are dependent on high-quality cleaning equipment and selecting the ideal equipment plays a major role in the cleaning process.
The selection criteria for equipment are:
- Safety in operation
- Suitability to the type of area, surface, work, amount of obstruction, and cleaning frequency.
- Versatility to do various types of cleaning.
- Work performance in terms of the capacity of the machine.
- Ease of handling in terms of size, weight, the height of the machine, and ease of operation.
- Portability in terms of ease of transfer between floors and provision of wheels and detachable parts.
- The durability of the equipment, sturdiness, life of the equipment, etc.
- Noise level of the equipment
- Availability of spare parts, easy servicing conditions.
- Protective design of the equipment without sharp edges.
- Easy to store in terms of dismantling parts and storage space required.
- Cost as initial costs, operating costs, maintenance
Classification of cleaning equipment these are broadly categorized as follows
- Manual Cleaning Equipment
- Electric/Mechanical Cleaning Equipment
Manual Cleaning Equipment
Types of equipment which help in the cleaning process by directly using manual energy of the employees.
The common manual equipment is:
1) Brooms 2)Brushes 3)Mops 4)Cloths 5)Containers 6) Box Sweepers
Brooms consist of long bristles gathered together and inserted into a handle. Bristles may be made of grass, corn, coconut fibers, etc.
Types of brooms:
- Soft Bristled brooms– Brooms made of corn fiber, grass brooms, and used on smooth floors.
- Hard bristled Brooms– Coconut fiber brooms or yard brooms are used on rough surfaces especially outdoors.
- Wall brooms/ Tall Turks– These are used to remove cobwebs from ceilings. They have a soft head and a long handle.
These are designed to remove dust and dirt from surfaces.
Parts of brush:
- Stock in which bristles are inserted made of wood, metal, or plastic.
- Bristles made of horsehair, nylon, jute, or coir have chisel-like action which dislodges the soil
- The handle may also be made of wood or plastic and can be detachable or nondetachable.
Types of Brushes:
- Hard Brush- Stiff bristles and well-spaced out. Removes heavy soil from rough surfaces.
- Soft brush– Softer bristles and set close together. Removes loose soil from smooth surfaces like carpets, furniture, etc.
- Scrubbing Brushes– These have short, hard bristles designed for cleaning stains and heavy soil. Also known as T brushes.
Other brushes are Toilet Brushes/Johnny Mops, Bottle Brushes, Cloth Scrubbing Brush, Carpet brushes, Feather brushes, etc.
Types of mops are dry mops and wet mops.
- Dry mops:
Also called dust control mops. These are used to remove dust from floors, walls, ceilings. Mops have handled, to which a metal frame is attached. The mop head made of dense cotton fringes is inserted into the frame and stretched over it.
- Wet/damp mops:
These mops are used along with buckets to remove dirt from the floor surfaces. The mop consists of a handle and cotton fringes or sponge which are capable of absorbing water.
Types of a damp mop
a) Do all mops– Consists strands of twisted cotton fixed to a circular metal plate which is fixed to a stock.
b)Kentucky mop-Cotton strands fixed to a length of cotton fabrics which is inserted into a metal stock
c)Foss mop–Dense cotton fringes inserted into a metal stock
d)Squeeze– Consists of a rubber blade attached to a metal handle to remove excess water from the floor.
e)Sponge mops– Consists of sponge fixed to a replaceable lever controlled head, hinged for removing the water and attached to a long handle.
Various clothes are used in dry and wet cleaning. For efficient usage, the cloth can be color-coded and used by staff for different usages.
Types of cloths-
a) Dusters/ cloths– Soft absorbent plain or checked cotton material or yellow flannelette used for dusting and buffing.
b) Swabs and Wipes– These are made of loosely woven cotton cloths which are soft, absorbent materials used for wet cleaning of surfaces above floor level. Mainly used for cleaning bathtubs and washbasins.
c) Floor cloths – These are coarse knitted cotton cloths that are bigger, thicker, and used to clean floors.
d) Glass Cloths/ Scrim– These are lint-free loosely woven linen material and are used for cleaning glass and mirrors.
e) Cotton Rags or cloths-Disposable cotton or cloths used for applying polishes and cleaning agents.
f) Chamois leather– Obtained from chamois goat and used for cleaning windows and mirror, polishing silver.
g) Dust sheets– Made of thin cotton material which are discarded from linen room like bedsheets or curtains used to cover the floor, furniture during renovation work.
h) Drug gets– Linen, canvas, or plastic material placed on the floor in doorways to absorb excessive dirt caused during bad weather or renovation work.
i) Bucket cloths/Splash mats-Thick fabric placed under buckets to prevent watermarks formation on surfaces.
The staff require containers to carry, transport, and store items of use and collect waste products.
Types of containers-
a) Buckets– Made of plastic or galvanized iron. Used to collect water and used with mops for cleaning.
b) Dustpans– Used along with brushes to collect dust and made of plastic or metal. The edge in contact with the floor must be thin and sharp.
c) Dustbins– Made of plastics, wood, metals, leather, jute and placed in rooms, public areas, and all back areas and lined with plastic bags.
d) Sani-bins-Metal or plastic bins with lids.
e) Spray bottles– Lightweight containers that deliver a fine mist of water or cleaning solution on the surface to be cleaned.
f) Hand caddies– Made of metal, wood or plastic consists of a tray with slots for storing chemical bottles and a handle to carry it. led.
g) Carts and trolleys-
i) Chambermaids trolley/Room Attendants cart/ Maids Trolley– Used to carry linen, cleaning agents, supplies, cleaning equipment required for guestroom cleaning and stored in the guest corridors and should be movable and strong.
ii) Janitorial trolley– Used for cleaning and storing cleaning supplies for public area cleaning.
iii) Mop wringer trolley– This piece of equipment consists of a mop and buckets to carry cleaning solutions and clean water mainly used for public areas.
iv) Linen trolley– Used for transfer of linen from guestrooms to the laundry for washing and are made of cloth or metal with castor wheels.
These are manually operated carpet sweepers used for removing crumbs from the surfaces. It consists of a brush that revolves when equipment is pushed over the carpet and crumbs get collected in the dust-collector pan which is emptied when fil
The equipment work by motors powered by electricity.
Different mechanical equipments are:-
(I) VACUUM CLEANERS/SUCTION CLEANERS–
Dust and crumbs are removed from the surface by suction.
Vacuum cleaners can be classified on the basis of:
- The shape of the machine- Cylindrical, upright, backpack.
- Function- Dry pick up, wet pick up, dry and wet pick up, pile lifter
- Centralized vacuuming system
DIFFERENT VACUUM CLEANERS:
a) CYLINDRICAL VACUUM CLEANER(DRY PICK UP):
These machines work by suction. Electricity makes the motor work and dust is collected by high suction created by the motor and sucked in through the hose and collected in the dust bag inside the machine. Various attachments are used like floor cleaning head, crevice cleaning head, upholstery cleaning head, etc for cleaning different areas. Most commonly used vacuum cleaners used for guest rooms.
b) UPRIGHT VACUUM CLEANER( DRY PICK UP)
The main body of the machine lies horizontally on the surface and does not have attachments but has a built-in hose for cleaning corners and upholstery. Mainly used for large carpeted areas
c) BACK PAC VACUUM CLEANER/PIGGYBACK VACUUMS/PAPOOSE(DRY PICK UP):
Small lightweight vacuum cleaners can be strapped at the back and used to clean upholstery, curtains
d) DUSTTETTES(DRY PICK UP) :
Small lightweight battery-operated vacuum cleaners used to vacuum clean upholstery, carpet edges, mattresses, curtain, and staircases, etc. Can be carried in hand.
e) WET PICK UP VACUUM CLEANER:
Picks up wet waste, excess wastewater and used to pick up water from the floor after scrubbing. This can also be used to remove excess moisture after shampooing the carpet. The machine has a squeeze head which is used to remove excess water and collected in a tank which is emptied after use.
f) LARGE TANK TYPE VACUUM CLEANER( DRY AND WET PICK UP)
Also called canister type vacuum cleaners or industrial vacuum cleaners and are used for dry and wet pick up both. Used for cleaning large areas like lobbies, banquet halls, etc.
g) PILE LIFTER
It’s a vacuum cleaner with two motors to make it extremely strong on the action. The pile of the carpet usually flattens in use. Pile lifter grooms the pile of the carpet and restores their vertical orientation. It is not used daily. Mainly used before shampooing the carpet.
h) CENTRALIZED VACUUMING
Centralized vacuum cleaning system suction is generated at one point in a building. Soil is removed by suitable nozzles linked by flexible stretchable hoses to the vacuum point. It is then conveyed by a network of pipes to a central container. This system is expensive to install and is generally done at the construction stage
CARE AND STORAGE OF VACUUM CLEANERS:
i)Wheels should be oiled regularly
ii)After use dust bags or tanks should be emptied and cleaned.
iii)Clean attachment heads after cleaning work is done.
iv)If the machine is dry pick up never try to pick wet waste.
v)Attachments should be stored in proper boxes.
(II) FLOOR MAINTENANCE MACHINE
This is a multi-functional machine that can scrub, polish and buff the floors. The machines have driving discs (single disc or three small discs rotates in opposite directions) colored nylon pads, a water tank, shampoo tank, sprayer which are used for different functions. The lighter the color of the pads lesser strong it is.
For scrubbing and stripping: Scrubbing is done with a scrubbing brush or with a scrubbing pad(black) attached to the disc which cuts the soil.
For polishing: Red-colored pads to apply polish on the floor
For buffing: beige or white pads are used to create a high gloss finish.
(III) WET EXTRACTION MACHINES:
Wet extraction machines are used to restore the surface appearance of carpet, upholstery, and curtains. They remove deeply embedded soil not removed by suction cleaning.
Types of wet Extraction systems:
a) Hot water extraction machine- They carry a hot water tank and detergent used for deep cleaning carpet with high-pressure spray nozzles and a suction unit to remove the soiled solution from the surface.
b) Solvent extraction machines- Used for cleaning upholstery and curtains.
(IV) SHAMPOOING MACHINES:
Brushes are made of nylon as it needs to be strong to get through the carpet pile. They are fixed to the discs of the floor maintenance machine. There is a special pressure tank along with a foam generator that produces the foam in dry form which cleans the carpet and suspends the soil. This way carpet does not get too wet.
(V) POWER SWEEPER:
These are self or manually operated machines designed to remove debris and loose soil from the floor, pavement, car park, and large areas.
(VI) SCARIFYING MACHINES: Scarifying is a process of removing heavy grease, mud, thick deposits of dirt from the floor by chisel-like action with a wire brush cutting tool.
Storage And Care Of Cleaning Equipment:
- Equipment should be stored in areas that are locked properly.
- Proper records of issuing equipment should be maintained (Area, attachments given, time issued, who issued to, time of return)
- Attachments and parts should be cleaned properly and stored after use
- Brushes should never be faced downwards on the floor as they would damage the bristles.
Advantages of Cleaning Equipment
The cleaning equipment is advantageous in multiple ways −
Equally effective for general as well as tougher cleaning tasks.
High cleaning capability.
Reduce work fatigue and increase productivity.
Save the time of hotel housekeeping staff.
High maneuverability. They can reach any corner or height of the room, which is otherwise difficult to reach.
Eco-friendly, widely available, and easy to operate.
They give protection from injuries occurring while cleaning when they are handled by using proper instructions