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‘Whether a guest room is occupied or not, it needs daily cleaning’

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Shalika Sharma, Executive Housekeeper, Taj Bangalore

In this tête-à-tête, Shalika Sharma, Executive Housekeeper, Taj Bangalore responds to questions about the sources of dust, common area cleaning, carpet cleaning and more.

What are the sources of dust inside a hotel? Which areas and surfaces of the hotel are most prone to becoming dusty?

Construction/renovation/maintenance work inside and around the hotel are the main sources, as are the surroundings of the AHUs, openings/doors in the hotel, and entry and entry of vehicles. The most dust-prone areas are all public areas, guest corridors, carpeted floors and basements.

What is your SOP to manage dust on floors of lobbies, common areas, corridors etc? What equipment do you use?

Frequently dusting, vacuuming and mopping of the lobby, common areas and corridors is mandatory, along with constant supervision. The frequency should be based on the usage and condition of the area and a checklist is needed to keep track of areas covered. We use microfibre dusters, vacuum cleaners, steam mops and microfibre mops.

Many areas are carpeted, and can gather dust. How do you tackle this, and with what?

Hotels are moving away from the wall-to-wall room carpet concept to wooden/marble floorings. Rugs/carpets need daily vacuuming, constant monitoring of carpet conditions and a schedule for carpet shampooing (the injection and extraction method is the best)

How do you deal with dust in a room that has been left unused for a period of time?

Whether a guest room is occupied or not, it needs daily cleaning, which includes dusting, vacuuming and mopping. In case the room is left unused for a long period, deep cleaning/super cleaning needs to be done before putting the room back in sellable inventory.

How do you keep mattresses dust-free?

Mattresses need a mattress protector to protect them from stains. Every time a room is in turnaround, mattress vacuuming is a must. A schedule should be maintained for shampooing and steam cleaning of mattresses.

Removing dust on non-floor surfaces is a time-consuming process. In your experience, what are the time-efficient ways of removing/preventing dust from non-floor horizontal surfaces?

Wiping with mist spray, and the use of hydro ladder to reach for high-level dusting.

How do you keep furniture/upholstery dust-free?

Daily dusting and vacuuming of upholstery, and dry shampooing as per the schedule/condition of upholstery.

Are there any materials which are less likely to gather dust that should be used in hotels wherever possible?

Nanotechnology, anti-dust coatings and anti-dust paint can all play a vital role.

Beyond cleaning, how can entry of dust be prevented in the first place?

Through the placement of correct mats at the entrance (three layers to prevent entry of dust via shoes), anti-dust glass coatings and constant periphery cleaning.

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