Public Area Housekeeping Basics: Timing, Signage, and Vigilance Are Key


The public areas of a hotel receive considerable traffic and require housekeeping attention to keep them looking clean and orderly. Here are a few things to remember when planning your hotel’s public cleaning:


Timing is everything.

Freshly mopped tile floors, the noise from vacuums, and closed restrooms can pose a challenge to and inconvenience guests. Unless these areas are near guestrooms, plan to clean them when the fewest hotel guests will be adversely affected by such actions, typically during the late night shift. Adversely, guestroom corridors should be serviced mid-day when the fewest guests are in their hotel rooms.



Always use signage.

Don’t forget to place several highly visible signs in the vicinity of any floors that are wet. Restrooms or locker rooms should be cordoned off until housekeeping service is complete and the floors are dry.


Cords are a tripping hazard.

When vacuuming or buffing floors, use the shortest extension cord possible. Cords should be brightly colored so they are visible to passing guests. Always plug the cord into the nearest electrical outlet it as close to the wall as possible.



Any unclean public area reflects poorly on the entire hotel’s image. Institute a monitoring program where designated employees will inspect various public areas at established intervals to report or rectify any deficiencies. Instill a culture that the hotel’s cleanliness and tidy appearance is every employee’s responsibility, regardless of position or department.


About the Author
Dr. William D. Frye is an Associate Professor in the College of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Niagara University and co-author of AHLEI’s housekeeping textbook Managing Housekeeping Operations.

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Dr. William D. Frye is a hospitality educator, researcher, consultant, and former hotel general manager. He is the co-author of AHLEI’s housekeeping textbook Managing Housekeeping Operations.