Hotel housekeeping duties vary depending on the organization’s size, location and traditions. In a small, budget-conscious facility, one person tackles every cleaning task. In a large hotel, many professionals handle the work.
More than 700,000 people in the US work as maids and housekeepers, and they all have stories to tell about the rooms they’ve cleaned and the lessons they’ve learned. Most would say that every day is a little different, depending on the guests.
But here’s a sample of typical hotel housekeeping duties, broken down by facility size.
Small Hotel Housekeeping Duties
Some facilities keep staffing levels low. They have few rooms, cozy spaces and no need for extra frills. One or two people are typically responsible for keeping everything clean and tidy. Here’s what the daily hotel housekeeping duties might look like:
Clean Public Spaces
Before the lobby fills with arriving and departing guests, housekeepers ensure everything is clean and welcoming — the lobby is cleaned before any rooms or private spaces.
Housekeepers will do the following:
Straighten the lobby. Toss out yesterday’s newspapers and magazines, water the plants, dust surfaces, clean windows and take out the trash. Give the floor a sweep and polish too.
Clean public bathrooms. Scrub top to bottom to ensure everything sparkles and smells fresh. Remove the trash, and refill any towels and paper products.
Prepare the entrance. Sweep and scrub the entry to the hotel, and make the windows sparkle. Remove any trash, and water the plants if needed.
Turn Over Rooms
Housekeepers stay in touch with the front desk. As people check out, staff can enter their rooms and prepare them for new visitors. They may use a housekeeping cart to keep tools and supplies handy.
Housekeepers will do the following:
Remove linens. Strip the bed and grab towels and bath mats.
Clean and scrub. Polish all surfaces, remove any traces of visitors and rub away fingerprints. The goal is to ensure the room looks pristine.
Replace linens. Make the bed, add fresh towels to the bathroom and ensure guests have everything they need.
Clean the floor. Vacuum the way out of the room, leaving no fingerprints behind.
Housekeepers repeat these steps in every room vacated, working as quickly as they can to stay ahead of the arrival of new guests.
Assist Remaining Guests
Hotels are changing, and some don't mandate daily linen changes. When these plans are implemented, only 32% of people ask for new towels and sheets. Housekeepers who work in a place like this give layover rooms a quick tidy and fresh towels as needed.
But in a facility that mandates a full clean, housekeepers use the same steps for overnight cleaning. But this time, they’re working around guest possessions.
Wash & Fold Laundry
Sheets and towels add up, and by the middle of the shift, housekeepers likely have a mountain of laundry. Most linens are white, so spotting stains is easy. But housekeepers must examine each piece before washing it and do multiple loads of laundry each day to stay on top of demand.
Clean Public Spaces
Before they head home, housekeepers run vacuums through the hallways and shared spaces. They give bathrooms and the lobby one last pass to ensure they look and smell great.
Large Hotel Housekeeping Duties
Large facilities require a team of housekeepers. Tasks will vary depending on the role, but teams spend all day ensuring every visitor has a clean experience. These are a few positions that are typical in large hotels:
Managers work as the main point of contact for the housekeeping staff. These professionals ensure everyone works together properly and nothing gets missed.
On a typical day, managers will do the following:
Schedule room cleanings with attendants.
Inspect finished rooms to ensure they meet the organization’s standards.
Conduct staff performance reviews.
Train new staff.
Guest complaints will head to managers, so they need exceptional communication skills. Also, they must be cross-trained and willing to step in if staff members are sick or unable to come to work.
The housekeeping manager gives attendants lists of rooms to clean each day. As soon as they arrive, they load the supply cart and get to work. Their tasks are similar to those seen in a small hotel. They spend the day changing linens, polishing surfaces and otherwise keeping things clean. But in large hotels, they stay in the rooms only.
Hotel rooms are notoriously dirty, and most visitors are likely to complain if they see traces of former guests. The larger and more prestigious the hotel, the cleaner the rooms must be. Attendants prepare for many inspections from the housekeeping manager.
Public Area Attendant
Lobbies, conference rooms, public bathrooms, porches and entryways are the focus of work every day. Public area attendants won’t need the housekeeping manager to direct them because they take care of the same spaces each day. But they may be asked to pitch in and assist with special projects (such as cleaning up stairway spills) so the public areas always look great.
Some hotels use linen-cleaning services, reducing expenditures associated with sheets and towels. Otherwise, staff work with washing machines, dryers and hot irons all day. They keep closets stacked and ensure the staff has enough supplies to keep the rooms in top condition.
Alsco Linen Cleaning Services
Whether the hotel is large or small, Alsco can help. We provide linen-cleaning services using custom NPE-free formulas. Alsco offers sheets, towels and other linens maintaining clean and hygienic resources, our services ensure linens last longer too.
Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners. (May 2021). U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“To Clean or Not to Clean?” Reducing Daily Routine Hotel Room Cleaning by Letting Tourists Answer This Question for Themselves. (September 2019). Journal of Travel Research.
Brace Yourself: Hotel Rooms Are Even Dirtier Than Airplanes. (January 2016). Conde Nast Traveler.