Cleanliness is one of the most important features a hotel or motel can offer its guests. Housekeepers, also known as maids, are the staff members who perform cleaning duties in these establishments.
Housekeepers may be assigned specialized cleaning duties. For example, most hotels have laundry facilities for cleaning towels, linen, bedding, and workers' uniforms. Some housekeepers work only in the laundry area, washing, drying, and folding these items and then stocking the linen storage rooms.
Other housekeepers only clean guest rooms. An especially thorough cleaning is done after the occupants of a room check out. Using a large wheeling cart to hold supplies, guest room housekeepers bring clean linen, bedding, cleansers, and all other necessary cleaning equipment to the rooms. The housekeepers replace soiled linen and towels; restock soap, tissues, and drinking glasses; disinfect bathroom surfaces; dust and polish the furniture; remove all trash; vacuum the carpet; and wash any uncarpeted floors. Before leaving, they check to make sure that the room is spotless and ready for new guests. If housekeepers notice anything in a room that is not working properly, they report it to their supervisor, the executive housekeeper. They also send to the lost-and-found department any articles that previous guests may have left in the rooms when they checked out.
Aside from doing laundry and cleaning guest rooms, housekeepers replace light bulbs, wash windows, empty ashtrays, and clean hallways and stairs. Some housekeepers make sewing repairs or upholster furniture. Others work in lobbies, lounges, and conference and banquet rooms, where they clean carpets and move and set up furniture. In small hotels housekeepers usually perform several of these tasks.