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Scheduling the frequencies of cleaning

Wednesday, November 11, 2009, 14:00 Hrs  [IST]


House keeping department has always been held responsible for maintaining the aesthetic upkeep of the hotel by frequent and periodic cleaning. Cleaning is not an occasional task but a periodic activity that has to be performed on a regular basis. Cleaning is to be carried out on daily, bi-weekly, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly or on annual basis depending upon the requirement of the area. This periodic schedule of cleaning is commonly known as the ‘Frequency Schedule’. It states the frequencies of cleaning, which means the number of time a certain cleaning task is to be repeated in a given area. Scheduling of cleaning frequency is not an easy task as it is based on various factors. For deciding the number of frequency of cleaning, one must take into account these factors which are as follows:-
  1. Type of area: Whether the area is in front of the house or of the back of the house and what standards have been fixed, which will be helpful in deciding as to the number of time a certain task has to be done in that area.
  2. Type and condition of service: Initially, at the start of cleaning schedule, the frequencies will be high to bring the given area to a certain standard and later lesser frequencies are sufficient for maintaining those standards.
  3. Type and the number of people using the area over a period of time User Density: For example, bathroom in the lobby is more frequently used as compared to the bathroom in guest room. Thus, a higher frequency of cleaning is required for the bathroom in the lobby area.
  4. Functions of the area and activities taken place.
  5. How often the area is used and when?
  6. What type of soil is present?
  7. How much soil is transported to the area and by what means?
  8. How far has the soil been transported, i.e. location of area?
  9. Chance of inspection spreading or infection risk. For example, cleaning and disinfecting the house telephone.
  10. The standard which must be achieved and maintained.
Along with the above mentioned factors, it is also necessary to understand that the frequency of cleaning is directly related to the cost as well the requirement of manpower. Higher frequency for a given area will require more manpower, thus increasing the cost. In other words, we can say that the frequency standards and cost are interlinked. The less often, a given task is performed, lower will be the standard and also the cost incurred. But, sometime, a high frequency can also result in lower standard incurring higher cost, for example, a given surface is quite frequently polished, thus making the surface quiet slippery and at the same time more manpower as well as cost have been incurred. The surface because of being over polished will be a safety hazard in respect of being slippery for which again staffs have remove excess polish again resulting in cost.

It is normally a convenient task to schedule the frequencies of each cleaning task for various surfaces in given area, if the above mentioned points are to be taken into consideration. Firstly, the cleaning inventory list has to be prepared and then the frequency of cleaning of each item should be established. Generally, cleaning has to be done daily, bi-weekly, weekly and so on.

An example of frequency schedule for cleaning the lobby area:
	Items		Activity		Frequency
1. Carpet Vacuuming Daily
2. Furniture Dusting Daily
3. Furniture Polishing Weekly
4. Furniture Wet Cleaning of
Upholstery surface Monthly
5. Chandelier Dusting Bi-monthly
6. Chandelier Wet Cleaning Monthly - Quarterly
The article has been written by Arvind Kumar Saraswati, Lecturer, Banarsidas Chandiwala Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, New Delhi.

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