While all hotels are different in the individual policies they use, most follow a basic set of housekeeping guidelines. Designed to keep the guests comfortable, the rooms clean and the service efficient and quick, these rules and guidelines offer a good window into common hotel housekeeping principles, rules and policies.
According to Alberta Hotels and Lodges Association, the first rule of hotel housekeeping is to knock and make your presence known before entering a room. Housekeepers should identify themselves by saying "Housekeeping," and allow the guest time to respond. If there is no response, the housekeeper may enter the room.
Many hotels have housekeeping check the room's lights, running water, locks, windows, air conditioner/heater and other electronics during each room cleaning. This is to ensure that everything is in working order for the next guest. It is generally done before cleaning the room to ensure that no marks or dirt are left behind from the check.
Housekeeping's primary goal is to clean the hotel rooms between guests. This includes changing all of the bedding, making the bed, vacuuming the carpet and washing the hard floors. The cleaning process also includes a strict cleaning of the bathroom to ensure that it remains sanitary. Housekeeping will also dust and clean any hard surfaces and furniture within the room as well as all the glass and windows.
It is good housekeeping practice to replace disposable things in between room occupancy. For instance, housekeeping commonly replaces used soap, shampoo, disposable cups and other similar items. They'll also empty the trash and clean out any ashtrays.
During the last portion of housekeeping, the housekeeper or a manager doublechecks everything that was cleaned. The housekeeper will go through the drawers, under the beds and in the closets for anything left behind by guests, passing lost items to a manager.
Hotels usually have strict rules in place that guard against employees stealing from guests. This includes anything housekeeping may find after a guest has checked out. Typically, housekeepers are required to attach a slip to the left-behind item recording the date, the room the item was found in and the housekeeper's name. Hotels will fire housekeepers who steal from guests and press legal charges.