7 Useful Cleaning Secrets From Hotel Housekeepers

hotel cleaning hacks

In my experience, the very best cleaning advice comes from experts. And no, I don’t mean some guy in a lab coat who develops cleaning products—I mean the people who make a living by cleaning every single day!

In my ongoing quest to make cleaning easier for homemakers everywhere, I’ve shared cleaning advice from several such experts in the past. For example, I wrote about cleaning tips from Airbnb hosts, many of whom personally clean their rental spaces between guests.

I’ll be sharing more expert cleaning advice in this post, this time from hotel housekeepers! These professionals have all sorts of clever and time-saving cleaning hacks up their sleeves, including the 7 listed below. These tips will help you streamline your cleaning routine while passing even the strictest white-glove inspection! :-)

7 Cleaning Hacks From Hotel Housekeepers

hotel cleaning hacks

1. Start With Clutter

Before you clean anything, start by clearing any clutter out of the room so you can start with a blank slate. This includes things like emptying trash cans, stripping the bed, hauling dirty laundry to the laundry room, taking dishes back to the kitchen, and generally removing anything that doesn’t belong in the room.

Decluttering before you clean not only makes the job easier, but it also removes the temptation to wipe around items, or else to set them back down on a wet, freshly cleaned surface.

hotel cleaning hacks

2. Whack Your Drapes

Between deeper cleanings in the wash or with a vacuum, you can freshen up your drapes by giving them a few whacks with housekeepers’ drape-dusting tool of choice: a hand towel. Hand towels are heavy enough to get the job done, but not so heavy that your arm will turn to jello.

Plus, the fibers of the towel do a better job grabbing onto dust and dirt in the nooks of your drapes. Once you’ve whacked all the dust off, simply vacuum the floor around the drapes to pick up all of the fallen dust and dirt.

hotel cleaning hacks

3. Vacuum High-Traffic Spots Twice

Before heading straight to one corner of the room and vacuuming your way out (did anyone else’s mother teach them to do that?), vacuum over the highest traffic areas on your way into the room. That way, you’ll have passed over the high-traffic spots twice when you’re done vacuuming.

Considering how much the carpeting in doorways and walkways gets trampled over, going over them twice will help counter all that extra dirt!

hotel cleaning hacks

4. Let Cleaning Products Sit

Housekeepers know that cleaning can be much quicker and easier if you give your cleaning products time to do their jobs! The ingredients in your favorite cleaners, both natural and chemical, need time to penetrate the messes and spills you set them to work on.

Allowing cleaners to sit for even ten minutes on soiled surfaces like your toilet bowl, grubby countertops, or even filthy carpets will make your efforts easier and more effective!

hotel cleaning hacks

5. Check The Tags

No more playing the guessing game with the long and short ends of your fitted sheets! I can’t tell you how much time I’ve wasted making my king bed trying to put the ends of the sheet onto the side of the bed or vice versa.

The key is to find the tag, which is usually on the inside or outside of one corner. This tag should always go on one of the corners at the foot of the bed, typically the corner on the right if you’re looking at the mattress while standing at the foot of your bed.

Still having a tough time matching up corners? Mark the corresponding corner with a fabric marker on the inside of your fitted sheet!

hotel cleaning hacks

6. Shine Your Faucets

Housekeepers know that shiny fixtures can take a bathroom from “clean enough” to truly immaculate! Eliminate smudges and fingerprints from freshly cleaned faucets by wiping them down with rubbing alcohol after you’ve cleaned them. It only takes a second or two, but it really makes all the difference!

hotel cleaning hacks

7. Corral Your Tools

You never see a housekeeper in action without their handy carts somewhere nearby, because part of cleaning efficiently is keeping your supplies close at hand. You can employ this approach in your home by creating your own version of a cleaning cart!

Stock a caddy or bucket with all of your most-used cleaning supplies, rags, and brushes so you can tote it with you from room to room when you’re cleaning. No more repeat trips to the bathroom cabinet or rummaging under your kitchen sink!

Have you picked up any cleaning tips from housekeepers or other experts?

Read This Next

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • Putting in a plug for My Sheets Rock the sheets are super soft and comfy and the fitted sheet is labeled to tell you which corner each end goes with. They’ve been a game changer, they are the only sheets I’ll buy moving forward!

  • Vaccuuming high traffic areas on the way in is a great tip. I have another. Slow way down and let your vaccuum have enough time to do its thing. I have a hose on mine and I press it to my ear to be sure that I am not still getting small stuff up before I move on to the next spot. It will sound like you are vaccuuming up a sand pile the first time you do this. Then be consistent about vaccuuming slowly and check monthly.

    Common dust usually has microscopic sharp edges that over time will cut through the fibers of the yarn. The result is the matting you see in high traffic areas. I got this from a carpet manufacturer and also from the owner of a carpet cleaning company who sees this happen all of the time. My carpet will be 40 years old next year. It is just now getting so I can see worn spots in areas of high traffic even if my guests cannot yet.

  • Speaking of cleaning…. I recently found ‘bar keepers friend’ on Amazon. I tried it, and wow. I stormed through all the pots etc n my kitchen and everything looks brand new. Again, thanks Jillie.

  • One of the biggest time saving methods I have found is Not using a wet rag. Spray your bathroom down as usual…it is important to leave it the 10 mins to kill all of the germs and bacteria….min 10 mins, then wipe down the sink, bathtub/shower then toilet last with a dry rag. You will have to repay cleaner before wiping but it picks up the hair so much better.

  • Knowing where the tag is on my fitted sheets I can easily change the direction for balancing the wear on my sheets since I sleep alone. I place the tag on the bottom right one time and top left the next.

  • We put small safety pins on the inside seams of the bottom ends of the fitted sheets to make it easy to know which is the bottom or top of the sheet.

    • When we moved to TX we got a king sized bed. I ordered sheets an when they came I put them on the bed – with a great struggle. I just RECENTLY realized I was putting the sheets on the wrong way – what a crazy thing! So yes, the safety pins are such a good idea for plain sheets. I had to just laugh at myself for not trying to fit the sheet the other way on the bed. SMH

      • You could also write with a permanent marker “top” or “bottom.” Messy, maybe, but it works for me.

  • Good reminders! My tip is to strip the bed down to fitted sheet, then use pillow cases to dust everywhere around the bed. Start high- ceiling fan, bed posts, window frames, art frames — and work your way down. I love the idea of using a hand towel on blinds and drapes! After dusting, toss pillowcases/hand towels on the bed and strip to mattress. Sprinkle bed & carpet with baking soda and leave it for a while. Baking soda will freshen mattress & carpet. Vacuum bed & floor after you’ve started washing sheets (in hot water). Enjoy the process!!!

  • For fitted sheets, I recommend buying “My sheets rock” sheets. They have tags on each corner that say “bottom left”, “bottom right” etc. It has been a game changer for me. I no longer dread making the bed back up after I wash my sheets. They are also super comfy :)

    • I haven’t seen these but that sounds awesome! Also, imagine how great that would bring when you are teaching your kids or grandkids how to make their own beds? (or do they actually do that anymore?) Way less stress for them when they are going through the “I can do it myself stage. (do kids today even have that anymore?) My sheets are so old that every tag is unreadable, but I think I will take some embroidery thread, take several pieces at a time in my needle and sew a small “x” in the appropriate place. I guess it wouldn’t be that hard to sew a “TL” or “BL”, either. That way I don’t have to worry about washing it out. Has anyone else noticed, or is it just me, but the way they elasticize sheets now is really strange? It can be difficult to even FIND the corners of them! And I cannot believe the cost!! And nobody even sees them…uh…not in my bedroom anyway!

  • These are great! I traveled for almost 20 years of my career, a good portion of that time spent in hotels. I can tell you that a truly efficient and effective housekeeper is worth their weight in gold. now I know how some of them were able to get so much done in so little time.. Thanks Jillee

  • >