Drinking glasses cleaning processes

Clean Talk with Rose
By Rose Galera, CEH
Hawaii Hospitality Magazine, Sept/Oct 2008

Hi Rose,
Over the past months, I have noticed the negative media coverage on improper drinking glass cleaning in guest rooms. The reports so far have focused on mainland hotels. What, if any, strategies can you provide to eliminate such concerns for Hawaii’s hotels?
A Caring EH

Aloha ACEH,
Yes, I am very much aware of this and have also seen a few of the media reports on television, two specifically on Fox News.

In the early 1980s, such concerns were addressed by Hawaii’s hotels. Executive housekeepers and members of the then National Executive Housekeepers Association worked with the then Hawaii Hotel Association and Hawaii Board of Health on what was considered to be the proper cleaning processes to avoid such concerns. Hawaii’s hotels that have ensured ongoing training, performance measurements and management inspection programs have had success. I’m sure you will agree that we certainly do not want to see such negative media coverage on drinking glass cleaning or cleaning in general about Hawaii’s hotels.

In developing a housekeeping manual titled a “Pail Full of Training” in 1995, the following on drinking glasses was included as one of the technical topics for hotel housekeeping operations. In my professional opinion, these two processes are the best approaches to employ when providing reusable drinking glasses in guest rooms. When trained properly and monitored, the processes work successfully.

Sanitizing Drinking Glasses:
The following procedures were approved by the Department of Health’s requirements on sanitizing guest room drinking glasses in hotel rooms in the state of Hawaii.

The major components of the procedures address: Separation of supplies and tools, washing, rinsing and sanitizing processes. Each hotel is required to adopt operating procedures to meet these established requirements.

Alternative 1:
All equipment used will be clearly marked to identify them from other cleaning materials and supplies and placed in a separate compartment or caddy to store cleaning utensils, an all-purpose spray bottle and an approved sanitizer.

1) Clean and sanitize sink; 2) Wash glass with, all-purpose cleaner or dishwashing detergent; 3) Rinse glass under hot running water; 4) Sanitize by spraying the approved sanitizer into the glass; 5) Air dry or dry with disposable towels.

Alternative 2:
Use a dishwasher or a three-compartment sink as required for food establishments. Every hotel is required to incorporate procedures into their training program. Effectiveness of training should be assured through supervisory procedures. In condo/hotel operations, drinking glasses will be washed and sanitized in the kitchen or where a separate bar sink is available.

Additional key points include:
1) Countertops and basins must first be cleaned, disinfected and/or sanitized before any glass washing of any type takes place; 2) A light scrub pad and dishwashing-type detergent must be used. 3) The same processes must be applied to coffee mugs and coffee carafes provided in the guestrooms.

To avoid such processes, hotels may provide disposable or one-use wrapped plastic or paper drinking cups.

It is this writer’s professional opinion that all in the field of professional cleaning management should responsibly focus on, follow through and provide ongoing training on the following to ensure for the safety, welfare and protection of the hotel, its employees and guests:

• Treat cleaning as a profession, a science and an art.
• Elevate cleaning to a science.
• Demand the highest professional behavior and performance.
• Teach and apply science as well as technique, because technique should be based on scientific principles.
• View cleaning as environmental management.
• Teach only those procedures that meet environmental health and safety guidelines for cleaning.

Housekeeping cleaning objectives should promote the following environmental stewardship principles:
• Clean for health first and appearance second.
• Minimize human exposure to contaminants and cleaning products.
• Recognize cleaning as an environmental health benefit.
• Commit to occupational development of cleaning personnel.
• Communicate the value of healthy buildings.
• Minimize chemical, particle and moisture residue when cleaning.
• Ensure worker and occupant safety.
• Contain and reduce all pollutants entering the building.
• Dispose of cleaning products in environmentally safe ways.
• Establish and document routine maintenance schedules.

Following and implementing all of the above will assist in enhancing your hotel’s housekeeping operations and thus reduce concerns of negative guest or media coverage in cleaning overall.


Posted in Clean Talk Columns.

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