Guest Estate Manager Blog # 22nd Installment in an on-going series created to give other estate managers in the community a voice to talk about whatever is on their mind. Enjoy!


How many times have you come across a housekeeping team member using one of their most popular cleaning product being used on everything with one rag??!! I think it happens more times than we like to admit. As a E/H Managers, it’s up to us to catch these horrendous acts and stop it from happening in the future. The misuse of cleaning products costs the principals thousands of dollars in ruined finishes and replaced furniture. There is a simple colorful solution to this common problem that’s easy to implement, yet takes very little effort.What I’m about to describe is based on my experience being in the domestic service for over a decade or so. Every time I started work in a new to me estate, I saw this problem. One rag, one cleaning product used everywhere on everything! Most of the time it comes from inexperienced housekeeping members or whatever, you as the reader see it fit. I’m not here to point the faults but to introduce solutions with little effort and simplicity for everyone to follow. Color-coding is the solution. There are several online vendors that sell 100% cotton color-coded rags.In the past, I ordered several dozen of about 5-6 different color coded rags for the house for the different surfaces and uses around the house that require different types of proper cleaning products. Next, I created a little laminated cards that showed which color is to be used for what surface and which proper cleaning product. These cards get attached to cleaning baskets or on the insides of the the cleaning supply closet doors for everyone to see and reference it. What that allowed me to do is the following:

1) seeing from a distance if the proper rag is being used

2) forcing the housekeeping crew to switch to a new rag if done with one kind of surface, or purpose

3) in case a surface is ruined or discolors your butt will be covered.

A step further can be taken where you can even color code and match the cleaning products with the rags. Again, find a vendor online that sells spray bottles with different colored sprayers. Put on some rubber gloves pour the cleaning products to the color coded bottles and now everyone will be educated that red rag goes with cleaning product from a red bottle. Lastly, instruct your housekeeping crew that one rag has the cleaning product (wet), wipes clean, the other( dry) wipes it clean.The initial set-up will take few minutes of your time but the cost to replace ruined and discolored surfaces in the futures will pay for themselves. Crisis solved!