QHotels celebrated International Housekeeping Week in September
and the award-winning hotel group went behind the scenes with its
resident housekeeping expert, Nan McDowell, to share her tricks of
Having managed the housekeeping team at Crewe Hall for six years
- making sure the hotel's 117 rooms are made to perfection for
every guest - Nan knows a thing or two about cleaning. So if you've
tried to create the perfect hotel quality bed at home, or want to
clean like a pro,Nanis here to help.
How can people replicate a QHotels bed at
It's all about investing in the highest-quality components that
you can. A quality mattress will improve sleep and good
quality linen will improve the look and feel of your bed. Pillows
must be big, fluffy and never flat. And we always use a mattress
protector and pillow protectors to keep everything extra-fresh and
clean, providing an extra layer of comfort too!
And remember, all bedding has a shelf-life so make sure you
replace pillows every two years and duvets every 4-5 years.
What's the best way to get a duvet in its
Every housekeeper at QHotels has their own technique. However, I
think the 'inside-out' method is the most efficient and
Start with the duvet cover inside-out, then with your hands
inside, grab the top corners of the duvet and flick the cover down
on itself. And remember, practice makes perfect!
What are your top tips for making the perfect
The most important thing is that the duvet is pulled tight and is
perfectly smooth over the bed. It's easier to achieve this when the
duvet cover is slightly bigger than the duvet itself, allowing the
sides to be tucked down nicely.
Pillows should be plump in the pillow case and stood up on the
bed - this always looks more appealing than laid flat. We also
think very carefully about what our guests see when they pull back
the covers to get into bed. It's still got to look just as
good, so again, make sure the sheets are tight and smooth
underneath the duvet, too.
Hospital corners are a key component of a properly made bed.
Once you've mastered the art, it's a nice touch if you have guests
How do you make hospital corners?
With the fitted sheet tight on the mattress, place the sheet over
the bed so it hangs evenly at either side. Standing at the
bottom corner of the bed, lift the mattress slightly and tuck the
sheet all the way along the bottom edge of the bed. You should be
left with just the sides hanging down.
To tuck the side, take the bottom corner of the hanging sheet
and lift it over the bed - creating a 45 degree angle with the
corner of the mattress. With the bottom angle still over the
bed, tuck the sheet that's still hanging under the side of the
mattress then let the corner fall back down. Then simply tuck the
corner section underneath, in-line with the bottom edge of the
mattress and repeat on the other side. Check out our
Pinterest board for visuals to help.
What's your top tip for making cleaning
Be organised and simplify! Each housekeeper has their own cleaning
caddy with everything they need all in one place. This can be
easily replicated at home and could save you more time and energy
than you realise. Simplify the products and tools you are using and
put the essentials into a bucket or container which you can carry
around to save running up and down the house!
What's the first thing people should
We have a complex 20-step process, to ensure each and every room
meets the high QHotels standard. Start by emptying rubbish,
removing clutter and stripping linen. This will give you a blank
canvas to clean in. And, before you rush to pick up the products,
always open the windows to let the fresh air in.
What products do you recommend cleaning
I'm a great believer in keeping things simple. I wouldn't
advise using more than four products - a multi-surface
antibacterial cleaner, toilet gel, glass cleaner and polish will
Any tips on how to apply product?
Always spray product onto the cloth first, never the
surface. Spraying directly onto the surface will result in
one area being saturated and other sections getting missed. It's a
What cloths should people clean with?
A microfiber cloth works well on surfaces and we always carry a
dry cloth to use on glass surfaces to avoid streaking. Make
sure you have a number of micro-fibre cloths for different areas. I
like to use colour coded cloths so it's easy to remember which to
use on surfaces, floors, the bathroom and so on.
How do you tackle dust?
I don't think you can beat a traditional feather duster or, as I
like to call it, a 'tickling stick'! We use a modern version
in our hotels, made with wool rather than feathers, which works
wonders. Make sure you remember to dust the walls every time
you clean to avoid build up. Using a damp cloth will lift the
dust from upholstery such as curtains and chairs.
How do you make the bathroom sparkle?
Once you've cleaned the bathroom with product and got the tiles
shining, use a dry, microfiber cloth to polish fittings and chrome.
It's simple but it works a treat.
Another important thing to make shine in the bathroom is the
mirror. There are so many products out there. However the
best thing to get the mirror streak-free in my experience is simply
water and a cloth. Honestly, it works!
What's the last thing you do?
The very last thing you should do is vacuum the floors - picking
up everything that's dropped down onto the floor whilst cleaning.
We always start from the furthest point in the room and vacuum our
way out into the corridor (or landing if you're at
There's nothing better than walking away at the end of the day
in the knowledge that every room awaiting guests is made to
perfection. It's such a satisfying feeling to know that someone
will appreciate and enjoy our hard work.
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