Cleaning Guide

Please read through the initial Germs and Microorganisms information before downloading the cleaning guide. 

1.0 Introduction to Microorganisms

A microorganism is an organism that is too small to be seen by the naked eye. In other words, it is "microscopic". Microorganisms include bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and prions, among others. Microorganisms exist virtually everywhere, and most are harmless. In fact, many microorganisms promote good health. But when a microorganism has the potential to be harmful, it is often referred to as a "germ". There are different types of common germs that can be controlled through basic hygiene and cleaning practices. These include:

  • Bacteria

  • Viruses

  • Fungi (mold and mildew)

1.1 About Germs

While some germs are helpful to us, exposure to harmful germs can cause conditions like food-borne illness, diarrhoea, and other diseases.

It's important to practise healthy habits and prevent the spread of these germs.

Germs can be spread via:

  • Direct contact: Like touching the hand of someone sick

  • Indirect contact: Like touching a surface that held raw food, or was contaminated by someone sick

  • Air: Like when someone coughs into the air

  • Contaminated food and water

  • Contact with animals or by a bite or scratch

1.2 How and Where Germs Survive

The horrible smell that an old mop has is the bacteria and germs it is growing.

The horrible smell that an old mop has is the bacteria and germs it is growing.

Germs thrive in wet conditions. In some cases, germs can live on surfaces for hours—and even days. For example flu germs can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours... 

The important thing to note is that while surfaces may look clean, it can contain many infectious germs.

You need to USE disinfectANT to reduce germs on surfaces.


1.3 Cleaning versus Disinfection

Cleaning and disinfecting are not the same thing. Cleaning removes germs from surfaces, whereas disinfecting actually destroys them. Disinfectants contain ingredients that destroy bacteria and other germs.

Check the product label to make sure it says "Disinfectant".

There are different categories of germ reduction products, as well:

  • Disinfectant: Kills pathogenic germs (but not spores)

  • Sanitiser: Kills 99.9% of pathogenic germs

  • Antiseptic: Kills germs on the skin (such as an alcohol-based hand sanitiser)


1.4 Viruses are Very Challenging Germs

Viruses are different from bacteria and mold/mildew - they need a host to infect in order to reproduce. By moving to a new host, this process causes disease. One of the best way to stop the spread of viruses is to wash your hands regularly. 

You should wash your hands frequently:

  • Beginning of each shift

  • After each wet room (kitchen, bathroom, toilet)

  • After touching food

  • After mopping

  • At the end of your shift

2.0 Room-by-Room Reference Guide

2.1 Cleaning in waves

All rooms can be cleaned using a three-wave system. 

Wave 1 involves tidying, removing items that don't belong in that room, and preparing to clean. 

Wave 2 is the actual cleaning of the surfaces in the room and any finishing touches the room needs. 

Wave 3  is when you go through and vacuum & mop all floors (this is done at the end of each shift).

Please watch the video below for an example of the three-wave system.  Please note that you will always do wave 3 at the end of your shift. 

  • Once you start working in a room you are not to leave it. Items which do not belong in the room need to be stacked by the door in a basket. This is to reduce wasted time and loss of productivity.

  • You should plan to check washing cycles between room cleans (not during).

  • You should have everything that you would need to clean/tidy a room before you start cleaning it. For example, if the room is a bedroom which needs new sheets you should have those sheets with you before you start cleaning the room.

2.2 Kitchen Wave Example

Wave 1 - Tidy and Prepare to Clean

  • Empty dishwasher or drying rack

  • Gather dishes, wash by hand or put in dishwasher and start dishwasher

  • Gather and throw away rubbish and items for recycling

  • Tidy away anything that does not belong on the bench top

  • Place items that do not belong in the kitchen by the door to be dealt with later

Wave 2 - Cleaning

  • Spray and disinfect bench tops - lift up items, clean underneath them, and arrange neatly

  • Clean microwave—both inside and outside

  • Clean and polish stove top

  • Clean and polish outsides of appliances

  • Wipe inside and outside of refrigerator and throw away expired food

  • Wipe fingerprints off cupboards and front of drawers

  • Clean the inside of the oven

  • Spray and disinfect sink

  • Put away clean dishes

Wave 3 - End of shift

  • Vacuum and mop floors

  • Take out rubbish and items for recycling

2.3 Bathroom Wave Example

Wave 1 - Tidy and Prepare to Clean

  • Remove dirty clothes and towels (should have been done during session scope)

  • Tidy away anything that does not belong on the bench tops

  • Spray cleaner in shower and tub

  • Put toilet cleaner in toilet

  • Empty bins

  • Place items that do not belong in the bathroom by the door to be dealt with later

Wave 2 - Cleaning

  • Spray and disinfect bench tops—lifting up items and cleaning underneath them, arrange items neatly

  • Clean shower—wash tiles, scrub floor, scrub grout, clean and polish fixtures

  • Tidy shower—arrange bottles and shower items neatly, hang up face cloths and shower puffs. Throw away empty containers.

  • Clean tub—polish fixtures

  • Clean toilet—spray outside, top, seat, and lid with cleaner and wipe. Scrub inside toilet with toilet brush (chemicals are already in bowl from Wave 1)

  • Dust surfaces—walls, window sills, blinds, shelves, baseboards, fan, etc.

  • Dust skirting boards

  • Replace towels and floor mats

  • Refill soap dispenser

  • Replace toilet paper, if needed

Wave 3 - End of shift

  • Vacuum and mop floors

2.4 Bedrooms Wave Cleaning Example

Wave 1 - Tidy and Prepare to Clean

  • Remove dirty laundry (during session scope)

  • Strip beds (during session scope)

  • Remove all dishes (during session scope)

  • Empty bins and remove rubbish

  • Tidy and place items back where they belong

  • Tidy away toys—putting like with like

  • Place items that do not belong in the bedroom by the door to be dealt with later

Wave 2 - Clean and Change Beds

  • Dust and tidy all surfaces

  • Clean and polish picture frames, mirrors, power points, lamps, window sills, blinds, etc.

  • Dust skirting boards

  • Dust under the bed and behind night stands

  • Straighten covers and make bed, or re-make bed using clean sheets if the bed linen is to be changed that day

Wave 3 - End of shift

  • Vacuum and mop floors

2.5 How To Make a Bed

Please watch the following two videos that detail how to make a bed, and how to create hospital corners.  You will need to practice on your own bed until you can make a bed with perfect hospital corners.


You need to be able to make a bed properly, as per the video below (without the blanket) before passing your induction. If you do not practice this before attending you will not pass the induction training.

Hospital Corners: If you need a firmer example of how to tuck the bottom of the sheet.

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How to Use a Dishwasher - If you do NOT know how to use a dishwasher and if you have never stacked items in a dishwasher, you must read this WikiHow about stacking a dishwasher.

You will be tested on this in the training and in person. If you cannot load a dishwasher properly you will not be hired.