Industry News

news | 04.21.20

Hotel Management Housekeeping Guidebook

Housekeeping Takes on a New Urgency in Fight Against Spread of COVID-19

While the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic continues claiming lives and livelihoods around the world, hoteliers are finding themselves in an unexpected position, with many properties closed to guests for an undetermined amount of time and others housing first responders and those ill with COVID-19.

Whether staying open or performing maintenance in hopes of a prompt reopening, hoteliers must protect both guests and their housekeeping teams, making sure everyone takes extra precautions to not just get spaces clean, but thoroughly sanitized.

Download Hotel Management’s full housekeeping guidebook here.


The COVID-19 pandemic is putting a greater focus on housekeeping and cleaning in general, but there are some items that might not be top of mind. Here’s what you need to know about beds, ice machines and air-cleaning technology.


While sheets and other bedding items can be washed to prevent the spread of illness, mattresses and pillows are another story. One way to keep them sanitary is through the use of encasements. Protect-A-Bed mattress protectors and encasements feature the patented Miracle Membrane, a moisture barrier that prevents any liquids, including bodily fluids, from passing through the protector and onto the mattress, according to Nicole Pasik, director of marketing for Focus Products Group, Protect-a-Bed’s parent company. The company’s AllerZip Smooth encasement has been certified Asthma and Allergy Friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America for its ability to keep out small particles that could irritate those with asthma and allergies.

COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets, and unprotected mattresses and pillows can soak up these droplets as well as other bodily fluids. “By protecting both
the mattress and the pillow a hotel property can quickly sanitize a room without having to wash or steam clean the mattress or pillows,” Pasik said. “They can remove the pillow or mattress protector just like they would a regular linens and wash, but the protector would have prevented any bodily fluids from entering the fibers of the pillow or mattress.”

Normally hotels wash the protector whens oiled after a spill, but because many hotels are being used to house health-care workers or even being used as overflow medical facilities, Pasik recommends washing upon check-out.

“It’s an extra layer of protections for your guests. Think of it as a face mask for your mattress,” she said. “The protector will prevent any guest’s bodily fluids from seeping into the mattress or pillow. This moisture barrier protects the next guest from the past guest.”

According to Bill Purdy, CEO/Co-founder of Spry Therapeutics, one problem with most pillows today is it is impossible to clean their cores. With stitched seams with large holes and perforations for breathability, he said these pillows easily can absorb pathogens housekeepers can do nothing about.

“When they compress, they have the potential to aerosolize everything within them and if COVID easily aerosolizes, it could well aerosolize it,” said Purdy.

By contrast, Purdy said his company’s Spry Pure pillow is hermetically sealed to keep viruses and allergens out. A filter near the surface of the pillow ensures it maintains breathability, he explained, while also preventing any pathogens from entering the pillow and then later aerosolizing out.

“Any of the pathogens, such viruses and bacteria, are trapped at the surface where they can be effectively cleaned, in this case by hotel personnel, because they can actually get to it,” Purdy said.

Though Purdy said Spry is focused largely on supplying hospitals for now—the company announced in March it would be donating 10,000 filtered health-care pillows to hospitals across the United States to combat the spread of COVID-19—he said the company has seen interest from hotel wellness centers and remains open to assisting the hotel industry.