Right now, you may want to continue to run your short stay business. At times like this, it can be a challenge for you to reopen your short stay units (a.k.a Airbnb) for bookings. The challenge lies not only in receiving bookings from guests. It is about taking the right steps to ensure the safety of you and your guests.
If you are planning to continue hosting at this time, it’s essential to re-evaluate your cleaning routine and you will need to include additional disinfection procedures. We have put together some guidelines* to help you welcome guests again in no time!
The guidelines are written in light of the enforcement of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Malaysia from May 4 to June 9. During this period, businesses including accommodation providers could resume their business activities by following certain Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).
Cleaning vs. Disinfection: Why Do You Need Both?
Cleaning – Like it or not, it is an essential chore. Regardless of your home, workplace, or your short stay units, you need to keep these spaces clean. For short stay rentals (a.k.a Airbnb), cleanliness is the key to a guest’s comfort. It’s even more critical at this time to reduce the potential spread of infection. While cleaning helps in removing germs and dirt, it doesn’t help with killing germs. Here’s where you’ll need to perform disinfection using chemicals.
Keep in mind that when you clean and disinfect for the reopening of your business as well as in between reservations, you can lower the risk of infection.
Staffs Safety Precaution Guideline
Before you go into cleaning and disinfecting your units, you’ll first need to develop policies for your staffs’ protection. Provide them with necessary training for safety measurements. If you are doing the cleaning on your own, be sure to follow this guide to ensure your safety.
Here’s the list on what you’ll need to do in reference to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
1. Wash Your Hands Often
Do wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If there are no visible dirt on your hands, you may use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Learn more about proper hand washing from CDC.
2. Wear Protective Gears When Cleaning
It is always good to have additional protection with items like disposable gloves and masks. When choosing the right protective gear especially gloves, it is important to ensure that they are compatible with the disinfectant products used. Additionally, you may need other personal protective equipment like googles and protective clothing when handling certain chemicals for the disinfection process.
After cleaning and disinfection, remove your protective gears, dispose it with care, and remember to wash your hands. Don’t worry if you are using reusable protective clothing. Handle them with care during the laundry and as usual, clean your hands right after you handle the laundry.
3. Ventilate Your Rooms Before Cleaning
Always open the doors and windows of your units before cleaning and disinfecting. Use a ventilating fan if you have one. These help to provide a better air circulation in your units. It is recommended to wait for 24 hours to begin your cleaning and disinfection after having guests staying over at your units.
4. Avoid Touching Your Face When Cleaning
Pay extra attention to not touch your face with your unwashed hands. You are not recommended to touch your face during cleaning to prevent the spread of germs.
Cleaning & Disinfection Guideline
With safety protocols all set, you are now ready to kick-start your cleaning and perform the necessary disinfection steps. Here are some guidelines to follow when cleaning and disinfecting your space.
1. Do Not Just Clean, Remember to Disinfect
Always start with cleaning and then followed by disinfecting. Use detergent or soap and water to remove dirt and dust. Once the surface is clean, use the right disinfectant to kill the germs and then wipe it dry using paper towels, disposable wipes or a new cleaning cloth.
2. Wash Linens & Other Laundry Items with the Recommended Water Heat Setting
Wash all linens, bed sheets, mattress covers, blankets, towels, etc. at the highest water heat setting recommended by the manufacturer. Do not shake the unwashed laundry to minimize the spread of germs through air.
3. Use EPA- Registered Household Disinfectants for Objects with Hard Surfaces
Prior disinfection, remove visible dirt from hard surfaces such as the floor, doors, and fans using a detergent or soap and water. It is recommended to use EPA- registered household disinfectants. Remember to follow the instructions of the cleaning and disinfection products for your safety purpose.
4. Use Suitable Disinfectants for Objects with Soft Surfaces
Objects with soft surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and curtains are more delicate. You will need to pick the right disinfectant product that is EPA- registered. Read the guide and instructions to ensure that it is safe for soft surfaces. Just like hard surfaces, you can disinfect them upon cleaning. If the items can be laundered, wash them with the appropriate water heat setting for the material.
5. Restocking Cleaning & Disinfectant Supplies
It’s really important to check the expiration dates! Expired products could be harmful to you, your staff, and the items in your units. Never mix your cleaning or disinfectant solutions. It may release toxic gases that are dangerous. Do check if there are trash left in the trash cans left by previous guests. Dispose them accordingly and line it with new trash bags.
Guests Safety Guideline
With the added safety measurements for your staffs and units, as a host, you’ll now need to help your guests to protect themselves. Check out these guides to get you started.
1. Offer Your Guests an Option for Contactless Check-in and Checkout
This helps to encourage the practice of social distancing and minimize the risks of infection. You can consider installing a smart door lock or get a key lock box for the convenience of guests self check-in and checkout.
2. Prepare Essential Amenities in Welcome Kits
Face masks & hand sanitizers will be a common sight in short stay units. You should prepare a safety kit for your guests for cleanliness and hygiene purposes. Consider adding a few extra items to your units such as hand soap, tissues, and paper towels.
3. Be Transparent to Guests About Your Enhanced Cleaning Routine
Imagine you are a guest yourself. You will feel safer if you know the host is taking an extra step to reduce the possibility of infection. It’ll be a great idea to include your additional cleaning measurements in your listing description. But, do it with extra care. Do not make groundless claims such as “Covid-free”.
It’s not easy hosting at this difficult time. We hope you find this guideline useful in providing a safe environment when cleaning and disinfecting your units. Bear in mind that you, your staffs, and your guests safety is the utmost priority in times like this. We’ll be updating our recommendations here by looking at how the situation progresses.
Meanwhile, stay safe and happy hosting!