Photo by CDC on Unsplash

As the United States experiences a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, many innkeepers are hoping to keep their properties open, as long as guests are willing to travel to their destination.  Having experienced an initial COVID wave, guests are likely more conscious and knowledgeable than ever about finding lodging providers that are committed to cleaning and disinfecting to make their stay as safe as possible.

While all innkeepers have become more aware of the importance of cleaning because of the pandemic, it’s always worthwhile to continue learning about the topic.  In addition, it’s essential to communicate your knowledge and how you apply it at your property when marketing to prospective guests through your website and other channels.

Showing that you understand some of the science behind your cleaning approach may actually differentiate your property from others and result in more bookings, as well as positive reviews if guests see your commitment to their safety in action during their stay.

So, to pass on some knowledge and suggestions that you may not have heard before, we’ve tapped Teresa Luttrell, owner of Enliven Bed and Breakfast.  Teresa has done a few podcasts with us and we’ve been amazed with the depth and breath of her knowledge on the subject of cleaning and disinfecting.

That should come as no surprise, since Teresa is passionate about keeping her property safe for medical travelers staying with her while getting their respective treatments.  She has also established chemicalfreeinns.com to advocate for chemical-free cleaning and help innkeepers interested in finding ways to do so. In other words, Teresa is a true hygiene expert – so much so that we’ve given her the endearing nickname of the “Queen of Hygiene”.

We have taken what we’ve learned from Teresa’s most recent podcast and condensed it into some basic ideas and suggestions, with the hope that you can use them to increase your knowledge, improve your cleaning processes, and better market your approach to prospective guests.  Here they are:

  1. Remove Biofilms: Biofilms are a collection of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi and protists, which can grow on wet surfaces.  They can be removed through rigorous surface cleaning/disinfection, and keeping these surfaces dry to prevent biofilms from repopulating.
  1. Use Steam Vapor Systems: Ladybug steam vapor systems from Advanced Vapor Technologies can also destroy biofilms through the use of steam and vapor heat. Lab tests have shown that this type of solution to be highly effective for cleaning any surface – killing germs in seven seconds.
  1. Use Hypochlorous Acid‎: The BRIOTECH Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl) solution is a bio-compatible sanitizer and disinfectant that’s been approved for use by the EPA in 34 states. It is completely safe for use – so much so that it is also effective for healing wounds, because it is the substance white blood cells produce to fight off infections.
  1. Tips for Disinfecting the Air: Since there’s concern about the air-borne spread of COVID-19, Teresa recommends the use of IQ air filters, which are used in hospitals. She also recommends using an ultrasonic humidifier, and run HOCI through it to clean the air.
  1. Don’t Forget Overlooked Areas: Don’t forget to clean and sanitize TV remotes, light switches, doorknobs, coffee machines, shower heads, drains, and buttons on security safes. All of these areas are often overlooked and can be cleaned with steam vapor.
  1. Hygiene is the New Luxury: Be sure to market your next-gen cleaning efforts to your current and prospective guests because “hygiene is the new luxury,” according to Teresa.  Imagine how positive prospective guests might feel about your commitment to their safety if they read about some of these ideas on your website!

Thanks to Teresa Luttrell, owner of Enliven Bed and Breakfast, and “Queen of Hygiene” for contributing to this Frictionless Innkeeper TIP by sharing insights during a Frictionless Innkeeper podcast.