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Cleaning Tips

Housekeeping Services

Housekeepers are responsible for routine cleaning of public areas, such as hallways, stairwells, common bathrooms, and lounges. The housekeeping staff replenishes consumable items, such as toilet tissue and light bulbs, in these areas as needed. This includes bathrooms and common areas in first-year suite-style housing areas.

In housing areas where cleaning services are provided, limited cleaning equipment (mop, vacuum cleaner, bucket, broom) is available for check-out through Resident Staff, who will keep your ID until the equipment is returned.

It is recommended that you bring a "cleaning kit" (broom, dust pan, sponge, all-purpose liquid cleaner, etc.) in order to keep your room clean.

No housekeeping services are provided to apartments or suites in upperclass housing or graduate housing. If you live in one of these areas, you are expected to keep your room and suite/apartment clean, and it's a good idea to have cleaning equipment above and beyond the cleaning kit items mentioned above.

Cleaning Instructions

The following cleaning instructions are designed for students who have bathrooms or common areas that are not cleaned by housekeeping staff. In those areas, it is the responsibility for students to work together to design a cleaning schedule.

The frequency for cleanings mentioned here is a recommended minimum. You may find that you need to clean more frequently than these guidelines suggest.

These instructions are important for the health and well-being of each resident, and also to make sure that facilities are maintained and in working order. We recommend that you clean your spaces clean on a regular basis. If you have questions or concerns, please talk with your RA or Senior Resident (in undergraduate housing) or Community Assistant (in graduate housing).

Suggested Cleaners

You can use any non-abrasive all-purpose cleaner such as Simple Green, Lysol, Pine Sol, Mr. Clean, Clorox, or Formula 409. If you have questions about using a certain cleaner, please contact your Area Coordinator. Please note: use of any scented cleaners should be discussed with your apartment or suitemates.

Refrigerator and Microfridge Cleaning

  1. Carefully pull refrigerator away from the wall and unplug.
  2. Use a degreasing cleanser to wipe down all exterior surfaces.
  3. Discard food. Wash all removable refrigerator parts such as ice trays, shelves (gently lift and pull forward,) and compartment drawers in warm, soapy water.
  4. Wipe down inside of fridge with a non-abrasive cleanser and warm water.
  5. Defrost the freezer.
    Never use anything to pry the ice off the surface; doing so could damage the coolant line. The better way is to place a bowl of hot/warm water in the freezer to speed the defrosting process along. To avoid the danger of electrical shock, do not use another electrical appliance, such as a hair dryer, to melt ice.
  6. Sweep the floor where the refrigerator was sitting.
  7. For rented microfridges, leave the unit unplugged. For all other refrigerators, plug the refrigerator in and check to ensure it is working. (If it is not working, please submit an online work order.)

Stove/Oven Cleaning

  1. Carefully pull stove away from the wall and unplug it.
  2. "Dust" the back of the stove/oven with a vacuum.
  3. Use a degreasing cleanser to wipe down all exterior surfaces.
  4. Gently lift the top of the stovetop (like lifting the hood of a car), and wipe down surfaces just as you did the exterior. Don't force it open; note that some stoves do not open.
  5. Use oven cleaner on interior surfaces of oven. Please use sparingly to prevent liquid from running into the electrical plug and the elements or gas burner.
  6. Sweep the floor where stove was sitting.
  7. Allow the stove to dry. When it is dry, plug the stove in and check to ensure it is working. (If the stove/oven is not working, please submit an online work order.)

Bathroom Cleaning

  1. Shower curtains should be cleaned on a weekly or bi-weekly basis:
    • Put the shower curtain in the washer.
    • Add 1 cup of bleach and 1 cup of detergent. Add several dirty towels or a blanket to the washer and use a gentle cycle with either warm or hot water.
    • Right after the spin cycle, take the shower curtain out of the washer, bring it back to the shower, and shake gently to remove as much water as possible.
    • Hang the curtain back up to drip dry. Any remaining wrinkles will disappear within a day.
    • To remove soap scum and soap film on shower curtains, replace 1 cup of bleach with 1 cup of vinegar in the washing instructions above.
    • For stubborn mold or mildew, you can soak the curtain in the bathtub with 1 cup of bleach for about 20 minutes. After washing, soak them in a vinegar or salt water mixture to prevent mold and mildew.
  2. Sinks should be cleaned on a bi-weekly basis. Follow instructions with the cleaning product you use.
  3. Shower stalls should be cleaned when the sinks are cleaned using the same products.
  4. Mirrors should be cleaned every 2-3 weeks. Use a glass cleaner, such as Windex, to clean the mirror with a paper towel.
  5. The top part of the toilet seats should be cleaned and then lifted to clean the toilet bowl rim and the back of the toilet. Follow instructions on cleaners for how much cleaning product to use, how far from the toilet to spray it, etc. These should be cleaned twice a week.
  6. Use a toilet bowl brush to clean toilet bowls. Read instructions on cleaners for how much to use, etc. These should be cleaned twice a week.

Additional Cleaning

  1. Floors should be cleaned every three weeks. Use a mop, Swiffer, or broom to clean.
  2. Move furniture, sweep the floor, and use a dustpan to remove debris. Do not sweep the debris into the common areas and leave it there. Return furniture to original location and sweep again, if necessary.
  3. Trash and recycling should be emptied whenever the trash bag is full. Don't wait until the bag is overflowing!
  4. Remove all trash from the room and common areas and take it to the dumpster. Failure to remove trash will result in a minimum charge of $25 per resident.
  5. Clean common areas, including the living room, bathroom and stairwell. Again, any trash left behind will result in a charge to each resident.