by James Hare, Head Housekeeper at Wood Hall Hotel & Spa

I am James Hare, Head Housekeeper at Wood Hall Hotel& Spa. I have been working at Wood Hall for 22 years. I have seen a lot of changes over this time within hotels. But, the basics of good cleaning practices have not changed an awful lot over that time; attention to detail will always be the key.

Christmas can be a stressful time as all of the family descend on your house for a visit. But, don't panic James is here to share some great tips to help you clean your house and have more time to enjoy the festive period!

Clear the clutter first.

Start with a blank slate, throw away all the unwanted items and rubbish. This gives you more space; it motivates and looks less to clean. Start with a fresh page.

Use proper cleaning equipment.

Microfibre is best. Failing that use cotton, towelling cloths create more dust. Also, colour code the cloths so you have a different cloth for a differnt area of cleaning.

Top to bottom.

Always clean from top to bottom; you are cleaning the dirt down from the high ledges first and want to end up with the dirt on the floor/carpet where you will clean last. Don't clean a bottom shelf and then the top shelf moving the dirt onto the bottom one.

Good cleaning products take time to work.

Spray the bathroom walls and leave them for 10 minutes to do their job. Don't wipe straight away; let it stay there to work for you. Also, more isn't always better, use the correct amount specified, do not keep adding to it in the hope of it becoming easier.

Work towards the door.

Vaccum and mop the furthest end of the room first. Work towards the door, so that there is no footfall on the area you have just cleaned. Also, concentrate more on where the regular footfall is as opposed to the less used areas.

The kitchen cupboard is your friend.

White wine vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice all help with cleaning. White wine vinegar cleans well and even clears cloudiness from residue left behind by other cleaners. Fill a spray with one part vinegar, three parts water and get cleaning.

Always carry a toothbrush.

For those tiny cracks in the bathroom, around the taps and screws the toothbrush is the perfect tool to use.

Carry your tools.

Housekeepers keep everything they could possibly need on handy carts. Take a cue from them and make youself a mini version. Fill a plastic bin or bucket with all your cleaning supplies. This will reduce the amound of time it takes to get the job done. Store it in this and grab it when you need it.


There are so many handy items that we throw away that can be used for handy storage containers, paint brush holders, tidy away stores etc.

Reward yourself.

Whether you enjoy cleaning or not it’s always nice to have a little or big treat after a good job is done well, in Yorkshire it’s usually a cup of Yorkshire Tea!