This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

Care and Cleaning of Different Surfaces

downloadDownload printPrint

Remember! This is just a sample.

You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers.

Get custom essay

121 writers online

Care and Cleaning of Different Surfaces Essay

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Metals
  3. Glass
  4. Plastics
  5. Ceramics
  6. Wood
  7. Stone
  8. Vinyl Finishes
  9. Rubber


It is important that the Executive House Keeper understands the different type of surfaces in the hotel in order to decide how best to take care for them.

Hard surfaces are found in different forms in different areas of the hotels. In order to keep the hard surfaces in good condition their composition, type or variant, optimal cleaning and maintenance procedures should be known to the House Keeping staff. Their cleaning and maintenance plays an important part in the cleaning and maintenance program of the establishment.

The types of surfaces commonly used in hotels are metal, glass, plastic, wood, stone, granite, terrazzo, rubber, linoleum etc. These surfaces cover a large area and are subjected to great deal of wear and tear.

It is important that the floor surfaces chosen for an area should be in relation to the purpose of the particular area. Some areas may require durability and hygiene more than appearance eg kitchen whereas in some areas like lobby, appearance and durability both are of importance.

The various types of surfaces used in hotels depend on the following points:

  1. Requirement of the area
  2. Comfort requirement of the area
  3. Number of footfalls on the area
  4. Convenience in cleaning of the surface
  5. Life expectancy of the floor surface
  6. Money available


Metals form the whole or part of many fixtures & fittings, furniture and surface area. The most common metals used are silver, steel, copper, brass, bronze, aluminum and iron. Metals are used in doors & windows fittings, wall paneling, light fittings, restaurant cutlery, cooking utensils, guest room accessories and furniture.

Most metal surfaces get tarnished, scratched or rusted unless treated or protected with a sealing agent. Most metals are plated with a precious metal usually silver.

  • Silver

This is a soft, malleable and ductile metal found naturally in the earth. It is a white metal which is unaffected by water, pure air and most of the food stuff. It gives a brilliant sheen when polished.

Silver plated ware is made from blanks or bodies of a nickel silver or nickel brass alloy. These are immersed in a complex solution of silver salts and by means of electrolysis, silver is translated to the blanks and an electroplated article results. This process is known as E.P.N.S. or electroplated nickel silver.

Silver plated ware can be re-plated but is costly as the old deposit has to be removed for any treatment or repair and this makes re-plating costly. The tarnishing of silver is due to action of compounds of sulphur or food items such as eggs, onion juices, pickles etc. This tarnish is not removed by simple washing but requires special treatment:

In this method the silver articles are put in a hot solution of washing soda along with a perforated aluminum sheet (Polvit Sheet). A chemical reaction takes place removing the tarnish, moving the sulphur to the aluminum. The silver is washed in boiling water and dried with a lint free cloth.

A silver dip solution is a liquid chemical mixture. This solution has the tendency to act on stainless steel. It should only be used in glass, earthenware or plastic earthenware.

The silver is quickly removed and rinsed in running hot water and then dried.

  • Proprietary Preparation

This is a complex mixture in emulsion, paste or powder form rubbed over the article, buffed off and followed by washing and drying with polishing cloth eg Silvo.

  • Steel

Steel is corrosion resistant made by the addition of chromium to alloy of iron and carbon. Stainless steel is used for making cutlery, serving dishes, sanitary items, furniture etc.

Stainless steel is used for making of cutlery .It also contains chromium and nickel and is hardened by cold work such as pressing and stamping.

Stainless steel is a tough, durable metal with a metal polish. It is however not scratch resistant.

Chrome steel is made by coating steel with chromium. Chrome steel is used for manufacture of taps, bath handles, shower fittings etc.

Galvanized steel is steel coated with zinc to prevent tarnishing. It is used for making buckets.

Chromium steel and galvanized steel are wiped or washed with a synthetic detergent, and rinsed in running water. It is then buffed and allowed to dry.

  • Copper

This metal is used for wall paneling, counter tops, bowls, vases and even cooking and serving utensils, cutlery etc.

Copper is cleaned by washing the object in warm water with a detergent. It is then rubbed with a mixture of salt, vinegar/lime juice/tamarind. The object is then cleaned with warm water and immediately dried to prevent any water marks.

In case of cookware and serving utensil, it is cleaned with warm water and a mild detergent and then dried immediately.

Except cookware and serving dishes, all other copper items can be polished with a proprietary polish.

  • Brass

Brass is cleaned by washing the brass item with a detergent and plenty of running water. Tamarind/lime is rubbed along with salt which works as an abrasive and allowed to dry. It is washed with a solution of detergent and water, dried and then a proprietary polish eg brasso applied, buffed with a buffing cloth.

If the utensil is used for eating, the utensil should be washed in detergent and water to remove all traces of polish.

  • Bronze

Bronze is cleaned best by washing in water and detergent. The bronze piece is then dried and proprietary polish applied.

  • Aluminum

Aluminum is a light weight, malleable and ductile metal. It is used in making of cooking utensils, insulation wires, light fittings, window frames, venetian blinds. Aluminum is not tarnished by air/moisture but gets damaged by soda and other alkalis as well by the action of acids.

Aluminum is cleaned with the help of a detergent and running water. Mild abrasives may be used to remove difficult stains.

  • Iron

Wrought iron is example of forged iron i.e. iron shaped by heating in fire and hammered into shape.

Cast iron is a hard alloy of iron, carbon and silicon cast in a mould. Non enameled cast iron is flame and oven proof. Iron should be washed only when necessary and then washed thoroughly. Galvanized iron requires regular washing. Any rust on the surface can be removed with steel wool dampened with oxalic acid. To promote long life, iron should be coated with oil or black lead.


Glass is a transparent, lustrous and brittle material made from silica or sand to which other chemicals are added depending upon the quality or type of glass required.

Glass is used for many use i.e. tableware, cooking utensils, bottles, vases, lamps, windows, mirror.

Glass surface requires regular dusting. Light marks are cleaned with a solution of vinegar and water. Stubborn marks may be removed by diluted methylated sprit. The glass is then wiped with a newspaper.

Dry the glass with a lint free cloth.


These are used to manufacture tableware, hardware as protective films on metals, wood etc. They can be produced as long filaments and woven into textiles. Plastics can coat fabrics. They have great strength, poor absorbent, easy to clean and quick to dry.


Plastics are of two types depending on their properties.

1. Thermosetting plastics

2. Thermoplastics

Thermosetting Plastics:

These are hard plastics moulded by heat and pressure and do not soften when reheated eg.

  • Melamine
  • Phenolics
  • Laminates


These are soft plastic which softens when exposed to heat and hardens again when

  • Acrylic
  • Cellulose Acetate and Nitrates
  • Polyamides
  • Polyesters
  • Polyethylene’s Polypropylenes
  • Polyurethane Foams
  • Polyvinyl Chloride

Advantages of Plastic

  • Plastic are light in weight.
  • They are resistant to most chemicals.
  • They are tough in use.
  • They are non conductors of electricity.
  • They are easy to clean.
  • They are mostly non absorbent.
  • They are resistant to pests.
  • Plastic are cheap compared to other metals.

All kinds of plastic are easy to clean and maintain. Daily dusting and wiping with mild detergent and duster followed by washing and drying with a duster is sufficient. Food marks may be removed by adding sodium bicarbonate to water followed by through washing.


Ceramics are made from sand and clay and different proportions and types of clay are mixed with other ingredients to produce different kinds of ceramics of required quality for floor and wall tiles, drain pipes, wash basins, sinks, lavatory pans, vases, cooking utensils, tea cup and saucers etc.


Earthenware Stoneware Porcelain Bone China Terracotta

Glazed Vitrified

Types of Ceramics


This is a thick heavy porous material made from clay and baked. It is used in making jugs, bowls, vases, ashtrays etc.

Earthenware should be handled with care as it chips and breaks easily. Earthenware

  • Glazed Earthenware
  • Vitrified Earthenware
  • Stoneware
  • Porcelain
  • Bone China
  • Vitrified Earthenware
  • Terracotta


Wood is obtained from trees obtained from nature. Wood has varying degree of hardness with many use ,varied colour and different grain patterns.

Wood being porous absorbs water and dust. It is also prone to fungal attacks and pest attack.

Types of Wood

Wood is divided into hard wood or soft wood depending upon their strength and resilience.


These are obtained from deciduous trees. The popular wood are teak, oak, ash, beech, birch, walnut and rosewood .Hardwood does not dent easily and is used in the construction of floors, walls, furniture and furnishings.

Hardwoods are expensive and nowadays used as a veneer on soft woods.


These are obtained from coniferous trees. The popular woods are pine, fir, cedar, rubber wood. These are light in weight, cheaper and prone to wear and tear. Soft wood are used in the construction of sub- floors, ceilings, joists and furniture.

Wood Boards

These are lighter than wood, treated for long life and are cheaper than solid wood planks.

Hard Board

This is a thin, flexible board made from wood pulp fibre. They are smooth on one side and have a mesh like texture on the other side.

Hard board are used for making of door panels, cupboard or wardrobe backing, base of drawers, floor tiles etc.


This is made by gluing of thin sheets of hardwood. Plywood is very strong but can be shaped during its making. It can be made attractive by use of laminates or veneering it. Plywood is used to make tables, desk shelves, counter tops etc.


This is made of plywood veneers laid over a core of wood strips having thickness of upto 3 cms.

Blackwood is used for making worktops, table tops, shelves etc.


This is made from compressed wood, chips and synthetic resin, chipboard is strong and heavy and is used for making cabinets, drawers, work tops etc.


This is obtained from the outer, light brown bark of the cork oak. They are absorbent, burn easily and are porous. Cork is used for making bathmats, notice boards, floor covering, wall coverings etc.

Water should not be used in its cleaning. It should be dusted with a duster or vacuum cleaned. Wooden surface may be polished. For a long life wood may be treated with Beeswax, Varnish, Lacquer, Oil Polyurethane, Polish or Paint.


Mostly used stones are marble, granite, slate, sand stone quartzite. Stone may be used as floor surfaces, external wall surface, table tops, counter tops, furniture, decorative items etc.

  • Marble

This is metamorphosed and crystallized line-stone. Marble is available in many colours and patterns, white, black, green, pink, red etc. It may be given a glossy or matt finish.

  • Sandstone

This is sedimentary rock & is composed of compressed sand.

  • Granite

This is granular, crystalline stone composed of quartz, feldspar and mica.

  • Quartzite

This is compact granular stone made of silica.

  • Slate

This is made up of mud and silt which solidify over the years. Available in layers which may be made into slabs.

Stone surfaces are easily cleaned with synthetic detergent and water stains may be removed using fine abrasives.

Vinyl Finishes

These are made from PVC and other synthetic resins, inert fillers and pigments. They are of two types (1) Vinyl asbestos (2) Flexible Vinyl.

Vinyl flooring is used in bathrooms, corridors, offices, hospitals. Vinyl flooring is cleaned easily with a vacuum cleaner and damp mop special cleaning may be done with mop with hot water and detergent.


Linoleum is available in rolls or tiles. Linoleum absorbs water so it is best sealed. Less amount of water should be used during cleaning process. Linoleum is damaged by coarse abrasives and alkalis. Excess polish should not be used or the surface will become slippery.


This is natural/synthetic substance having properties of elasticity, water repellence and electrical resistance.

Natural rubber is obtained from called Latex. This is treated with compounding ingredients in mixing machines. The mixture is then applied mechanically to a base or shaped. The mixture is then vulcanized to give strength to the rubber.


Crude Rubber

Uncured rubber used to make crepe rubber used in insulating blankets.

Vulcanized Rubber

Rubber products vulcanized (heated out of contact with air) at high temperature and pressure in the presence of vulcanizing agents such as sulphur, selenium and tellurium.

Vulcanized rubber is used in making conveyor belts, rollers for mop wringers, rainwear, shower curtains etc.

Foam Rubber

This is made from latex using compounding compounds .The foam rubber produced by the frothing machine is used to make articles such as mattresses and set cushions.

Synthetic Rubber

Synthetic rubber is used to make upholstery, mattresses, pillows etc.

Vulcanized rubber is also used to make, rubber flooring both in tile and sheet form.

It is non absorbent but is harmed by sprit, grease, alkalis, abrasives and even sunlight.

Rubber surface are easy to clean with synthetic detergent and water.

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

experts 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help you just now

delivery Starting from 3 hours delivery

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Care and Cleaning of Different Surfaces. (2019, Jun 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 1, 2023, from
“Care and Cleaning of Different Surfaces.” GradesFixer, 27 Jun. 2019,
Care and Cleaning of Different Surfaces. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 1 Feb. 2023].
Care and Cleaning of Different Surfaces [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Jun 27 [cited 2023 Feb 1]. Available from:
copy to clipboard

Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Hi there!

    Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

    Check it out!
    Don't use plagiarized sources. Get your custom essay. Get custom paper

    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!

    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now