Best practices



Tourism and best practices in cleaning


Guest room and bathroom cleaning is a major source of chemical consumption within accommodation establishments, and a significant source of water consumption. Chemical use can be minimised through:

  • appropriate dilution of cleaning agents usually purchased in concentrated form;
  • efficient cleaning technique;
  • use of microfiber clothes.

 Regular staff training on chemical handling is very important, from a health and safety and environmental perspective. Selection and green procurement of less environmentally harmful cleaning agents, such as those that have been awarded an ISO Type-I ecolabel (e.g. EU Flower, Nordic Swan), can significantly reduce the environmental impact of cleaning. Meanwhile, Gössling et al. (2011) estimate that room cleaning consumes 12 – 47 L/guest-night of water.

 Efficient cleaning techniques use less than half the water and chemicals of inefficient techniques. For example:

  • applying a single low flush of 3 L on a dual flush toilet during cleaning, instead of two full flushes, can save up to 9 L per guest-night, representing approximately 7 % of best practice specific water consumption;
  • turning off taps during cleaning, rather than leaving a tap on for 90 seconds during cleaning, can save between 5 and 20 litres of water, representing up to 15 % of best practice specific water consumption;
  • using microfiber mops in place of wet mops can reduce water and chemical consumption by 95% (Espinozal et al., 2010);
  • application of best practice techniques can reduce chemical consumption by at least 50 %.


This section of the online educational tool aims to provide an introduction to the best environmental management practices in cleaning in order to decrease used chemicals and water and negative environmental impact.