The appearance of ships and shipboard equipment on the outside suggests how well things are operating on the inside, and more importantly contributes to the health, safety and happiness of the vessel and crew.

''Housekeeping oversights rarely go unnoticed during port state control or vetting inspections, ISM audits and condition surveys. A well-kept vessel is sure to make a good first impression.'' The American Club noted.

Especially in these challenging times, personal hygiene is the very best weapon in the fight against this contagious disease. Moreover, since everyone can be infected when they touch a surface with virus particles on it and then touch their own mouth, nose or eyes, maintaining a good housekeeping is vital. According to the American Club, few of the  key tips for proper hygiene onboard are the following:

Cabins and guest rooms

What to look for: Cabin and guest rooms are clean and tidy, tiles and flooring are in place, light fixtures and bulbs are functional, and no traces of food left out to attract vermin or insects.
Task: Periodic cabin and guest room inspections and prompt reporting and repair of any issues. Ensure shoes, clothing and equipment are stowed in cabins or designated locker rooms.

Toilets and facilities

What to look for: Toilets are clean and operational. Shower, shower curtain, and sinks are free of mold, mildew, or soap scum.
Tasks: Report and repair any nonfunctional toilets. Use cleaning products that will not harm the bacteria in your ships marine sanitation device (MSD). Remove and prevent mildew buildup in shower, keep all facilities sanitized and tidy.


What to look for: A disorganized medicine cabinet and medical supplies which have been stored haphazardly.
Task: Stow medicines and medical supplies in an orderly fashion and regularly check and update the inventory. Cabinets or containments should be labeled and expired medicines properly disposed of.


What to look for: Adequate cleaning supplies provided onboard.
Task: Cleaning supplies are available to crewmembers with cleaning duties and for cabins and guest rooms. Crew should be advised on the proper use of cleaning agents and have the corresponding material safety data sheets (MSDS) available for referral.

What to look for: Expired or spoiled foods, vermin infestation or vermin droppings. Food stored on the shelves in a disorganized fashion and food items stowed on the deck.
Task: Remove food items placed directly on the deck, arrange food neatly on the shelves and in a dry, temperature controlled and well-ventilated area.

Keep in mind that in light of the COVID-19 outbreak situation, good vessel hygiene contributes to first of all the health, safety and happiness of the vessel and crew.

Further details may be found herebelow