6 Tips for Stews by Stews

16 October 2015 By Hillary Hoffower

Whether you’re a seasoned stew, hopping to the next yacht orjust stepping foot on board, one thing’s for sure: there’s always something tobe done and something new to learn. Your bag of tricks should always be gettingheavier. A few stewardesses let us take a peek inside their bags — pick up afew of their tips and you’ll be shining and laundering your way to being theultimate stew in no time.

“Find a system that allows your work to flow simultaneously so that everything gets completed, allowing you to have needed downtime to relax. For example, time your laundry loads to start just prior to setting [the] table for a meal, swap the batches mid-meal and they should be dry and ready to be folded by the end of it, saving you ironing time.”

Anjuli Waybright, chiefstewardess on a 40-meter motor yacht, two years in the industry

It’s not just about being productive — it’s about optimizingyour productivity to the fullest extent, and that means thinking ahead andmultitasking. And no, that doesn’t mean literally washing the bathroom mirrorwith one hand while scrubbing the toilet with another. Finding a balance willprevent you from becoming too stressed out and make you more efficient,ultimately giving you more time to rest by the day’s end.

“A keen eye for detail is a must, goodquality microfibers and keep everything shiny!”

— Kelly, chief stewardess of S/Y Clan VIII

Details matter not just when it comes to spotting a smudgeof dirt on the couch or adding flowers to spruce up the owner’s cabin, but whenit comes to the quality of your products. Cloths made of high-qualitymicrofibers are made of thousands of tight, small woven fibers that better pickup dirt, dust and other icky stuff. They’re effective on almost any hardsurface and are durable and stronger than cotton cloths. Ultimately, they’llpack more punch in your cleaning.

“Oxygenated water andsoap de Marseilles for those stains.”

Chief stewardess ona 43-meter motor yacht, eight years in the industry

You’ll want these two in your cleaning caddy. The secret toremoving those stubborn stains, soap de Marseilles is a natural product madefrom a base of olive oil, palm oil and/or copra and is known to be gentle ondelicate linens. Rub it on dry cloth and let it soak for several hours beforewashing. Oxygenated water is also a great soaking agent. Remember — how youbattle the stain depends on the fabric, so always double check the label.

“Organization is key! Before cleaning ordetailing an area, ensure you have all the cleaning products, equipment, drinkbottles, music, sweatshirt, etc. that you will require. All those little trips backand forth really do add up.”

Chief Stewardess Brooke Belton, M/Y LadyNag Nag

Making multipletrips for supplies isn’t just annoying, but a complete time sucker. Saveyourself the hassle and get everything together in one swoop. Not only will youget tasks done more quickly because you’re not running around, but beingorganized and knowing where your items are will make you more efficient in yourwork.

“The best cleaning advice I was given whenI started out [was] by Dominique Stinton [of] M/Y Vava at the time...make sure you have a system! A cleaning routinethat you do religiously each time you walk into a cabin...[so] at the end ofthe season when you are tired, your body and mind do it automatically.”

— Chief Stewardess Kelly, S/Y Clan VIII

It’s hard to staymotivated when you’re burned out or exhausted from cleaning and fulfillingguest demands all season long, but that doesn’t change the fact that you haveto put in as much effort as you did at the beginning of the season to maintainthe highest standards possible. Developing a routine will eventually become amindless habit that will get the job done that much faster.

“Prioritizetime and tasks based on guest expectations.”

Devon T., stewardesson a 74-foot motor yacht, four years in the industry

At the end of the day, it all comesdown to the guests. Your job is to leave them with an experience they’ll beraving about for years to come. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the tasksat hand, consider what’s going to affect your guests the most at that time. Arethey preparing to head to shore for a meal or a night out? Making reservationsand ironing the clothes they’ll wear might be your top concerns. If they’respending the day sunbathing on the sundeck, whipping up cocktails could takeprecedence. Think about the guests’ immediate needs. Besides, your charter tipwill thank you.

Do you have any interior tips or cleaning hacks?Share it with us in the comments below.