A vacation rental cleaning checklist is an essential tool to keep your property spotless and your guests happy. Airbnb hosts use cleaning checklists to ensure that no sofa cushion is left unturned and no window sill goes undusted.
We know that when it comes to vacation rentals, the competition can get fierce. On Airbnb alone, there are over 5.6 million listings and over 4 million hosts. Keeping your rental property immaculately clean is a necessary step to remaining competitive and standing out as a top pick among guests looking for vacation rentals.
Why Should You Use a Vacation Rental Cleaning Checklist?
The cleanliness of a rental property has always been a major factor in how guests rate their experiences, with Airbnb highlighting it first in all guest reviews. However, as important as it is, 44% of vacation rental hosts still find cleaning to be the biggest hassle when it comes to the management of their property.
Now more than ever, a clean, sanitized rental property plays a significant role in where guests choose to book their stay. Excellent cleanliness of your rental is vital for a good reputation among guests and will ensure they give your Airbnb property a fantastic rating every time.
On the other hand, dirty vacation rentals can leave a long-lasting negative impression on guests and are an absolute no-go. Not having a thorough deep cleaning checklist as part of your game plan may mean that some rooms and surfaces get overlooked.
A cleaning checklist provides a methodical approach to cleaning your rental property and will make the cleaning process easier, faster, and more meticulous.
Here is your foolproof vacation rental cleaning checklist for providing an excellent, time-saving cleaning service that will rake in those 5-star guest reviews.
What Supplies Do You Need for a Thorough Cleaning? [10 Must-Haves]
Before you start cleaning your vacation rental, it’s important to make sure you are fully prepared with all the cleaning supplies and equipment. This way, you will not have to run around looking for things you need at the last minute.
To save time, remember to keep your cleaning products replenished and well-stocked, and perform regular checks on your cleaning equipment to make sure they are in working order. If something has run out or stopped working, set a reminder to restock or repair it ahead of time so that you are not caught out when you really need it. There are also many home inventory apps that can help you keep track of your cleaning supplies and equipment.
Here are our top 10 cleaning supplies and equipment to keep well-stocked and in working order:
- A reliable vacuum cleaner with adjustable attachments
- A good-quality mop suited for cleaning both tile and hardwood floors
- Rubber gloves
- Microfiber cloths
- Multi-purpose cleaning detergents and stain removers, including disinfecting sprays
- Cleaning brushes and scrub pads
- Function-specific cleaning products: dishwashing liquid, window and glass cleaners, bathroom (more specifically, toilet) cleaners, and pool chemicals (if needed)
- Laundry detergents
- Air freshening sprays
- Furniture polishes for wood, metal, or leather finishes.
How to Ensure Your Property Is Sparkling Clean? [Checklist By Room]
Once you are well equipped, it’s time to clean. When organizing your cleaning tasks, it is best to do so in the most time-efficient way.
A huge time-saver is to group general cleaning tasks that apply to all or most rooms and do those activities first. After all general cleaning tasks are complete, you will have much less to do in each individual room.
It is also a good idea to plan ahead and see where you can multitask. For example, while you are doing the laundry, you can do other tasks in between. The more multitasking you are able to do, the quicker your cleaning will get done.
1. General cleaning
- Wash all linens, sheets, and towels
- Mop and vacuum all floors
- Disinfect and wipe all surfaces. Remember to pay special attention to items touched regularly, like:
- Door handles
- Cupboard handles
- Kitchen appliances
- Light switches
- Dust all window sills, light fixtures, lamps, and decorative pieces around the house
- Clean all windows and mirrors
- Wipe all digital screens
- Shake out all rugs (or vacuum the big ones) and check for any visible stains
- Check all room corners and under window sills for dust build-up and cobwebs
- Keep an eye out for any food that has dropped or spilled
- For all glass displays like empty vases and glass cabinets, wipe inside and out
- Vacuum all floors
- Mop all non-carpeted floors
- Deep clean your carpets and rugs at least once a year.
2. Checklist for the living rooms
- Vacuum beneath and in between living room sofa cushions
- Vacuum behind and under all living room furniture, bookshelves, and under decor
- Disinfect and wipe down items that are touched often, like:
- TV remotes
- Ceiling fan or air conditioning controls
- Sound system controls
- Lamp switches
- Touch-screen devices
- Wash any used throw blankets and pillow covers
- Organize any items that are out of place (books, magazines, DVDs)
- Ensure curtains are clean (wash every 3-6 months) and dust any blinds.
3. Checklist for the bedrooms
- Wash the bedsheets, linens, and pillowcases
- Vacuum the mattress and check for any stains
- Make the bed
- Put any items that have been moved around back in their original place
- Vacuum under the bed after checking that no personal guest items, rubbish, or food have been left behind
- Ensure curtains are clean (wash every 3-6 months) and dust any blinds
- Wipe down cupboards and dressers and make sure they’re all empty
- Use air fresheners to get rid of any lingering odors
- Dust all surfaces, including nightstands, desks, and dressers
- Dust and wipe ceiling fans and light fixtures, bed posts, and around the edges of furniture.
4. Checklist for the kitchen
- Disinfect and wipe all kitchen countertops
- Disinfect and wipe the outside of all kitchen appliances and containers (don’t forget the toaster, kettle, spice jars, and coffee jars)
- Wash any dirty dishes and cookware (Pro tip: check for pots and pans in cupboards that have been put away without being cleaned properly)
- Clean and wipe inside and out:
- Electric grill
- Sandwich makers
- Check inside the refrigerator and freezer for any food left behind
- Clean the inside and outside of the refrigerator and freezer
- Check the freezer regularly for icicle build-up and defrost it to clean it properly
- Clean around faucets and in sinks, make them sparkle with steel cleaners
- Replace and stock up on paper towels, coffee/tea, ice, and any other complimentary kitchen supplies.
5. Checklist for the bathroom
- Clean the bathtub and shower, making sure to scrub away any grime
- Clean around the crevices of the faucets and sinks
- Pull out any hair stuck in bathroom drains
- Clean and disinfect the toilet (don’t forget under the toilet seat!)
- Sanitize the toilet brush
- Wipe all bathroom counters and cupboards
- Wash and replace the towels
- Restock the toilet paper, hand soap, and any other complimentary bathroom products like shampoos and conditioners
- Clean the mirrors.
6. Checklist for your home exterior
- Clean the pool and check the pH level of the water
- Mow the lawn
- Wipe any outdoor furniture
- Sweep patios, porches, and balconies
- Sanitize outdoor eating areas
- Clean the outdoor barbeque
- Disinfect and wipe all stair railings.
How to Manage Your Vacation Rental Cleaning More Effectively
Finding ways to spend less time and money on cleaning without compromising the quality is a game-changing move. Less time spent worrying about whether the toilet cleaner is running low or whether you forgot to change linens in the bedroom means that you can put more energy into growing your business.
Depending on how many rental properties you manage, there are options available to help you streamline the cleaning management process. These options are able to benefit from maintaining a cleaning checklist too.
1. Hire a professional cleaner
If you own a single vacation rental property, it may be worthwhile to hire a professional cleaner to carry out the cleaning tasks once a guest checks out and before the next one arrives. A cleaning checklist is a great way to communicate which tasks your cleaner needs to carry out to ensure that nothing gets overlooked.
The benefit of hiring a professional cleaner is that they are well trained and experienced in the tasks that have to be done. Moreover, they will be able to do a high-quality and thorough cleaning job. Having someone helping out will free up your time and give you one less thing to worry about.
A single cleaner will also be more affordable than a cleaning team, which is not necessary if you only have one property to clean. This way, you will be able to enjoy all the benefits of a professional cleaning service at a lower price tag.
2. Enlist the services of a professional cleaning team
If you manage multiple vacation rental properties, one cleaner may be spreading things too thin. As cleanliness is not only a vital element of a good vacation rental experience but also takes time to maintain, hiring a professional cleaning team is a sound investment for the growth of your business.
With an entire team managing the cleaning of your rental properties, it will ensure that all of your properties are sparkling before guests arrive, even in peak seasons with high turnovers. The professional cleaning team can organize themselves by following the cleaning checklist. They will have the capability necessary to get all the tasks done on time, giving you much-needed peace of mind.
While a cleaning team will be more costly, the time saved will be a major advantage that could give your business a competitive edge and, in turn, attract more guests and increase your occupancy rate.
Airbnb also allows you to add a cleaning fee to your listing so that you can recoup these costs too. In addition, you will be able to save money on cleaning supplies and equipment because it is common practice for professional cleaning companies to supply their own inventory.
3. Introduce automation to your vacation rental management
Vacation rental management software enables you to streamline many aspects of managing a short-term rental property, including the cleaning process.
The software can save you even more time by giving you the technology needed to:
- Create automated cleaning schedules
- Send notifications and reminders to cleaners
- Track the checklist of the cleaning work needed in each property so that you can rest assured that no cleaning appointments or tasks are missed.
Through streamlining this communication, you will be able to build trust with the cleaners and ensure that the service runs smoothly.
Perfecting your vacation rental cleaning is a crucial step to ensuring your guests have a pleasant stay at your Airbnb property. A vacation rental cleaning checklist is a simple but effective way to get it right. Happy guests make for happy guest reviews and a thriving vacation rental business.
So whether you decide to do the cleaning yourself or you hire a professional, following a cleaning checklist will help to have your property gleaming by the time your guests turn the key.