Vacation Rental Cleaning Checklist: Best Cleaning Practices For High Efficiency & Low Costs

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How to Clean a Short-Term Rental Property

Creating a reliable and effective cleaning system is one of the most important aspects of managing a successful short-term rental. Whether you’re just starting on Airbnb or already have multiple properties, staying on top of cleaning tips will help your guests feel comfortable and keep costs low. Here’s an easy-to-follow cleaning checklist to help you run a stress-free and highly profitable vacation rental.

Pre-Cleaning Preparation

Before beginning the cleaning process, preparing the property for deep cleaning is important. The pre-cleaning stage is essential for all hosts, regardless of whether you’re cleaning yourself or hiring professional cleaners.

Gather Your Cleaning Supplies

Having all your supplies on hand is essential before you start cleaning. Have plenty of microfiber cloths, sponges, vacuums with attachments, and cleaners suitable for each surface in your inventory. Consider stocking up on items such as gloves and masks. Other important supplies might include:

  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Glass cleaner
  • Disinfectant spray
  • Bathroom cleaner
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Scrub brushes or sponges
  • Mop and bucket
  • Trash bags
  • Rubber gloves
  • Air freshener or room spray

Create a Vacation Rental Cleaning Checklist

Creating an organized list will help ensure nothing gets overlooked during cleaning. Start by making an inventory of all high-touch surfaces, including window sills, baseboards, coffee tables, ceiling fans, and furniture surfaces, then break down each task into smaller steps to easily track progress throughout the day.

Before starting any work, inspect the property for any damages or potential hazards, such as broken tiles or loose wires, which could put guests at risk during their stay. If anything looks out of place, ensure it is fixed before continuing with other tasks to avoid further issues.

Deep Cleaning Techniques

Vacuuming and Dusting

Vacuuming carpets, rugs, and upholstery is essential for removing dirt, dust, pet hair, and other debris. Use a damp cloth or microfiber mop to remove dust from hard surfaces such as walls, baseboards, windowsills, door frames, furniture tops, and sides. Get into the nooks and crannies of your property by using an extension duster or vacuum attachment.

Sanitizing Surfaces and Appliances

Sanitizing all surfaces in the property is necessary for eliminating germs that can cause illness. Use a disinfectant cleaner on countertops, sink faucet handles, doorknobs, light switches, toilet seats, shower curtains, refrigerators, ovens, and microwaves. Allow the solution to sit on the surface for at least 10 minutes before wiping it off with a clean cloth or paper towel.

After each guest’s stay, wash bed linens such as sheets, blankets, pillowcases, mattress covers, and comforters. Towels, bath mats, washcloths, hand towels, face cloths, etc., should also be washed after each guest stay. Use hot water when washing these items to kill any bacteria that may have been left behind by previous guests. Follow manufacturer instructions when laundering these items so they don’t shrink or become damaged during cleaning.

Post-Cleaning Maintenance Tips

Establishing a Regular Cleaning Schedule

Setting up a regular cleaning schedule is an important part of post-cleaning maintenance. This will help keep your rental property looking its best between guest stays and reduce the amount of work needed when preparing for new arrivals while also maintaining high standards of cleanliness for guests. Depending on how often you have guests staying at your rental, you may want to consider setting up weekly or bi-weekly cleans as part of your routine maintenance plan.

Stocking Up on Essential Supplies Ahead Of Time

Having all necessary supplies readily available before each guest’s stay can make it easier to quickly prepare the space between bookings without purchasing items last minute. Spending less money on cleaning supplies will help you reduce the costs of running a vacation rental. Stock up on necessities such as toilet paper, soap, shampoo/conditioner, linens/towels, etc., so they are always ready when needed.

Investing in quality products such as vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters and multi-surface cleaners will improve air quality and provide better results than cheaper alternatives while reducing overall costs due to their durability over time. Consider purchasing additional equipment such as mops or steamers if needed depending on what type of surfaces require frequent attention during cleaning, for example, tile floors.

Implement Quality Control Measures

To maintain high levels of cleanliness, it is important to establish quality control measures such as creating a detailed cleaning checklist and inspecting the property for any damage before each stay. This will help ensure that all areas of the property are properly cleaned and sanitized according to industry standards. Investing in quality cleaning products and equipment can help make the process more efficient while also providing better results.

Provide Guests with Clear Instructions on Maintaining the Property During Their Stay

In addition to implementing quality control measures, vacation rental owners must provide clear instructions in the rental agreement on how guests should maintain the property during their stay.

This includes informing them about proper waste disposal methods or reminding them not to leave food out overnight, which could attract pests or other unwanted visitors. Providing these instructions ahead of time will help reduce any potential issues from arising during their stay and keep your property looking its best throughout their visit.

FAQs concerning Vacation Rental Cleaning Tips

How much does it cost to clean a vacation rental?

The cost of cleaning a vacation rental will depend on the size and condition of the property, as well as any additional services required. Generally speaking, you should expect to pay between $50-$150 per hour for basic cleaning services.

You may need to pay more for deep cleans or specialty services such as carpet shampooing or window washing. Ask your cleaner about their rates before hiring them so that you can get an accurate estimate of what it will cost to clean your rental property.

How long does it take to clean a vacation rental?

The amount of time it takes to clean a vacation rental depends on the size and condition of the property. Generally, smaller properties can be cleaned in 1-2 hours, while larger properties may take up to 4-5 hours. Extra services like deep cleaning or laundry may require additional time.

How do I set my Airbnb cleaning fee?

To determine an appropriate cleaning fee, consider the size of your space, the amount of time it typically takes to clean, and any additional tasks that may be required, such as laundry or deep cleaning. 

You may also want to research cleaning fees for similar listings in your area to ensure that your fee is competitive and aligns with your overall vacation rental pricing strategy. Remember that a higher cleaning fee may deter potential guests, so aim for a reasonable fee that reflects the effort required to clean your rental.

Once you’ve decided how much to charge for cleaning, you can update the price on your listing. To do so, enter the listing’s “Pricing” section and click on “Fees.” Input your desired rate in the cleaning fee section and press save.

Should I clean myself or hire professionals?

Self-cleaning a short-term rental can save money and offer more flexibility in scheduling. However, it can also be time-consuming and require a lot of effort to ensure that the space is thoroughly cleaned and ready for the next guest. Additionally, self-cleaning may not be feasible for hosts who do not live close to the rental property or who have other commitments that make cleaning difficult.

Hiring professional cleaners can take the burden of cleaning off the host and ensure that the rental is consistently cleaned to a high standard. This can lead to positive reviews and a better overall experience for guests. They may also provide their own clean trash cans or their own vacation rental cleaning checklist. However, professional cleaning services can be expensive, and scheduling may be less flexible as cleaners may have set schedules or require advance notice to book.

Keep Your Vacation Rental Clean, Comfy & Profitable

Overall, vacation rental cleaning tips are essential for any investor or owner looking to maximize their profits and ensure a positive guest experience. By following these simple guidelines, you can save time and money while also ensuring that your guests have an enjoyable experience at your vacation rental property.