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The Ultimate Airbnb Cleaning Checklist for Vacation Rental Hosts

The Ultimate Airbnb Cleaning Checklist for Vacation Rental Hosts

When it comes to cleaning, it’s as easy to overdo it as it is to underdo it. After you read our cleaning checklist to get a fresh perspective on vacation rental cleaning, ou may be inspired to update your own checklist!

In the ever-growing world of vacation rentals, where Airbnb properties have become a go-to choice for travelers, setting the right first impression is paramount. One element that stands out in this equation is cleanliness. This might seem like a basic requirement, but its significance cannot be overstated.

The Importance of Vacation Rental Cleanliness

Imagine a scenario where a traveler, after a long journey, walks into a vacation rental. The first thing they notice isn't the tastefully done interiors or the view outside.

It's a stray hair on the pillow, dust on the coffee table, or worse, a dirty bathroom. Such experiences not only leave a bad taste but can overshadow all the other wonderful features the property might offer.

Moreover, in a post-pandemic world, cleanliness has taken on an even greater role. Guests are more conscious than ever about hygiene standards and they expect accommodations to meet, if not exceed, their personal standards.

The Direct Impact on Guest Satisfaction and Reviews

Cleanliness directly influences positive onlineonline feedback. A pristine environment encourages positive reviews, while any neglect can lead to negative remarks that deter future bookings.

Today, with reviews holding significant weight, maintaining impeccable cleanliness isn't just about hygiene — it's key to trust, reputation, and repeat business.

Pre-Cleaning Preparations

Before diving into the cleaning process for your Airbnb property, it's essential to be well-prepared. An organized approach not only streamlines the process but also ensures that every nook and cranny is taken care of.. Here's how to ace your pre-cleaning preparations:

1. Gather the right cleaning supplies and equipment

  • Choose the right products: Match cleaning agents to appropriate surfaces, such as specialized cleaners for wood or glass.
  • Go green: Consider environmentally-friendly cleaning products. They appeal to eco-conscious guests and tend to be gentler on surfaces.
  • Equip yourself: Have essential tools ready, from brooms and mops to vacuums and microfiber cloths.
  • Stay organized: Use a caddy or tote bag to categorize and quickly access supplies, streamlining the cleaning process.

2. Maintain an inventory

  • Comprehensive list: Catalog all items in your property, from electronics to decorative pieces, for easy tracking in case something is missing or out of place.
  • Use photos: Maintain visual records of each room as a reference for pre and post-guest conditions.
  • Stay updated: Regularly modify the inventory list as items are added or removed.
  • Assess damages: Cross-check inventory post-guest departure for damages and to determine potential claims on Airbnb’s host guarantee program.

The Airbnb Cleaning Checklist

General living area checklist

The living area, often the first space guests encounter, sets the tone for their stay. It's vital to ensure it's not just clean, but also welcoming and free from distractions that could detract from their overall experience.

  • Dust from top to bottom: Clean shelves, picture frames, and decor, starting from higher areas.
  • Focus on baseboards & fixtures: Wipe these dust-prone spots for a fresher room.
  • Vacuum carpets: Remove trapped dirt and allergens; consider deep cleaning for high-traffic areas.
  • Clean floors: Use appropriate solutions for hardwood or tile to maintain and protect.
  • Address hidden spots: Clean beneath furniture and behind electronics.
  • Windows & Mirrors: Ensure clarity and brightness with streak-free cleaning.
  • Retrieve forgotten items: Check for guests' left-behind belongings and manage with a lost-and-found approach.

Bedroom checklist

The bedroom is the sanctuary for your guests—a space where comfort and relaxation should be paramount. Ensuring it’s immaculate plays a crucial role in their overall satisfaction.

  • Dusting: Cover nightstands, dressers, headboards, and decor.
  • Floor care: Regularly vacuum carpets or sweep/mop other floor types; don't forget rugs.
  • Under-the-bed: Check for dust and lost items in this often-overlooked area.
  • Mirrors & Glass: Keep vanity mirrors and glass surfaces spotless.
  • Bed linens: Inspect for damages and ensure freshness for guest comfort.
  • Storage check: Search nightstands and drawers for any items left by guests.

Kitchen cleaning checklist

The kitchen is a focal point in many homes, and in vacation rentals, it's no different. Guests often opt for Airbnb over hotels because they have access to a full kitchen. Ensuring this space is sparkling clean and well-stocked can significantly enhance their experience.

Countertops & backsplash:

  • Clear all items and use appropriate disinfectants based on the material.
  • Address splatters around the stove and sink; degrease backsplash when needed.

Refrigerator and freezer:

  • Empty, check for expired items, and clean with a mild detergent or baking soda mix.
  • Ensure a frost-free freezer and address ice residues.

Oven, stove, and microwave:

  • Utilize the oven's self-cleaning feature or apply a specialized cleaner.
  • Clean the stovetop, focusing on burners, knobs, and other components.
  • Clean the microwave inside-out, using a water-lemon mix for tough residues.

Sink & faucet:

  • Scrub and disinfect the sink; consider boiling water for thorough sanitation.
  • Clean and sanitize faucet handles frequently.

Trash maintenance:

  • Empty the bin regularly, clean and sanitize it, and always replace it with a new liner.

Restock essentials:

  • Keep coffee and tea stocked; monitor expiration dates.
  • Refresh snacks and maintain a range of choices.
  • Ensure the availability of basic seasonings and cooking oils.

Bathroom cleaning checklist

The bathroom, while often the smallest room in an Airbnb property, holds significant importance in the eyes of guests. A spotless bathroom communicates care, professionalism, and attention to detail, ensuring guests feel comfortable and pampered.

Toilet, shower and sink:

  • Toilet: Clean bowl, rim, outer surfaces, and flush handle.
  • Shower: Address soap scum and hard water stains, and ensure clear drains. Squeegee for streak-free doors.

Tip: For shower head build-up, soak in equal parts water and white vinegar.

  • Sink: Disinfect the basin, polish faucet, and focus on areas prone to residue.

Mirrors and glass surfaces:

  • Clean with glass cleaner or water-vinegar solution. Ensure there are no fingerprints on glass shelves or enclosures.

Refill amenities:

  • Check and restock hand soap, shampoo, and conditioner.
  • Opt for refillable, eco-friendly product containers.

Towel replacement:

  • Replace all towels and washcloths, even if they seem unused.
  • Arrange neatly for visual appeal.

Trash maintenance:

  • Empty, clean, and replace bin liner. Add baking soda for odor control.

Outdoor spaces checklist (if applicable)

Outdoor spaces in vacation rentals, when well-maintained, can provide an added layer of luxury and relaxation.

From morning coffees on the patio to evening BBQs, these areas offer unique experiences for guests, making it crucial to keep them pristine.

Patio or deck cleaning:

  • Sweep away leaves and debris.
  • Mop using suitable cleaning solutions based on material.

Outdoor furniture and fixtures:

  • Wipe down tables, chairs, and loungers.
  • Clean cushions or fabric elements and check for stains or mildew.
  • Check fixtures like lights for dirt or malfunctions.

BBQ grills and fire pits:

  • For grills: Clean grill surface, check burners, and empty grease tray.
  • For fire pits: Clear ashes or unburnt wood and ensure safe ignition.

Yard and garden tidying:

  • Remove any litter, toys, or tools.
  • Tend to plants and ensure no overgrown areas. Consider watering and mulching for a refreshed look.

Linens and Towels

Whether it's sliding into crisp, freshly laundered sheets at night or wrapping oneself in a soft towel after a shower, the quality and condition of linens and towels significantly impact a guest's stay.

Here are some best practices to ensure that both linens and towels contribute positively to your guests' Airbnb experience:


  • Type, texture and colors:
  • Opt for high-thread-count cotton or blends.
  • Sateen (smooth) vs. Percale (crisp); your choice depends on preference, but both are popular and comfortable.
  • Neutral colors (whites, grays and beiges) are ideal.


  • Two sets of sheets per bed (may need three for longer stays.)


  • Use gentle detergent; avoid bleach.
  • Brighten whites with lemon juice or white vinegar.
  • Follow label washing instructions.


  • In a cool, dry place within the room.

Maintenance and replacement:

  • Replace with signs of wear, like thinning or staining.
  • Periodically inspect for quality.


Type, texture and colors:

  • Opt for 100% cotton, Turkish or Egyptian for luxury.
  • Denser weave/higher GSM feel luxurious and are absorbent.
  • Neutral colors are versatile and clean-looking.


  • Two bath towels, one hand towel and one washcloth per guest; extra for longer stays.


  • Use gentle detergent; avoid bleach.
  • White vinegar in the rinse cycle removes residues.


  • Store in dry places, either in the bathroom or a linen closet.

Maintenance and Replacement:

  • Replace threadbare or non-absorbent towels.
  • A musty odor after washing indicates a need for replacement.

Safety and Functionality Checks

Safety should always be a top priority for any Airbnb host. Guests trust that the spaces they rent will be secure and functional, making routine safety and functionality checks essential. Here's an expanded breakdown of these key areas:

Smoke and Carbon monoxide detectors:

  • Regularly test detectors, ideally between guest stays.
  • Change batteries bi-annually or when low battery alerts.
  • Position away from obstructions, following manufacturer guidelines.

Door and Window locks:

  • Inspect all locks for functionality.
  • Add rods or bars to sliding doors for added security.
  • Secure all entryways with working locks.

Lights and Electronics:

  • Check and replace any non-working light bulbs.
  • Ensure electronics are functional with no exposed wires.
  • Consider motion-sensor lights for outdoor areas.

First-Aid Kit:

  • Keep stocked with essentials: bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and a thermometer. Consider including sanitary wear as well.
  • Monitor item levels and replace used items.
  • Check and replace any expired medications or creams.

Special Touches

While safety, cleanliness and functionality are foundational to a positive Airbnb experience, it's often the special touches that set a property apart, making guests feel truly valued.

These thoughtful gestures can transform a guest's stay from "pleasant" to "memorable," increasing the likelihood of glowing reviews and repeat bookings.

Guest welcome basket/information folder:

  • Welcome basket: in the welcome basket offer snacks, bottled water, toiletries, and local treats.
  • Information folder: Update property details, WiFi passwords, local tips, and emergency contacts in the folder regularly. Add local tourist maps or brochures.

Personal touch:

  • Leave a handwritten welcome note mentioning the guest's name and wishing them a pleasant stay.

Seasonal additions:

  • Summer: Provide beach towels for beach/pool goers.
  • Winter: Offer cozy blankets for warmth.
  • Decorate based on the season, e.g., fall décor in autumn or fresh flowers in spring.

Post-Cleaning: Final Touches and Preparations

After the meticulous process of cleaning and setting up the Airbnb property, the post-cleaning phase serves as the final check. It ensures that the property is presented in its best possible condition and provides a safeguard for hosts against potential disputes.

Document room conditions:

  • Take well-lit photos of each room post-cleaning using a cell phone or camera.
  • Focus on high-value items and potential wear areas.
  • Date-stamp and store photos securely.

Note and address damages/repairs:

  • List any identified damages or malfunctioning items.
  • Document significant issues with photos.
  • Prioritize repairs, especially safety or functionality concerns.

Ensure guest have access:

  • Place physical keys in an accessible spot or lockbox.
  • For Digital locks, reset and provide new digital access codes between guests.
  • Offer clear entry instructions, including lock operation guidelines.

Cleaning and Guest Satisfaction

In the world of vacation rentals, making a good first impression and getting positive reviews are super important. This checklist is a must-have for any host who wants to be known for super clean and caring places that guests will always remember. By following the detailed steps for cleaning everything – from rooms to bed sheets, and adding nice things like welcome baskets and special decorations, hosts can ensure guest satisfaction.

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