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Vacation Rental Cleaning: Tips & Tricks

Vacation Rental Cleaning: Tips & Tricks

When it comes to impressing guests, presenting and keeping a vacation rental spotless is crucial. Though, over time, cleaning will start to feel like an endless routine especially if you have a lot of one-night bookings. You wake up, clean, welcome guests, sleep, and repeat. Take note that cleaning a vacation rental is not any regular cleaning. It requires extra steps such as disinfecting your vacation rental property to remove germs and lessen health risks to your guests.

The best solution in combating the immeasurable cleaning is finding a way to speed up the process. Though, keep in mind, we are not asking you to do anything below the average standard neither would we want you to receive any negative reviews or worse, have your super host status revoked. We are simply asking you to make a plan, get efficient, and follow the tips below in helping you shave off minutes of your cleaning time.

Vacation Rental Cleaning Tips & Tricks

1. Make a Checklist

airbnb checklist

Get organized and create a checklist of what needs to be cleaned every time a guest checks out and before a new guest checks in. If you think about it, having a checklist is very beneficial whether you are cleaning yourself or hiring a cleaning service to clean your vacation rental. Keep in mind, with a busy schedule, it is easy to forget to take care of the important tasks at hand and a checklist solves the issue. And if you hire a cleaning service, a checklist will make it easier for the cleaner to be aware of what exactly needs to be done for your vacation rental property. Also, consider not straying from your cleaning checklist. That way, you spend less time and you stick to the plan!

2. Set a Time Limit

Set a time limit in cleaning your vacation rental, though it is important to keep it realistic. As much as we want to get things done in under 30 minutes, we all know that isn’t possible. It normally takes three hours. Hence, set a time limit, stick to it and commit; helps you to focus and move efficiently.
Tip: Base your time spent on each room based on your cleaning checklist.

3. High and Deep Cleaning Chores

Consider the following steps to save and shorten your cleaning time:

  • Rotate through your deep cleaning chores. To simplify, some parts of your property only need cleaning every once in a while.
  • Start from one corner of the room and work your way out from there.
  • The best place to start is from top to bottom. This way, any dirt/dust will fall downwards hence, doesn’t require spending extra time recleaning a surface.

4. Vacuum

vacuum for airbnb

Though, there is a debate whether to vacuum before or after wiping down the surfaces. It is recommended to vacuum the area once all the surfaces have been wiped down and cleaned properly. There will be less to clean and it will make life a lot easier!

5. Invest in a Cleaning Caddy (if you don’t have one already)

If you don’t have one already, I recommend that you invest in a caddy to hold your cleaning supplies rather than going back and forth to pick up your cleaning products. This is a simple and effective way to save time.

6. Ice cubes to Remove Wrinkles

Having trouble with wrinkled sheets? A quick fix is some ice cubes and heat. For about 5 minutes, put the sheets in the microwave with ice cubes and you’ll have perfectly steamed linen.

7. Mop Last

Mopping takes time to dry and no one wants to walk over newly cleaned floors.

8. Get an Air-diffuser

air diffuser for airbnb

I suggest purchasing an Air Diffuser, this way when the guests arrive, they will smell the lovely aroma of a variety of different scents such as lavender, etc which creates a welcoming environment for your guests by taking away the pungent smell of the cleaning products.

9. Double-Check

Once you have finished cleaning, the worst thing for a guest to find would be stray hairs laying around the surface areas. Hence, it is important to double-check and do a final sweep. We suggest brightening the room, turning on the lights, getting close & personal, and thoroughly inspecting all surfaces, especially bedding.

For more tips, check out: 10 Crucial Tips to Vacation Rental Cleanliness

The Pros and Cons of Self-cleaning Vs. Professional Cleaning Service

With no doubt, there are pros and cons to either both -whether it is to do-it-yourself or hire a cleaning service. But before you do make a decision, consider several factors:

  • Location- is it close by or far?
  • Size- how big or small is your vacation rental property?
  • Several rentals you manage- is it one or several properties?
  • Time- estimated time it takes to clean
  • Commitment- how much time do you need to commit to cleaning and is it worth it?

Keep in mind, cleaning a vacation rental property to its appropriate standard isn’t something everyone wants to do. Consider the amount of commitment and time that needs to be put in and not to mention, several times it needs to be clean especially on peak seasons. Don’t forget if your vacation rental property is far from you, then it could be a lot to handle. If this sounds like all too much for you, then the best is to hire a cleaning service and leave it to the pros to do the job for you- ensuring guests leave glowing reviews.


self cleaning airbnb


  • You’ll pocket more money if you clean everything yourself and still charge guests the maximum charge for the cleaning service.

  • Everything is perfect. To simplify, you’ll have complete control and not to worry about quality control as you will be the one cleaning. Additionally, it is unlikely that things will get misplaced or lost.


  • You’ll be sacrificing most of your time on cleaning tasks for the next guest that checks in. Consider that since most of your time is spent on cleaning tasks, the possibility of occupancy rates will be cut less which ends up costing more than you are saving.

  • Takes away the focus on other vacation rental businesses. There’s more to just cleaning- you’ll need to manage, market, and do other tasks needed to grow your business which is your main goal.

Hiring a Cleaning Service


  • You’ll have the assurance that your vacation rental property is properly cleaned by pros and not have to worry at all.

  • You are buying free time and can focus on other business tasks at hand.

  • You are covered top to bottom. In other words, professionals are more equipped and likely to handle last-minute additions or short notices. You are not relying on a single person but a team- which means if one cleaner does not show, there are other options at hand.


  • You’ll spend more hiring a cleaning compared to DIY cleaning hence lower profits.

  • You’ll have to spend more time screening and interviewing when hiring a cleaning service.

  • When it comes to hiring a cleaning service, you might have to take the time and constantly train them- the way you want things to be replaced especially when they have been moved by guests. You’ll have to consider training them on how you want things to be cleaned.

  • Consistency is not guaranteed! It means depending on the size of your team, you’ll have to keep in mind that not all cleaners have the same methods and schedule and may lead to confusion. Hence, communication is vital between you and the cleaner.

Benefits of Automating Your Cleaning Operations

Thinking to step up your vacation rental cleaning? Then, consider using Hostaway’s cleaning management integrations to organize, automate, and perfect your cleaning processes and teams from start to finish:

  • Invite cleaners to become members of your team
  • Create and assign cleaning tasks for each rental property and member
  • Send notifications for team members of new tasks and details
  • Create a checklist for cleaners to follow through while they complete their tasks
  • Track the progress of your cleaning tasks in real-time
  • Creating reports of cleaning tasks, cleaners, and the total time spent in cleaning

Here is Hostaway’s Cleaning Management to consider:

  1. Doinn
  2. Properly
  3. Breezeway
  4. VRScheduler
  5. TurnoverBnB
  6. Turnify


Make no mistake: Cleaning a vacation rental property isn’t as difficult as it may seem as long as you stay organized, enjoy cleaning, and are committed. Always consider your options and how hiring a cleaning service will benefit your business in the long haul. No matter what you decide, think and plan carefully. Remember, it's all for the profit of growing your business while ensuring happy guests and glowing reviews.

Ready to find out how Hostaway can transform your business?

Hostaway is proud to support thousands of Property Managers and Airbnb Hosts Around the world. We take pride in being Top Ranked in Vacation Rental Software Review Sites: Capterra, G2, Software Advice, Trust Pilot, to name just a few! Check out our reviews and read the Hostaway Case Studies from real successful and growing Short-Term Rental Managers!