The 10 Crucial Tips to Vacation Rental Cleanliness

The 10 Crucial Tips to Vacation Rental Cleanliness

The 10 Crucial Tips to Vacation Rental Cleanliness

Vacation rental kitchen cleanliness

The cleanliness of your vacation rental, Airbnb, or VRBO listing is key to being a successful vacation rental host. Vacation rental cleaning processes have never been more crucial than during the Covid19 pandemic but these heightened fears and expectations from guests will be with us far into the future. Here at Hostaway we’ve compiled a list of some great tips to keep your unit clean, stocked, and completed in a timely manner.

  1. Get the Laundry Started First
  2. Crack the Windows
  3. White Linens & Towels are Best
  4. Check for Forgotten Personal Items
  5. Thoroughly Clean All Appliances
  6. Restock and Top Off Supplies
  7. Spend Extra Time in the Bathrooms
  8. Disinfect High Touch Areas
  9. Organize Cupboards and Reset Your Space
  10. Provide Basic Cleaning Supplies, Just in Case
  11. Bonus Tip!

Hostaway’s service includes task automation tools as well as integrates with industry partners to provide excellent cleaning coordination. The combination of these tips, Hostaway’s PMS, and leading cleaning management tools is a surefire way to keep on top of your vacation rental cleaning.

1. Get the Laundry Started First

Vacation rentals often have same day check ins and check outs, therefore it’s important to be as efficient as possible. Developing the ideal order of operations is key to speeding up your process while maintaining high standards. The first step should almost always be getting the laundry started, followed by the dishwasher.

Many hosts, including myself, request that guests prior to checkout start a cycle of laundry and the dishwasher. This saves valuable time when cleaning the property. Guests are typically more than happy to get a few tasks started and at the very least tidy up. Include these requests in your automated checkout message.

2. Crack the Windows

Sometimes guests leave leftover odors, do whatever you can to remove these unwanted scents. Start with cracking a window to allow for better ventilation. Fresh air helps to remove odors and improve air quality. Close the windows back up when you leave; this keeps your unit secure and keeps heating costs low.

3. White Linens & Towels are Best

There is a reason hotels typically use white linens and towels. White linens don’t only look great, they are easier to keep clean. Bleaching linens and towels can greatly increase the lifetime usefulness of these items.

It’s also advised to have a locked closet or cupboard to store fresh linens. If guests have access to lots of linens they will make use of them which creates lots of extra work for yourself. Provide only what the guest needs for the duration of their stay.

4. Check for Forgotten Personal Items

Guests are forgetful and often leave personal items hidden in cupboards, under beds, and in some of the most odd places. Take a look if guests forgot any items after their stay. It seems awfully messy and disorganized if your next guest finds a drawer full of items when they check in.

Alert the guest that checked out about the items assuming they are worth returning, forgotten food or bathroom supplies are typically not worth returning. Try your best to return items but also recognize it’s the guests fault not yours and they should work around your schedule to pick up these items.

Make sure to clear the fridge of any perishable items and the bathroom of any toiletries they may have forgotten. If the guest left non perishable items in the kitchen cupboard or fridge consider keeping them. Your next guest may be happy to learn they don’t need to buy a brand new bottle of ketchup or a full bag of sugar.

5. Thoroughly Clean All Appliances

Check all your large and small appliances between guest stays. Ensure that the toaster isn’t full of crumbs, the microwave doesn’t have baked on food, and the fridge doesn’t have spills. Check the coffee makers filter, the dishwasher doesn’t have leftover food scraps, and the oven isn’t greasy. If you have a barbeque give it a thorough cleaning.

Check everything and then check it again. Guests will notice if you didn’t. Secondly make sure these items are in working order.

6. Restock and Top Off Supplies

Part of your cleaning process needs to be checking that the unit remains fully stocked. If you supply toiletries, coffee, tea, and basic cooking supplies take a look at your inventory between all guest stays. It’s a good idea to keep extra supplies stored in your unit behind a locked cupboard and closet. This lets you quickly refill containers without needing to head to the store between stays.

7. Spend Extra Time in the Bathrooms

You can’t go overboard when cleaning a bathroom. Guests finding stray hair in the bathroom will be quick to judge the overall cleanliness of your unit. Go through the bathrooms thoroughly with disinfectant and cleaning supplies.

Wipe down all surfaces, get behind the toilet, and arrange the supplies under the sink. Take the time to get the bathroom looking stunningly clean. Your vacation rentals bathroom cleanliness is the most important part for ensuring a 5 star cleaning review. If improperly cleaned you are almost ensured a poor review.

8. Disinfect High Touch Areas

Covid19 has heighetend the necessity of cleanliness and made it more important than ever to prioritize high touch areas such as switches, knobs, buttons, remotes, and handles. Make sure to protect yourself when cleaning these items as well. Wear gloves and use disinfectant.

9. Organize Cupboards and Reset Your Space

Take a peak in the cupboards. Guests often try and help by putting plates, cups, utensils, etc back in the cupboards and drawers but sometimes they leave these spaces disorganized and cluttered. Take the extra minute to open up the utensil drawer and ensure everything is where it should be. Look in each cupboard and be sure that everything looks as it should.

This is all part of a general property reset. Organize your unit, declutter, set the throw pillows, straighten the magazines, and get your space looking move in ready!

10. Provide Basic Cleaning Supplies, Just in Case

I strongly recommend providing some basic cleaning supplies such as stain remover under the sink. Getting to stains right away is crucially important so it’s best to provide these items to guests in case they truly need them. Plus some guests may be willing to do some light cleaning before checking out. This can save you lots of time!

Bonus Tip: If You Need Help Hire Someone

Vacation rental cleaning is crucial that it’s done right. If you don’t have the time or the will, hire someone great! Provide your housekeeper with a checklist of what needs to be done and support them. Your cleaner is a key part of your team so give them all the resources they need to get your place looking great every time.


Ready to step up your vacation rental cleaning? Consider using Hostaway’s cleaning management integrations to organize, automate, and perfect your cleaning processes and teams.

Reach out to us to learn more about our task management software and cleaning integrations!

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