Cleaning Guides

Vacation Rental Cleaning Checklist and Some Advice

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There is more to a rental property than just being decent when listing it. To ensure a pleasant experience for your guests, the space should be spotlessly clean and sanitised. Organising and planning your vacation rental cleaning in advance will guarantee that it’s done efficiently and without any hassle.

So if you:

  • You want to know what to focus on when cleaning a vacation property;
  • Need a comprehensive checklist that will ensure thorough cleaning;
  • Don’t know what supplies you’ll need;
  • Are looking for vacation rental cleaning tips.

Read on to get all the answers from the pros. Don’t let your spotless place miss out on good first impressions and positive reviews. We’ve gathered an extensive checklist and professional advice from our practice in vacation rental cleaning in Australia.

Table of contents:

Why cleaning a vacation rental is so important

When it comes to cleanliness, guests are often not prone to compromises. What’s more, when people book a vacation rental, they expect hotel-level standards at a lower price. The downside here is that an unsatisfied customer can end up with a negative review, which will cost you more than just a thorough cleaning.

On the other hand, spotted cleanliness may attract more guests and 5-star reviews. And the more glowing reviews, the more bookings you’ll have. Hence, you should make their experience memorable by performing complete turnover cleaning with attention to detail. The way of achieving that is to establish standards that you or your cleaning team will follow every time. Prepare yourself with a cleaning guide or checklist and a list of supplies on hand.

Comprehensive vacation rental cleaning checklist

As a general rule start cleaning from top to bottom. Disinfect high-traffic areas like remotes, light switches and doorknobs. Arrange all the decorations, cushions, magazines, etc. according to your unique standard for a cozy atmosphere. Also, make sure your guests are able to prepare their food and drinks and relax comfortably after their trip.

Kitchen cleaning

  • Check for and remove any cobwebs.
  • Clean and disinfect countertops, cabinets, backsplash and other surfaces. Make sure drawers are clear of crumbs.
  • Wipe down the outside of all appliances, including the oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, and microwave.
  • Clean the inside of the oven, and microwave and clean the stovetop with specialised detergent.
  • Cleaning the refrigerator from the inside. Make sure to remove any old food before each new arrival.
  • Empty and clean out the coffee maker and toaster.
  • Cleaning the sink and faucet. Remove any soap scum and hard water deposits.
  • Wash tablecloths and cloth napkins.
  • Sweep and mop the kitchen floor.
  • Empty trash cans and replace the bags.
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Bathroom cleaning

  • Check for and remove any cobwebs
  • Clean and disinfect the toilet, sink, and shower or bathtub. Remove any dirt, grime and limescale with a specialised bathroom cleaner.
  • Wipe down and disinfect any cabinets or shelves.
  • Wipe down also the mirror. Clean all water spots and smudges. Use a microfiber cloth to avoid streaks.
  • Clean the tiles or grout. Remove any mould or mildew.
  • Clean any hair out of the drain.
  • Wash all towels and check the bathmats.
  • Empty trash cans and replace the bags.
  • Stock new toiletry items.

Living room

  • Check for and remove any cobwebs.
  • Clean windows, mirrors, and glass surfaces to make your rental property look brighter and more inviting. Wipe down the windowsills.
  • Check all pillows and blankets if they need washing.
  • Dust all surfaces including furniture, shelves, picture frames, and other decorative items.
  • Vacuum or mop the all sofas and soft furnishing.
  • Wipe down and disinfect remotes.
  • Vacuum or sweep the floors. Pay special attention to carpets and rugs ensuring they look their best. Don’t miss the areas under the furniture.
  • Mop hard floors to remove any spills, stains and remaining dirt.
  • Empty trash cans and replace the bags.

Find out more about the benefits of our professional regular cleaning service.

Bedroom cleaning

  • Check for and remove any cobwebs
  • Change the bed linens. Strip and wash them. Ensure your guests will have clean and comfortable bedding.
  • Dust all surfaces. This includes furniture, shelves, picture frames, and any other decorations.
  • Dust light fixtures.
  • Disinfect light switches around the bed and remote controls.
  • Clean mirrors, windows and window sills.
  • Vacuum carpets and rugs and mop the hard floor, including under the bed.
  • Empty all trash cans and replace liners.
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Outdoor cleaning

  • Sweep and tidy up any outdoor areas like balconies, patios or decks.
  • Clean the outdoor furniture and cushions.
  • Check and clean the grill, if applicable.
  • Sweeping the walkways and driveway

Cleaning materials needed for short-term rental cleaning

To perform short-term rental cleaning like a professional, you’ll need to supply a list of tools and detergents. You’ll find everything described below in your local store:

  • Gloves for protecting your skin from chemicals.
  • Cleaning detergents and disinfectants: An all-purpose cleaner, a glass cleaner, a bathroom tile cleaner, and disinfectants to ensure thorough cleaning of the surfaces and high-touch areas.
  • Microfiber cloths.
  • A mop and a vacuum cleaner for thorough floor cleaning.
  • Broom and dustpan. You’ll need them for sweeping up dirt and debris from hard floors and difficult areas.
  • Sponges and scourers for the dishes, utensils, and other kitchen items.
  • A toilet brush to ensure the bathroom is thoroughly cleaned.
  • A bucket for carrying cleaning supplies, and for mopping floors.
  • A Ladder or step stool for cleaning hard-to-reach areas, like high shelves or ceiling fans.
  • Air freshener to create a welcoming atmosphere in the rental.
  • Trash bags on hand for disposing of garbage.

Professional advice and best practices for vacation rental cleaning

By establishing effective practices and employing the right equipment, you can make your vacation rental cleaning thorough, effective, and fast enough. Here is some expert advice you can benefit from:

  1. Always leave adequate time between guests so that your place remains clean and tidy. Cleaning a vacation rental can take 2 to 4 hours, depending on the size and condition of the property. The longer the booking was, the messier you can expect the property to be.
  2. Stock up on home supplies like bedroom and kitchen products, linens etc. You’ll save a lot of time in short-notice situations. Also, keep the products well-labelled and organised.
  3. Check for damages or tasks that will require more time to complete. Take photos of any damages. This is important to ensure that any additional costs and time are accounted for.
  4. Start by doing the laundry and loading the dishwasher, as these can take a while. Then move on to the other tasks on your to-do list. Ventilate the space while cleaning to let fresh air in.
  5. Clean the most difficult area first, for example, the bathroom or kitchen will need more attention. Leave the outside areas and balconies at the end.
  6. Make a final inspection for hair in the bathrooms and fingerprints on the surfaces. Guests don’t like to be remembered for previous visitors.
  7. Leave checkout instructions. Here are a few examples: starting the dishwasher, emptying the trash bins on the way out, checking for personal belongings, and locking when leaving.
    TIP: Keep in mind that it’s not a wise idea to add putting the linens in the washing machine to the checkout instructions. This is because it’s good to inspect them before washing them.
  8. The cost of your time and return on investment is something to consider as well. Cleaning may not be something you particularly enjoy, but it can be made easier by delegating certain tasks to expert exit cleaners. What’s more, professionals can make your place sparkling clean from top to bottom ensuring a pleasant stay for your guests.
  9. Use a mobile scheduling app to organise all events such as providing access to guests or cleaning teams, providing stocking supplies, maintenance checks etc. Even your mobile phone calendar can help you stay focused, preventing you from missing an event and disappointing your customers.

Want to make sure you’ll get 5-star reviews for cleanliness?

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  • Follow a checklist when cleaning and don’t miss the final inspection.
  • Always leave enough time between guests and hire a professional cleaning team when needed.
  • Start by loading the dishwasher and doing the laundry.
  • Stay organised by using scheduling tools or your mobile phone calendar.

We hope this article will help you make your guests satisfied. Please, share with us your personal experience with short-term cleaning in the comments below.

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