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Vacation Rental Guide - Vacation Rental Cleaning Checklists

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Vacation Rental Guide - Vacation Rental Cleaning Checklists

Whether you’re hiring a cleaning service or doing your own vacation rental cleaning, we’ve provided a checklist template for owners or property managers to use.

As a short-term rental owner, keeping your rental clean and well-maintained is critical to creating a positive guest experience and maximizing your property’s rental income potential. When considering whether to hire a cleaning company or perform the cleaning tasks yourself, there are several key points to consider, including cost, time, and expertise.

In this guide, we’ll explore the pros and cons of hiring out your cleaning vs. tackling it yourself, red flags to look out for when hiring vacation rental cleaners, and how to maintain a clean short-term rental with a comprehensive checklist you can use should you decide to take on the task of cleaning yourself.

Assessing Your Vacation Rental Cleaning Needs

House cleaning requirements may differ for a remote villa with multiple guest houses and a small bungalow in the middle of town. Nevertheless, ensuring your vacation rental property is properly cleaned before your next guests’ check-in is essential to running your short-term rental business.

If you’re deciding between hiring a professional cleaning team or taking on this chore yourself as the rental host, be sure to consider the following:

Cleaning frequency

Do you need daily, weekly, or biweekly cleanings? What is the average turnover at your rental? Can you drop everything and perform a last-minute cleaning if required? These are all questions to consider when making your decision.

Tenant responsibilities

Do you require tenants to tidy up before they check out? If so, chores like dishes, laundry, and trash removal may already be completed and can help make self-cleaning more manageable.

Your Availability

If you have a busy schedule or live far from your rental, it can be difficult to regularly clean your short-term rental yourself. Hiring a cleaning company can save you time and effort.

Cleaning Standard

If you’re not well-versed in rental cleaning requirements, ensuring your rental is cleaned thoroughly and efficiently can be challenging. Professional vacation rental cleaning services have the necessary skills, experience, cleaning supplies, and equipment to clean your rental to the high standard guests expect.


Cleaning services require you to budget for added cleaning fees which some rental owners may see as a negative. But you should also consider the potential cost of not having a clean rental, like negative guest reviews, which can lead to a potential decrease in rental income.

Guest Satisfaction

A clean rental goes a long way in curating a positive, relaxing experience for your short-term rental guests. So, if you cannot maintain a clean rental yourself, hiring a professional cleaning company can ensure your guests enjoy their time and are more likely to leave positive reviews.

Time Management

As a short-term rental owner, your time is valuable. Outsourcing the cleaning to a professional cleaning crew can give you more time to focus on other aspects of your rental business.

Vacation Rental Usage

Suppose your vacation rental is commonly frequented by partygoers, bachelorette parties, and otherwise rowdy bunches. In that case, you may find your property needing a deep cleaning more often than a rental that sees more retired couples and people seeking a relaxed getaway. Deep cleanings are more time intensive and cost more than a standard turnover clean, so be sure to factor in the added costs vs. the time it will take to clean yourself.

Researching and selecting a reputable cleaning company

Choosing the right professional cleaning company is crucial when outsourcing your short-term rental cleaning. You want a company you can trust with access to your rental that will take the responsibility of maintaining your rental’s reputation seriously. Here are some important factors to consider as you start your research:


Look for a cleaning company that has experience in cleaning vacation homes specifically. They will better understand the unique nature of vacation rental housekeeping.


Check the company’s online reviews and ratings on platforms like Yelp, Google, or social media platforms. Look for a company with a high overall rating and positive reviews from previous clients. It can also be helpful to filter reviews by rating and read through some negative ones to be sure there aren’t recurring complaints that may indicate a red flag.


A reputable cleaning company should have a professional website, straightforward pricing and service descriptions, and transparent communication. They should also be able to provide references and proof of insurance if requested. Another mark of professionalism is a company with background-checked employees.

Interviewing potential cleaning companies

Choosing the right cleaning company can be daunting, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the cleaning industry. It’s essential to conduct thorough research and ask the right questions to be sure the company you settle on is a good match for your property. Here are a few things to clarify with each company you interview before signing a contract:

Services Offered

Make sure you understand what’s included (and more importantly, what isn’t included) in your potential contract, and be sure that the specific services you need for your vacation rental are clearly stated, like deep cleaning between guest stays, laundry services, or restocking supplies. You might be surprised to discover how different the service offerings are from company to company.

Cleaning Standards

Ask the cleaning company about their cleaning standards and methods. A reputable company should be able to provide a checklist of their cleaning procedures and guarantee thorough housekeeping of your rental. You can use the comprehensive checklist at the end of this article to compare.


Communicate your desired cleaning schedule and frequency before signing a contract. Cleaning companies should be able to work around guest check-in and check-out times and be available on short notice in case of an emergency.

Quality control

Ask potential cleaning companies about their quality control measures. A reputable company will have systems in place to guarantee that the cleaning is high-quality and consistent every time. At the same rate, it’s worth asking about training policies for new employees to be sure that whoever is on shift is fully aware of the responsibilities of cleaning your rental, no matter how long they’ve been with the company.

A Comprehensive Checklist for Cleaning Your Property Like a Pro

Cleaning your short-term rental yourself can be a cost-effective option, especially if you’re just starting out or your property is easily accessible and on the smaller side. But it’s vital to ensure that your standards are on par with those of a professional company because your guests expect the same level of cleanliness regardless of who performs the cleaning job. So here is a comprehensive cleaning checklist to help you clean your rental like the pros:

Rental Home Cleaning Checklist:


  • Clean and disinfect the toilet, sink, shower, and bathtub in the bathrooms.
  • Clean and disinfect all kitchen countertops, sinks, and appliances (stove, fridge, freezer, microwave, oven, stovetop).
  • Sanitize all high-touch surfaces, including doorknobs, light switches, appliance handles, and remote controls.
  • Use a disinfectant spray or wipes to sanitize frequently touched furniture, including tables and chairs.


  • Clear away any clutter left behind by the previous tenants, including books, magazines, and personal items.
  • Empty the trash cans and recycling bins and replace bags.
  • Fluff and arrange any decorative pillows or cushions in the living areas.
  • Straighten any furniture or decor that may have been moved out of place.


  • Dust and wipe down all surfaces, including nightstands, dressers, and lamps in the bedrooms.
  • Dust and wipe down all surfaces, including coffee tables, end tables, and entertainment centers in the living areas.
  • Vacuum or sweep the floors and mop any hard surfaces.
  • Clean any mirrors and windows throughout.
  • Scrub the grout between the tiles in the bathroom.
  • Dust and wipe down baseboards and door frames throughout.
  • Dust and wipe down any blinds or window treatments.
  • Dust and wipe down any ceiling fans or light fixtures.
  • Clean outdoor areas like patios or decks.


  • Wash all linens and towels and replace them with fresh ones in the bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • Wash all dishes, utensils, and cookware in the kitchen.
  • Wash any decorative pillows or cushions in the living areas.


  • Stock up on essential supplies, including toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, bathroom toiletries, trash bags, and cleaning products.
  • Restock the kitchen with basic items like coffee, tea, sugar, and spices.

Whether you outsource cleaning or do the housekeeping yourself, pay attention to your customer reviews and create a system to collect feedback from your guests. This will help you identify areas of improvement in the cleaning process, adjust your cleaning practices, or alert you to an issue with your cleaning company that needs to be addressed.

Ultimately it’s your responsibility as the rental homeowner to upkeep your rental property and provide a safe, clean, and enjoyable space for your guests.

If you found this helpful, visit our website for more checklist templates, vacation rental home ownership tips and tricks, and more!