People have high expectations when they check in to a hotel or vacation rental. Imagine the disappointment when they open the door and what they see looks nothing like the pictures in the rental listing.
Two top complaints about vacation rentals are poor WIFI and lack of cleanliness.
No one wants to read a negative review of their rental home, but how can you ensure the best possible guest experience?
A vacation home cleaning checklist can help. Take a minute to read through this article. It includes cleaning tips and a handy checklist you can use yourself or provide to your rental cleaning team.
Must-Have Cleaning Products
Before working through the vacation home cleaning checklist, you must stock up on the best cleaning supplies and equipment. Even if you use a professional cleaning service, you may need to supply your preferred cleaning products.
The following cleaning supplies and tools will help you keep your vacation rentals sparkling clean:
- Vacuum cleaner with attachments
- Mop designed to clean tile and hardwood floors
- Rubber gloves
- Microfiber cloths
- Scrub pads
- Cleaning brushes
- Multi-purpose detergent
- Stain removers
- Dishwashing liquid
- Glass cleaner
- Toilet cleaner
- Laundry detergent
- Air fresheners
- Furniture polish
- Disinfecting spray
If your rental includes a pool or hot tub, you'll need to stock the appropriate pool chemicals. It would be best if you also considered stocking towels designated for pool use only. This helps minimize dirt, sand, and sunscreen on your luxurious bath linens.
In the next section, you'll find a checklist for general cleaning tasks.
Group General Cleaning Tasks Together
Did you know one of the reasons vacation homeowners don't enjoy their homes as much as they'd like to is because of the time needed for upkeep and maintenance? If you or your cleaning service can group general cleaning tasks, it will save significant time. Take care of general cleaning first and then move on to room-specific tasks.
- Launder linens, sheets, and towels
- Mop and vacuum
- Disinfect and wipe all surfaces
- Dust window sills
- Dust light fixtures and lamps
- Dust accent pieces and wall decor
- Clean windows and mirrors
- Wipe tv screens
- Shake area rugs
Make sure to check for cobwebs and dust buildup in the corners of each room. Check rugs and carpets for stains. Keep an eye out for dropped food—anything left behind on the floor or not removed from countertops is an open invitation for pests.
Once you complete general cleaning, you should have much less to do in each room.
Vacation Home Cleaning Checklist for Living Spaces
The living areas in a vacation home usually bear the brunt of heavy traffic and guest activities. Below you'll find a list of cleaning tasks that will help keep living spaces clean and comfortable.
- Vacuum behind and under all living room furniture
- Vacuum between sofa and chair cushions
- Dust bookshelves
- Dust under decorative items
- Disinfect items guests touch often
- Launder throw blankets
- Launder pillow covers
- Organize books, magazines, and DVDs
- Dust blinds
- Wash curtains every 3-6 months
Items guests touch include remotes for TVs and sound systems, ceiling fans, and air conditioners. Don't forget devices with touch screens. Keeping these items clean and sanitized can help prevent the spread of germs.
Cleaning Checklist for Bedrooms and Sleeping Areas
Even though guests don't spend as much time in bedrooms, these spaces still need attention. Don't forget other sleeping areas, such as multi-purpose rooms with sleeper sofas and futons.
- Launder bed sheets, linens, and pillowcases
- Vacuum mattresses and check for stains
- Make beds
- Vacuum under beds
- Wash curtains every 3-6 months
- Dust blinds
- Wipe down dressers and armoires
- Dust all surfaces
- Dust and wipe ceiling fans
- Wipe down light fixtures
- Wipe bed posts
- Clean around the edges of furniture
Ensure you remove items left under beds, drawers, or closets. Sometimes guests eat in the bedroom, so watch for food and drink stains.
Kitchen Cleaning Checklist
Most people think the bathroom is the germiest place in a house, but that's not true. Your risk of picking up germs is much higher in the kitchen.
Keeping the kitchen in your vacation rentals clean and disinfected can help keep your guests happier and healthier. Check the following kitchen cleaning tasks off the list every time you clean:
- Disinfect kitchen countertops
- Disinfect the outside of kitchen appliances
- Disinfect containers (spice jars, coffee, and tea jars)
- Wash dirty dishes and cookware
- Clean the oven and microwave inside and out
- Clean refrigerator and freezer
- Clean around faucets
- Disinfect and clean sinks
- Replace complimentary kitchen supplies
Be aware that sometimes guests put dishes and cookware away without cleaning them thoroughly. Check the cabinets for items that didn't quite get clean.
A quick note on cleaning tips for refrigerators and microwaves: Even though you may not clean the inside of your refrigerator/freezer and microwave every few days, it's a requirement if you own or co-own a vacation rental. The same goes for the inside of the oven.
A clean kitchen is one of the best things you can do to provide an excellent guest experience.
Bathroom and Powder Room Cleaning Checklist
While you should never forget to clean the toilets in your rental home, they're not the dirtiest items in the bathroom. Faucets and toothbrush holders harbor more germs.
Your checklist for a clean bathroom should include the following:
- Clean bathtub and shower
- Clean crevices of faucets and sinks
- Remove scale from shower heads
- Clean and disinfect the toilet
- Sanitize the toilet brush
- Disinfect and wipe bathroom counters and cabinets
- Launder towels and washcloths
- Launder bathroom rugs if dirty
- Clean mirrors.
- Restock toilet paper, hand soap, and other complimentary bathroom items.
One area many vacation rental owners forget to check is the drains. You can usually find hair, soap scum, and hair products all clumped together in sink and shower drains. You can use tweezers or needle-nose pliers, but you can also buy a tool that makes pulling out hair and gunk easier.
Not only will paying attention to detail when cleaning a bathroom make for happier guests, but it can also save you money on unnecessary plumbing repairs.
Rental Home Exteriors Need Cleaning Too
Whether you've sold, bought, or rented a property recently, the theory of curb appeal likely played a role in the transaction. For sellers, focusing on curb appeal often means a quicker sale.
First impressions matter. While your focus may not be on selling your rental home, you'll still appreciate it when a bright exterior greets you when you vacation there.
Include the following tasks in your exterior cleaning checklist:
- Mow the lawn
- Trim shrubs
- Weed flower beds
- Wipe down outdoor furniture
- Remove debris from patios, porches, and balconies
- Sanitize outdoor eating spaces
- Clean the barbeque grill and other cooking areas
- Disinfect stair railings.
If your vacation home includes a swimming pool, clean the pool and pool deck. You'll also need to check the pH level of the pool water. The same goes for hot tubs.
Deep Cleaning Checklist for Vacation Rentals
So far, this article's vacation home cleaning checklists cover regular cleaning tasks. These are the tasks done after each visit to a rental home.
A deep clean is even more detailed. Some tasks, such as cleaning inside the refrigerator after every guest visit, belong on the regular cleaning checklist (even though most people don't do this at home).
A deep cleaning helps keep a home bacteria and virus-free. It also helps improve indoor air quality. Guests (and you), particularly those with allergies or other respiratory conditions, will appreciate staying in a home where the owners pay attention to deep cleaning.
Here is what you should include:
- Clean areas behind appliances
- Vacuum refrigerator coils
- Clean hood vent
- Change hood vent filter if needed
- Deep clean dishwasher
- Clean and sanitize garbage disposal
- Dust baseboards and doors
- Clean interior and exterior windows
- Clean window and door frames
- Steam clean carpets
- Launder bedspreads and comforters
- Wash shower curtain and liner
- Clean bathroom exhaust fan
- Wash and sanitize trash cans
- Wash walls
- Remove scuff marks from baseboards and floors
When you deep clean a house, it's an excellent opportunity to eliminate clutter. If you don't organize kitchen and bathroom cabinets often, why not do it during the deep clean?
Even more critical is the protection of your real estate investment.
Keep Your Rental Home Ready to Enjoy
Whether you use them at home or keep the list handy to ensure your rental is ready for guests, we hope you'll find our vacation home cleaning checklist and tips helpful.
One of the benefits of working with Lifestyle Asset Group is knowing that you have experts managing all the details of your co-owned real estate, including keeping the property clean.
Contact our team today for more information on second-home partnerships in Florida, the Eastern U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean.