Cleaning Check List

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Cleaning Check List

A short-term rental (STR) cleaning checklist comes in handy regardless of how hosts manage vacation rental cleaning. Whether you clean your properties on your own or outsource cleanings, a detailed Airbnb cleaning checklist helps to ensure perfect cleanliness and attract more five-star reviews.

Considering that cleanliness is one of the biggest factors in guest satisfaction, it makes even more sense that hosts should rely on a cleaning checklist.

We have done the “dirty work” for you to put together an ultimate Airbnb cleaning checklist. You are welcome to use it as a template and adjust it to the specifics of your properties. To simplify the process of working from a checklist even further, Stay in our home enables you to create detailed checklists for each integrated property and share them with your cleaner or cleaning team.

From general cleaning tasks to more specific jobs per room, find out what needs to be completed before your next guest can check in.

The Benefits of Utilizing a STR Cleaning Checklist

The expectations of travelers are becoming higher. This means that if you want to continue to meet the needs of your guests, you will need to prioritize cleaning. In fact, according to research, more than 80% of travelers reported that they feel more at ease booking accommodation that they know follows the enhanced cleaning protocols.

Not only will a clean property help you to attract more bookings, but it also offers a number of other advantages. Here are a few of the main benefits that a cleaning checklist can offer to Airbnb hosts:

  • Streamlined cleaning process:

No cleaning task will be missed or a hidden corner of your house forgotten.

  • Delegation: 

You can easily delegate the cleaning process by handing over your cleaning instructions to an outsourced cleaner or a professional cleaning team.

  • Compliance: 

A detailed checklist ensures that cleaning is always carried out in a specific manner. You can check the quality of cleaning as per the points in your checklist.

  • Saves time: 

It helps STR hosts to save valuable time by removing any guesswork. In other words, you and your team will always know which task should be tackled next.

  • Workload distribution: 

It helps to distribute the workload evenly within your cleaning team.

A STR Cleaning Checklist: General Rules

While it is crucial that you ensure that every inch of your property is sparkling clean, here are some general cleaning tasks that you or your cleaner must tackle every time before the next guest arrives:

  • Check your house for any left-behind items, remove and store them in safekeeping 
  • Take out the trash
  • Wipe and sanitize high-touch areas like light switches, door handles and doorknobs, and the handles of cupboards
  • Vacuum and sanitize all the floors and carpets 
  • Wash and change all the sheets and towels
  • Dust all the surfaces and furniture
  • Clean shelves and wipe the dust off decorative items
  • Clean and sanitize toilets, bathtubs, and showers 
  • Replenish supplies, such as hand soap, toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, and other supplies that you offer at your rental. 

A Vacation Rental Cleaning Checklist by Room

From the exterior of your property to high-traffic areas like the kitchen, you need to have a cleaning strategy in place to tackle room by room. The kitchen and bathroom are particularly important. In addition to the general cleaning tasks, here are tasks per room to ensure you don’t miss a nook or cranny.

 

Living Room Cleaning

Living rooms are areas where guests spend most of their time while staying at your STR. So, you’ll want to ensure that the area is inviting and creates a relaxing atmosphere. Here are the cleaning tasks to keep your living room tidy and spotless:

  • Clean the screen of the TV and disinfect the remote 
  • Dust other electronics like a game console
  • Dust the coffee and side tables
  • Vacuum the sofa and armchairs (remember also to vacuum the space between the seating cushions as well as beneath the individual cushions)
  • Wash throw blankets and pillow covers of scatter cushions
  • Wash curtains and/or blinds
  • Dust any shelves
  • Dust any decorative items
  • Organize miscellaneous items
  • Clean all the mirrors
  • Vacuum and mop the floor (be sure to clean under the furniture and rugs as well)
  • Clean the blinds/curtains
  • Disinfect light switches and doorknobs.

Bedroom Cleaning

As the quality of your guests’ sleep will determine the quality of their stay, you’ll want to ensure that there are no nasty surprises. Here’s how to create the best sleeping environment:

  • Check the bedding for any rips or stains
  • Wash all the dirty linen and replace them with fresh linen
  • Make the bed
  • Clean between the headboard and mattress (this is a place where you’ll often find lost items)
  • Clean under the bed (this is another place you’ll need to check for left-behind items)
  • Wipe down and disinfect the bedside tables
  • Dust bedside lamps
  • Empty and clean all the closets, dressers, and drawers
  • Vacuum the carpet/mop the floor
  • Clean the blinds/curtains
  • Disinfect light switches.

Bathroom Cleaning

Guests can be very critical of bathrooms. So, you’ll want to double-check that your bathroom is sparkling clean by completing the following tasks:

  • Clean and disinfect the whole toilet (in other words, the seat, bowl, lid, and tank)
  • Wash and disinfect the toilet brush
  • Clean and disinfect the shower (remember to check the shower curtain if you have one)
  • Clean and disinfect the sink
  • Check the drains for any hair
  • Use a stainless steel cleaner to ensure all the taps and showerhead are sparkling clean and free of any smudges
  • Clean all the mirrors
  • Wash and replace all the towels
  • Wash and replace the bath/shower mats
  • Mop the floor
  • Clean and restock the bathroom cabinets and drawers
  • Check for any signs of mold
  • Clean the blinds/curtains
  • Disinfect light switches.

Kitchen Cleaning

One of the advantages that short-term rentals offer over hotel accommodation is that they have a kitchen. You’ll want to use this feature to your advantage by ensuring that it meets all the cleaning standards. Plus, considering that this is where food gets prepared, it’s crucial that your kitchen is hygienic.

  • Clean the inside of all the kitchen appliances and wipe down and disinfect the exterior (this includes the microwave, dishwasher, and oven)
  • Clean the oven wire racks and drip pans
  • Wipe down the stovetop
  • Clean the sink’s drain filter
  • Wipe down and disinfect the inside and outside of drawers and cupboards (ensure that there are no crumbs)
  • Wipe down and disinfect all countertops and backsplashes
  • Check that if all the dishes are clean and have been returned to the right cupboard/drawer
  • If you provide pantry essentials, double-check the use-by dates of all the food (this includes any spices, oil, and condiments)
  • Empty the refrigerator and wipe down and disinfect all the shelves
  • Ensure there are clean sponges and tea towels
  • Remove the garbage and line all the trash cans with a clean bag
  • Sweep and mop the floor
  • Clean the blinds/curtains
  • Disinfect light switches.

 

Utility and Laundry Room Cleaning

If you have a utility and laundry room that guests are welcome to use, you need to ensure that this space is guest-friendly and clean too. Here are what you’ll need to do:

  • Clean the interior and exterior of the washing machine (remember to check the detergent tray of the washing machine specifically)
  • Clean the dryer lint of the dryer
  • Disinfect light switches and buttons/knobs of the appliances
  • Replenish the detergent
  • Clean behind and between the washing machine and dryer
  • Clean around any supplies.
  • Mop the floor.

Home Exterior Cleaning

Hosts often forget that the exterior of their property also needs regular attention. Plus, considering that this is what guests will see first, it’s even more important that you ensure that it’s properly maintained.

  • Clean the windows and the actual window frames
  • Clean and disinfect any outdoor eating areas
  • Clean the barbecue
  • Empty any trash bins and line them with a clean plastic bag
  • Wash and replace chair cushions
  • Clean any lawn furniture
  • Sweep the patio
  • Clean and disinfect safety railings
  • Wash and replace chair cushions
  • Remove weeds and other debris like sticks, branches, and leaves
  • Clean the swimming pool.

Cleaning Supplies That You Might Need

Unless you work with a professional cleaning company that usually provides its own supplies, you should stock up the necessary supplies for a thorough cleaning. While you will need multiple tools and supplies, it will make your cleaning tasks much more efficient when you have the right products at hand.

It is also important that you keep the most essential cleaning items inside your vacation rental if your guests need to clean a spill or perform a quick surface clean. However, just make sure that these are stored well out of reach of children.

 Here are the essential cleaning supplies that you will need:

  • A vacuum cleaner
  • A microfiber mop
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Sponges
  • Scrub pads
  • A toilet brush
  • Rubber gloves
  • Spray bottles
  • An all-purpose cleaner
  • A stainless steel cleaner
  • A degreaser
  • Disinfectants
  • A cleaning product for glass surfaces
  • A quality wood polish
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Air fresheners
  • Hand soap.

Simplifying the Vacation Rental Cleaning Process

In addition to these room-by-room checklists, automation can also help you to make the Airbnb cleaning process even more straightforward. Whether it is to trade in your broom for a robotic vacuum or sign up for vacation rental software, many hosts put their faith in these tools to make their vacation rental cleaning more efficient.

 

1. Make use of smart home cleaning devices

Cleaning a property, even more so if it is used as a vacation rental, takes loads of time and energy. Luckily, introducing smart home devices in the cleaning process might be a smart move, especially if you clean your properties without the help of outsourced cleaners. Here are some of the smart home cleaning devices that are worthwhile investments:

  • A robot window cleaner
  • An automatic carpet cleaner that automatically sprays, brushes, and suctions
  • A robot mop
  • A robot vacuum
  • microwave cleaner
  • toilet bowl cleaning system
  • SonicScrubber
  • An air purifier.

2. Use vacation rental software

If you have hired the services of a professional cleaning team or have your own cleaning crew in place, vacation rental software can help to streamline the process by:

  • Sharing daily cleaning schedules with your cleaners.
  • Creating unique Airbnb cleaning checklists for a specific short-term rental or a specific purpose.
  • Auto-assigning cleaners to your properties.
  • Tracking the status of each cleaning task. The assigned cleaner will be able to mark the task as accepted, declined, or completed.
  • Notifying your cleaning team of last-minute changes by pinning to-do notes at the top of your guest requirements list.
  • Prioritizing subtasks in your Airbnb cleaning checklists to measure the workload against the hours assigned.

In addition to simplifying the cleaning routine, iGMS comes in handy to improve other operations such as:

  • Managing multiple accounts and listings on the top vacation rental platforms from a single interface
  • Automating guest messaging on popular OTAs and direct booking websites
  • Synchronizing reservations across multiple platforms to eliminate the risk of getting a double-booking
  • Receiving payouts and creating invoices by connecting your Stripe account to Stay in our home.
  • Using the unified inbox to organize your messages into a single feed and ensure prompt replies
  • Automating the process of guest reviews send-outs
  • Managing direct bookings using a direct booking management toolkit
  • Creating essential reports on your business results within minutes
  • Adjusting your pricing regularly through integrations with PriceLabs, Wheelhouse, and DPGO.

3. Introduce a cleaning fee

cleaning fee can also help STR hosts to simplify the cleaning process further. By adding a cleaning fee to your listings, you will be able to hire a cleaning service or a subcontractor and save time and money on cleaning. What’s more, it will offer you and your property more protection.

While hosts have the freedom to set their own cleaning fees, the average cleaning fee for a STR can range anything from $65 to $105 per booking (or in some cases, less than 10% of the total reservation cost).

Factors like your location and property size will impact how much you should charge for a cleaning fee. If you will be using the services of a company, you will also need to consider the average hourly rate and then charge slightly more to cover unexpected costs.

Conclusion

While the cleanliness of your vacation rental was always a top priority, the COVID-19 pandemic placed it in a whole new spotlight. If you have not created an ultimate STR cleaning checklist yet, it should be at the top of your current to-dos.

Then, by adding vacation rental software and even a robotic tool or two, you will be able not only to streamline your cleaning but also improve it. In fact, you will most likely find that it saves you valuable time that you can devote to other more business-scaling tasks such as marketing.

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