Vacation Rental Blog Posts

Airbnb Cleaning Checklist 101

April 07, 2021

Enhance your cleaning routine by adding checklists.

Airbnb cleaning checklist


It is no surprise that one of the most important components influencing a vacation rental guest’s experience is the property’s overall cleanliness. This is where a thorough Airbnb cleaning becomes crucial.

To help you ensure your cleaning is checking all the boxes, follow this Airbnb cleaning checklist.

Guests generally feel more comfortable in accommodations that are aesthetically pleasing. Finding an attractive property that is visibly free of mess and clutter can offer guests a chance to escape their everyday lives.

But do you know what guests DON’T like? You guessed it: unclean properties – and more specifically, a property that shows any sign of the last person’s stay. Airbnb hosts will either benefit or lose from the resulting reviews, and this will likely also be reflected in your cleaning business’s reviews.

Cleaning an Airbnb can be quite a chore – literally. To help make the task easier, use this Airbnb cleaning checklist to help check all the boxes to ensure happy guests (and more positive reviews) every time. You can even borrow from thousands of public cleaning checklists.

Before you begin your cleaning routine, look over the checklists below and add any specific areas to your property to make sure you don’t miss a spot!

Supplies

Before getting started, it’s helpful to gather all of the necessary supplies to help avoid any last-minute trips to the store. Much like a mechanic’s toolbox, each cleaner’s supply kit will vary. The following supply list gives you a starting point to expand upon as you determine more specific items to fit your needs.

  • Vacuum 
  • Mop (traditional or Swiffer type)
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Glass cleaner
  • Bathroom disinfectant
  • Microfiber cloths
  • A toilet brush
  • Duster
  • Wood polish

General Cleaning

While we are still maintaining Covid-19 cleaning protocols and enhancements, it is imperative that you thoroughly clean any vacation rental property. Guests will quickly be able to tell if you skipped out on cleaning. This can lead to bad reviews down the road. To prevent this and make the guests’ stay as enjoyable as possible, clean between guests and keep up with the property’s regular maintenance.

The following cleaning checklist contains some spots that may be easily forgotten:

  • Light switches
  • Door handles
  • Light fixtures
  • Between couch cushions
  • Cupboards
  • Dust/cobwebs in corners
  • Mats/rugs 

What are some other easily forgotten areas? Go ahead and add any others to the list.

Living Room

The living room is a natural gathering place in any home. Make sure the living room is clean and inviting for guests to want to spend time there.

On top of the easily forgotten areas, here are some spots to pay special attention to in this space:

  • Remotes (TV, air conditioning, music, etc.)
  • Wipe down the TV screen
  • Dust coffee tables, bookcases, and any other surfaces 
  • Tidy books and magazines
  • Wash throw blankets and pillows as needed
  • Vacuum under furniture – don’t forget under the rugs!

Living rooms often contain many little nooks and crevices perfect for trapping dirt. Make sure to clean these hard-to-reach areas to combat dust buildup.

Adding decor is a great way to spice up any room, but there is a fine line between good taste and clutter. Take a moment to look at the living room setup and remove any items that clutter the space. If the space has any indoor plants, be sure to water if needed and remove any dead leaves from the pot. 

Kitchen

An added benefit of staying in an Airbnb over a traditional hotel is the fully functional kitchen. Be sure to pay extra attention to any potential sticky residue or crumbs from previous guests. Here is a list of items to clean in your kitchen:

  • Put away clean dishes and utensils
  • Wash all pots and pans
  • Clean the toaster – make sure to clean out the crumb tray
  • Wipe down the microwave
  • Clean the oven
  • Replace the garbage bin bag
  • Empty the refrigerator
  • Wipe down the counters, cabinets, and walls
  • Polish stainless steel appliances to remove any fingerprints and enhance the shine

When cleaning all appliances, be sure to clean them inside and out. Remove any expired or opened snacks. Be sure to provide a fresh set of kitchen towels, sponges, and other cleaning supplies. Refill soap dispensers and replace any plug-in scent diffusers.

Dining Room

Give guests an area to gather and enjoy a meal together. There are many places in a dining room that can hold crumbs and dust. 

  • Wipe in between furniture spindles for hidden crumbs
  • Make sure nothing has been stuck to the bottom of the table 
  • Wash tablecloths and any other washable fabrics
  • Disinfect any highchairs or booster seats
  • Clean centerpieces 

Be sure to move the furniture aside when cleaning the floor to get any remaining crumbs. If there is a wooden dining table, finish by using a wood polish. If there is a glass table, be sure to remove all fingerprints and smudge marks.

Bathroom

While bathrooms may not be the stand-out feature in the home, guests will be sure to notice any grime left behind. Make sure all complimentary items and linens look fresh and are in excellent condition. Guests will be reluctant to use a towel that is matted down or, worse yet – stained with leftover makeup residue.

  • Clean the entire toilet
  • Polish faucets 
  • Wipe the mirror
  • Scrub water stains and soap scum out of the tub/shower
  • Wash shower curtains
  • Clean water stains from glass shower doors
  • Remove any hair from the walls and drains
  • Wash all towels and bathmats
  • Dust decorations
  • Replace/refill complimentary items (hand soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, etc.)

Bathrooms can easily grow mold if not regularly maintained. Be sure to check tiles and other water-prone areas often. Reseal with silicone if needed. 

Bedroom

Bedrooms are arguably the most important rooms in a vacation rental. This is where guests should be able to relax comfortably. Getting a good night’s rest is always the recipe for a successful, fun-filled vacation. Without a clean bedroom, guests will not be able to enjoy their getaway to the fullest.

  • Wash all dirty linens (sheets, pillowcases, blankets, duvet covers, etc.)
  • Check behind the headboard and under the bed for any stray items
  • Dust the nightstands
  • Empty closets and dresser drawers

When it comes time to replace the mattresses or pillows, invest in quality products that will last; a rule of thumb is to always have extra sets of linens on hand in case of emergencies. It would help if you had extras for all beds in the rental. Be sure to check for stains or signs of wear before each guest arrives.

Windows and Doors

A guest’s first impression of the Airbnb will most likely be the front door – don’t let it be a bad one! Wipe down the door and thoroughly clean the door frame. This is an often overlooked area that can attract dirt and grime easily.

Windows are natural focal points in any room; they bring in natural light and provide a view of the outside. When cleaning, make sure to have a streak-free finish that will not hinder the view.

  • Clean the inside and outside of all windows 
  • Wipe down the window frames and tracks
  • Clean any window screens
  • Wash curtains
  • Wipe down curtain rods

Also, check to make sure these areas are properly sealed. If not, bugs and other pests can easily enter the property.

Exterior

The exterior of a house is a preview of the character of the home itself. A well-maintained lawn creates an inviting welcome to any property. On the contrary, an unkempt lawn might make guests second guess their accommodations. 

  • Remove any dead leaves and branches from the lawn
  • Trim bushes and mow the lawn regularly
  • Remove weeds and other debris
  • Wipe down outdoor furniture
  • Clean railings
  • Sweep the patio and deck

It may also be a good idea to pressure wash the driveway and any walkways every so often. Take the time to remove any weeds that might be growing in the cracks as well. These little details come together to give the property a 5-star rating.

Off-Season Airbnb Cleaning

Cleaning an entire dirty property at once can be an intimidating task. To make it less daunting, clean regularly and perform any additional maintenance as needed. 

  • Check the plumbing
  • Replace any burnt out light bulbs 
  • Clean behind appliances (oven, dishwasher, refrigerator) 
  • Touch up the paint

When the property is not in use, consider adding protective coverings over the furniture. This will help to eliminate excess dust and make it easier to clean during the busy rental season. Roll up rugs and store them so they don’t gather dust or acquire new stains.

Create Your Own Airbnb Cleaning Checklist

A detailed Airbnb cleaning checklist will help ensure you have thoroughly prepared the property for the next guests. Using a checklist will also impress your customers, showing your organization and attention to detail in your cleaning routine.

Whether you use one of these public checklists or use them as inspiration to build your own, you will be on the right track to a 5-star clean every time.

Lehua Cameron Avatar

By Lehua Cameron