Vacation Rental Blog Posts

The Ultimate Airbnb Cleaning Checklist

September 18, 2020

Clean, disinfect, and sanitize: During COVID-19 and into the future, these are three vital watchwords for keeping your Airbnb rental spotless, germ-free, and safe for guests. To ensure that you and your Airbnb cleaners are keeping guests safe, use TurnoverBnB to automate your cleaning checklists and scheduling. Double-check Airbnb Cleaning Guidelines Airbnb launched an enhanced […]

Clean, disinfect, and sanitize: During COVID-19 and into the future, these are three vital watchwords for keeping your Airbnb rental spotless, germ-free, and safe for guests. To ensure that you and your Airbnb cleaners are keeping guests safe, use TurnoverBnB to automate your cleaning checklists and scheduling.

Double-check Airbnb Cleaning Guidelines

Airbnb launched an enhanced cleaning protocol in June of 2020, and there’s every possibility that this could be updated at a future date as the company takes steps to help keep everyone safe. If it’s been a while since you last read the guide, we recommend giving it a look before you get started. This way, your Airbnb cleaners will cover all of the bases.

Get Organized

Gather all the tools you’ll need for cleaning your Airbnb rental and be sure that you’re stocked up on approved cleaning solutions, laundry supplies, and other essentials including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like safety glasses, an apron, disposable masks, plenty of disposable gloves, and shoe covers to protect yourself as you tidy up.

Personal Protective Equipment. Photo by Mier Chen on Unsplash.

Don’t Enter the Rental Right Away

Follow the CDC’s guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting facilities if you’re not getting in Coronavirus cleaning specialists. Waiting 24 hours to enter might seem like overkill but it’s impossible to tell if someone with an undiagnosed case of COVID-19 has spent time in your rental.

Suit Up, Then Ventilate

Don your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) before you enter the unit. Even though you’ve waited to enter, there’s a chance that contamination could be present. Once you’ve entered, open the outside windows and doors, and activate any ventilation fans.

Clean Up

“Cleaning” isn’t the same as sanitizing or disinfecting. True, you can use products that contain disinfectant as you clear dust and dirt from various surfaces, but according to Airbnb standards, cleaning is actually the process of removing dirt and germs.

  • Take out garbage before you get started with other tasks. Remember to change your gloves, wash your hands, and put on a clean pair of gloves before you start with the next task. 
  • Wash and dry garbage cans, then add new liners. You can disinfect the clean cans for your own protection at this point, and you should repeat the disinfection process a second time after you’ve finished all cleaning tasks.
  • Wash linens, but don’t shake them, as this disturbs and dislodges microbes. Use the highest heat setting, and remember to change your gloves and wash your hands again before you pull clean linens out of the washer and dryer. Remember to wash mattress protectors in addition to bedding.
  • Wash all the dishes, beginning with the dirty ones. Yes, it’s a real pain to remove every dish, every glass, every pan, and every bit of flatware from the cupboards and run them all through the dishwasher, but this can help keep future guests safer and protect your good standing. 
  • Clean all kitchen appliances thoroughly, from top to bottom.
  • Work from top to bottom of every room, dusting, then sweeping hard floors and vacuuming rugs and carpets. Remember to clean inside closets and cabinets, too.
  • Wash windows and clean window sills. Clean the blinds according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Scrub and mop hard surfaces. Use soap and water on countertops, cabinets, sinks, toilets, bathtubs, showers, tile floors, and other non-porous surfaces. Use a separate container for rinse water, don’t reuse dirty sponges or filthy mops, and dump spent water in a sink that you’ll clean last. 
  • Clean bedding, upholstery, carpet, and draperies. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and if indicated, run machine washable items through the laundry, again using the hottest setting the manufacturer allows.  
  • Empty the vacuum cleaner and disinfect it.
Disinfectant and masks. Photo by Tetiana Shyshkina on Unsplash.

Sanitize and disinfect

All high-touch areas – this means things like faucets, the flush handle on the commode, lamps, light switches, gaming controls, remote controls, doorknobs, refrigerators and other kitchen appliances, and other items that are frequently handled. Everything needs to be chemically sanitized.

This might seem like an extra step – and it is. However, Airbnb now requires hosts to sanitize all items that are touched frequently, along with any surface that might have come in contact with soiled linens. Darren Robertson, Northern Virginia realtor, says this is the same for those conducting viewings or open homes:

“Think door handles, the front of your washer and dryer, the floor in front of the washer, the bathroom floor, the cabinets in the bathroom, the nightstands in the bedrooms, and anything else that could have touched a sheet or towel that was used by a guest or the current owner. Remember to sanitize and disinfect garbage cans again if you have been using them during the cleaning process.”

  • Before you sanitize, check your product’s label to determine wet time. This is the number of seconds or minutes the product must remain wet in order to assure that microbes are killed. 
  • Don’t wipe sanitized items dry. Instead, allow the product to air-dry. Reapply disinfectant if it seems like items are drying too quickly.
  • Remove all cleaning gear before you reset. Dispose of disinfectant wipes, and wash reusable cleaning cloths, mop heads, and sponges at the hottest wash setting possible.

Get Ready for New Guests

Start by once again washing your hands and donning new PPE.

Next, make the beds, fluff the pillows, reset the living room, and make sure everything is picture-perfect. Leave a note that lets guests know that everything has been cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected for their stay. Airbnb provides a printable cleaning summary that you can sign as a means of reassuring guests that their home away from home is as sanitary as it is welcoming.

While you’re at it, consider updating your listing to ensure that potential guests are aware that you’ve followed an enhanced cleaning protocol. Follow Airbnb’s guidelines: For example, avoid using words like “quarantine” or “COVID-19.”

Restock with Cleaning Supplies for Guest Use

Some guests feel most comfortable when they have the ability to clean up during their stay. Stock up on items like:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hand Soap
  • Paper towels
  • Disposable gloves
  • Disinfectant wipes 
  • Disinfectant spray
  • Multi-surface cleaner

Final Thoughts

No time to take extra steps? Extraordinarily messy visitors? Drowning in laundry? If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring expert help from a professional cleaning service that won’t leave you wondering whether hosting an Airbnb getaway is worth the extra work on your part. Experienced hosts agree: The peace of mind makes this an investment that pays off in great reviews, increased popularity, and better positioning on Airbnb.

For the moment though, you may want to grab your tools (neatly organized of course!) and clean your Airbnb rental to perfection. Your guests will thank you!

Denise Langenegger Avatar

By Denise Langenegger