Running a Cleaning Business

What Guests Want From a Vacation Rental Cleaning Service

July 20, 2020

It can be tricky for a vacation rental cleaning service to remember all of the tasks that need to be done between guests, especially with a limited amount of time. There are so many things around the house to look for that are immediate eyesores to new arrivals — and hosts. To retain loyal host clients, their guests’ first impressions are of utmost importance. Learn the top 5 things a short-term rental cleaning service should triple-check when doing any cleaning job.

Vacation Rental Cleaning Services Are the First Line of Defense

A guests’ first impression is crucial, and one of the first things they notice when they arrive at a short-term rental property is cleanliness.

An Airbnb might receive a negative review for a variety of reasons, including not having a well-stocked kitchen, being in an undesirable area, or not having a responsive host. But the top things that guarantee a bad review are dirt, dust, and grime.

This is where a vacation rental cleaning service comes into play. Professional Airbnb cleaning teams have the huge responsibility of making guests’ first impressions of a property positive. They’re responsible for setting the tone for the guests for the remainder of their stay.

Clean hardwood floor. Photo by Francesca Tosolini on Unsplash,

Rental turnover services know how crucial it is to change the towels and linens, wipe down countertops, and sweep the floors. But there are other, lesser-known cleaning tasks that can make or break an Airbnb cleaning rating.

Top 5 Things Rental Turnover Services Must Take to Heart

The following topics outline 5 of the most important things guests check when assessing the quality and cleanliness of an Airbnb property. Vacation rental cleaners should pay special attention to these items and areas to delight hosts and guests.


The vacation rental you’re cleaning has to smell neutral. Nothing turns off a guest quicker than going into a house and picking up a musty odor, the smell of smoke, or a heavy room deodorizer.

A great way to test whether a short-term rental has a neutral smell is to ask the host to leave the property closed up for a few days when there are no guests lined up. Then, have them go back after a couple of days and take note of any odors. The goal is to have no distinct smells.

Be mindful of the cleaning products and air deodorizers you use while working. We recommend Febreze odor eliminators, as the brand has specialized products for carpets, fabrics, and the air.

Professional Cleaner Pro-Tip: In addition to deodorizing the carpets and air, lightly spray the sofa with Febreze or your favorite fabric odor eliminator between guests.


After odors, the sight of a rogue piece of hair anywhere turns people off. Just a quick walk around when you finish cleaning is worth it.

Turn on all the lights, and look around for random strands of hair. See any pieces of hair on the floors, nightstands, or bedding? Use a broom, paper towels, or a lint roller to remove them.

Make sure to examine the bathroom with extreme scrutiny. The tub, shower walls, sink, and countertops should all be free of hair. A helpful tip for ridding bathrooms of excess hair is to clean from top to bottom.


Dust can trigger allergies, breathing problems, and other health issues — and it certainly doesn’t make for a satisfied vacation rental guest.

Be sure to check the hard-to-reach, easily overlooked areas when dusting, such as the baseboards, window sills, and ceiling fan blades. Also, remember that guests might drop something on the floor and accidentally look under the bed. Don’t let them see dust bunnies!


This one is easy to sympathize with. Who wants to go into the kitchen and step on something sticky, gritty, or wet?

If your client’s rental is near the beach, make sure all the sand is swept up. If the property is in a wet or snowy climate, it’s easy for guests to track in water, dirt, and other debris. Talk to the property owner about placing rugs or doormats in the entryways, and in the meantime, ensure the flooring in these areas is free of water, leaves, and mud.

Professional Cleaner Pro-Tip: Shine a flashlight on any hardwood flooring or tiles and inspect for footprints. This can be a sure sign you haven’t run a dust mop over the floor.


This room has to be pristine. Guests want to feel like it is a brand new bathroom that no one has ever used before. When a gentleman flips up the toilet seat, he better not see anything. The entire toilet needs to sparkle, including that small space where the lid screws into the base.

Make sure the sink and tub drains are clean and functioning properly. Also, ensure you have all the necessary house cleaning products to make the bathroom shine.

Helpful products for cleaning Airbnb bathrooms include:

  • Glass cleaner
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Clorox® ToiletWands®
  • Pine-Sol®
  • Vinegar
Clean bathroom. Photo by Francesca Tosolini on Unsplash.

Be the Vacation Rental Cleaning Service Everyone Raves About

The cliché “it’s the little things” certainly applies to rental turnover services. Grand gestures are nice, but the small finishing touches and stellar attention to detail are really what professional cleaning is all about.

If you check and recheck the 5 key things outlined above when completing your cleanings, you’ll see happy property managers who come back to your vacation rental cleaning service for more turnovers in the future. What’s more, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing your clients’ guests are comfortable and content.

Want more tips for your vacation rental cleaning service? Check out these helpful articles.

Stephanie Kidd Avatar

By Stephanie Kidd