Short Term Rental

The Ultimate Airbnb Cleaning Checklist: 10 Essential Steps for Hosts

Positive reviews start with a clean rental property. Keep your listings in top shape with our ultimate cleaning checklist.

March 22, 2024
Jared Levine

Imagine this. Your guests just checked out of your vacation rental property. It’s a same-day turnover so you only have a few hours before your next guests arrive. This can feel stressful—whether you’re doing the Airbnb cleaning or have a team handling it. That’s where a rental cleaning checklist comes in.

A vacation rental cleaning checklist removes the ambiguity of how your properties should look for each new guest. Building a checklist will speed up your turnovers and make sure everything is clear and communicated with your team. 

In this blog, we are going to go over what supplies you need for cleaning, how often you should clean, tips when hiring a cleaning crew, and of course—a cleaning checklist for you to use and customize to your cleaning routine. 

Example cleaner checklist

Preparing for Cleaning

Essential Cleaning Supplies for Airbnb hosts

Here are the essential cleaning supplies. These supplies should allow you to handle most of the general cleaning tasks, but make sure you adjust your cleaning supplies list for your Airbnb property needs.

  1. High-Quality Vacuum Cleaner - Ideal for carpet care, ensuring a dust-free environment.
  2. Versatile Microfiber Mop - Comes with pads for both dry and wet cleaning, perfect for hardwood floors.
  3. Reliable Glass Cleaning Solution - Essential for sparkling windows and mirrors.
  4. All-Purpose Cleaning Agent - Great for kitchen messes and floor cleaning.
  5. Powerful Disinfectant - Crucial for sanitizing toilets, bathtubs, and bacteria-prone areas.
  6. Ample Supply of Microfiber Towels - For versatile cleaning tasks throughout the space.
  7. Scrubbing Pads - Handy for tackling tough, stubborn stains.
  8. Pumice Stone - Effective against hard water deposits.
  9. Sturdy Toilet Brush - For regular bathroom maintenance.
  10. Wood Polish - Adds a gleaming finish to furniture and surfaces.
  11. Selection of Trash Bags - Available in various trash can sizes for tidiness and organization.

Besides the basic cleaning supplies, Airbnb hosts might also consider adding a few extra items to their cleaning kit. A barbecue cleaning brush is useful for hosts who have a grill for their guests, making sure it's clean and ready to use. A step ladder helps in cleaning spots that are hard to reach, like high shelves and light fixtures, to keep every part of the rental clean. An extra-long duster is also handy for removing dust and cobwebs from high places, like the tops of furniture and corners of rooms, to help keep the place looking neat

Setting Aside Time to Clean Using Your Rental Cleaning Checklists

For Airbnb properties, the cleaning schedule should be tailored to guest turnover and the length of stays. There are several time windows to consider when scheduling your cleaning and using your Airbnb cleaning checklist.

  1. Between Stays: Cleaning between guest stays is essential. Ensure the property is thoroughly cleaned and ready for the next guests.
  2. During Long Stays: For guests staying for extended periods, consider offering additional cleaning services. This can vary based on the length of stay and guest preferences.
  3. Weekly Cleaning: For stays longer than a week, a weekly cleaning service can be offered as an optional extra. This keeps the property in good condition and enhances guest comfort.
  4. Mid-Stay Cleaning: For stays of about two weeks or more, offering a mid-stay clean can be a thoughtful touch, helping maintain cleanliness and guest satisfaction.
  5. Deep Cleaning: Periodic deep cleaning goes beyond the surface to address areas that might not be covered in regular cleaning sessions. Schedule deep cleaning sessions quarterly or as needed based on guest traffic and property wear and tear.
  6. Optional Upsells: Consider offering cleaning as an optional service for guests during their stay. This can be particularly appealing for long-term guests interested in maintaining a clean environment without the hassle.


Communicating with Guests Regarding the Cleaning Schedule

A question often asked by many an Airbnb host is: “How much of the cleaning tasks should I expect my guests to do?” This is a fair question, but it’s important to remember that this is a hospitality operation. So a rule of thumb is, to try to have your guests do as little of the cleaning routine as possible. 

Including simple cleaning instructions in your Airbnb house rules can set clear expectations for guests regarding the cleanliness of your property, potentially motivating them to tidy up during their stay. Providing guests with high-quality, accessible cleaning supplies can make it convenient for them to address spills and minor messes promptly. This approach not only encourages a cooperative effort in maintaining the property but also contributes to a more pleasant stay for everyone.

Cleaning Checklists

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

  • Sanitize countertops and appliances.
  • Clean the sink, faucet, and inside of the refrigerator.
  • Wipe microwave, oven, cabinets, and backsplash.

Living Room Cleaning Checklist

  • Dust and vacuum furniture, including under cushions.
  • Clean windows, mirrors, and TV screens.
  • Disinfect remotes, light switches, and door handles.

Bedroom Cleaning Checklist

  • Change and wash linens; inspect for personal items.
  • Dust surfaces and vacuum floors, including under the bed.
  • Straighten out bed skirts; disinfect light switches and remotes.

Bathroom Cleaning Checklist

  • Disinfect toilet, clean tub/shower, and sink faucet.
  • Wash all towels and bathmats; replace toiletries.
  • Clean mirrors and remove hair from drains.

General & Maintenance Cleaning Checklists

  • Empty trash bins; check for damages or issues.
  • Declutter living spaces; check light switches, doorknobs.
  • Vacuum under rugs; remove cobwebs from light fixtures.

Deep Cleaning Routine

  • Monthly: Sweep porches, check plumbing, trim shrubs.
  • Every 3-6 months: Dust furniture, clean behind large appliances.
  • Annually: Spot clean walls, treat upholstery stains, touch up paint.

Laundry/Utility Room Cleaning Checklist

  • Clean detergent trays and dryer lint; disinfect machines.
  • Organize cleaning supplies; restock as necessary.

Windows and Doors Cleaning Tasks

  • Clean glass inside and out; dust curtain rods.
  • Disinfect handles and frames.

Outdoor Areas Cleaning Tasks

  • Remove debris; clean furniture and cushions.
  • Clean pool and barbecue; disinfect eating areas.

Should I Hire a Cleaning Crew?

Pros of Professional Cleaning Services

Given the significant time, focus, and energy required to clean an Airbnb to a high standard, hiring a professional cleaning team can be a wise decision. A professional team can clean more efficiently and effectively, freeing up your time to focus on enhancing guest experiences and expanding your business. 

How to Find Vacation Rental Cleaning Companies

Here’s what we suggest when looking for short-term rental cleaning services. Drive around the town where your listings are on Sunday (the highest turnover day for vacation rentals). A less labor-intensive way to find cleaners is a simple search on Facebook or Craigslist. 

Cleaning Tasks and Cleaning Routines for Third-Party Teams

Using a Standard Property Appearance

To help your cleaners, crafting a Standard Property Appearance (SPA) checklist is an option. An SPA details the exact cleanliness and set up standards for every area of your rentals. Include photographs of each room at its ideal presentation, providing a visual benchmark for your cleaning team. 

Incorporate this SPA into your onboarding process for new cleaners, ensuring consistency and efficiency from day one. By implementing this practical tool, you not only streamline the cleaning process but also significantly boost the likelihood of receiving glowing reviews consistently.

Using Forms for Supplies Restocking

Since your cleaners are your boots on the ground when it comes to your vacation rentals, leverage them to help with supply restocking. So when cleaners notice any of your supplies or even utilities are low in stock, have them fill out a form that goes directly to your inbox so that you can track and update inventory. 

Additional Tips for Rental Cleaning Checklists

If you're giving the checklist to a 3rd party break it down into YOUR property's specific rooms. Even within those rooms break down further, eg don't just say "wipe fridge" use terms like "disinfect fridge" this will let the cleaners know exactly what's expected and what products they should be using.

Another option is to color code your tasks: 1 color for tasks done every time. 1 color for tasks done weekly. 1 color for tasks done monthly.

Clear communication and an even clearer checklist template will make sure quality doesn’t slip through the cracks.

Tools for Cleaner Management

In addition to having a cleaner checklist, you can also use these tools to help manage your cleaners.

  1. Breezeway: Breezeway allows you to properly schedule your cleaners and track your cleaning tasks so you can have a zoomed-out view of your general cleaning tasks and cleaning operations. 
  2. HostAI: HostAI uses AI to extract cleaning tasks from your guest reviews. For instance, if a guest writes “Place was good but the master shower was dirty.” HostAI will make a task titled “Deep clean of shower” and allow you to set the status,and assign it to the right person of your team so that it can get tracked and done. 

HostAI Task Tracking

A Cleaning Checklist Template You Can Use

We went over the importance of a cleaning routine, the types of cleaning supplies you should have, what goes into a good short term rental cleaning checklist, and easy ways to add an external cleaning team. 

To make sure you have gotten as much valuable information, here is a Cleaning Checklist Template you can use for your operation. 

Happy hosting. 

Try out HostAI for yourself.