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Even with the most luxurious or unique vacation rental property, property managers know that it takes consistent hard work for the five star reviews to keep coming in. Guest expectations are high, and it doesn’t take much for satisfaction to be compromised and ratings to drop. One of the more common offending issues that crops up in negative reviews is cleanliness. Fortunately, this is relatively easy to address. Enter: the Airbnb cleaning checklist.

Whether you contract cleaning services out to an external team, or have your own in-company cleaning crew, it’s imperative that your Airbnb cleaning checklist is flawless. Here’s what you need to include in your vacation rental cleaning checklist.

Why do you need an Airbnb cleaning checklist?

Keep standards high

If the same cleaning team is coming into the property every few days, it can be easy for standards to start to slip. A cleaning checklist reminds the team what’s necessary for each visit, and ensures everyone knows where they stand. After all, if you’re setting guest expectations with your Airbnb house rules, it’s imperative that you set the standard!

Staff changes

If your outsource your cleaning, you may have a different team visiting each time. Or it may be that your usual cleaners are not available for a period. Your vacation rental cleaning checklist makes sure that anyone who’s cleaning the property knows what they need to include. 

Owner trust

Having a clear outline of cleaning expectations puts your clients, the property owners, at ease. They know that the upkeep of their property is being looked after. 

Streamline processes

If your property management system has an operations module, you can manage all cleaning tasks and communications from within the system. This makes it easy for all stakeholders to stay up to date on the cleaning of the property. 

What cleaning supplies should I have in my vacation rental?

For efficiency, it’s recommended to keep a full cleaning supply kit in each of your properties. This means the cleaning team can arrive and get to work without having to bring their own products. It also means guests can easily clear up after any incidents. Here’s what to include:

  • An all-purpose cleaning spray for surfaces.
  • Disinfectant suitable for bathroom and floors.
  • A good-quality vacuum cleaner, suitable for carpets and hard floors. Make sure it has different shaped nozzles to make it easy to pick up dirt from awkward spaces. 
  • A mop with appropriate heads for the different hard flooring in your property. 
  • Glass cleaner for windows, mirrors, and shower screens. 
  • Plenty of scrubbing pads and microfibre cloths.
  • A toilet brush (plus a spare). 
  • Wood polish.
  • Different sized trash bags. 
  • Any specific maintenance products eg barbecue cleaner, or long-handled duster for any properties with high ceilings. 

Living Area

Whether your property has a cozy lounge or a large open-plan living space, there are certain cleaning points that need to be on every checklist. 

  • Wash all pillow covers and throws.
  • Vacuum sofas, including under and between cushions.
  • Vacuum under furniture, as well as around.
  • Remove all items from shelves and storage racks and clean items, and well as shelves themselves.
  • Clean any devices, like TV, air conditioning, digital entertainment systems. Don’t forget the remotes! No-one wants to touch sticky remotes. 
  • Clean light switches and any other high-touch points like handles and knobs. 
  • Clean any mirrors and picture frames.


As we know, one of the reasons vacation rentals are becoming the preferred choice over hotels is the freedom to prepare your own food and drinks. This enables guests to prepare meals according to their own dietary preferences, as well as sharing special moments with family and friends around the table. Here are the kitchen cleaning checklist items you need to include for a sparkling clean kitchen.

  • Clean in the inside and outside of each appliance, cupboard, and drawer.
  • Clean under the edges and rims of any worktops and the undersides of cabinets.
  • Clean the inside and outside of the fridge, microwave, and dishwasher.
  • Remove all items from drawers and clean thoroughly.
  • Ensure all kitchenware, glassware, and cutlery and sparkling clean.
  • Check that any pantry staples (cooking oils, herbs and spices etc) are in-date and looking presentable.
  • Ensure that there are plenty of sponges, tea towels, and kitchen cleaning products available. 


One of the first rooms to show the dirt, and not somewhere you can afford to cut corners on. Here are the key areas to include in your bathroom cleaning checklist:

  • Clean the entire toilet, including the base, behind, and any visible pipework.
  • Make sure towels and bath mats are clean.
  • Clean all mirrors, removing splash or smudge marks.
  • Use an appropriate cleaner for the faucet, to remove any build up and leave it shiny.
  • Clean around all drains, and make sure there are no blockages or build ups. 
  • Check all tile and sealant for any signs of mold and replace the silicone if necessary. 
  • Clean the shower curtain or screen thoroughly. 
  • Make sure any toiletries are full and presentable.


It’s important that guests are able to get a good night’s sleep when staying at your vacation rental. Providing a clean and comfortable environment lays the foundation for well-rested guests. Here’s what you mustn’t overlook.

  • Fresh bed linens are a must. If you often have quick turnovers and can’t wash the comforter or pillows between each guest, consider adding an additional dust sheet layer under the covers. 
  • Remove the mattress and clean around and between all bed fixtures and fittings.
  • Wipe down the bed frame and be sure to clean thoroughly under the bed.
  • Dust all surfaces and furniture, including sides and base.
  • Dust all light fittings, any wall art and decorations. 
  • Thoroughly clean high touch points like switches, handles, and remotes.
  • Clean out the insides of drawers and closets. 

Details are important

When cleaning a property, we tend to focus on the ‘big tasks’, like cleaning the toilet, or mopping the floors. This can mean that the little details can be missed, and over time build up dirt. If you’re regularly in a space, you can become blind to these dirt traps, only focusing on the main details. However, when your guests are laying fresh eyes on a property, these spots can stick out like a sore thumb. Here are the areas you must be sure to add to your cleaning list:

  • Door knobs or handles.
  • Light switches.
  • Cupboard and drawer handles.
  • Oven, refrigerator, and washing machine handles.
  • Dust or cobwebs on ceiling lights.
  • Dust and grime between couch cushions or in armchairs.

Don’t forget…

There are a few areas which may not fit neatly on a standard cleaning checklist, but it’s important to make sure they’re not forgotten.

  • Make sure the laundry or utility area is cleaned between each guest. Be sure to clean out the washing machine detergent tray!
  • Windows and doors should get an interior clean between guests, to remove any fingerprints. Make sure windows receive regular exterior cleans as well. 
  • Scent is important, but also quite personal. Avoid using heavy scents or air fresheners in your property, but do make sure that it smells fresh and odor-free.
  • If your property has an outside space, make sure it’s well maintained. Sweep down balconies or porches between guests, and be sure to pull weeds or rake leaves from any other outside areas.

Perfect first impressions

Stepping into a clean, fresh property is the ideal first impression for your guests. Take the time to perfect your Airbnb cleaning checklist, and the battle is already half won.

For more vacation rental property management tips, check out our other articles.

To find out how to get the most out of your property management business, get in touch with us.

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