Best Airbnb Cleaning Checklist Template for a Spotless Rental
Even with the most beautiful Airbnb property in the perfect location, your reputation as a host can be wiped out overnight if a guest discovers a film of dust on a windowsill or a spot of mold on a shower curtain. Guests are unforgiving when it comes to cleanliness, which is why you need an Airbnb cleaning checklist to avoid the number one Airbnb guest complaint of messy and dirty rentals.
Every owner or property manager needs an Airbnb cleaning checklist as part of their overall game plan to keep their short term rental spik and span at all times.
Why do you need an Airbnb cleaning checklist?
Cleanliness always features in guest reviews on Airbnb, and with good reason. Nothing kills the holiday mood faster than a rundown or grimy rental.
Whether you appoint a cleaning company to do the dirty work for you, or you plan to be the one mopping the floors or scrubbing the toilets (whoever said being an Airbnb host is sexy?), you need to approach the work in a structured way so no detail is overlooked.
An Airbnb turnover checklist will speed up your turnovers, ensuring nothing is forgotten and taking the guesswork out of what and when to clean.
If you outsource cleaning, it is also one of the easiest ways to ensure cleaners know exactly what is expected of them. This way, nothing is lost in translation and there is less room for misunderstandings. If you want to take it one step further, which we would highly recommend, you combine the Airbnb cleaning checklist with a SPA (standard property appearance) guide, which details your preferences for how you want every room to be prepared for your guests. For example, this could include how and where you want the extra blankets and pillows in the bedrooms to be stored, or what items should be left out on the kitchen counter to welcome your guests.
A cleaning checklist for Airbnb is an essential tool and we have created the complete Airbnb cleaning checklist (pdf) template for you to download as a starting point, which you can adapt to fit your needs.
How often should my Airbnb be cleaned?
Well, this is really up to you as the host, and while it is true that, unlike hotel rooms, most Airbnbs are not cleaned daily, there is no way you can skimp on a regular cleaning schedule and an occasional deep clean if you want guests to leave you 5-star reviews.
Obviously, cleaning between stays is non-negotiable, but as many guests tend to stay longer these days, it also raises the question of whether and how often you should offer to clean the Airbnb during their stay.
Maybe you can even offer a mid-stay or once-a-week clean as an optional upsell, which may be welcomed by many guests.
Can I expect my guests to do some cleaning tasks?
Expecting guests to deep clean the property will not win you any favors, but some Airbnb hosts do ask their guests to do light daily cleaning tasks to keep the turnover cleaning process more manageable.
You could, for example, include some basic cleaning guidelines in your house rules document, to show them your standards of cleanliness for the property, which may, in turn, encourage them to clean up after themselves. Also, make it easy for them by providing easily accessible good quality cleaning products for everyday spills and messes.
What tools and cleaning supplies should I have in my Airbnb?
To speed up the Airbnb cleaning process and ensure whoever is doing the work, is doing a proper job, you need the right tools. Here are some essential cleaning products and tools you should always have in your rental.
- A quality vacuum for carpets.
- A microfiber mop with both wet and dry pads for hardwood floors.
- Glass cleaner.
- All-purpose cleaner for the kitchen and even floors.
- Disinfectant for toilets, bathtubs, and other germ-prone areas.
- Plenty of microfiber cloths.
- A few scrub pads for extra stubborn grime.
- A pumice stone.
- A toilet brush.
- Wood polish to add the finishing touch.
- Trash bags in different sizes
Add to this any specific tools or products you may need for your rental, for example, ceramic oven top cleaner, a barbecue cleaning brush or an extra-long duster, or a stepladder to reach high light fightings.
Make a great first impression
First impressions count and you want your guests to fall in love with your Airbnb from the moment they first set foot in your home.
One of the easiest ways to impress them is to present a sparkling clean and uncluttered space when guests arrive. There’s a big difference between an Airbnb that feels cozy and lived-in and one that’s just plain messy. What feels cozy to you, may just be your guest’s worst nightmare. So, start by decluttering the living spaces, stacking away everything neatly.
Also, there are several telltale spots around a home that can be easily missed and leave your home feeling grubby, so be sure to double-check the following:
- Light switches
- Cupboard handles
- Refrigerator handle
- Oven handle
- Excess dirt under or around rugs
- Cobwebs on light fixtures
- Cobwebs in corners
- Space between couch cushions
- Food rests in cupboards
Pay special attention to living spaces
It is important to ensure that your guests are comfortable with the cleanliness of the living room because it is one of the places where they are likely to hang out.
This is also one of the areas that become dirtiest quickest. Imagine picking up a sticky remote or finding someone’s sandwich crumbs between the sofa cushions. Cushions or throws with stains or dodgy smells are also likely to earn you bad reviews.
Here are some tips for ensuring your guests feel at home and happy to relax.
- Disinfect all remotes
- Vacuum/wipe down all sofas and be sure to vacuum between and under the cushions as well
- Disinfect light switches
- Dust/disinfect coffee tables
- Clean the TV screen
- Keep bookshelves or magazine racks tidy
- Wash throws and pillow covers
- Vacuum under the furniture
A kitchen where they’ll want to cook up a storm
One of the biggest reasons travelers choose Airbnbs over hotels nowadays is the added benefit of having a fully furnished kitchen. They expect the kitchen to be squeaky clean. Be sure to clean the inside of each amenity – as well as wipe down and disinfect the outside. That means appliances, drawers, cupboards and worktops as a minimum.
Make sure any long-life food is still in date, all spices, condiments and oils are looking good and always have a fresh supply of tea towels, sponges and other cleaning products on hand.
- Wipe down microwave inside and out
- Wipe down oven and stove removing and cleaning dirty drip pans if needed
- Clean off any fingerprints or smudges on cabinets
- Clean out crumbs in drawers
- Empty refrigerator and wipe shelves
- Clean out drain filter in sink
- Wipe down the backsplash behind the counter and sink
Take a look at your own kitchen: are there any hidden corners or details you should add to this list?
Banish dirt from the bathroom
There is never any excuse for a grimy bathroom.
If your Airbnb provides towels for your guests, it’s essential they’re in great condition. The same applies to other bathroom basics such as shower curtains and bath mats.
We all know that mold can build up quite easily in bathrooms due to damp conditions. Inspect all tiles or water-prone areas for any problems often, and re-seal them with silicone if necessary. Here are some things to check:
- Clean the entire toilet, including the bottom half
- Clean behind the toilet
- Make the faucet shine with window cleaner or stainless steel cleaner
- Clean the mirror
- Scrub soap grime from the tub
- Clean around the jets of a Jacuzzi tub
- Clean any hair out of the drain and off the walls
- Wash all towels and bathmats
- Dust off any decorations
- Replace all complimentary toiletry items
A sound night’s sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for a relaxing getaway, and a clean bed (including mattress, pillows and cushions) is vital. Investing in quality mattresses and linens is a must if you want them to last. You should have a minimum of two sets of bedding for each bed and check for faults (such as snags or stains) regularly.
Of course, you need to replace the linens of slept-in beds with fresh ones, but how often do you wash the duvets or pillows?
Although ideally, you want to wash comforter and blankets as often as possible, sometimes when you have a quick turnover this may not be possible.
For this reason, it’s advisable to use removable duvet covers, to avoid having to wash blankets and quilts which take a long time to dry.
Invest in enough sets of duvet covers to ensure the cleaners are always able to change the bedding quickly.
When you notice stains on the bed linen, act quickly to remove them. Here are other things you can do to ensure your guests have a good night’s sleep.
- Straighten out and replace bed skirt when needed
- Check between mattress and headboard for lost items or garbage
- Dust the nightstand
- Dust light fixtures including small nightlights
- Disinfect bed posts
- Disinfect light switches or remotes
- Empty out all dressers and closets
- Check under the bed for any left-behind items
- When vacuuming the floor, get around the edges or around furniture well with the nozzle
The laundry/utility room
The laundry/utility room is where things become clean. Therefore it only makes sense that the room itself is clean and organized. The last thing a guest wants when doing their own laundry is to worry that their clothing will come out of the laundry room dirtier than when it went in.
- Clean out the washing machine detergent tray
- Clean up any soap or softener spills that are left on the washing machine
- Clean out the dryer lint
- Disinfect the knobs, buttons, and doors of the machines
- Clean out the sink and anything in its drain
- Restock complimentary laundry detergent, softener, or dryer sheets
- Pull out the machines and sweep/dust behind them
- Keep supplies well labeled and organized
- Dust around, underneath, and behind supplies
- Check laundry baskets or drying racks are clean and ready to use
Cleaning windows and doors
What good is an amazing view if your guests can’t see it through the dirty windows?
- If needed, hire a professional to clean the exterior windows to ensure there are no streaks. Don’t forget about the window frames and shutters.
- Clean glass interior of windows
- Open the window and clean dirt and bugs out of the track
- Dust off the tops of curtain rods
- Vacuum or wash curtains when needed
- Disinfect door handles
- Dust door frames, including the tops
Garden and outside spaces
Remove any fallen leaves or branches from outdoor areas, regularly trim bushes and mow the lawn, and keep any garden or patio furniture in a good, clean condition.
- Pull weeds and remove debris from the garden
- Wipe dust and bird droppings from lawn furniture
- Wash down chair cushions
- Wipe off railings
- Clean glass railings with window cleaner
- Remove leaves and other debris from the pool
- Disinfect safety railings or ladders leading into the pool
- Clean burnt-on food and drippings from barbecue
- Sweep out patios
- Disinfect any outdoor eating areas/tables
Some regular Airbnb cleaning checks you should do
- Sweep off porches and balconies
- Ensure that the plumbing is working properly throughout the house
- Check that there are no burnt-out light bulbs, including exterior lights
- Pull weeds in the pathway
- Trim back overgrown shrubs or flowers
- Take a look at your own vacation house: is there anything you should add to this monthly list?
Every 3-6 months:
- Dust all the furniture
- Wipe away cobwebs from walls and corners
- Clean behind stove and refrigerator
- Clean under and behind sofas and living room furniture
- Take a look at your own vacation house: is there anything you should add to this list?
- Spot clean marks on walls
- Treat stains in upholstery and carpet
- Touch up chips in the paintwork
- Treat scuffs on wood furniture
- Wipe down kitchen cupboards inside and out
- Take a look at your own vacation house: is there anything you should add to this yearly list?
Additional FAQs about Airbnb cleaning
Should you set a cleaning fee for your Airbnb?
Most owners expect guests to leave the property as it was found.
There is still a need for a turnover cleaning that many owners charge an extra fee for. In addition, many owners choose to include a security deposit in the event that the property is left damaged or excessively dirty. While this may deter some travelers, it will be a protection for you, your property, and your future guests
How much should you charge to clean your Airbnb property?
Cleaning an Airbnb takes more time than a private residence does.
With that in mind, the prices of an Airbnb cleaning service charges change drastically depending on the location, condition, and size of your home, as well as the demand.
Get quotes from several cleaning services to determine the average rate per hour. You can then add on a little extra to cushion any unexpected costs.
Should you hire an Airbnb cleaning service for your vacation house?
Cleaning an Airbnb takes a lot of time, focus, and energy, and you may not have the time or inclination to do this yourself. A professional Airbnb cleaning team is also experienced at cleaning homes to a high standard, and often quicker than if you do it yourself. This way you can spend more time looking after guests’ needs and growing your business.
Either way, our free Airbnb cleaning checklist is a good place to start to ensure that whoever is cleaning your rental follows a systematic process that will leave your rental spotless.
Download our free Airbnb cleaning checklist