You’ve got your listing looking pristine, your description is on point, and your rates are competitive for the area. Your vacation rental is ready to be booked so it can start making you some money today. Or is it?
Are you sure that your vacation rental is really clean enough for your guests? People’s standards in this regard have never been higher.
Google Trends reports that in the last year, vacation rental searches using keywords having to do with “clean” and “cleanliness” have increased 71 percent over the summer alone. This means two things: First, people are still traveling and staying at vacation rentals, and second, they are pickier than ever about what they would consider “clean.”
In a world where cleanliness means staying healthy and safe, here are some important factors and cleaning methods to consider using to make sure you’re vacation rental is ready for guests.
How to Get Started (and Not Miss Spots)
If you’re not a professional cleaner, you can find yourself looking at the entirety of your vacation rental and not knowing where or how to start cleaning it. Here are some tried and true methods to hit the ground running, and to ensure you don’t miss any spots.
So Where Should You Start?
Finding a place to start cleaning your vacation rental is easy: go to the part of the house that’s the farthest away from the front door, and start there.
Whether that’s a ground floor room in the back of the house or an upstairs room, your goal is to eventually work your way back o the front door.
You’ll want to clean the room entirely from top to bottom, and then when you’re done, close the room’s door and turn off the lights so you know it’s finished.
Where Do You Go From There?
So you’ve started in the farthest point of the house, but now what? There’s a professional cleaning technique that’s called “following the wall.”
By using the walls to lead you on an organized path from room to room, you’ll make it through the entire house without missing any.
If you follow the walls, you’ll be sure to clean every room in the house ( and again, turn off the lights and close the door just like you did in the room where you began).
It’s Just Like Cleaning Your Own House, Right?
Wrong. In addition to typically needing a deeper clean than most people do on their own homes, you should also approach cleaning a rental with a different mindset.
Consider adding some of the following to-do’s to your checklist as you get your vacation rental ready for your next guests.
Sanitize: Beyond a typical house cleaning it’s important that you also properly sanitize surfaces, doorknobs, handles, and anywhere that was touched often. For the protection of you and your guests, don’t skimp out on a deep clean.
Wash All Linens: Making the bed isn’t enough. It’s important that you fully wash all bed linens for each guest. It can be challenging to wash thick blankets, but try. If you can’t, be sure to disinfect quilts and comforters thoroughly. Be sure that all hand and bath towels are also fully washed and dried.
Check the Fridge: You don’t want food sitting in the fridge to rot. Between each guest, toss any food that people leave during their stay. People don’t tend to trust anything that was in the fridge before they arrived, so get rid of it. You can possibly leave some dry foods in the cabinet or cupboard, but it’s typically a good idea to toss that too.
What About Trash Day?: If you can, make sure the trash makes it out to the curb on trash day– even if you have guests in the house. Just let them know you’re stopping by to pull the trash to the curb. If you don’t take this into consideration, you can have nasty trash baking in the sun between guests (which often attracts flies and other critters).
Test Appliances: Your appliances and other objects in the house are going to get more use than usual. Check that things like stoves, microwaves, and TVs work properly while cleaning them.
Damage Control: While cleaning, keep an eye out for any damage that may have been caused during a guest’s stay so you’ll know who’s responsible for it. If you don’t notice damage immediately, you won’t know which guest was responsible.
What Spots are Most-Often Missed?
Even if you do an amazing job cleaning, you can still miss some of these trouble spots. (The first two are especially important to ensure that sickness doesn’t spread.)
Salt & Pepper Shakers: These were very likely handled by multiple people in the house and need to be disinfected properly. (You’d be disgusted how often these go without being cleaned.)
Any Remote Controls: Any remotes for televisions, Amazon or Apple TVs, soundbars, ceiling fans (and anything else) need to be thoroughly wiped down and disinfected.
Computers: If you have a computer (or tablet) that your guests can use, carefully wipe down the mouse and keyboard. Don’t use any liquid cleaner, and if possible err on the side of a microfiber cloth sprayed with a disinfectant. (Wipe the monitor too, it’s amazing how many smudgy fingerprints it often has.)
Ceiling Fans: These are super easy to miss because they’re not in our line of sight. Look upward and get that nasty layer of dust off of the ceiling fans. Nothing is quite as gross as laying down on a couch or bed to relax and being greeted by a host of dust as you look up.
Beneath Things: Check under appliances that sit on the kitchen counter, and flip over couch cushions. Ask yourself: when was the last time you removed all of the silverware and cleaned out the drawer that holds it? Also, take a look at the bases of toilets and make sure they’re sanitary.
Basic Cleaning Checklist
In addition to the methods above, using a checklist can also help you tackle your cleaning job and feel like you have a plan. You can use this checklist in tandem with the “start at the back” and “follow the wall” techniques above for maximum results.
This checklist is meant to be done in this relative order for maximum efficiency.
- Laundry (Sheets): Start washing the sheets and other bed linens now so they can wash while you do other things.
- Check the Fridge: Chuck anything that previous guests left.
- Load the Dishwasher: If you have any dishes, throw them in the dishwasher so they can be going as you move through the checklist.
- Wipe Down Remotes/Salt and Pepper: Seriously, these are often so dirty.
- Bathroom Duty: Clean the bathrooms. You want to start at the top (mirrors and shower). Work your way down cleaning every surface.
- Check Laundry: Are your sheets ready for the dryer? If so switch. If not, once the buzzer goes off, switch everything to the dryer.
- Kitchen Duty: Same plan as the bathroom, start high, work your way down low. Don’t forget handles.
- Laundry (Towels): Once the sheets finish, it’s time to wash all of the towels. Get them rolling while you keep working.
- Sweep and Vacuum: By working from top to bottom, we now have a ton of dust that’s hit the floor. Sweep hard surfaces, and vacuum any carpets.
- Dishes are Done: If you did a load of dishes, it’s time to dry them and put them away.
- Check Laundry: If your towels are finished washing, toss them into the dryer.
- Mop: Mop all of the hard areas you’ve swept.
- Straighten Up: Focus on throw pillows on couches, patio furniture, decorative blankets, etc. Get them all reset and looking purposefully placed.
- Restock: All bathrooms have toilet paper? Hand soap? Do a refill check.
- Finish Laundry: Towels should be dry by now, put them back in the linen closet and bathrooms.
This is just a starting point. As you try this list, alter it to suit your cleaning style and specific vacation rental property.
Can You Commit Vacation Rental Cleaning?
If you’re getting to this point in the article and feel like these lists and tips are overwhelming, you’re not alone. The vacation rental business requires a great deal of time devoted to cleaning.
It’s difficult for the average vacation rental owner to commit to the cleaning time it really takes, and that’s where Sunshine Cohosting can help.
We work with one of the best cleaning companies in the industry, Coral Breeze Cleaning. They have an amazing cleaning team, and they specialize in vacation rental cleaning services.
If you don’t want to have to deal with that yourself, consider that we can also act as property managers for you so that you don’t have to worry about a thing.
Let’s talk about how we can help free more of your time and get you more bookings. Give us a call now.