Vacation Rental Cleaning Checklist: 99+ Items [Template]

A recent study by Expedia¹ shows that travelers now value health and safety over price when choosing a rental home. It’s no surprise. In this Covid-19 era, an unclean vacation home is like a broken promise: You’ve betrayed your guests’ trust and ruined their vacation. And a critical review about poor hygiene can risk your vacation rentals’ otherwise spotless reputation.


But you don’t have to risk reviews, guest satisfaction, or your good standing if you use a vacation rental cleaning checklist. A checklist can ensure better hygiene in every phase of cleaning your vacation rentals to accommodate your guests in safety and style.

Here at RueBaRue, we know how to optimize processes to create greater efficiency in vacation property management. This way you can do what you do best: Run your business and enjoy life.

In this article, we show you why you need a vacation rental checklist, how RueBaRue can help you share your checklist with your cleaning team, and how to make every corner of your vacation rentals shine.

Bonus: At the end of this article, you can download our cleaning checklist in a handy PDF format.


Why do you need a vacation rental cleaning checklist?

As you grow your property management business, you’ll need scalable andrepeatable systems in place to take on new properties. A vacation rentalcleaning checklist is one of those and can ensure your guests have aconsistent experience of cleanliness across all your rentals.

To make cleaning scalable, share your checklist with your cleaners, whetherthey’re in-house or outsourced to a cleaning company.

RueBaRuemakes communicating with your maintenance and cleaning teams easier. Forexample, you can send your cleaning checklist to them with a RueBaRueautomated text message or email. This way, you’re sure everyone is on thesame page for vacation rental cleanliness. You’ll always be prepared, evenduring rapid guest turnovers or with sold-out high-season volumes.

Image source: RueBaRue - RueBaRue image of team setup for guest/teammessaging so you can send your vacation rental cleaning checklist easily

Vacation rental cleaning checklist: Preparing your rental for a new guest

Make sure every part of your rental home is in top shape to help yourguests feel safe and at home. Here’s a breakdown of how to clean each roombefore a new guest checks in.


These are basic cleaning tasks to perform throughout the property, nomatter what room and whether it’s indoors or outdoors. They may not seemlike much, but cleaning minor details will make a big difference to yourguests’ perception of the property. For example, sticky door handles inyour rental home won’t make a great first impression.

  • Wipe down blinds
  • Dust curtains
  • Clean windows
  • Dust lamp fixtures (both tabletop and overhead)
  • Disinfect door and window handles, latches, knobs, and locks


Pexels image of a girl with face mask wiping down a counter near the kitchen

Image source: Polina Zimmerman from Pexels- Pexels image of a girl with face mask wiping down a counter near thekitchen

  • Scrub and disinfect sink
  • Wipe down and disinfect backsplash and counters
  • Clean inside and outside of fridge
  • Load and start dishwasher, then put dry dishes, glasses, andcutlery away
  • Clean cupboards, cabinets, and cabinet handles
  • Wipe down microwave
  • Degrease oven, stovetop, and knobs
  • Clean and sanitize trash cans and fit with a new garbage bag
  • Clean coffee maker
  • Wipe down dining area, including tabletops and chairs
  • Remove table leaves and clean leaves, table crevices, and groovesfor crumbs
  • Wipe down high chairs or booster seats
  • Clean centerpieces and decorative bowls
  • Mop and shine floor
  • Replace dirty kitchen linens with fresh ones
  • Restock any essentials where provided, like paper towels andnapkins


03 Pexels image of a pristine white modern bathroom

Image source:Jean van der Meulen from Pexels- Pexels image of a pristine white modern bathroom

  • Provide clean towels
  • Restock toilet paper
  • Sanitize toilet bowl, including under the rim, the seat surface,and surrounding area
  • Scrub down bathtub, shower, and jacuzzi (including the jets)
  • Clean, disinfect, and shine faucets, sinks, and mirrors
  • Check for mildew, limescale, and soap scum and use appropriatecleaners
  • Clean and disinfect any countertops or flat surfaces
  • Remove any hair from drains
  • Replace complimentary toiletries
  • Vacuum and mop floor


  • Replace bedsheets
  • Adjust any bed skirts
  • Check and clean between headboard and mattress (you may find lostitems there)
  • Dust nightstands, lightbulbs, and light fixtures
  • Disinfect bedposts, switches, knobs, and TV remotes
  • Empty and clean wardrobes, closets, dressers, and drawers
  • Check and clean under the bed
  • Vacuum floors, rugs, and carpets

Living room

  • Vacuum under furniture
  • Check and vacuum between sofa cushions (another hotspot for lostobjects)
  • Clean or wipe down sofa surface to remove lint
  • Disinfect remotes, light switches, and coffee table
  • Dust all furniture surfaces and legs, including the TV
  • Tidy up bookshelves and magazine racks
  • Water plants
  • Check throw pillows, blankets, and rugs for stains


  • Remove weeds, dead leaves, and general debris from garden and lawn
  • Wipe down and disinfect lawn and patio furniture, including chaircushions and any children’s toys
  • Clean barbecue and remove any food from grill
  • Clean swimming pool
  • Sweep patio and walkways
  • Clean windows and window sills from the outside

Vacation rental cleaning checklist: Mid-stay housekeeping

Use these cleaning tips whether you plan to have weekly housekeeping formid to long-term stays or if you offer daily housekeeping during yourguests’ stay as an upsell.

  • Provide fresh bath towels and kitchen linens
  • Change bed sheets and pillowcases
  • Restock toilet paper and any complimentary bath or kitchen itemsprovided
  • Clean swimming pool, including swimming pool bathrooms and changingareas
  • Tidy up living room and dining area
  • Clean patio or terrace
  • Clean kitchen and bathrooms
  • Vacuum and mop

Vacation rental cleaning checklist: Post-check-out cleaning

Here’s a checklist to optimize yourvacation rental maintenanceduring guest turnover. Remember to useRueBaRue to create and send acheck-out list for vacation rental guests. This will provide guests with clear instructions on what to do beforethey check out and save your housekeeping team valuable time, especiallywhen turnover times are tight.

  • Check for damages, missing objects, or forgotten guest items
  • Inspect microwave and fridge for leftover food, crumbs, or stains
  • Look under beds and furniture and check inside waste bins and sinks
  • See if drawers and cabinets are empty
  • Double-check if guests recycled property, using the correct recyclebins
  • Take out trash, sanitize trash bins, and replace trash bags
  • Strip bed and replace with free sheets and pillowcases
  • Replace bathroom and kitchen linens with fresh ones
  • Vacuum and dust in every room
  • Wipe down all surfaces, including handles and doorknobs
  • Sanitize the bathrooms and kitchen

Cleaning checklist for vacation rentals: Deep-cleaning

04 Pexels image of an Airbnb-style living room

Image source:Skitterphoto on Pexels- Pexels image of an Airbnb-style living room

Remember to organize your deep cleaning dates with your cleaning staffahead of time. If your vacation rentals are open year-round, schedule themevery quarter to keep your rentals looking fresh even in high-volume,frequent turnover periods. Or mark them in your calendar once or twice ayear if you plan for seasonal closures. In either case, use this dedicatedchecklist for deep-cleans.


  • Dry clean curtains and any removable furniture coverings
  • Clean corners, baseboards, ledges, and hard-to-reach areas
  • Check smoke alarms and home alarms
  • Check locks
  • Pull out and clean behind heavy furniture and appliances
  • Empty and clean washer and dryer filters
  • Clean inside of dishwasher
  • Clean window tracks and frames
  • Dust walls, ceilings, and ceiling fans to remove cobwebs and dustybuild-ups
  • Clean or replace mattress pads
  • Remove mattresses to wipe down bed frames
  • Clean sides, backs, tops, and inside of all furniture
  • Clean tops and surfaces of doors and door frames
  • Fully clean closets and wardrobes
  • Wash or replace shower curtains
  • Polish lamps
  • Completely clean pantry area, removing and cleaning shelves toremove crumbs effectively
  • Defrost freezer, then clean the inside of both freezer and fridge
  • Make sure small appliances are still working, like hairdryers andcoffee machines
  • Clean small appliances like removing crumbs from toaster
  • Deep-clean oven (if not self-cleaning): remove and degreaseinternal racks and clean and degrease vents and oven door
  • Clean vents of microwave and fridge
  • Professionally clean rugs and carpets


  • Clean gutters
  • Clean swimming pool
  • Dust and clean garage
  • Clean window/door frames and screens
  • Fully clean hot tub, including the jets. Then fill the tub withwater, run jets, drain, and wipe down
  • Deep wash outdoor concrete surfaces, like driveways, walkways,patios, and stairs

Cleaning supplies inventory checklist

Pexels image of cleaning supplies to add to your vacation rental cleaning checklist

Image source: Ron Lach from Pexels- Pexels image of cleaning supplies to add to your vacation rentalcleaning checklist

You won’t need all the cleaning products listed if you outsource yourcleaning service. But if your vacation rental maintenance is in-house, usethis checklist to ensure you always have the supplies you need on hand.

  • Multi-surface vacuum cleaner
  • Mops for all floor types
  • Rubber gloves
  • All-purpose detergents
  • Multi-surface disinfectants
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Sponges and scrub brushes
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Toilet brush
  • Wood polish
  • Glass cleaner
  • Dish soap
  • Spray bottles
  • Mold/mildew remover
  • Degreaser
  • Air fresheners
  • Linen sprays

Cleaning supplies for guests

It’s also a good idea to keep certain items handy for hygiene-consciousguests, whether they’ve booked a short, mid, or long-term stay. Guests willappreciate your thoughtfulness and the time you save them from shopping ontheir first day. It’s also another point in your favor forbetter vacation rental reviews.

For example, you can provide:

  • A small bottle of dish soap
  • A fresh kitchen sponge
  • Complimentary hand soap for the bathroom
  • A couple of laundry detergent pods
  • A multi-purpose cleaner
  • A mop and bucket
  • A broom with a dustpan or a lightweight vacuum cleaner

Make your vacation rental shine with a cleaning checklist

Now you know how to ensure a cleaner, safer stay for greater guestsatisfaction and 5-star reviews. Use our vacation rental cleaning checklisttemplate to save time and streamline your housekeeping organization. Yourguests and your team will thank you for it.

Enjoyed our vacation rental cleaning checklist? Download your copy in PDFhere and send it to your maintenance team withRueBaRue messaging.


What is an Airbnb cleaning checklist?

An Airbnb cleaning checklist is a guide to help you know how to clean yourvacation rentals. By using one, your housekeeping team will what to cleanbefore guests check-in, how to clean during guest turnover, and what tolook for after check-out. It also acts as a mid-to-long-term deep-cleaningplanner.

What should a cleaning checklist include?

A good cleaning checklist should include:

  • How to clean each room, including any outdoor areas
  • What to clean before check-in, after check-out, and between guestturnover
  • A cleaning plan for a deep clean every 3-6 months and every year
  • A list of cleaning supplies

Should you charge a cleaning fee for your vacation rental?

Whether you do or don’t, cleaning is always an extra cost for you. You canincorporate your cleaning fee in the rental cost, but highlight it toexplain the higher daily rate. RueBaRue’sGuest SMS Messagingmakes it easy to remind guests about the added benefit and upsell dailyhousekeeping as a vacation rental concierge service.

Are there specific Covid-19 cleaning guidelines to follow?

Each country will have its own regulations, so check with local healthauthorities to know what the requirements are. If you’re in the U.S., checkout the Environmental Protection Agency’s approved list of disinfectantsand the CDC guidelines. Or outsource this task to a professional cleaning service to save timeand hassle.

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