The Ultimate Checklist for Vacation Rental Cleaning

Having a vacation rental property can be a great source of income, but it also comes with its fair share of responsibilities. One of the most important tasks as a vacation rental owner is ensuring that your property is clean and well-maintained for every guest.

To help you keep your vacation rental sparkling clean and ready for guests, we have compiled the ultimate checklist for vacation rental cleaning. This checklist covers everything from pre-arrival preparations to post-departure cleaning tasks and will ensure your property is always in top shape.

Whether you’re cleaning the property yourself or have hired a professional cleaning service, this checklist will be a handy guide to ensure no task is overlooked. Let’s dive in!

Pre-Arrival Preparations

Preparing the property for your guests’ stay is important before they arrive. This includes cleaning tasks and ensuring everything is in working order and stocked with essentials. If you typically have a quick turnover between guests, this list will be redundant with the post-stay checklist further down in this article.

Here are some tasks to add to your pre-arrival cleaning checklist:

  • Check all appliances and make sure they are in good working condition.
  • Stock up on essential supplies such as toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning products.
  • Wash and change all linens, including bedding, towels, and kitchen towels.
  • Vacuum and mop all floors.
  • Clean out the refrigerator and make sure it is stocked with fresh items.
  • Inspect for any damages or maintenance issues that must be addressed before guests arrive.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch areas such as doorknobs, light switches, and remote controls.
  • Wipe down all surfaces, including countertops, tables, and furniture.
  • Replace any burned-out light bulbs.
  • Check for any damages or issues that must be addressed before guests arrive.

Post-Stay Cleaning Checklist

Once your guests have departed, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and thoroughly clean the property. This will ensure the space is ready for the next guests and maintain its pristine condition.

Here are some tasks to add to your post-stay cleaning checklist:

  • Wash all linens, including bedding, towels, and kitchen towels. If you have a quick turnover, consider investing in multiple sets of linens to save time.
  • Check all rooms, closets, and cabinets for objects left behind by guests
  • Vacuum and mop all floors, including under furniture and behind appliances.
  • Sanitize and disinfect all surfaces, including countertops, tables, and furniture.
  • Clean the refrigerator and pantry, disposing of any leftover food from previous guests.
  • Check for damages or maintenance issues that must be addressed before the next guest arrives.
  • Restock essential supplies such as toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning products.
  • Take out the trash and recycle.
  • Inspect for any lost items left behind by guests and contact them to arrange return or disposal.
  • Scrub the bathrooms, including the toilet, shower/tub, and sink.
  • Inspect appliances for cleanliness and function, including microwave, blender, crock pot, etc.
  • Complete regular yard maintenance, such as lawn mowing or trimming bushes (if applicable).
  • Open windows to actively circulate fresh air while cleaning to prevent musty or stale odors.
  • Make the beds and fluff pillows to give the property a clean, inviting look.

Did you know Airbnb has its own cleaning protocol?

Seasonal Deep Cleaning

In addition to the regular cleaning tasks, it’s important to schedule deep cleaning sessions throughout the year. This will help maintain your vacation rental property’s overall cleanliness and condition.

Here are some seasonal deep-cleaning tasks to add to your checklist:

  • Clean and organize the closets, cabinets, and drawers.
  • Dust ceiling fans, light fixtures, and baseboards.
  • Wipe down windowsills and clean windows inside and out.
  • Scrub grout in bathrooms and the kitchen.
  • Disinfect toys, games, and other items for children (if applicable).
  • Pressure wash exterior surfaces such as decks, patios, and walkways.
  • Check amenities and appliances for maintenance issues, including the refrigerator, dishwasher,  and air conditioning unit.
  • Change filters in air conditioning and heating units.
  • Deep clean carpets and upholstery.
  • Clean and inspect outdoor furniture, including cushions and umbrellas (if applicable).

The Nitty Gritty Details- By Location

Every vacation rental property is unique and may have specific cleaning needs. To ensure you don’t miss any important details, here are some additional tasks to consider by room:


  • Gather any dishes left in the sink or on the counter and wash them.
  • Wipe down all appliances, including the stove, oven, microwave, and dishwasher.
  • Clean out and disinfect the sink and drain.
  • Inspect cabinets for any spills or crumbs that need to be cleaned up.
  • Put dishes away, arranging them neatly in cabinets for easy visibility and reaching.
  • Check for any food or spills in the refrigerator and clean them up.
  • Refill paper towels, dish soap, hand soap, and other essential supplies.


  • Ensure everything is put away.
  • Clean the washer and dryer, including the lint trap.
  • Wipe down any surfaces or shelves in the laundry room.
  • Restock laundry detergent and dryer sheets (if included).
  • Keep the ironing board, iron, and drying rack clean and accessible.


  • Check the vanity, cabinets, and drawers for leftover toiletries or trash.
  • Refill toilet paper and tissues.
  • Keep items like a plunger and toilet brush clean and accessible.
  • Clean the shower/tub, including any glass doors or curtains.
  • Disinfect the sink, countertops, and toilet
  • Replace towels and washcloths with fresh ones.
  • Ensure that all mirrors are clean and streak-free.
  • Check the shower curtains or door for mold or mildew and clean if necessary.
  • Stock up on essentials such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and hand soap.
  • Check the towels regularly for stains and replace them as needed.
  • Clean and replace the bath mat and shower curtain liner as needed.


  • Make the beds and fluff pillows.
  • Check for any stains on sheets or bedding and replace them as needed.
  • Dust all surfaces, including nightstands, dressers, and lamps.
  • Clear out any clutter or personal items left behind by guests in drawers or closets.
  • Empty trash cans and restock essentials like tissues and toilet paper.
  • Check for any damages or issues that need to be addressed.
  • Provide extra blankets and pillows for guests’ comfort.

Living Areas

  • Vacuum and sweep all floors, including under furniture.
  • Dust all surfaces, including shelves, coffee tables, and entertainment centers.
  • Wipe down remote controls, light switches, and other high-touch areas.
  • Organize games, books, or magazines left out or behind by guests.
  • Check the condition of furniture for any damages, stains, or tears.
  • Regularly clean any rugs or carpets, as well as spot cleaning for any spills or stains.
  • Test the TV and other electronics to ensure they are working properly.

Outdoor Spaces

  • Sweep decks, patios, and walkways.
  • Clean outdoor furniture and cushions if needed.
  • Remove any debris or leaves from the yard.
  • Check for damages or maintenance issues, such as broken screens or loose tiles.
  • Trim bushes and trees as needed for a neat appearance.
  • Clean the grill and test it for function (if applicable).
  • Keep extra blankets and throw pillows readily available for guests’ use.

Additional Tips for Keeping Your Vacation Rental Clean

Cleanliness in a rental property is essential for keeping clients satisfied and receiving positive reviews. Here are some additional tips to help maintain the cleanliness of your vacation rental:

  • Create a cleaning schedule for regular tasks, such as changing linens and deep cleaning.
  • Use a checklist like this to ensure all tasks are completed during each cleaning session, whether by you or someone else.
  • Invest in quality cleaning products and tools to make the job easier and more efficient. Consider using eco-friendly, non-toxic products to promote sustainability.
  • Encourage guests to leave the property clean by providing guidelines and expectations for their departure.
  • Ask guests to remove their shoes to minimize dirt and debris upon entering the property.
  • Offer cleaning supplies, such as disinfectant wipes or a broom and dustpan, for guests to use during their stay.
  • Regularly inspect the property for damages and address any issues promptly.
  • Hate cleaning? Consider hiring a professional cleaning service or full property management to handle your cleaning tasks. You can discuss options with us at Skye Management

Streamline Your Property Rental Turnover

By following this checklist and implementing these tips, your vacation rental property will always be in top shape for guests.  With a clean and well-maintained property, you can provide an enjoyable experience for your guests and receive positive reviews, leading to more bookings in the future and a successful business.

Maintaining a clean and organized vacation rental becomes much more manageable when everyone is on the same page. Remember to tailor this list to fit the unique needs of your property and create consistency in cleaning procedures for each turnover.

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