Vacation Rental Cleaning Checklist [Free Template]

Having a vacation rental cleaning checklist on hand is the key to making your rental spotless. Use this checklist to make sure that you won’t miss anything while preparing your property for your next guests.

Did you know that a vacation rental cleaning checklist can help you keep your property up to par and earn you more 5-star reviews? Apparently, the vacation rental industry has been booming in recent years and standards are becoming higher and higher.

With such a huge abundance of choice, customers have become pickier when choosing a perfect vacation rental property. Even though your property is stunning, has a great location, and jaw-dropping décor, it won’t be appealing to guests if you fail to keep it clean. 

vacation rental cleaning checklist for hosts

To meet expectations of discerning travelers you will need to put cleanliness as one of the top priorities. However, keeping the to-do list in your head is neither easy nor necessary. To make things a bit easier, we’ve compiled a comprehensive cleaning checklist for vacation rental owners. Read on and find out what steps you should follow to prepare your property for the next guests. 

How Does a Vacation Rental Cleaning Checklist Help? 

Vacation homes go through dozens of travelers every month, so keeping up with hygiene is a must. Short-term rental owners should do a thorough clean every time a guest leaves their property. However, cleaning can be very complicated and tiresome. Moreover, it requires good organization and patience. 

Having a comprehensive vacation rental cleaning checklist is the key to making your rental spotless. Not only will it make the whole process much faster, but it can also act as a set of instructions in case you decide to hire a cleaning service. You’ll be able to set your expectations and highlight which areas of your property require the most attention. All in all, a well-rounded checklist for vacation rental cleaning acts as a proven algorithm that works every time!

You never realize how big your place is until you decide to clean it. There is an abundance of corners and crevices that are often forgotten about. And the last thing you want to do is to finish the cleaning, sit down to relax, and notice a pesky corner that is filled with dust. You want to go in, do the work methodically and efficiently, and sit back and enjoy the clean space.

Introducing a vacation rental cleaning checklist into your routine will rock your world. By using it, you will always know that all areas of your home are thoroughly clean. As a result, you can be sure that your guests will find your property in good condition and will be delighted enough to leave you a positive review. Below you’ll find detailed tips, tricks, and suggestions that we’ve compiled based on our long tradition of working in this industry.

Cleaning Before Guests Arrive

As we have mentioned before, leaving a great impression on guests is important, especially if you want to rack up glowing reviews. In addition to stylish décor, amenities, and good prices, customers cherish cleanliness. The first impression always matters, so do your best to create an excellent one. Here’s the ultimate vacation rental cleaning checklist that will help you to clean up your rental before your guests arrive: 

General Cleaning

  • Dust and clean all light fixtures in the house
  • Wipe the blinds and dust the curtains
  • Vacuum and sanitize all floors, carpets, and furniture
  • Empty and sanitize trash bins
  • Clean mirrors and windows
  • Clean shelves and wipe the dust off decorative items
  • Vacuum and wipe the areas around and underneath furniture
  • Clean all the drawers
  • Fold and restock towels and blankets
  • Dust the pillows

Home Exterior (Patio, Garage, etc.)

  • Wipe and clean all furniture
  • Empty the trash bins
  • Sweep the patio
  • Clean lawn debris (sticks, leaves, branches, etc.)
  • Powerwash the driveway and other concrete surfaces around your home
  • Clean the swimming pool
  • Dust and vacuum the garage
  • Wash exterior windows
  • Clean the gutter
  • Wash and degrease the grill

Living Room

living room cleaning checklist
  • Dust all décor and electronics
  • Dust the pillows and other decorative items
  • Vacuum and mop the floors
  • Clean all windows and mirrors
  • Wipe the walls, light switches, and doors
  • Clean the windows, curtains, and blinds
  • Wipe the chairs and sofas
  • Dust the shelves
  • Vacuum and clean areas around and underneath the furniture
  • Organize magazines and other miscellaneous items

Dining Room

  • Clean the tabletops
  • Wipe the chairs
  • Dust shelves and organize cabinets
  • Mop the floors
  • Clean all rugs and carpets
  • Polish the silverware
  • Clean the windows, curtains, and blinds
  • Remove cobwebs
  • Clean the light fixtures
  • Declutter and remove unnecessary items


  • Clean and degrease the microwave oven
  • Clean the oven, including wire racks
  • Sanitize all countertops
  • Make sure that there’s no food in the fridge
  • Wipe all drawers and cupboards
  • Restock the pantry
  • Clean the refrigerator
  • Clean the dishwasher
  • Sweep the floors
  • Empty and clean the trash cans 


  • Clean and sanitize the whole toilet (seat, bowl, lid, tank, etc.)
  • Wash and sanitize the toilet brush
  • Clean the sinks
  • Replace and fold towels
  • Wipe the faucets and the showerhead
  • Thoroughly clean the mirrors and other reflective surfaces
  • Dust all shelves and décor
  • Clean and restock all the cabinets and drawers
  • Make sure that there is no bathroom mold
  • Clean and vacuum the carpets and other fabric inside the bathroom


  • Make the bed and replace all pillowcases
  • Change the sheets and blankets
  • Remove cobwebs from the ceiling, corners, and light fixtures
  • Wash the curtains
  • Dust the blinds and clean the windows
  • Vacuum the mattress
  • Clean the light switches
  • Dust the drawers, cupboards, shelves, and décor
  • Mop the floor
  • Vacuum under the bed and other furniture

Cleaning During Your Guests Stay

Sometimes, you’ll have to host guests for longer periods of time. When that’s the case, certain areas might require your attention while the guests are mid-stay. This is especially important if you’re renting a larger property that can host multiple guests.

Shared areas get dirty and messy easily because multiple people are accessing them every day. The same goes for patios and swimming pools. Here are some tips on how to manage mid-stay cleaning for long-term stays:

  • Organize a cleaning once a week – talk to your guests and decide on a day that suits everyone best.
  • Include a cleaning fee for longer stays if they prefer to have the cleaning provided by you.
  • Include a discount for longer stays, to encourage the guests to do the cleaning themselves.
  • Keep some cleaning supplies inside the home, so guests can do the cleaning themselves if needed.
  • Offer a weekly sheet/pillowcase/towel replacement.
  • Encourage open communication – upon arrival, talk to them about their cleaning preferences.

We also recommend having a shorter vacation rental cleaning checklist for mid-stay cleaning. It can include the following activities:

  • Replacing towels, sheets, pillowcases, and blankets
  • Replacing light bulbs
  • Restocking toilet paper and paper towels
  • Restocking trash bags
  • Replace liquid toilet fresheners

property preparation for vacation rental guests

Bear in mind that you don’t have to perform a deep clean during your guests’ stay. Surface level cleaning and restocking essentials should be enough.

Cleaning After Your Guests Depart 

After your guests depart it is important to make sure that everything is in order. If something is broken you will need to estimate the damage and make a claim on the security deposit

In addition, you will need to check whether your guests haven’t forgotten any items. It is likely to happen especially when guests are packing their luggage in a rush.

This brief after-departure checklist will help you take care of everything quickly:

  • Check the fridge and freezer for leftover food and stains from previous use.
  • Open the microwave to check whether there are any spillage, stains, or unpleasant smells.
  • Inspect hidden surfaces: under the beds, under the trashcans, under the sinks, etc.
  • Open all drawers – cupboards, bedside tables, dressers.
  • If you use recycle bins, quickly check whether guests correctly sorted out their trash.
  • Make sure that nothing is broken.
  • Check whether all the valuable items are still in place.

Must-Have Cleaning Supplies & Items

When it comes to deep cleaning your house, there are certain items that you should have in your cleaning arsenal at all times. Deep cleaning is undoubtedly complicated and time-consuming. It needs to be very thorough, requires multiple products, as well as a lot of attention to detail. Here is a checklist of supplies and items to help you with your vacation rental cleaning. Having these products at your disposal will make your cleaning journey much easier:

  • A multi-functional vacuum cleaner
  • Microfiber cloths and towels
  • Rubber gloves
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Multi-surface antibacterial cleaners
  • Glass cleaners
  • Dish soap
  • Steam mop
  • Odor removers
  • Mold and mildew remover
  • Degreaser
  • Spray bottles

You can keep all these items in a designated area of your vacation rental. However, you won’t have to stock all these cleaning supplies if you have opted for outsourcing your cleaning.  

In any case, all vacation rental owners should keep cleaning essentials inside their vacation rentals. That way, guests can perform surface cleaning when necessary. Make sure to include:

  • A mop
  • A vacuum cleaner
  • Multi-purpose cleaners
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Dish soap


To satisfy the increased guest demands start with your house cleaning. Although your vacation rental is not a hotel, travelers will expect hotel-like cleanliness. So, your task is to make it spotless, and your reward will come in the form of stellar reviews. 

To ensure ultimate cleanliness at all times, you should keep your vacation rental cleaning checklist on hand. And, make sure to use it every time you clean the property. By sticking to the plan you’ll remove the hassle from the cleaning process and make sure that your rental meets high expectations of your guests.

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