Vacation Rental Cleaning: Ins and Outs to Know About

by OMG - December 6, 2021

have-high-expectations-and-low-tolerancOwners of vacation rentals have to do more than established hotel chains to impress their guests. Individually owned vacation rental properties do not have the fraction of the resources major hotels have but are expected to provide a level of service that is a notch higher.

Why are travelers all over the world consistently showing a preference for small vacation rentals over large luxury hotels? Small vacation rentals offer something large hotels don’t; they have character. Where hotel rooms are homogenous, vacation rentals have individuality. 

But that individuality comes at a cost for the owner of the vacation rental. Guests who choose your vacation rental expect the home to have a human touch. They want furnishings, curios, paintings, and scents that they cannot find elsewhere.

They also want the kind of attention to detail you find with handmade products versus mass-produced ones. They expect you to relate to them in a more personable manner than a large business. They also expect you to be more particular about the cleanliness of the home.

The cleanliness and sanitation of a vacation home are top of the list of things tenants look for and complain about. Your vacation rental is more likely to lose money over its state of cleanliness than any other issue. This is even truer today with the Coronavirus pandemic. 

As a vacation rental owner or operator, what do you need to know about vacation rental cleaning? How can you get the best results with the least effort and at the lowest cost? How can you use the cleanliness of your vacation rental to improve earnings for the property?

Everything you should know about vacation rental cleaningate-your-cleaning

Cleaning residential homes vs. short-term rental properties

There is a difference between how you clean your home and how you clean a vacation home. Knowing this can make a world of difference in the results you get. The key difference is you must clean the vacation home from the viewpoint of being a provider to the travel and hospitality industry versus simply cleaning a residential property.

Your vacation rental is equivalent to a hotel or resort. People act in a different way when they use hotels. Your cleaning must take into account how they will use that space. In residential cleaning, there are places in the home a cleaner may not bother to check, whereas, in the hospitality business, those places are the first places they need to look. 

For instance, when cleaning an Airbnb, you must inspect bedside drawers, bathroom cabinets, closets, drawers, and cupboards. This is because you don’t want something a previous guest left behind to be found by a new guest. If this happens, your new guest will think the room was not properly turned over and that could cost you. 

Also, when cleaning a vacation rental, you must do a stock count for all essential items in every room of the home. The cleaner must inspect the home for damage or missing items. Lastly, they have to check that various components of the home are working properly. These are not things a cleaner would typically do when cleaning a residence.

Guests have high expectations and low tolerance

Platforms like Airbnb and VRBO tell guests they can get their money back if they are not happy with the service they received. As a result, some guests will lodge complaints about something as small as finding one strand of hair in the bathroom. If you hope to avoid the huge financial losses that can come from such complaints, you must update your system for cleaning the rentals.

Automate your cleaning

For the best results, it is recommended that you hire professional cleaners for your property instead of self-cleaning. Trying to clean the home by yourself is a recipe for inefficiency because you will often have other things competing for your time. A professional cleaner, on the other hand, does this as a job and can afford to dedicate long stretches of their time to cleaning.

When you hire a professional cleaner, make sure the company is focused on vacation rental cleaning. To help you get the best results every time with the least effort, you need to automate your cleaning. Apps like Properly or iGMS let you automate cleaning and coordinate the work of your teams for the highest level of cleanliness in the home even when you are thousands of miles away.


As a vacation rental owner or host, you should be concerned about the quality of cleanliness you offer those people who trust you with their comfort during a vacation. 

When you repay that confidence by cleaning that home to the point where a guest can say “it was cleaner than my home and I am a clean freak,” you do more than satisfy your customer. You are establishing a reputation for your business that will help you attract other guests.