It’s that time of year when everyone starts dreaming about getting away for a change of scenery. Some people want a cottage house in the countryside and some prefer a sleek city apartment – but nobody wants to pay good money to stay in a pigsty. Whether you’re an Airbnb host or you’re handling a holiday rental, here are some cleaning tips for the best vacation rental experience this summer and fall.
Prioritize the Big Stuff
Keeping a property clean is one of the most important elements of being a successful Airbnb host. When it comes to vacation rentals, most guests probably won’t check for dust on the ceiling fan – but they’ll quickly notice (and shudder) if the floors, linens, towels, bathrooms and kitchen haven’t been cleaned. If your time is limited, focus on these key areas first, then worry about the smaller details.
Load the Washing Machine First
If you want to save time when cleaning the cottage house, gather all the dirty linens and towels and load up the washing machine before you do anything else. This way, you can let the machine do its thing while you focus on other tasks.
Related: 13 Ways to Make Laundry Day Easier
Clutter gathers dust and takes up space that guests could otherwise use for their personal items. As a bonus, uncluttered surfaces make it easier to spot items that guests may have left behind, too. Besides, if you declutter every room, there will be fewer items to remove from surfaces it comes time to clean. Now that will truly spark joy!
Toss Leftover Food and Trash
Walking into a rental accommodation after a long journey and finding half-eaten, rotting food in the fridge or in the bin is one of the worst Airbnb experiences anyone could have. Avoid this by always getting rid of any leftover food and taking out all the trash right after check-out. If you wait, the food and trash can attract bad bugs into your property.
Use a Lint Roller
Nobody wants to find a stranger’s hair on their pillow. One fast and easy cleaning hack that will help you get rid of hair on everything from beds to couches to bathroom floors is to roll a lint roller over those surfaces. A lint roller can also help you get rid of pet hair in pet-friendly Airbnb rentals. When you make the bed for new guests, use a lint roller on the linens to catch any stray hairs.
Invest in Easy-Clean Fabrics
Stained linens, upholstery and carpets can make any vacation rental look dirty – even if you’ve cleaned every surface with industrial bleach. To avoid having to replace fabrics all the time, invest in ones that are easy to clean: choose fabrics in dark colours that won’t show stains easily or white linens that can be bleached or boiled to remove stains.
Check for Left-Behind Items
Finding someone else’s earrings behind the headboard or between the sofa cushions is a sure sign that the property hasn’t been deep cleaned. When your guests have checked out, go through all the drawers and cupboards and check everywhere – even underneath furniture and behind curtains – for items that may have been left behind.
Choose Loose Carpets
is a great way to anchor a room and add splashes of colour, but there’s another reason to choose loose carpets for an Airbnb rental: combined with a tiled or wooden floor, they make for easier cleaning than wall-to-wall carpeting. You won’t need to spend hours vacuuming, and – if there’s a stain that carpet shampoo just can’t get rid of – a loose carpet it easier and less expensive to replace.
Provide Clean Cloths for Spills
Spills happen, and most sensible people know that one of the most important cleaning hacks is to wipe them up sooner rather than later. However, you don’t want your guests to ruin your fluffy white towels by using them to wipe up messy spills. Instead, provide your guests with clean rags (you can cut up old towels for this purpose). Place the rags in easily reached spaces in the bathroom and kitchen to encourage people to use them when they need them.
Keep Drains Clear
Plumbing issues and vacation aren’t a good combination. If you’re a guest, you can help avoid having to call out the Airbnb host to solve plumbing situations by keeping the drains free of your hair. After you’ve used the shower, bathtub or sink, check the drains and remove hair that you may have shed. If you’re a host, check the drains after your guests have checked out. You might even want to pour some baking soda and hot water down the drains to keep them clear.
Deep Clean Regularly
Airbnb fees allow you to add a cleaning fee so that you can have the rental properly cleaned after guests have checked out. Consider using this money to pay for professional cleaners to come in and deep-clean the space at least once every month or two. If you deep clean regularly, you’ll have an easier time sanitizing your vacation rental in-between guests when you have back-to-back bookings.
Use a Hair Dryer or Leaf Blower to Dust
A quick way to remove dust and lint from hard-to-reach places is to use a hair dryer or an electric or battery-operated leaf blower. Use the lowest setting to prevent damage. This household hack is great for getting under furniture and tackling dirt and grime from between floor boards. Once you’ve blown up the dust, you can simply vacuum up everything for a clean finish.
Be Clear About Cleaning Fees
If you’re an Airbnb host, it’s a good idea to add an Airbnb cleaning fee to your listing to cover your cleaning expenses. If you’re worried that this may encourage guests to leave the place as filthy as they can, you can reward those who clean up after themselves through things like partial refunds, for instance. However, be clear about your policy around cleaning fees and your expected levels of cleanliness from the beginning to avoid disputes.
Make It Easy for Guests
You’re always going to have guests who won’t clean up after themselves, but most guests will uphold at least basic levels of cleanliness if you give them the tools they need. Make it easy for your guests to clean up by making sure there’s enough dish soap, surface cleaners, sponges, rags, brushes, brooms and the like, and that these are stored in obvious spots.
Vinegar is the star of many cleaning tips, and it’s also great for absorbing odours. Simply place some bowls of vinegar around the property overnight after guests leave or pop a bowl of vinegar and water in the microwave to get rid of stubborn microwave smells. Other odour-absorbing substances to consider while cleaning include baking soda and charcoal. You could also pour a few drops of an essential oil onto some tissue paper and place it between the blinds to make the space smell nice before your guests arrive.