Ultimate Airbnb Cleaning Checklist
In this post:
- A complete checklist for your cleaning procedures
- A list of the cleaning supplies you’ll need
- The cleaning procedures for each room in your rental
A business lives or dies on one thing - consistency. That applies just as much to your Airbnb or vacation rental as it does anywhere else. An enhanced clean rating can help put your Airbnb on the map and make it a shining example in the sea of Airbnb horror stories about dirty rooms and misleading listing photos. On the other hand, an Airbnb that's dirty or poorly maintained can lead to a string of bad reviews which will dig your reputation into a hole that won't be easy to crawl out of. To avoid that, you need a checklist for your cleaning procedures so you can achieve the same, squeaky-clean spotless results, every single time. We’ll lay out the steps to take in setting up an Airbnb cleaning, the cleaning supplies you’ll need, and the cleaning procedures to take in each room.
How to Set Up an Airbnb Cleaning
Airbnb has a cleaning handbook on its website as a resource for hosts who aspire to earn an enhanced clean rating. The handbook includes a 5-step process for hosts to follow: prepare, clean, sanitize, check, and reset. Note that clean and sanitize are two separate steps that refer to separate parts of the cleaning process., The handbook also includes guidelines on the appropriate length of time to wait before entering the space after the guests leave.
Step 1: Prepare
At this stage, you're getting your equipment and supplies together before cleaning. This involves:
- Ventilating rooms: open the doors and windows and turn on the ceiling fans if you have them. Having airflow through the space will help make sure no off-putting chemical fumes from the detergents and bleaches set into the room
- Prepare supplies: that means having soaps and detergents on-hand to wipe down any surfaces, as well as equipment like vacuums, mops, brooms, and rags
- Review safety guidelines for the chemicals: the wrong mix of cleaning supplies could become toxic or hazardous if you’re not careful. Know what you’re working with, and read the labels on your products and their safety data sheets. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website has safety information on cleaning chemicals that will help you avoid any mishaps
- Wear protective equipment: bleaches, soaps, and detergents can damage your skin over time after repeated use, making your skin dry, cracked, and in pain. Be sure to use aprons, disposable rubber gloves, and face masks.
- Take out the garbage: line your trash cans with sturdy and puncture-resistant trash bags to avoid any leaks or stains getting all over your space
- Collect dirty linens: doing the laundry is one of the most time-consuming parts of this process. Collect the bedsheets and towels before you get to work and put them in the wash
Step 2: Cleaning
With the preparatory work out of the way, the real fun can begin. This is when you and the team you work with will clear away the surface-level dirt and grime before doing a deeper sanitization.
- Wash linens at the highest temperature: the heat will kill any germs or bacteria that they pick up from flaky skin, sweat, hair follicles, or any number of things they accumulate from guests
- Wash dishes and empty the dishwasher: walk through the space and collect dishes from every room. You'd be surprised how many people leave coffee cups and stray dishes lying around the bedroom
- Clean surfaces with soap and water: this will wipe away the visible dirt and grime. Wipe down all the hard surfaces like the kitchen countertops, tables, sinks, and floors. Make sure to get the tucked-away spots in the corners and under the furniture and bed. It's easy to miss spots like this, but it won't be a good look if your guests notice
- Clean soft surfaces: this includes the carpet, upholstered furniture, and mattresses. Follow any manufacturer’s instructions and remove any unsightly spots or stains with the appropriate cleaning agents
Step 3: Sanitize
Now that the visible dirt and filth are gone, it’s time to take care of the germs, microbes, and bacteria you can’t see. Not only does a truly clean Airbnb just feel nice for guests, but it also protects their safety and health.
- Spray all surfaces with disinfectant: all the high-contact surfaces like electronics, doorknobs, handles and light switches should be wiped-down with anti-bacterial disinfectant spray. Disinfect any electronics according to manufacturer instructions so you don’t electrocute yourself, ruin your expensive TVs and light fixtures, or start a house fire
- Let the chemicals stand: many disinfectants need to sit on the surface for a set period to effectively kill any germs or bacteria. Let the cleaning supplies do the work
- Give surfaces time to air dry: it's tempting for an Airbnb host to just dry off any wet surfaces and get the cleaning over with as quickly as possible so the room can be ready for the next guest. Remember though that a 5-star experience takes 5-star work. Don’t rush it, put in the effort and be patient, and you’ll be rewarded with an enhanced cleaning and better reviews
Step 4: Check
You’re more than halfway done. The bulk of the hard work is behind you, but earning that enhanced clean rating means going the extra mile. Check and double-check that every nook and cranny is faultless and you haven’t left any nasty surprises for your guests.
- Review each room: walk through each room and follow the checklist for each. The Airbnb cleaning protocol handbook has a room-by-room checklist which we’ll get into later. Dust and dirt can get into places you might not think of. Go through your space thoroughly and make sure you’re not missing anything
- Double-check all high-contact surfaces: these have the most opportunities for contamination, so these are the most important. The devil is in the details, as they say
Step 5: Reset
Now you’re finally in the home stretch. This is when you make the room ready for the next guest and make it look just like it does in the listing photos.
- Wash or dispose of cleaning supplies: be sure to wipe down any cleaning equipment too - throw away vacuum bags, wash any cleaning cloths, and take any disposable towels or rags outside in the dumpster
- Assess each room: have another walk through each room in the space and put yourself in your guests’ shoes. Is the bed made? Are the kitchen supplies properly stored? Are tables and chairs placed where they belong?
- Leave cleaning supplies for your guests: guests often want to be able to clean their room on their own if they have to. This is especially important for longer stays, as your guests will need to wash dishes, clean their clothes, and wipe away any spills. Stock the space with disposable gloves, disinfectant spray, moist towelettes, and hand sanitizer
- Restock your own supplies: throw out any expired cleaning supplies, and order any soap, hand sanitizer, towels, and linens you need to replace. If you order in bulk you'll save more money in the long run
The Airbnb Cleaning Supplies You’ll Need
Regularly check that you have enough cleaning supplies in stock so that you don’t run out and have to scramble to get some before your next guest arrives. The bath and body care supplies you should buy in bulk include:
Towels and Linens
Imagine yourself checking into an Airbnb: you finally arrive at your destination after driving for hours on a cross-country trip or being packed inside an airplane like a sardine on a redeye flight. When you finally arrive at your room, you’ll want to do either one of two things: plop down on your bed or take a nice hot shower. As an Airbnb host, keeping your bathroom and kitchen stocked with comfortable and absorbent bath towels and washcloths will help your guests feel clean and comfortable during their stay. Ideally, you should have at least three sets of towels for your space: one set currently in use by the guest, one set being cleaned, and an extra set on standby to use as a backup. We recommend the following:
- Monarch Brands Bath Towels
High-quality Monarch Ring-Spun bath towels are soft to the touch and available in a midnight navy color, which can add a little gravitas to your Airbnb to give it more of a hotel feel.
- Ganesh Mills Towels
The 300A Ganesh Mills bath towels have 100% cotton ringspun loops that are softer to the touch than the yarn and polyester found in a lot of commercial towels.
Bulk Shampoo and Conditioner
It’s tempting to give your Airbnb more of a classic resort or hotel feel by stocking it with travel-size or amenity-sized shampoo bottles, but replacing these bottles every time you clean your Airbnb and prepare it for the next guest is wasteful from a product standpoint as well as a financial standpoint. It’s a better business decision to invest in refillable dispenser fixtures, outfit them on the walls of your shower and kitchen sink area, and refill them by buying your Airbnb shampoo and conditioner in bulk.
Our Zogics Citrus and Aloe shampoo will have your Airbnb bathroom smelling as fresh as a spring meadow. The shampoo is plant-based and infused with invigorating essential oils and plant extracts that will make your guests feel hydrated and revitalized. Our plant-based bulk shampoos are part of a 3-in-1 set that includes bulk conditioner, lotion, and bulk hand soap. Zogics Organics Honey Coconut body care will pamper and soothe skin and hair with natural ingredients that are gentle in their formulations.
Bulk Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer has become part of the post-COVID new normal, and making hand sanitizer available for your guests will help them stay healthy as the pandemic is ongoing. Buying bulk hand sanitizer will not only keep your guests comfortable but will also keep them safe.
Airbnb Cleaning Checklist
You have your process, and you have the supplies you need. Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves, put on some gloves, and get into the dirty work. Let’s break down the most important steps of the Airbnb host cleaning handbook for each room below:
This is arguably the most important room in the whole space - and fortunately, it's also one of the easiest. An enhanced clean and the good reviews and increased bookings that will come with it depend on the guest getting a restful, uninterrupted night's sleep. Here's how you can make that happen:
- Change the linens and make the bed nicely
- Fluff pillows and turn down the sheets
- Inspect the closets
- Wipe down the fans and windows - make sure they’re clear of any dust or insects
- Empty the trash bins
This is one of the most important spots to keep clean - there’s nothing more off-putting to a guest than a bathroom that hasn’t been properly cleaned. That means getting a sponge, a mop, and a rag, and wiping down every crevice and corner. Bathrooms accumulate all manner of hair, bacteria, and who knows what else. The guest needs to experience the bathroom as being completely spotless.
- Disinfect every surface of the room
- Clean the showers - drains, showerheads, and tiles. Be sure to check the drain for hair clogs
- Scrub the toilet - including the seat, bowl, and tank
- Clean any mirrors using glass cleaner
Kitchens are bound to stack up food waste, spills, and stains, as guests need a way to prepare food for themselves.
- Check the kitchen for any leftover food
- Wipe away any crumbs or spills from the countertops
- Clean the sinks and faucets
- Run the dishwasher - then store the plates as they’re done drying
- Clean the fridge - throwing away any leftover food and disinfecting the inside
- Clean the microwave, oven, and stovetop, wiping away any grease or carbon particles
Your Airbnb’s dining room should be warm and inviting - a place where your guests can enjoy a relaxing and quiet meal as they get ready for their day or wind down in the evening. An enhanced clean here means making sure the fixtures, utensils, and decor look orderly with an eye for space.
- Sweep and mop the floor
- Remove the trash from the room
- Wipe down any high-contact surfaces, including the chairs and tables
- Wipe down the fans and windows - window sills and sliders included
Items to Restock After Every Cleaning:
- Coffee and Tea
- Laundry detergent
- Paper towels
- Trash bags
- Refill shampoo and hand sanitizer dispensers
Keep Your Airbnb Clean and Pristine
Obtaining an enhanced clean rating on Airbnb will elevate your Airbnb to its full potential and give your guests a reason to book with you over the other Airbnbs in your area. The business you’ll get from it will be worth putting in the extra mile.
To recap, here are the main overarching steps to cleaning your Airbnb:
Empower your staff and reassure your community with our FREE downloadable cleaning and disinfecting guides for fitness centers, educational settings, hospitality facilities and more.
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