When it comes to short-term letting, cleanliness is a great concern for both hosts and guests. For hosts, this is a matter of reputation. Guests also take it very seriously because they do not want to stay in a dirty room when they are on a vacation. Cleaning is an important matter for property managers and vacation rental owners. Whether you have a team or you do the task yourself, you should structure the tasks.

If you are a host and you want to please your guests, you must maintain high standards when it comes to cleaning your vacation rental. You can use this checklist as a guide.

Why a checklist?

A checklist can help you overcome human errors. Even if you are highly conscientious worker, you may get stressed, distracted, and forget to perform an important task. Yes, you can forgive yourself for these errors. But would you like those errors to affect your guests? No.

People use checklists when errors can lead to complicated problems. Checklists reduce human errors, and that leads to fewer complications. If you use a checklist, you can be sure that no mistakes will be made.

Do not make the mistake of assuming that cleaning does not require a checklist. Professional cleaners use checklists, and they help them avoid errors.

If you are a host, you will receive fewer guest complaints if you use a vacation rental cleaning checklist. And if you receive a false complaint, the checklist will help you prove that the cleaning task was completed.

Pre-stay checklist

If you have a vacation rental, perform a brief walkthrough before a guest checks in. You can do it by yourself of assign someone else. Just make sure that a walkthrough is performed.

The walkthrough checklist will help you prove that cleaning is performed before guests check in. It can help you settle disputes. If you are a host, you must use a vacation rental cleaning checklist.

Post-stay checklist

A post-stay checklist helps you know whether your property gets damaged while the guests stay there. If the damage is not noticed after the departure of your guests, you will find it hard to get reimbursement.

A post-stay checklist is not very different from a pre-stay checklist. You mainly have to check that all electronic appliances are working well. Since you have a pre-stay checklist, you will find it easy to figure out whether there is an issue with anything. Before the arrival of the next guests, you will find enough time to resolve issues.

Catch issues early

If you have a vacation rental, you will have to face many problems down the road. But you must try to identify the problems before your guests can catch them. If your guests find an issue, they will try to find more issues.

But if guests find that things are going pretty well, they are more likely to overlook petty issues. You will have a seamless turnover process if you use both types of checklists mentioned above.

General cleaning

You can differentiate between a cozy rental and a shabby one just by looking at them. Guests can do that very well! There are many places in your house that you may forget to clean. When cleaning your house, you may skip light switches, doorknobs and cupboard handles. If you use a checklist, you will not make that mistake.

Here is a vacation rental cleaning checklist for general cleaning tasks:

  • Consider applying new paint if needed
  • Clean the doorknobs, light switches and walls
  • Dust the framed art and photos
  • Clean ceiling fans
  • Clean the carpet
  • Clean the baseboards
  • Examine if there are signs of pests
  • If necessary, replace air filters and furnaces
  • Vacuum under large furniture
  • Wash the curtains
  • Clean the windows


You must pay particular attention to the exterior. Guests see the exterior before they see anything else. Guests will be impressed if the find the exterior neat and clean. Make sure you remove branches and fallen leaves from the outdoors.

Regularly mow the lawn and trim bushes. Make sure your exterior furniture is clean, and in good condition.

For your convenience, here is a checklist:

  • To prevent mold, wash wood siding
  • Remove debris and leaves from downspouts and gutters
  • For bare spots, examine the exterior paint
  • Replace exterior caulk if necessary
  • Clean air conditioner
  • Trim bushes and trees
  • Inspect window screens
  • Check gates and fences
  • For unusual odor, check the septic system
  • Check exterior windows
  • Clean door mats


More and more travelers now choose vacation rentals, not hotels, because vacation rentals have kitchens. You should make sure that the kitchen is clean, because the kitchen is the reason why travelers have chosen the vacation rental. That is why you must take this issue seriously when you make a vacation rental cleaning checklist.

Make sure the inside of each item is cleaned properly. Wipe down the outside and disinfect the amenities. You should at least clean the drawers, appliances, worktops and cupboards. If there are long-life food items, make sure they are still in date. Make sure that all oils and condiments are in good conditions.

Here is a checklist:

  • Clean and seal grout and tile
  • Fix leaky faucets
  • Clean stove and oven tops
  • Clean freezer, refrigerator, cabinets and pantry
  • Clean the appliances
  • Wash the garbage can
  • Clean the drains


Make sure the towels are in a good condition. You should also pay attention to other items such as bath mats and shower curtains. Due to damp conditions, mold can be a real issue in bathrooms. All water-prone areas and tiles should be inspected properly. If necessary, use silicone to reseal them.

You can use this checklist:

  • Clean grout and tile
  • Make sure that toilets are secured
  • Fix toilets and leaky faucets
  • Wash shower curtains
  • Clean bathroom rugs
  • Vacuum the drawers and the sink
  • If necessary, replace toilet brush
  • Change toilet flappers
  • Clean shower doors


Bedrooms are the most important places for guests, because they rest their heads in these rooms. If the beds are clean, your guests will enjoy a good night’s sleep. Do not hesitate to invest in quality linens and mattresses. They will last long. Check the beds on a regular basis.

Here is a vacation rental cleaning checklist for cleaning bedrooms:

  • Wash the comforters, pillows and mattress pads
  • Rotate the mattresses
  • Clean baseboards and wipe down walls
  • Vacuum under the furniture

Must-have items

Your guests will look for some common items, and unavailability of these items will have a bad impression on your guests. These items are used to perform cleaning tasks. You must make sure that these items are clean. Here is a short list of those must-have items:

  • Mop, vacuum and broom
  • Bleach, window cleaner and other cleaning solutions
  • Ice melt and shovel
  • Screw drivers, hammers, pliers, crescent wrench and channel locks
  • Teflon tape
  • Wood glue
  • Duct tape
  • Trowel and spackle
  • Furnace filters
  • Touch-up paint

Dining areas

When making a vacation rental cleaning checklist, you must pay particular attention to dining areas. The dining areas require as much cleaning as the bed rooms. Make sure that the overall appearance of the dining area is attractive.

The dining table is the first thing you notice when you enter a dining area. After every checkout, the table linens should be washed. Try your level best to make the dining areas attractive.

You do not need to work hard to clean the dining chairs. Use a piece of cloth to dust the frames. Use a firm brush to brush the body. Do not forget to mop the floors. Use a good detergent to wash the curtains.

This place should be hygienic because your guests will sit and dine here. If there is a fridge in the dining area, make sure it is clean. Check and see if there are cobwebs. For guests, cobwebs can be a huge problem.

Seasonal cleaning checklist

If you have a vacation rental, you know that cleaning activities vary from season to season. Ideally, your vacation rental cleaning checklist will change in spring, summer, fall and winter.

You do not need to do the same types of cleaning tasks in every season. Yes, the tasks are similar in most cases, but they also differ a lot based on the season. That is why you should take this matter seriously. Now we are going to present them.


  • Clean, vacuum, dust and mop all the rooms. Do not skip the baseboards.
  • Wash towels, linens, carpets, rugs, blinds and curtains
  • Steam clean carpet and sofas
  • Wash tile walls and mirrors
  • On kitchen and bathrooms, scrub mildew
  • Unclog pipes and clean drains
  • Clean appliances
  • Reorganize closets, cupboards and cabinets
  • Clean out pantry and fridge
  • Change light bulbs if necessary
  • Clean filters in air conditioning and furnace
  • Inspect and clean fireplace and chimney


  • Wash towels, linens, carpets and rugs
  • Check shower heads and faucets, and clean them
  • In kitchen and bathrooms, clean pipes and drains
  • On doors and windows, check weather stripping
  • Decrease the utility bills of air conditioning units
  • To provide cover, consider painting shrubs and trees around
  • Replace filters in air conditioning unit and furnace
  • Use Vaseline to lubricate door gaskets
  • If chimney damper is not used, close it


  • Wash carpets, rugs, towels and linens
  • Lubricate door gaskets and clean refrigerator coils
  • Vacuum furniture
  • Seal grout and tile
  • Paint walls
  • Unclog pipes and drains
  • Clean shower heads and screens on faucets
  • Replace filters in air conditioning unit and furnace
  • Remove debris from downspouts and gutters
  • Wash aluminum and wood siding
  • Trim bushes and trees


  • Wash rugs, towels, carpets and linens
  • Clean dryer vent
  • Check the fireplace and clean out ashes
  • Check shower heads and screens on faucets, and clean them
  • Unclog pipes and drains in kitchen and bathrooms
  • Clean filters in air conditioning unit and furnace
  • Clean trash cans and cupboard
  • If necessary, schedule snow removal

Professional cleaning services are provided by some organizations. If you look at your vacation rental cleaning checklist and think that it is too much work for you, you can hire our Tooting end of tenancy cleaning services.