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Homeowner  •  April 27, 2022

The Complete Vacation Rental Cleaning Checklist

Anna Ellison
Anna Ellison

With over six years of content marketing experience, Anna is a writer on the AvantStay team. Throughout her career, she’s given brands a voice and told stories across diverse industries including broadband, fintech, hospitality, mobile apps, and real estate.


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A clean vacation rental is more important today than ever before. Guests expect (and deserve) to walk into a pristine, clean space so they can enjoy their trip to the fullest. According to AirDNA, short-term rental hosts who scored high on cleanliness (pre-pandemic) received a 2.3% occupancy rate increase compared to hosts who scored lower. In 2021, hosts with high cleanliness rates saw their occupancy rates increase by 6.8% over hosts who scored lower. 

Guest standards of vacation rental cleanliness have changed since the beginning of the pandemic, and vacation rental homeowners need to upgrade their cleaning protocols to meet these expectations. After all, happy guests lead to positive reviews, repeat visitors, and more revenue for you. Keep reading for our complete vacation rental cleaning checklist that’s sure to impress your guests and comply with CDC standards. 

Supplies needed for vacation rental cleaning 

Keep your short-term rental stocked with cleaning supplies, or provide these for your housekeeping team to use. If you choose to partner with AvantStay for vacation rental management, we’ll provide all CDC-compliant supplies to our housekeeping staff, at no additional charge to you. These supplies are also available to guests so they can choose to keep the home tidy throughout their stay. Some basic supplies needed before you start completing our vacation rental cleaning checklist: 

  • Disinfectant
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Vacuum
  • Spray mop
  • Floor cleaner
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Paper towels
  • Sponges
  • Dishwasher detergent
  • Dish soap
  • Bleach

Living room 

Guests will likely spend a lot of time in the living room, so make sure all high-touch surfaces are disinfected and make the space ready for guests to gather and make memories. 

  • Disinfect remotes, stereos, and speakers
  • Clean the TV screen 
  • Dust and disinfect coffee tables, side tables, and TV consoles
  • Disinfect light switches
  • Dust windowsills and ledges
  • Dust blinds, ceiling fans, lamps, shelves, and any other surfaces
  • Clean windows and sliding glass doors
  • Vacuum furniture, under cushions, and underneath furniture
  • Wash furniture covers (as applicable) 
  • Wash used throw blankets
  • Sweep, vacuum, or mop the floor and carpet (as applicable) 
  • Reorganize books, games, and movies 
  • Straighten decor, pillows, and blankets
  • Check condition of welcome book and place in a visible spot


Create a blank canvas for guests to make their own meals and family dinners by cleaning all surfaces, kitchen gadgets, and restocking the essentials. 

  • Unload the dishwasher 
  • Check that all dishes, utensils, pots and pans are clean and organized
  • Clean and disinfect counters, tables, chairs, and cabinets 
  • Wipe down oven (interior and exterior) and stovetop 
  • Clean and sanitize sink and backsplashes
  • Clean and disinfect interiors and exteriors of appliances, including the toaster oven, microwave, and coffee maker
  • Sweep and mop the floor, move rugs and furniture first
  • Clean inside and outside of refrigerator and freezer and discard leftover food 
  • Wipe down windows and windowsills
  • Refill soap dispenser
  • Replace dish towels, linen napkins, sponges, and paper towels 
  • Replace garbage bag


Allow guests to completely relax and unwind with fresh linens and a cozy, tidy space. 

  • Wash and replace sheets, pillowcases, mattress pads, pillow protectors, duvet covers and blankets
  • Check for personal belongings left in drawers, under the bed, behind the headboards, behind nightstands, and in closets 
  • Dust and disinfect nightstands, dressers, and bedposts
  • Dust shelves, decorations, windowsills, ledges, and baseboards 
  • Clean TV screens (as applicable) 
  • Vacuum floor and under beds
  • Disinfect light switches and remotes
  • Remove trash and clean trash cans


Leave bathrooms in excellent condition for your next round of guests by disinfecting all surfaces, check the condition of towels and bath mats, inspect for mold and mildew, and scrub away any soap residue. 

  • Scrub and disinfect showers, bathtubs, sinks, faucets, vanity, and backsplashes
  • Clean and disinfect toilet, including the bottom half and behind 
  • Clean mirrors
  • Wipe down windows and windowsills (as applicable) 
  • Clean dust and debris on vents and fans
  • Wash and replace all towels and bath mats 
  • Clean or replace shower curtains as needed 
  • Vacuum and mop floors 
  • Replenish soap and any complimentary toiletry items
  • Replenish toilet paper and tissues 
  • Remove trash and clean trash cans

Laundry room 

Make sure the laundry or utility room is spotless, organized, and well-stocked in case guests need to do laundry during their stay. 

  • Empty and clean out washing machine, detergent tray, dryer, and lint trap 
  • Wipe down machines and disinfect buttons and doors
  • Clean out and disinfect sink
  • Dust shelves and all surfaces 
  • Vacuum and mop floors 
  • Restock laundry detergent, softener, stain remover, and dryer sheets
  • Keep supplies organized and labeled 
  • Make sure iron, ironing board, laundry baskets, and drying racks are in place 
  • Remove trash and clean trash cans

Outdoor space

If your short-term rental has an outdoor space, make it inviting and ready to use so guests can enjoy these fan-favorite amenities.

  • Sweep porch or patio
  • Wipe down and straighten all furniture, wash chair cushions if needed 
  • Disinfect outdoor eating areas and tables
  • Wipe down grill and make sure grilling tools are clean
  • Clean up area around fire pit or wipe down fire pit table
  • Make sure outdoor lights are working properly
  • Pull weeds and rake leaves in the yard or garden 
  • Remove leaves and debris from the pool and hot tub, clean filters and replace chlorine 
  • Disinfect yard games and set them up so guests can easily use them 

Better home care with AvantStay

Travelers consistently rank cleanliness and housekeeping among the most important factors when selecting where to stay. With AvantStay, you’ll never have to worry about the care and condition of your home. We have implemented numerous processes and checkpoints to ensure our cleaning standards set the bar for the industry.

We pride ourselves on a rigorous 100-point vacation rental cleaning checklist that ensures our housekeepers perform deep cleans using products and standards that comply with (and exceed) CDC guidelines before every stay. In addition, we provide a bi-annual deep clean to ensure homes stay in great shape all year round. Our teams are held accountable to these high standards by requiring pictures throughout the cleaning process, and our in-market teams conduct pre-stay and post-stay audits for additional quality control. To ensure commitment to quality, our housekeepers are paid above market rate and are enrolled in an accountability program that rewards high-quality cleaning ratings.

Another perk when you choose AvantStay as your vacation rental management company: guests can use in-app upgrades and experiences to not only request mid-stay cleans, but arrange private chef-catered dinners, wine tastings, in-home spa treatments, transportation, and more. A sparkling clean home paired with our personalized guest services drives higher satisfaction, more five-star reviews, and repeat visitors. 

If you’re interested in learning more about AvantStay’s best-in-class care and how we can maximize your revenue, our team is ready to help. Get started with our vacation rental management experts today! 

Anna Ellison
Anna Ellison

With over six years of content marketing experience, Anna is a writer on the AvantStay team. Throughout her career, she’s given brands a voice and told stories across diverse industries including broadband, fintech, hospitality, mobile apps, and real estate.

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