As we enter a post-pandemic world, cleanliness is more important than ever. Many short-term rental owners are gladly waving goodbye to tough travel restrictions and last-minute cancellations, but one constant remains: the need for stringent health, safety and sanitation processes. 

As short-term rental bookings pick up momentum again, property managers face one common issue: how to manage cleaning processes between guests. It is crucial to have efficient cleaning processes to provide guests with the best experience and secure those all-important positive reviews on Airbnb, and Vrbo. 

A thorough cleaning checklist is the ultimate short-term rental companion. Below, we’ve compiled a list to keep every one of your properties sparkling between guests. 

Vacation rental cleaning checklist

Whether you clean the properties yourself or you have a reliable team on board, it’s useful to have a fully-stocked supply of cleaning materials and solutions at the ready.


  • Dustpan and brush
  • Broom
  • Mop and bucket
  • Rubber gloves
  • Vacuum cleaner 
  • Trash bags
  • Dusters
  • Microfiber cloths 
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Cleaning solution 
  • Window cleaner
  • Toilet cleaner 

Living areas 

The communal and living areas are where guests will spend much of their time, so it’s important to ensure these areas are in top condition and cleaned to the highest standards. 

  • Clean the windows 
  • Dust all surfaces, including shelves, television, window sills and coffee tables
  • Dust lamps, decorations, picture frames and any other furniture 
  • Wipe down chairs and sofas 
  • Sweep and vacuum floors - mop if applicable
  • Wipe down light switches, blinds and television remotes
Tip: Batteries die! Make sure you regularly replace batteries in remotes or game controllers and keep spares handy for guests. 


Whether your guests plan to cook up a storm or simply use the kitchen for their morning coffee, no corner must be left unturned. No one wants crumbs in their toaster or mug marks on the coffee table. 

  • Empty dishwasher and replace items in the cupboard
  • Remove any leftover food from refrigerator and freezer, and disinfect 
  • Clean and sanitize all surfaces, including tables, cabinets, countertops, splashbacks and chairs
  • Clean and sanitize all appliances, including microwave, oven, toaster and coffee machine
  • Remove trash and clean the trash can
  • Replace dish towels, sponges, soaps, dishwashing pods and trash bags 
Tip: Make sure you test electrical appliances regularly to ensure they still work safely and correctly. 


Bedrooms are intimate and private spaces; they need to be warm and welcoming for guests, with a fresh feel. 

  • Change and wash linens
  • Make the bed 
  • Dust all surfaces, including shelves, drawers, nightstands, dressing tables and other furniture
  • Clean windows and mirrors
  • Wipe light switches, window sills and doors
  • Vacuum and mop the floors (don’t forget to get underneath the bed)
Tip: Check the drawers and closets between each stay, and remove any personal belongings left behind. Remember - guests want to feel like they’re the first person to stay in a property. 


Bathrooms often require special attention, so remember to leave plenty of time to tackle them. One of the most common reasons for bad Airbnb reviews is the bathroom - so make sure yours hit the mark. 

  • Clean and sanitize the toilet, sinks, faucets, shower and/or bath
  • Clean and polish mirrors
  • Dust and wipe down shelves, cabinets, drawers and other furniture
  • Remove trash and clean the trash can
  • Mop the floor 
  • Wash and sanitize the toilet brush 
  • Replenish toilet paper and toiletries, such as hand soap 
  • Replace towels, washcloths and shower mats 
Tip: Hair can quickly build up in bath and shower drains, leading to blockages. Always check drains and plugs before new guests stay. 

3 quick tricks to simplify the cleaning process

The above cleaning checklist will ensure your properties are cleaned to the highest standards. Here are a few extra tips and tricks to help you manage your short-term rental cleaning processes:

Consider turnover timings

Cleaning a whole property in just a few hours is a significant task - and one you can’t afford to cut short. If you or your cleaning team struggles to thoroughly clean properties between guests, extending the turnover time is worth considering. Giving yourself some extra time to complete a full clean will provide you with peace of mind that your guests arrive at a clean, hygienic property. 

Be transparent with guests

Today, guests want reassurance that they are staying in a property that prioritizes health and safety. Why not communicate your thorough cleaning processes to potential guests? Many guests will feel more confident booking with you if they know you take sanitation seriously. 

Use an automated cleaning scheduler

Using an automated cleaning scheduler is an easy and efficient way to track, manage and monitor cleaning changeovers. Automating cleaning assignments saves you time from coordinating tasks manually and excludes the possibility of human error, resulting in a seamless process. 

At Uplisting, we’re proud to be partnered with TurnoverBnb, a platform that connects hosts with Airbnb cleaners, and automatically manages the vacation rental cleaning process. 

Who we are

Uplisting is a short-term rental property and channel management software built specifically for helping managers scale their businesses. Our all-in-one system enables you to streamline your property management, with features such as an automated cleaning scheduler, multi-calendars and channel management. 

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