The ultimate vacation rental cleaning checklist

Your guide to a completely clean vacation home, each and every time

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With 40,000+ vacation homes and 1 million 5-star reviews (and counting), Vacasa knows what it takes to earn rave reviews and drive repeat visits.

Consistently detailed cleanings are at the top of that list. That’s because the most common reason behind any negative vacation rental review is a lack of cleanliness. Guests have critical eyes. Even a layer of dust left on the dining room table or a muddy footprint on the carpet is enough to drive your review down.

The solution to cleaning your home thoroughly after every guest’s stay? This downloadable vacation rental cleaning checklist will help you or your housekeeper go room-by-room, making sure to cover all the details that matter.

Contact us and we'll talk you through it. Call 844‑518‑0967 or email newhomes@vacasa.com.

Vacation rental cleaning checklist by room type

Bedroom

There’s nothing quite like retreating to a pristine bedroom and climbing into crisp, white bed sheets at the end of a tiring day. After all, the entire lodging industry is based on this. Here’s how to meticulously clean each bedroom so that your guests won’t want to leave.

✔ Dust the bedside tables, TV cabinets, dressers, and chests of drawers

✔ Check the drawers and closets for belongings left behind

✔ Wipe out and wash window sills, shades, and windows

✔ Vacuum the floors

✔ Roll up area rugs, sweep or mop underneath, and replace. Wash all small rugs

✔ Clean all ceiling fans, light fixtures, pictures, mirrors, and accessories. Check the light switches to ensure that they work

✔ Clean all spots on the walls, doors, frames, ledges, and vents

✔ Strip the bed(s); wash mattress pads, pillow protectors, and blankets

✔ Clean headboards, baseboards, behind beds, and under beds

✔ Remove all mattresses, then vacuum and wipe down bed frames

Kitchen

Your kitchen should be more than just sparkling and clean. Every surface should be safe, healthy and germ-free to cook and prepare meals. Check off the tasks below to give your guests an immaculate kitchen when hunger strikes.

✔ Sweep and mop the floor

✔ Pull out all dishes from cabinets and wash out each shelf. Wash down cabinet doors inside and out

✔ Make sure drawers are organized and crumb-free

✔ Wash and put away all dishes and utensils. Scrub pots and pans inside and out, including the tops and bottoms

✔ Place a roll of paper towels on counter and an extra one under the sink

✔ Clean stovetop, under the top, backsplash, and inside and outside of the stove drawer

✔ Clean the entire oven inside and out, including racks, exhaust vent, light cover, and door

✔ Clean small appliances (can opener, coffee maker, microwave, blender, etc.). Use a large toothbrush on hard-to-reach areas

✔ Clean the entire counter top. Remove any stains carefully

✔ Clear out the refrigerator, then wipe down inside and out

✔ Wipe down freezer inside and rubber seal; empty ice bin and wash

✔ Clean dishwasher and refill rinse aid

✔ Wash all small area rugs

✔ Wash trash cans thoroughly inside and out. Deodorize and replace liner

✔ Wash light fixtures inside and out. Dust and wipe down hard-to-reach light fixtures, like chandeliers

The interior living area of an A-Frame cabin rental in Lake Tahoe, CA.

Living room

Your living room is the heart of your home, where guests will spend the most time together watching movies, playing games, reading books, catching up and more. This means it will be dirtier and messier than the rest of the home after guests check out. Bring it back to clean, fresh and tidy with this checklist.

✔ Dust all surfaces, including the blinds

✔ Check sofa cushions for dirt or stains (and clean if there are any visible imperfections).

✔ Remove all cushions, then clean sides and underneath

✔ If the sofa includes a sofa bed, wash the mattress pad and put back on the bed

✔ Vacuum or mop the floor, moving furniture and rugs to clean underneath

✔ Clean all ceiling fans and light fixtures, and check to see if all bulbs are working

✔ Clean baseboards behind all furniture

✔ Clean the inside and outside of TV cabinets, stereo cabinets, coffee tables, side tables, credenzas, etc.

✔ Clean TV using an appropriate chemical and cloth, being careful not to scratch the screen

✔ Clean mirrors, pictures, plants, and all accessories

✔ Vacuum drapes, including the top

Bathroom

Most people can agree: a less-than-impeccable bathroom is reason enough for a bad review (or to walk away entirely). Here, health and hygiene matter most. Even a stray hair or grime on the mirror will leave guests worrying if the rest of the bathroom was overlooked. Check off these tasks to make sure bathrooms are polished and pristine right on arrival.

✔ Sweep and mop the floor. Clean all baseboards, doors, ledges, switches, and vents

✔ Wash the entire tile in the tub area and clean the grout

✔ Scrub the tub thoroughly, including any jets

✔ Clean the glass shower doors

✔ Wash shower curtains and small rugs

✔ Clean mirrors, pictures, and accessories

✔ Clean toilet bowl, top, tank, and base

✔ Add one roll of toilet paper on the holder and leave two under the sink

✔ Scrub sinks, countertops, and ledges. Clean the cabinet under the sink and all drawers

✔ Clean/polish towel bars, paper holders, and light fixtures

✔ Clean trash can and deodorize

Get your complete cleaning checklist

Let a full-service vacation rental manager do the cleaning for you

If you’d rather never wash your guests’ dishes ever again (or if you’ve never had enough time to clean in the first place), let’s talk. Vacasa’s full-service vacation rental property management includes professional cleaning after every stay (among other things). Our diligent local team would love to help you reclaim your time—and get you more out of renting.

Vacation rental housekeeping is the heart of our business

Greeting every guest with a thoroughly clean vacation home is one of our hallmarks. However, we do so much more. Check out everything Vacasa’s professional, full-service vacation rental property management can get you - or give us a call to see how much more you could earn when you work with us.

Vacation rental cleaning FAQ

At Vacasa, we train our housekeepers to “Follow the Wall.” With this cleaning method, they make multiple circuits around the home—room by room—starting and ending each lap in the same room. On each pass, they check to see what’s dirty, are able to quickly assess which features need the most attention, and can efficiently multitask to get a fantastic clean done in record time.

See more of our housekeepers' top cleaning tips.

That depends on the size of your home and its features. A one-bedroom condo will take significantly less time than a six-bedroom cabin with a sauna and home theater. It also depends on how long your guests stay at your place—consider how much use your home will get with a week-long stay compared to a weekend.

You know your home best. So, track your cleans as you go to figure out how much time you’ll need to allot between when one guest leaves and your next guest arrives. That way you can set realistic expectations for yourself—and prevent miscommunication with your guests.

Use these tips to protect yourself while cleaning a vacation rental.

  • If you're wearing gloves to strip bedding and towels, wear new​ gloves to make the bed(s)
  • Wear a mask to prevent from inhaling any cleaning chemicals
  • Throw gloves away after you finish cleaning—never wash or reuse disposable gloves
  • Wash ​your hands with soap and water (or use hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available) afterward

A fresh-feeling home requires the right cleaning supplies. Plus, housekeeping is much less of a headache when you have the right cleaning products on hand. We recommend using EPA-approved cleaning products.

On top of cleaning products, our professional housekeepers also carry an arsenal of tools, including:

  • A 5-gallon bucket
  • Bucket sleeve with pockets (like a utility belt for the bucket)
  • Grout brush
  • Squeegee
  • Mop with extendable handle
  • 6 mop cloths: 3 soft, 3 scrub
  • Scrub brush with nylon bristles
  • Multiple microfiber rags

Talk to us

You've got questions. We've got answers.

Call 844-518-0967 to speak with a Homeowner Consultant, who can answer preliminary questions and see if we’d be a good fit for you.

If you'd like to move forward, we’ll put you in touch with our market expert in your neighborhood to explore the financial potential of your home, outline our management fee, and introduce your local team.

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Get more info

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Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa of Arkansas LLC; Vacasa Colorado LLC (Micah Victory); Vacasa Delaware LLC, 302-541-8999; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Illinois LLC 481.014072, Micah Victory Managing Broker Lic# 471.021837; Vacasa Louisiana LLC, Dana MacCord, Principal Broker, ph 504.252.0155 (Licensed in LA); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 602-330-9934; Vacasa Missouri LLC, Vicki Lyn Brown, Designated Broker; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC,45 NH-25, Meredith, NH 03253, Susan Scanlon, Broker of Record; Vacasa Minnesota, Broker: Micah Victory, license #40877637; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Oregon LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc., California DRE #01523013, Mark Graham, California DRE #00700720; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Texas, Debra Brock, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa Seasonals Inc., California DRE #02160171, Lisa Renee Stevens, California DRE #01485234; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa South Dakota LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr. Ste. #2F17, Waikoloa, HI 96738; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Terah M. Young, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC; Vacasa Wyoming LLC. In Canada, this advertisement is provided by Vacasa Canada ULC, CPBC lic. number 75826, 172 Asher Rd. V1X 3H6 Kelowna, BC.