Every vacation rental owner or manager should have a handy and complete cleaning checklist. In fact, did you know that the cleanliness of a holiday home is one of the most important aspects of a well-reviewed vacation rental business? And that the lack of thorough cleaning is a frequent cause for complaint by unsatisfied guests?

A good cleaning routine will prevent you from missing spots, simplify your processes and speed up your workload. If you do not have the opportunity or do not have time to clean the property yourself, a good option could be to hire a local cleaning company. They will take care of the cleaning in a professional way and leave you to your managing duties!

Especially in times of the Covid-19 pandemic, the cleaning routine has become more important than ever. Guest expectations about cleanliness and sanitation have increased significantly, becoming preeminent considerations when choosing their accommodation. Read more about cleaning guidelines for vacation rentals during Covid-19.

We have compiled a checklist for the cleaning of your vacation rentals. You are more than welcome to use this checklist, of course adapting it to the needs of your vacation home.

Free cleaning checklist for your vacation rentals!

Living Areas

      • Dust all surfaces, including coffee tables, television and shelf units, ceiling fans, picture frames or other appliances.
      • Wipe light switches, chairs and sofa.
      • Sweep and mop or/and vacuum clean the floors – also behind the sofas and armchairs. It should also be done in the rest of the rooms.
      • Clean the windows.
      • Organize the pillows, magazines, picture frames and other decorative items.
      • Clean fans if applicable.


      • Clean and sanitize all surfaces, including countertops, tables, cabinets, etc.
      • Clean and sanitize the inside and outside of all the appliances, including toaster, coffee machine, oven, microwave, etc.
      • Remove all food left in the refrigerator to avoid bad smells and disinfect the refrigerator.
      • Check the freezer for food and if necessary defrost it.
      • Remove trash and clean and sanitize the trash can.
      • Sweep and mop the floors.


      • Wash blankets, pillows and duvets regularly.
      • Change and wash linens. Make the bed.
      • Dust all surfaces, including furniture, drawers, shelves and decorative items.
      • Vacuum and mop the floors, including underneath the bed and other furniture.
      • Wash/dry clean curtains when needed.
      • Clean windows and mirrors.
      • Wipe light switches, doors and any other furniture.


      • Clean the sinks. Wipe the faucets.
      • Clean the shower and/or the bath. Wipe the showerhead and the faucets.
      • Clean and sanitize the toilet, including the lid, the seat, the bowl and the tank.
      • Wash and sanitize the toilet brush.
      • Clean and polish the mirrors.
      • Wash and change the towels.
      • Replenish toilet paper and any complimentary toiletries
      • Dust and clean drawers, cabinets and shelves.
      • Remove the trash. Clean and sanitize the trash can.
      • Vacuum the floors and the carpets. Mop the floors.
      • Check regularly that there is no bathroom mold.

Exteriors (If Applicable)

      • Wipe down and clean terrace furniture, including chairs, tables and BBQ.
      • Sweep/clean the patio, the entrances and the driveway.
      • Ensure that the grass has been cut. Remove leaves and branches from the lawn.
      • Check that all outdoor lamps are working properly and clean them.
      • Clean the swimming pool and check that it is working properly.
      • Check if there are any loose or broken tiles. Fix them.
      • Clean the gutter.
      • Clean the garage.

Bi-annual or annual cleaning

      • Have your carpets and curtains dry cleaned annually.
      • Check for chips in the paintwork and touch them up.
      • Treat scuffs on the floor, walls or furniture.
      • Clean behind the refrigerator and the stove.
      • Wipe away cobwebs from walls, ceilings and corners (but check for them regularly).
      • Check that the exterior walls are well maintained (no peeling paint).
      • Check the exterior (if applicable) for anything that might need deep cleaning or retouching.
vacation rental cleaning supplies

What about cleaning supplies?

Vacation rental owners or managers should leave some essential cleaning supplies inside their property for guests to use. Among these, you should keep a vacuum cleaner, a mop, some cleaning cloths and multi-purpose cleaners. That way, guests can clean whenever they might think it is necessary. This is especially important if you have guests staying for longer periods of time or larger groups of people, in which case they might want to have easy access to cleaning supplies. If you’re cleaning the vacation home by yourself, you might want to keep a broader range of cleaning supplies than just the essentials, whereas if you’re relying on professional cleaners, they will have all the products they need.

Should I charge a cleaning fee for the vacation rental?

A cleaning fee is an extra charge added to the total booking fee that covers the cost of cleaning after the guest has departed and to prepare the vacation rental for the next guest. This cleaning fee is expected to cover all basic cleaning, restocking and use of cleaning supplies. It is up to the owner or manager to decide if they want to charge a cleaning fee to their guests, although the majority of hosts do since it prevents them from having to absorb the cost of cleaning. You could decide to include the cleaning fee in the booking cost (in which case, it might mean higher nightly rates), to make it mandatory with a cleaning fee, or leave it optional.

The cleaning fee should be appropriate for the length of the stay, otherwise high cleaning fees for a one or two-night stay might discourage bookings for short-term stays. With longer term guests, you should be specific about which chores are included in the cleaning fee and how often, if you plan to have a mid-stay cleaning and, in that case, talk to your guests to find a day that is well-suited for them.


Whether you decide to clean your holiday home by yourself or outsource to professional cleaners, make sure to adapt the cleaning checklist to your vacation rental size and requirements. A clean and well-maintained holiday home will help you keep guests satisfied, more likely to leave you amazing reviews and to recommend your holiday home to friends and family!

Free cleaning checklist for your vacation rentals!