These days people want to go on vacation more than ever, with 79% of people choosing a home rental over a hotel for their lodging. Vacation rentals are cozier and more unique than what a hotel can offer. If you own one of these rental properties, you know that cleaning it can be tricky. 

Unlike a hotel room, you deal with a whole house instead of one room that you’ll need to keep spotless. To get rave reviews from your clients, you’ll need to know how to clean a home efficiently. 

The best way to speed up your rental home cleaning is to avoid common vacation rental cleaning mistakes. We go over the top short-term home housekeeping mistakes and how to keep them from happening. 

You Procrastinate 

Cleaning your vacation rental right before your guests arrive leaves a lot of room for error. You have no idea how neat or sloppy your previous guests were. 

It can take a few hours to clean your rental in-between guests. Block out more time than you need to give yourself room for any cleaning situations that may arise. 

You Don’t Have a Plan 

Cleaning an entire home means you’ll need more time to get through the clean. It takes organization and some forethought to get the cleaning done right. 

Although a regular clean will do for most turnovers, some areas will eventually need a deep clean. One strategy is to add one deep clean task to your checklist each time you clean. 

Start your clean with any laundry that you need to do. Laundry takes the longest, so throwing in a load right when you start will ensure it’s done by the time everything else is. 

You Don’t Make a Cleaning Checklist 

Having a vacation rental cleaning checklist will keep your cleaning focused. You’ll be less likely to miss an area when you have a list to follow. 

Short-term vacation rental cleanings should include the following areas:


Clean and sanitize the sink and faucets. Wipe down all countertops and appliances. Put away any dishes and make sure that the dishwasher is empty. 

Check the fridge to ensure that there isn’t any old food in it. Take out the trash and replace the trash bag. Give the floor a sweep and a mop to keep it free of dirt. 


First, vacuum any bedroom floors. Strip the bed and replace the sheets. Double-check that personal belongings aren’t left in drawers, the closet, or under the bed. 

Disinfect the bedside tables and the top of any dressers. If there is a trashcan, take out the trash and replace the trash bag. 

Living Room 

This space sees a lot of traffic, so give it extra attention. Start by disinfecting any remotes, tables, and gaming systems. Vacuum the floor and mop any wood or tile. 

Straighten out the cushions on the couch and any blankets. Check that board games and movies are straight and organized. 


Guests like an immaculate bathroom. During your vacation rental cleaning routine, make sure these areas are extra clean. 

Disinfect the sink, faucet, shower, and tub. Make sure to sanitize and clean the toilet. Shine the mirrors and shower door. 

Sweep and mop the floor. Remove the trash from the trash can and replace the trash bag. Make sure that there is soap and toilet paper in the bathroom. 

Double-check the drawers or medicine cabinet for personal belongings. Replace any hand and bath towels for the guests to use. 

Other Areas 

Check for any personal belongings left behind by the previous guests. Vacuum all of the rugs and mop all wood and tile floors. 

Disinfect any handles and doorknobs. Throw away magazines that are older than six months. 

Clean the windows and lock them. Straighten any pictures or furniture that needs tidying. 

You Settle For Okay

When ratings and repeat bookings are involved, doing a good enough job isn’t going to cut it. Your guests will expect that the home looks fresh and unused. 

To keep your guests coming back, each room needs to look perfect. All it takes is one hair in the shower or a forgotten trash can for your reviews to plummet. 

You Don’t Use a Vacation Rental Cleaning Service 

You may think that you can handle the cleaning of your rental, but it’s a lot harder than you may think! Hiring a company specializing in short-term rental cleans will give your rental the deepest clean possible. 

Vacation rental cleaners have training on how to clean these types of properties. A cleaning company can tell you of any potential problems in your rental. They also have a comprehensive knowledge of the unique needs of a short-term rental home. 

Before hiring a cleaning company to do the job for you, make sure you know what questions to ask them. 

  • What house cleaning products do they use. 
  • How many rentals do they clean.
  • What experience do they have with short-term rental cleaning? 
  • If they are licensed and insured. 
  • If they work by themselves or through a company. 

See for yourself their cleaning work by visiting a property they have cleaned. Once you have found a cleaner, ask for references. These can reveal a lot about how well the cleaner’s ability. 

Keep Your Ratings High When You Avoid Vacation Rental Cleaning Mistakes

When you own a short-term rental, your ratings make all the difference in the bookings that you’ll get. You’ll want your guests to walk into your home feeling like they are the first people to stay there. When you know about the common vacation rental cleaning mistakes, you can ensure they don’t happen to you! 

If you are looking for a cleaning company for your rental, Orchard Cleaning Service can help. Our professional team can get your home to the highest level of cleanliness. 

Contact us today to get the process started.