Airbnb Host Cleaning Checklist for a Squeaky Clean Rental

If you want those 5-star reviews, you need a spotlessly clean short-term rental. A cleaning checklist will leave your Airbnb spick and span with each turnover.

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Here's everything you need to know to start hosting your own Airbnb or vacation rental!

Cleanliness comes at the top of your guests’ rubric for reviews. According to Airbnb, one of the main reasons behind negative reviews is the lack of cleanliness. On the other hand, tidy and clean short-term rentals usually get positive reviews and a “Sparkling Clean” compliment. If you want to avoid dreaded 3-star (or lower) reviews, your vacation rental needs to be spotless. 

Cleaning a short-term rental isn’t the same as cleaning your home as there is no room for mistakes. A stray hair here and a dust bunny there may earn a harmfully low review that will turn away many potential guests. 

If you want to leave no stone unturned and keep your rental brilliantly clean for every guest, you’ll need a well-structured Airbnb host cleaning checklist. A checklist will keep you focused and organized so you can speed up the cleaning process without forgetting anything along the way. 

Do I Need to Hire a Cleaning Crew for My Airbnb?

You don’t need professional cleaners to keep your rental pristine, especially when you have a cleaning checklist that will guide you through the process. The main benefit of DIYing is that you’ll save a lot of money.

However, if you live far away from the property, or you have a time-consuming full-time job in addition to being a host, or you have frequent and quick turnovers, that’s when a cleaning crew can be of great help.

A cleaning crew does the basic cleaning, such as making the beds, cleaning the floors, wiping down the counters, cleaning the toilets and showers, and emptying trash. You can also ask for additional services like deep cleaning and washing linens. Deep cleaning should preferably be done once a month, so you might consider hiring a cleaning crew monthly just for that task.

What Tools and Cleaning Products Do I Need?

Whether you decide to do it solo or hire a cleaning crew, you’ll need to supply a variety of cleaning products and tools. Make it easier for yourself (or the cleaners) by keeping all the products stocked and organized in one place (preferably a storage area guests can’t access). A 12-gallon bucket is handy for toting your bundle of products around the house with ease.

Here are some of the essential products and tools you’ll need:

This is a list of essentials, so you can modify it and add products and tools depending on the cleaning requirements of your own rental. 

What Should a Cleaning Checklist Include?

To keep it as simple and organized as possible, we’ve grouped the tasks according to rooms. This checklist is for cleaning after each set of guests checks out. 


  • Wipe the shelves, table tops, and baseboards
  • Organize the storage
  • Sweep, vacuum, and mop the floor


  • Wipe down and sanitize the counters, cupboards, and drawers
  • Clean the sink, faucet, and sink drain
  • Clean the stove, microwave, refrigerator, and other appliances inside and out
  • Clean the utensils
  • Clean hoods and vents
  • Throw out leftover food from the fridge and cabinets
  • Empty the trash and replace the dirty garbage bag
  • Clean the windows 
  • Vacuum and mop the floors
  • Fill the dish soap

Living Room

  • Remove any trash
  • Dust and wipe all surfaces 
  • Organize the shelves
  • Dust and clean light fixtures or ceiling fans
  • Polish wood furniture
  • Disinfect light switches and remotes
  • Clean the windows and blinds
  • Wipe down the leaves of plants (if you have any)
  • Vacuum the furniture
  • Vacuum the floor, rugs, and under the furniture
  • Mop the floor
  • Polish the floor


  • Change the bedding
  • Check and organize the closets and dressers
  • Throw away any trash
  • Dust and wipe all surfaces
  • Polish all the furniture
  • Clean the windows and blinds
  • Disinfect light switches and remotes
  • Dust and clean light fixtures or ceiling fans
  • Vacuum the floor and under the bed
  • Mop the floor


  • Clean and sanitize the sink and faucet
  • Clean the mirror 
  • Remove any hair from the drain
  • Clean and sanitize the shower or tub
  • Spray and rinse the shower curtain
  • Clean and sanitize the toilet
  • Clean the tile surfaces
  • Throw out the trash
  • Vacuum and mop the floors
  • Replace the bath math
  • Change the towels
  • Refill or replace toiletries

Utility Room/Laundry Room

  • Empty the laundry baskets
  • Wipe down the outside of the washer and dryer
  • Discard dryer lint
  • Dust and wipe all the surfaces
  • Vacuum the floor
  • Mop the floor
  • Sanitize the buttons, knobs, and doors of the washer and dryer
  • Refill the laundry detergent, softener, and cleaning supplies


Where to Find a Free Airbnb Cleaning Checklist Template 

It’s helpful to have a printed copy of your cleaning checklist to ensure nothing is left undone. You can find a variety of cleaning checklist templates for vacation rentals online. 

There are many different cleaning checklists that you can download in PDF and edit. Lodgify offers a completely free cleaning template (just enter your email to receive it). If you don’t mind paying a few bucks, there’s also this well-designed Airbnb cleaning handbook from Etsy that can be edited in both Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. 

Editable Cleaning Checklist on Etsy

Final Thoughts

Cleaning the entire rental is a big job, but it will be much more manageable and organized if you use a cleaning checklist. Itemizing your tasks and tackling the cleaning process step by step will speed it up while ensuring that you don’t miss a spot.

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