How To Super-Clean an Airbnb / Vacation Rental Home In 7 Steps

clean an airbnb

Do you have an Airbnb home that needs cleaning? Here’s what our St George property management company did to clean those homes. 

Every living area in an Airbnb home has to be as spotless as possible. A considerable amount of care and time has to be invested in cleaning the home to create a perfectly clean environment.

Here are a few of the steps we take to get a vacation rental perfectly clean:

1.  Oven:  When we first walked in, we checked the inside of the oven. Occasionally, the renter has used the oven extensively, and it has to be put through a clean cycle. Usually, the clean cycle takes four hours total. The property owner should charge the previous vacation renter for this additional time. This problem is rare but happens every couple of year 

2.  Laundry:  Next, we machine wash all linens and towels in hot water only. Laundry has to be started immediately because all sheets and towels have to be cleaned. That takes a lot of time. 

When the sheets are clean and dry, the beds need to be remade perfectly and decoratively. Occasionally, the blankets and comforter will also need to be washed.

Because the laundry takes a long time to complete, we always have the Airbnb tenants start a load of towels or sheets right before they leave.


3.  Bathrooms:  In the bathrooms, every surface must shine with no water spots or hair anywhere. Showers and tubs must be super-cleaned with great care. We ensure we’ve left no hair or debris. Glass shower enclosures can’t have any spots and must look new. We wash shower curtains regularly.

We clean the sinks, mirrors, and countertops to look new.

The drawer covers and cabinet doors must be clean. We also check the insides of the drawers and cabinets to see if they need to be cleaned out. They usually do.

4.  Kitchen:  

Fridge and freezer:  In the kitchen, we start by throwing any food items left by the previous vacation renter. Then the inside and outside of the refrigerator and freezer are cleaned to look new and unused. We pay special attention to the handles.

Dishes, pots, pans, and tableware:  Any dishes left in the dishwasher need to be put away (assuming they are clean). If they aren’t clean, we will need to run the dishwasher and put the dishes away before leaving. If needed, we will hand-wash and dry dirty dishes to save time. 


Stovetop: We clean the stovetop and exterior surfaces of the oven to look new. We use a lot of water, liquid dishwashing soap, Comet, scrub pads, and clean cotton towels to achieve this.

We take the knobs off the stove and clean underneath them. We clean and polish the knobs and then put them back on the stove. 

Countertops: We clean the kitchen countertops with a generous amount of soapy water and a soft scrub pad. We will usually clean (with soap and water) the entire countertop, and then we probably will do that twice more. When the countertops feel clean, we use a clean, cotton towel to dry them. Last, the counters are polished with window cleaner.

Sink:  Every surface of the sink is “over-cleaned,” including the drain fixtures. Sometimes we use a toothbrush to clean the grooves of the round areas where the pipe fixtures meet the sink. We clean the sink and faucet so they are “spotless” and look new. 

Also, we always run the garbage disposal just in case. Better safe than sorry.

Misc. kitchen items: The outside of the dishwasher, the drawer covers, and the cabinet doors must look unspotted and clean. The kitchen table must be spotless, especially the floor area around the table. 


5.  Flooring:  All flooring, hard and carpeted, must be perfectly clean.

Often a “hands and knees” cleaning is needed to achieve the correct amount of clean on hard floors.


We will vacuum the carpets into a pleasing pattern that is unmarred by footsteps when we leave the home. 

6.  Outside areas: We walk around the home or townhome outside to make sure nothing is amiss. If there is any patio furniture, that furniture receives a quick wipe down.

7.  Trash:  All trash should be disposed of properly (removed from the property). This procedure will vary from home to home but is crucial. Garbage, if left inside the house or garage, can smell and attract bugs. 


After everything is clean and we’re finished, we often use a “vacation rental checklist” to be super-sure we have done the cleaning correctly and haven’t missed anything. We leave the checklist at home. It has our business name and phone number on it, so the renters can call us if we need to go back and take care of any cleaning issues. 


As we mentioned, this list of concepts and actions must be taken to get a vacation rental or Airbnb as clean as needed. The extras take a lot of time, but have to be done to get the home “vacation rental clean.”

About the author: Don Glasgow has cleaned hundreds of vacation rental homes during the the last 20 years. He is now running a window cleaning business, First Impressions Window Cleaning, a house cleaning business, First Impressions House Cleaning, and “Pooper Scoopers,” a pet waste clean up service. 

How To Super-Clean an Airbnb / Vacation Rental Home In 7 Steps

clean an airbnb

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