How to Clean an Airbnb or Rental

Cleaning an Airbnb or a rental can take a lot of time, but not if you’re prepared. The following are the areas professionals concentrate on to make their properties shine. Included is a checklist you can use with your cleaning crew or just as a reminder for yourself.

To clean a rental, think of it in two areas, the Dry rooms and Wet rooms. Each requires it own level of cleaning and cleaning products. Clean the bathrooms first, followed by the bedrooms, Kitchens and living rooms. Clean from top to bottom and left to right. Here is a list of products you will need

What Products You Will Need for Cleaning an Airbnb Rental

You will need the following products at different times, a caddy is the best way to quickly navigate between rooms

  • Multi-purpose cleaner that can be used on non-wood products and windows
  • Wood polish – lemon oil
  • degreaser cleaner
  • floor cleaner for wood floors
  • Cleaning gloves – and vinyl gloves
  • Bucket for water
  • Sponges
  • Scrubber for grout
  • Tile chemical – like Tilex
  • Wall erasers to clean walls (like Mr. Clean or an off brand)
  • large supply of white microfiber clothes (quantity varies between number of properties and how often you want to do laundry).
  • large supply of Red microfiber clothes
  • Large supply of blue microfiber clothes
  • Spraybottle(s) for cleaning sprays (for when your cleaners need to be mixed with water) mark well!
  • Toilet bowl cleaners (such as Clorox Bowl Cleaner)
  • Toilet scrubber
  • Caddy
  • Dust wand (look for the brand in which the duster can be replaced)
  • Vacuum cleaner with upholstery wand
  • Cheap plastic scraper (that won’t damage wood)
  • Towel to stand on after cleaning tub/shower
  • Sponge type mop
  • Knee pads
  • Dust mop and/or broom- dust pan

To Start with you will need the different colored microfiber clothes to keep them separate and not mix them with different chemicals. You will need more white clothes than Red and Blue. Technically you can use any color you want. but for easy we use:

  • White microfiber cloths are for general cleaning with the multipurpose cleaner (used on glass (sometimes), outside toilets, non-wood, floors, walls, baseboards, appliances, blinds, window sills, and anything that is not natural wood.
  • Red microfiber clothes are for Natural wood. Natural wood can be damaged with too harsh of cleaners so we avoid most multi-purpose cleaners on natural wood (or if you do, its for quick touch ups and needs to be wiped down right away without leaving a residue). A touch of lemon oil or furniture oils can be used on this rag (easy does it – don’t over do it). Furniture, bannisters, some doors and baseboards.
  • Blue microfiber clothes are for glass and mirrors. Technically, it can be the same as the White microfiber coths if your multi-purpose is good with glass; but you don’t want streaks so it might be helpful to keep the white and the blue separate and use less product on the blue.

How Do I clean The Bathroom

Start with the toilet and use the toilet bowl cleaners. Since this will have to set for around 10 minutes; start in the bathroom. Making sure that under the rim as well of the rest of the inside toilet bowl is covered with the cleaning product and left to soak.

While the toilet is soaking spend your attention on the shower/tub. Showers do need cleaning after each guest (obviously) but the level of deep cleaning can be scheduled once a month. It doesn’t hurt to use Tilex every few guests. Scrub if necessary – but remember this is harsh chemicals – you don’t want ot be inhailing.

At least once a month you should use tilex with the appropriate googles, gloves and ventilation (after every few guests is better). For your first time do a deep cleaning – For the daily cleaning thereafter you can use the multi-purpose sprayed onto the walls of the shower and then wiped down with the white towels. Don’t forget to clean the floor of the shower. It helps to have a towel outside the tub/shower to step on as your scrub or wipe down the shower so you don’t track chemicals through out the house. This is especially true when dealing with Tilex.

With the white cloths and glass cleaner; clean the mirrors, around the counter and faucets. Spraying the white cloth first and then if there are any additional spots you can spray the difficult spot that needs to be cleaned. You may have to use a soft scrub cleaner to clean hard to clean spots in the sink or around the faucets.

Spot clean walls and doors with a Mr. Clean wall ereaser.

NOTE: always pay attention to your chemical content – you don’t want to mix ammonia and bleach. Most of the soft scrubs contain bleach and some of the multipurpose cleaners contain ammonia.

Once a month you may have to do grout scrubbing or descaling of minerals.

Dust walls, ceiling, cabinets, anything that can collect dust.

Check garbage and empty. Clean out bin with white cloths and multipurpose cleaner. Missing this step will make your whole place seem unclean to guests… no one wants a wad of hair in their garbage can.

Return to toilet, scrub with toilet scrubber and flush twice. Wipe down toilet with multipurpose cleaner and white towels. Shine handles – fold the toilet paper to leave a pointy corner- similar to how hotels do it so you know they were there.

Sweep floor. Now you are ready to mop. To really clean put on knee pads – get down on hands and knees and use the white towels and multipurpose cleaner. You can, occasionally only use the mop to tidy up; but word of caution – guests WILL notice an unclean bathroom. By getting down on hands and knees you ensure the best possible cleanliness.

Also pay special attention to the back of toilet and the corners of the walls (at the floor) and base boards.

Replace towels and take out the old dirty ones.

When you are through cleaning the floors; glance around and make sure and take all supplies out – you should have already looked in cabinets, drawers and cupboards for any left overs from the prior guest – remove these. You are wanting to finish up this room with the floors so you do not track prints back in the room and spoil your sparkling effect.

I guess stairs could be considered part of the living room or bedroom. But how do you clean the stairs? If the stairs are carpet then use a vacuum with an upholstery or small spot cleaning attachment. One of the things I like to do first is use a rubber rake. It’s made to get the crevices in the steps; you know – the areas that hair and dust collect and vacuums seems to miss. The long handle ones are a little more expensive; but will save your back.

How do I Clean the Kitchen

Take a microwaveable bowl and fill with water. Put this bowl in the microwave for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes to steam the microwave to loosen debris. Let sit while you tidy up in the kitchen. Thowing out garbage and any food items that are expired or the prior guests.

Use your dust wand over almost everything – especially high corners with the potential for cob webs. Open the windows and window coverings if possible so you can see all dust in natural light and can air the premises out.

Wipe down the refrigerator and appliances with the white cloth – spritzing the cloth and not the appliances with the multipurpose cleaner. Wipe down counter tops sinks and outside the microwave. If sinks need additional attention use the soft scrub; taking care not to mix any chemicals.

Degrease back of stove if necessary with a disposable cloth.

Return to the microwave while water is still warm and clean the inside with a white cloth and multipurpose cleaner. Put bowl in dishwasher.

Place all dishes that are used in the dishwasher and start. Evaluate whether you need to wash any dishes still in the cupboards. Notice that the cupboards are clean and take a white cloth to them. Check the flatware caddy in the drawers – sometimes they can catch crumbs and look dirty. Either clean by hand or throw in dishwasher if need be.

If the cabinets are natural wood use a red cloth and a drop of lemon oil (not too much). This should add a shine to the woodwork – if it leaves smudges or your fingerprints you are using too much. Use your red cloths on tables and chairs.

Spritz drapes with a freebreeze linen scent or equivalent. Make sure drapes are free of dust and cobwebs.

Sweep floor, then mop. Consider knee pads and white cloth with mulipurpose cleaner – or a sponge mop.

How Do I Clean the Bedroom?

If possible, open windows and drapes/blinds so you can see the dirt with natural light.

Remove the sheets and replace first because you don’t want to stir up any dust by doing the linens last. Fold with new sheets on the bed with hospital corners – guest will be expecting tight corners. Tip, keep your sheets in plastic bins labeled Twin, Full, Queen, and King one for each size. I recommend storing in a locked area at the property – it’s your choice though.

Clean from top to bottom, left to right. Starting with the dusting of the ceiling and the upper corners of the wall.

Wipe all areas with the white cloths (other than natural wood) including shelving baseboards and window sills. Baseboards and corners area easy to forget – pay special attention to these. Use your dusting wand to remove all webs. Dust dust dust…

Wipe down windows with window cleaner or multipurpose cloth (green or white) – making sure to not leave streaks.

Vacuum the carpet in straight lines; overlapping by about an inch. Start with the farthest side away from the door and vaccum yourself out; so as not to walk on your perfectly vacuumed streaks across the carpet.

But before you leave – Spritz beds, drapes, and carpeting with a freebreeze linen scent or equivalent as you go along or before – again – so you don’t walk across the freshly vacuumed carpet.

Cleaning doesn’t have to be a monster

How Do I Clean a Living Room?

Cleaning the living room is very similar to cleaning a bedroom.

Most of the cleaning will be with the white cloths and vacuum cleaner. Dusting or wiping all parts like bookshelves. If the living room has wood; use the red cloth with a touch of lemon oil.

Dust from top to bottom; left to right. either use the dusting wand to get corners and webs; or use a vacuum cleaner with a cleaning wand.

Making sure to vacuum corners; and move items to dust. Anything standing collects dust and either needs a white cloth over it or the dust wand. Natural light will help you see the dust.

Vacuum the upholstery with the upholstery attachment to your vacuum cleaner. Keeping in mind you want to flip the cushions over (if possible) and thoroughly clean crevices and under cushions. No one wants to sit on a sofa full of a prior guests crumbs.

Spritz drapes, cloth furniture, and carpet and rugs with a freebreeze Linen spray or equivalent.

Vacuum yourself out of the room and don’t walk over your vacuumed masterpiece.

If your flooring is wood; use a floor cleaner for wood and a mop. For first time you might want to use throw away cloths and get down on your knees and knee pads and clean.

You can spot clean with the multipurpose cleaner but if you do you will want to immediately wipe the floor clean and do not leave a wood floor damp.

There you go – it’s all easy – right!

Clean living room

Clean living room

Don’t forget to click on the free checklist for cleaning your airbnb rental. is owned and operated by NB Global Design. and edited by Brandy Eismon
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