Vacation Rental Cleaning [Options & Costs]

There are many components involved in managing a vacation rental property. How you plan to keep it clean is arguably one of the highest priorities to consider, which is why it is crucial that you explore all your options before choosing the one that works best for you. Decide well in advance whether you plan to hire a cleaning service, do the work yourself, or use a company like Grand Welcome, which offers a comprehensive vacation rental management system.


You are reading an article from the Customer Experience section of our Ultimate Vacation Rental Business Guide.

See the other articles in this section below:

     • Vacation Rental Concierge Ideas

     How to Write a Vacation Rental Welcome Letter for Guests

      ➜ Vacation Rental Cleaning [Options & Costs]

     Vacation Rental Maintenance [Checklists & Tips]


Vacation Rental Cleaning Options

When guests arrive at your vacation rental property, they expect it to be immaculately clean, which means you need to pay attention to the details you may otherwise overlook. If clean dishes are still in the dishwasher instead of the cupboards or the picture frames have a layer of dust, it can quickly diminish the feeling of luxury they were hoping for.

When it comes to vacation rental cleaning, it can be helpful to have some background knowledge about the available options and types of services before making your final decision. Use the guide below to help you determine which option best suits your needs.

House Cleaning vs. Housekeeping

Generally speaking, the term “housekeeping” is used to describe the type of cleaning that is done on an ongoing basis between guests. This type of service should be supplemented with a deep house cleaning at least once a year, or as needed. Deeper cleaning would include items like carpet cleaning, washing curtains and large appliances, and repairs and maintenance.

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How to Clean Your Airbnb or Rental Property Yourself

Do you have to clean Airbnb properties? Yes, whether you are the property owner or a guest, you will need to do some cleaning in your vacation rental. If you’ve ever been an Airbnb quest, you were most likely charged a cleaning fee to cover some of the cost of housekeeping, and you also may have been asked to wash dishes or take the trash to outside garbage cans.

As a vacation rental property owner, it’s your job to do the majority of the cleaning and tackle the tough jobs. If you live near your rental property and plan to consider this your full-time job, you may decide your best option is to clean the house yourself. You will be able to see firsthand if there is anything in need of repairs and take care of any problems right away.

Keep in mind, however, that you will need to acquire the necessary equipment and cleaning supplies, as well as be consistently available for cleaning and to respond to your guests’ concerns. You will also want to create or obtain a detailed list of cleaning tasks so you can be sure you don’t miss anything.

Vacation Rental Cleaning Services

Hiring someone to perform vacation rental cleaning services may be a better option if you do not live near your property or you want the job done by an expert. Someone from a cleaning service will have mastered a few trade skills, like how to complete each task in the most efficient and effective manner, as well as how to make a bed housekeeping-style so everything looks professional and inviting.

Although you will have to pay for vacation rental housekeeping professionals, you will save yourself an abundance of time, stress, and hard work. Plus, you can offset the cost by including vacation rental cleaning fees in the total price when guests make a reservation—but make sure you take that into account when figuring out a reasonable price to charge for your property.

Hiring a Housekeeper

If you do decide to hire someone to clean your rental property, you will need to make sure they have vacation rental housekeeping training. This type of housekeeping varies somewhat from traditional home cleaning services, and they need to be prepared for different tasks.

For example, you will want to ask your housekeeper to let you know if anything has been damaged. You may also want them to change lightbulbs and air filters, check smoke detectors or launder all the towels and bedding.

You can also put them through your own vacation rental housekeeping training and give them specific instructions that are applicable to your property. It is a good idea to provide them with a checklist of cleaning items and tasks you expect them to complete after each guest checks out. Use the list below for inspiration or check out our full cleaning checklist.

  • Wash and put away dishes
  • Empty and clean inside of the refrigerator
  • Sweep, mop, and vacuum
  • Wipe down counters, sinks, and appliances
  • Clean bathtub and toilets
  • Wash windows
  • Dust furniture, picture frames, etc
  • Wash bedding and remake beds
  • Check for missing utensils, remotes, etc
  • Photograph and report any damage

Woman cleaning the bathroom mirror

Vacation Rental Cleaning Costs

Vacation rental cleaning costs will vary based on a number of factors, such as where the property is located, the size of the property, and how much work is required. You may also be charged more if your housekeeping service has to travel more than a set number of miles to reach your rental property.

With all of these variables, it can be difficult to determine pricing for vacation rental cleaning fees. When establishing pricing, remember to factor in potential damages and repairs, as well as wear and tear over time.

For example, if it costs you $100 for the housekeeper to clean the property, it may be wise to charge guests a cleaning fee of $125. If you save the extra $25 from each guest, you will be able to use this for the cost of maintaining appliances, replacing missing or damaged items, or purchasing new bedding and towels as they start to wear out.

Any major damages should be charged to the guest as soon as you become aware of the problem. This is one of the reasons it is so important for cleaning to take place immediately after guests checkout.

The best way to determine pricing is to talk to others in your industry and to get several estimates from different cleaning services before choosing one. Make sure the service understands that they will be cleaning a vacation rental and not a residential property. This will affect the estimated total as more cleaning will be required.

Grand Welcome to the Rescue

Your final option when it comes to vacation rental housekeeping is to collaborate with a vacation rental management team. Grand Welcome takes care of all the details for you, from cleaning and maintenance to marketing and account management. We’ll help you book reservations and keep guests coming back, while you relax and reap the rewards.

When you list your property with Grand Welcome, we’ll conduct a pricing analysis by comparing trends and similar properties in the area, as well as provide vacation rental cleaning services after every guest departs. We’ll also perform a thorough deep cleaning and maintenance checkup each year to make sure everything remains in top condition. Plus, we’ll connect you with our marketing and travel partners.

If you are more interested in opening your own vacation rental management franchise with a small investment, contact Grand Welcome Franchise today to receive the Free Franchise Information Kit, and start earning revenue with our professional and ongoing support and training for you.