Avoid These 5 Airbnb and Vacation Rental Host Cleaning Mistakes

by MaidThis
Tuesday, August 9 2016

The inevitable parts of owning a rental property are the tasks that come before and after guests leave – cleaning, scrubbing, washing, and dusting. For some of us, cleaning is a “trigger” word; for others, it’s not so daunting.

This is a guest post from our partners at MaidThis! Cleaning. MaidThis! is a California-based turnover cleaning service specializing in vacation rental cleaning. They currently serve the greater Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Orange County areas.

Whether you choose to hire cleaners or take up the job yourself, make sure to cover all your bases before passing your home on to the next round of renters.

Below are 5 things not to do when it comes to elbow-greasing your home.

1. The Rush Job

We’ve all done it. Procrastination, extended senioritis, or just plain not wanting to do something is part of being human. It’s not usually a big issue, but it becomes a problem when it’s the default setting – in all aspects of life.

If a host decides all of the cleaning can be done the same day new renters check in, things will likely be missed. Never assume that guests will clean up after themselves, even if you are lucky enough to get a few rounds of tidy renters. It is especially important to be at your property the day guests leave (but not until they are gone) in order to assess the job at hand. Surprises are not always pleasant, specifically when there is a great pile of dirty dishes and towels or an overflowing garbage can.

Attempting to clean your entire vacation rental in just a few hours is setting yourself up for a horrible, stressful day. It’s unprofessional and disrespectful to rush through cleaning up for guests who are expecting an immaculate vacation home. Rental places can easily be passed over for a hotel room that is cleaned daily; instead, guests have chosen you to be their host.

A scheduled routine prompts action and eventually becomes habitual. Preparing in advance and sticking to a clear post-guest process reduces stress for both you and your guests.

2. Assuming Your Cleaners are Mind Readers

There is absolutely no shame in hiring a cleaning company to take charge of scrubbing down your home after guests depart. After all, cleaning is their profession, so they know what they’re doing.

But do they inherently know a host’s specific requests, if any? Of course not. If there are any anomalies that exist within your vacation rental, be sure to point them out and make them known to the cleaners. In fact, you’ll be better off if you are able to give a quick “tour” of your home and explain anything that is out of the ordinary.

A good cleaning service will always ask these types of questions at the start, but it’s important for you to realize this and take note when vetting a company.

3. The Scatter-Brained Cleanse

Similar to the rush job, a scattered cleaning leaves potential for a peppering of mistakes. Being a host can be stressful as there are often unexpected situations that arise. Distractions are hard to avoid these days and multitasking has not only become the norm, but a necessity as well.

Make this stage of renting a time for you to unplug. Put on some music and try to push those worrisome thoughts into the back of your mind. Be in the moment and focus on yourself! Think like a yoga student and zen out for a bit, and maybe cleaning will even become something to look forward to.

4. Thinking “Good Enough” is Enough

There are certain areas of life that we as humans need to let go of and forget our obsessions with perfection. But when it comes to taking a vacation rental seriously, the good should be better, and better should be the best.

If a host steps back and thinks to herself, “It looks good enough,” chances are things are not 100% ready. A good, hard cleaning is incredibly rewarding when it comes to raking in good reviews. Great reviews means a higher occupancy rate.

The “good enough” mindset can slowly become a sloppy one, which is often times hard to recognize for hosts. This results in poor reviews and a subsequent decline in rentals. Enlist friends and family to assist if necessary and have them assume the role of guest to see what issues they pick out first.

5. High Expectations of Renters

We mentioned that it’s never safe to assume your renters are pristine and intuitively tidy. As they say, prepare for the worst, but still hope for the best.

It’s a mistake for hosts to hold incredibly high expectations over guests; yes, it is necessary to leave a checklist with your check-out cleaning requirements to show that you are serious, take pride in your home, and do expect some sort of respect for your property. However, make the tasks on this list something your renters won’t find overly demanding or difficult. Ultimately, burdensome check-out procedures are just as likely to result in negative reviews as a dirty rental would be.


As a host, there is a plethora of responsibilities that have a permanent place on your plate. Recognizing these as your duty and committing to them 100% is one of the best things you can do as a sincere host.

Just as with any type of job or career, there will always be a better way to do things. Don’t be afraid to continuously evaluate your rental process in general to see if there are any loose ends that could be tightened up. Take advantage of the web for more tips like these and visit the MaidThis! blog regularly to catch up on the latest trends.



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