Ultimate Vacation Rental Cleaning Checklist + Email Template

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vacation rental property cleaning checklist

Your vacation rental guests have left—and another booking will be checking in later today. It’s time for your cleaning team to come in and get the place ready for the next guest. Whether your cleaning team is in-house or outsourced, it takes timely coordination to make sure that your rental is clean, problems are fixed, and everything is reset before the next guests arrive.

You need two secret weapons:

  1. A shared inbox tool that keeps makes delegating easier and less time consuming.
  2. The ultimate vacation rental cleaning checklist that makes sure no detail gets missed.

If a guest has an issue with something at the property, a completed checklist can also give you a written confirmation that the job was done. Checklists also help you keep up consistent standards, such as when someone is sick or out of the office, and a different cleaner has to be called in to take care of the job.

What to include in a vacation rental cleaning checklist

Whether you’re managing two properties or 300, a detailed, well-organized cleaning checklist will help your team perfectly reset your vacation rental property after every guest departure.

Use the checklist below to get you started, and customize it as needed for your rental property:

Entry and departure info:

  • Property address
  • Access information (such as key location or entry code)
  • Instructions to arm/disarm the security system
  • Date of cleaning
  • Time in
  • Time out
  • Cleaning staff name
  • Signature verifying completion

Overall property checks:

  • Is the heating/cooling system on the correct settings? (Also note what that setting should be for each time of year)
  • Is there any damage, areas of concern, or high-priority issues that the property owner/manager need to be notified about right away?

Notes and special instructions:

  • All cleaning must be completed by [Completion Time]
  • A signed and completed checklist must be filed with the property owner/manager after each cleaning
  • Whenever possible, use environmentally-friendly cleaning products
  • Whenever possible, avoid heavily scented cleaning products
  • Did the prior guest leave any feedback about a specific issue that needs to be addressed?
  • Did the owner/property manager leave any specific instructions or notes for this cleaning?

Entry/foyer:

  • Check for any personal items left behind
  • Note left behind items on this checklist so the manager may contact guest
  • Wipe down all surfaces, including door, with surface-appropriate cleaners
  • Sweep, vacuum, steam, and/or wet mop floor
  • Spot-clean floors as needed
  • Check light bulbs and replace any burned-out bulbs

Kitchen:

  • Wash all dirty dishes and/or run the dishwasher
  • Put away clean dishes in the dish rack and/or dishwasher
  • Wipe down inside and outside surfaces of fridge, microwave, range, and other appliances
  • Clean and sanitize sinks and countertops
  • Check, empty, and clean all small appliances, such as coffee maker, coffee grinder, and toaster oven
  • Sweep, vacuum, steam, and/or wet mop floor
  • Spot-clean floors as needed
  • Set out clean dish cloth and dish towel on the counter near the sink
  • Fridge should contain only condiments such as mustard and ketchup
  • Empty fridge of all opened and/or expired items
  • Check that all silverware, dishes, and other items are clean and in their storages areas and that none are missing or broken
  • If any items are missing or broken, list each on this checklist for replacement
  • Check that all kitchen items are in their correct storage areas
  • Check/empty ice trays, refill, and set in freezer
  • Check and refill items such as dish soap, hand soap, tea, coffee, trash bags, and paper towels
  • Check light bulbs and replace any burned-out bulbs
  • Wipe glass surfaces, including windows, with appropriate glass cleaner
  • Take out trash and recycling, and replace trash bag

Dining area:

  • Stow chairs in correct places at the table
  • Wipe down all surfaces, including door, with surface-appropriate cleaners
  • Sweep, vacuum, steam, and/or wet mop floor
  • Spot-clean floors as needed
  • Check light bulbs and replace any burned-out bulbs
  • Rearrange all furniture as needed to match the default layout [add an illustration of furniture layouts]

Pantry:

  • Remove any expired items
  • Wipe down surfaces with appropriate cleaner

Each bedroom:

  • Change and make beds, using fresh linen
  • Wipe all surfaces with an appropriate disinfectant
  • Sweep, vacuum, steam, and/or wet mop floor
  • Spot-clean floors as needed
  • Check bedding for stains and treat appropriately
  • Note stained or ruined items on this checklist for replacement
  • Wipe glass surfaces, including windows, with appropriate glass cleaner
  • Check all drawers, closets, under the bed, and other bedroom areas for any items that prior guests may have left behind
  • Note left-behind items on this checklist so the manager may contact guest
  • Rearrange all furniture as needed to match the default layout [add an illustration of furniture layouts]
  • Take out trash and recycling, and replace trash bag

Each bathroom:

  • Neatly fold and stack two body towels, one hand towel, and one wash cloth per bed for each bedroom near each bathroom
  • Check tub/shower, drawers, and other bathroom areas for any personal items that prior guests may have left behind
  • Wash, dry, and rehang shower curtain
  • Wash and dry bath mat, then fold and set in the bathroom storage area
  • Note left-behind items on this checklist so the manager may contact guest
  • Remove all items from tub/shower, sink areas, and storage areas
  • Wipe all surfaces with an appropriate disinfectant
  • Clean all toilet surfaces and inside bowl with an appropriate disinfectant
  • Remove hair or other buildup from the drain area
  • Clean tub/shower with an appropriate disinfectant
  • Clean tub/shower glass with appropriate glass cleaner
  • Wipe glass surfaces, including mirror and windows, with appropriate glass cleaner
  • Replace toilet paper and crease first sheet
  • Refill toiletries as follows: toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel soap, tissues, hand soap, air freshener
  • Sweep, vacuum, steam, and/or wet mop floor
  • Spot-clean floors as needed
  • Check light bulbs and replace any burned-out bulbs
  • Take out trash and recycling, and replace trash bag

Laundry:

  • Check for any items that prior guests may have left behind
  • Note left-behind items on this checklist so the manager may contact guest
  • Check and replace detergent, fabric softener, bleach, dryer sheets, etc., as needed
  • Wipe all surfaces with an appropriate disinfectant
  • Empty dryer lint trap
  • Sweep, vacuum, steam, and/or wet mop floor
  • Spot-clean floors as needed
  • Check light bulbs and replace any burned-out bulbs
  • Take out trash and recycling, and replace trash bag

Living areas (such as common room, recreation room, den, front room, living room, basement, mezzanine, patio, deck and so on):

  • Wipe down all surfaces and shelves
  • Wipe glass surfaces, including windows, with appropriate glass cleaner
  • Sweep, vacuum, steam, and/or wet mop floor
  • Spot-clean floors as needed
  • Fluff and reset throw pillows and blankets
  • Check light bulbs and replace any burned-out bulbs
  • Rearrange all furniture as needed to match the default layout [add an illustration of furniture layouts]

Yard:

  • Mow the yard and remove clippings
  • Trim bushes and other outdoor plantings
  • Water landscaping
  • Remove fallen leaves
  • Sweep driveway and walkway

Final departure checks:

  • Make sure all rooms have been thoroughly cleaned
  • Check that all exterior doors and windows are locked
  • Lock front door and arm security system upon departure
  • Review and confirm that checklist is complete

Save and use this cleaning checklist email template for your outsourced cleaning team

An effective email is clear and gets to the point quickly. After all, your cleaning team is every bit as busy as you are.

When it’s time to request service, save and use this email template:

Please schedule your team for a cleaning at [Property Address] on [Service Date] at [Service Time]. Cleaning service needs to be complete by [Service End Time].

If additional time or services are needed, or if there are issues or problems we need to address, please email or call/text me right away at [Your Mobile Number]

The cleaning checklist for this property is attached, or you may also download a copy via the link  below:

[Link to file stored in the cloud, such as via Google Drive, iCloud, or Dropbox]

When the cleaning service is complete, please reply to this email and let me know. Also include a signed and scanned copy of the completed checklist, or mail or drop off a hard copy here:

[Your Mailing Address]

Thank you as always.

All the best,

[Your email sig]

A shared inbox tool will help you stay on top

Email is essential for communicating with your cleaning team. With its time-stamped, date-stamped written record of correspondence, email lets you dig into all the details needed to make sure that your property gets thoroughly cleaned in a timely manner.

Combined with the powerful features in Outpost, your team email gets new powers that help you streamline communications with your cleaning team.

How can Outpost help?

Time-saving automation features such as routing rules mean you can have emails sent and assigned to the person responsible for cleaning and resetting a property.

With assignments and @mentions, you can delegate tasks to a point person, and leave personal notes. Need to discuss an issue or resolve a problem found after guests departed? Internal notes help you and your team take care of things—all via a private conversation that stays within the team.

Even better, whether you have one vacation property or many rental properties, you can save and use property-specific templates in Outpost. Whenever someone is assigned a property cleaning via your team email, you’ll also be able to check status and make sure that the property is being taken care of in a timely manner.

How to use Outpost for an outsourced cleaning team

When you contract an outside cleaning team for resetting your rental property, Outpost streamlines communication between your organizations:

  1. Set up a saved email template that includes the cleaning checklist for the property. (If you have more than one property, you can also set up multiple checklists and email templates.)
  2. After a guest leaves, pull up the template and send the checklist to your cleaning team.
  3. Have the email template also instruct your cleaning team to reply when the checklist has been completed. You can also instruct them to send a signed hard copy of the completed checklist, and/or have them scan and email you a copy.
  4. Have your email template advise the cleaning team to reply back to you with any issues or problems at the property that need to be addressed outside of the normal clean and reset tasks.

How to use Outpost to email an on-staff cleaning manager

When you have a cleaning team in-house, there’s one essential step you need to do to use Outpost for managing and scheduling rental property cleaning:

Make sure the team leader is set up as a user in Outpost

As long as the team leader is an Outpost user on the collaborative inbox you use to coordinate cleanings, you can quickly get the cleaning manager in the loop after every guest departure.

Here are some easy steps to take in Outpost to set up and follow up every cleaning:

  1. When you send your checkout email to a guest, assign the sent message to your cleaning manager. That’s their cue to schedule the cleaning so they’ll be ready to go.
  2. Leave an internal note (with an @mention) on the assigned email. Include a link to the cleaning checklist.
  3. Use internal notes to discuss any issues related to the property and cleaning job.
  4. Instruct the property cleaning team leader to archive the sent email after they’ve completed the checklist. Also instruct the cleaning manager to sign and file a completed checklist when the cleaning is complete.

A cleaning checklist and email template will help you keep your vacation rental clean and ready to make a great impression

A cleaning checklist and email template are your secret weapons in getting your rental cleaned and reset in a timely manner. Along with Outpost’s powerful tools in your team inbox, it will be all the easier for your property to make a great impression on your next guests.

Posted in Email, Vacation Rental

Anthony St. Clair

Anthony St. Clair

Anthony St. Clair is a business copywriter, author of the Rucksack Universe travel fantasy series, and a craft beer writer specializing in Oregon. Learn more at anthonystclair.com.