Deep Cleaning your Vacation Rental Home to Boost Your Bottom Line

July 28, 2016
Categories: Airbnb


You never get a second chance to make a first impression.  This is true with people and also for your vacation rental home.  Your guests’ expectations will be met or exceeded when they first arrive or they will be crushed and probably not recover during their stay.  Your home’s exterior and interior must make a good impression to attract repeat business.

Fortunately, most vacationers are considerate and clean up behind themselves so that the weekly cleaners can properly maintain the home from week to week. Even so, a weekly clean between renters can only provide surface cleaning due to the time limit.  Of course, there are the guest who are not very considerate.  I have seen some atrocious behavior.  The details don’t need to be discussed, as some examples were just too disgusting.

In the Outer Banks vacation rental market, typically the deep clean is performed in spring before our season begins.  This is the opportunity to dig into the deep recesses and clean areas of your home that can’t be attended to in a weekly clean.  Depending on the size of the home and amenities, the deep clean will take a team several days to complete.  While some homeowners prefer to tackle the job themselves, if your heart is not in it – leave it for the professionals.  It is too important to guest satisfaction to do an inferior job. 

The deep clean is an opportunity to examine the home with fresh eyes.  Many times, an inventory will also be taken to make sure the home is properly stocked for the season.  Any maintenance issues uncovered, like sticky door locks should be addressed with graphite or replaced before the first renter.

Here is a list of items to be addressed during the deep clean:


  • Clean heating and air conditioner registers
  • Wash trim molding and walls
  • Clean all plugs, electrical switches, doorknobs
  • Dust ceilings
  • Wash Windows inside and out
  • Vacuum and mop Floors – make sure to get under and behind furniture and in closets
  • Deep clean upholstery, rugs and carpets and remove any stains
  • Dust all picture frames and clean any glass
  • Dust all decorative objects – wash when able to
  • Clean lamps and lampshades, dust light bulbs
  • Dust TV, remote control and stereo systems, wipe clean where able
  • Dust, clean, organize and polish entertainment stand, bookcases, shelves and all furniture
  • Clean drawers in dressers, night tables and other furniture
  • Wash curtains and blinds
  • Vacuum couch and chairs get under cushions.
  • Clean & flip mattresses
  • Clean fireplaces, mantles and remove ashes.
  • Wipe and polish ceiling fans
  • Wipe inside of closet poles, hangers and shelves or storage areas
  • Clean or replace mattress / pillow protectors, pillows, blankets or any linen provided
  • Clean under all bedding and furniture


  • Thoroughly clean stove
  • Clean oven inside and out
  • Clean and disinfect refrigerator inside and out, vacuum condenser coils
  • Clean sink inside and out
  • Clean microwave inside and out
  • Clean coffee maker inside and flush with vinegar
  • Clean trash cans inside and out
  • Clean kitchen fixtures
  • Vacuum and clean furniture
  • Clean and degrease grill
  • Clean hood & fan inside and out
  • Clean and disinfect all surfaces
  • Clean and organize under the sink, pantry and all the drawers
  • Remove crumbs from toaster, clean pan and shine outside
  • Clean all small appliances
  • Organize dishes & glasses by type, size and color
  • Clean and stack serving and storage dishes with their covers
  • Clean and organize kitchen utensils
  • Clean and polish pots, pans and lids
  • Organize knives, forks, and spoons
  • Clean under movable appliances like refrigerators and stoves


  • Clean and disinfect shower, shower doors, clean or replace shower curtain and liner
  • Clean jacuzzi / disinfect inside system
  • Clean and disinfect toilet inside and out
  • Clean and disinfect sinks
  • Clean drawers inside and out
  • Clean all furniture, shelves and accessories inside and out
  • Clean and polish faucets
  • Bleach tiles and grout to remove any mold
  • Clean mirrors
  • Clean toothbrush holders inside and out
  • Clean soap dishes
  • Replace toilet brush

Laundry & utility areas

  • Clean washer and dryer inside and out.
  • Clean behind and between washer and dryer.
  • Clean lint trap with soap & water (prevents buildup)
  • Clean and mop floors
  • Organize any items in the correct position.
  • Blow terraces.
  • Clean terrace furniture.
  • Clean terrace cushions.
  • Clean barbecue/grill.
  • Clean front door and entrance.
  • Clean entry light fixtures
  • Sweep fireplace
  • Clean BBQ utensils
  • Clean front door

Decks and Outside

  • Power wash exterior and decks.
  • Clean deck furniture and cushions
  • Clean barbecue/grill.
  • Clean front door, sliders and all doors.
  • Clean entry and exterior light fixtures
  • Replace door mats

The importance of deep cleaning your vacation rental home can’t be overestimated.  In fact, I would argue that performing the deep clean at the beginning and end of the season is cost effective.  The end of season deep clean removes any accumulated grime so it does not fester through the winter.  In the spring, staff can concentrate on making sure everything is just right.  Proper maintenance and replacing items before they are too worn will go a long way toward keeping happy renters.

The single most common complaint regarding vacation rental homes is cleaning!  Cleanliness is subjective.  Perhaps, it is due to it being a strange place; that folks can be more particular with cleaning standards as applied to a vacation rental home than they do to their own permanent home.  The first thing guests do upon arrival is check the cleanliness.  If they find a hair in the bathroom, they will check under furniture to find more to complain about.  If it is rainy, they are likely to be disappointed and may be spending more time in the house to uncover other items.  Today, with social media and online reviews, cleaning complaints can destroy your reputation overnight and dry up your vacation rental income.  The deep clean is necessary to maintain the home and minimize complaints.

Let Xpert Home Services manage your vacation rental by owner (VRBO) home.  Our flat fee service allows you to manage the reservations and money while we manage the check in services for your guests, 24/7 emergency service, and routine maintenance.  We are local to respond to guests for non-routine maintenance request, storm preparation and assessment.  We will also coordinate and manage home cleaning, linens, pool and hot tub cleaning and servicing.