We all know that cleanliness is vital to the success of any Short Term Rental. But, after a while, you can start to feel like a cleaning slave, especially if you have a lot of one-nighter bookings. You wake up, clean, welcome guest, sleep, repeat.
The best way to combat the infinite cleaning loop is to find ways to speed up the process. Now, we're not talking about doing a subpar cleaning job. We don't want you to get any bad reviews, or worse, have your super host status revoked. Instead, it's time to make a plan, get efficient and follow these tips to shave minutes off of your cleaning time. You know, so you can go out there and enjoy all that money you're making on your rental.
- Create a checklist of what needs to be cleaned in between each guest booking. In the beginning, you may want to write this list down until you get more familiar with your specific routine. We don't want you stressing because you forgot an important step or waste time thinking about what needs to be cleaned next. After awhile, you will find that by doing certain chores in a specific order will shorten your cleaning time. So, experiment and look for ways that are more effective for getting your specific rental in tip top shape.
- Cycle through your deep cleaning chores. Some parts of your rental only need to be deep cleaned every once in a while. For example, you may only need to wipe down your baseboards or ceiling fan every couple of weeks. The next time you clean, add only one of these chores to your cleaning list and cycle through the rest doing one of these chores every time you clean.
- Set a time limit to clean your rental and then try to slowly decrease that time with every cleaning. When you give yourself a time limit, and commit to sticking to it, that small added pressure will keep you focused and moving efficiently. It will also show you what issues are slowing you down and can be improved. But don't take this too far. Keep your expectations realistic. We'd all like to be able to clean our rentals in under 2 minutes but, for most of us, that is just not possible. If it normally takes you three hours to clean your rental, next time give yourself 2 hours and forty-five minutes to get it done.
- Start with the laundry first as this usually takes the longest time. This way, you can get your laundry going while you clean the rest of the rooms. This also gives you time to treat any laundry stains and let them soak if needed. If you can't get the stains out no matter what you do, make sure to have a couple of backup sets of towels and bedding to replace them.
- Vacuum first! There's a debate on whether to vacuum before or after you wipe down surfaces. Since hairs are the all-time enemy of any rental (hairs in the drain are the worst), we suggest vacuuming first and then doing your wipe down. There will be less to clean and you shouldn't have to deal with as many hairs along the way.
- Invest in a Cleaning Caddy to hold all your cleaning supplies in one convenient place. That way, you don't waste time walking back and forth to get a cleaning product and you can move through the rooms quicker. If you don't have a swanky cleaning caddy, you can also use a bucket to hold all of your supplies.
- Invest in bulk cleaning supplies and toiletries. Who has time to run to the store all the time? Buying in bulk will save you money and you will always have supplies on hand to clean and restock guest amenities.
- Start from one corner of the room and work your way out from there. Again, it will save you extra steps and shorten your cleaning time.
- Clean from top to bottom. Start with the shelves then move down to the table and then the floor. This way, any dirt falls downwards and you won't have to spend extra time recleaning a surface.
- Use a Microfiber Cleaning Cloth. Paper towels are not good for the environment or your cleaning schedule. A microfiber cloth not only saves money because it can be washed and reused but it also cleans better and covers a lot more surfaces than a paper towel. Use one wet microfiber cloth with your cleaning products and use a second dry microfiber cloth to dust and polish. Try them out and you'll become a convert.
- Mark a corner of your fitted sheets. Making up a bed can be a real time suck, especially if you don't know which way the fitted sheet is supposed to fit on the mattress. So, here's a quick fix. Pick one of the bottom corners of the bed, either the left or the right. Then, take a permanent marker or some sewing thread and mark the fitted sheet on your chosen corner. Do this in a hidden spot somewhere along the elastic band that is tucked underneath the mattress. But make sure it's still easy for you to find. Next time you have to make the bed, find that marker and use it as a guide to place the fitted sheet on the bed. We suggest using the same corner for all the fitted sheets in your rental.
- Slightly damp Sheets stop wrinkles. Frustrated because you can't seem to get your sheets to look smooth and wrinkle-free no matter how much you pull and tuck? Place the sheets on the bed while they're still slightly damp and any creases will vanish by the time they are dry. Just make sure there's enough time for the sheets to dry before your guests arrive. Are your sheets already dry and on the bed but they're looking like a wrinkled hot mess? Lightly spray some water on the wrinkles and tuck the sheets in tight for a smoother appearance.
- Get a Luggage Rack. Guests love to throw their luggage on your bed but don't realize that their bags will leave marks on your beautiful bedding! Who has time to scrub those stains out? Instead, drape a fun blanket along the bottom of the bed to protect your linens. A patterned, colored blanket will hide stains and add some fun to your decor. And, it can easily be tossed in the wash along with the rest of the bedding. Or, take it up a notch and place luggage racks at the foot of the bed. Guests like the hotel-like convenience of a luggage rack and you will love how they protect your bedding and bed frame.
- No watermarks on chrome. Besides bedding, the bathroom will eat up most of your time. I mean, think about everything that goes on in that room! One quick way to make your bathroom look sparkling clean is to polish all the chrome for a streak-free, clean appearance. No watermarks allowed! This includes the sink faucet and knobs, the shower head and knobs, bathtub faucet and drain, and the toilet seat handle, if applicable. A microfiber cloth can make quick work of this and will have everything shining brightly in no time.
- Look under furniture and in drawers. Believe it or not, guests will open every drawer and move furniture around. We don't know why they do it but they do. While you're cleaning, make sure to do a quick check and clean those drawers and under the furniture.
- Mop floors last because they will take time to dry and you don't want to walk over your newly cleaned floors.
- Get an Air Diffuser. If your home smells overly clean, as in the ammonia in the air is eye-watering from all that cleaning you've done, you should consider toning down the pungent air as some guests will find it irritating. An air diffuser with some essential oils like lavender or peppermint is a great way to freshen the air naturally and create a welcoming environment for your guests.
- Double check for stray hairs. After you are finished cleaning and you think everything is done, it's time to do a final sweep of the room. What you're mostly looking for here are any stray hairs. As we mentioned earlier, hairs are the enemy because they really gross out guests and will make a room feel unclean. Even when you think you got all of them, one defiant hair will pop up and threaten to tarnish your clean machine status. So, turn your lights on bright, get up close & personal, and closely inspect all surfaces, especially bedding. A lint roller can be a handy time-saver if you have a lot of fabric surfaces.
- Don't stray from your cleaning checklist. Maybe you are tired so you forget to follow your list. Or, maybe you just feel like changing things up and decide to clean in a different order then you usually do. Don't do it! Diverting from the list will always cause you to take more time to do the same cleaning job. And, who wants to spend more time cleaning? I know you don't. So, don't mess with a good thing. Stick to the plan.
Do you have any tips or tricks to clean your rental faster? If so, please share below and help save hosts everywhere from the cleaning insanity.