Cleaning tips from seasoned Hosts
A clean place can lead to glowing reviews. But a lack of cleanliness is one of the top reasons for a negative review, according to Airbnb data. Try these tips from established Hosts to keep your place sparkling clean.
Creating a cleaning strategy
Whether you do your own cleaning or hire cleaners, it’s vital that your space is thoroughly cleaned between every guest, every time.
“It’s important to have consistency and checklists for the cleaners,” says Juliette, a Host Advisory Board member in Nairobi, Kenya. “It helps them, because it becomes a routine. Proper housekeeping really works.”
If you hire a cleaner, run through the cleaning process yourself, so you know exactly what needs to be done and what to include in the checklists. Make sure you schedule enough time between bookings for a thorough job, and find a second cleaner or create a backup plan in case your cleaner can’t make it one day.
Cleaning for guests requires much more attention to detail than you might use when cleaning for yourself. Consider investing in periodic deep cleans to make routine tasks between bookings less intensive and more efficient.
Starting with the basics
Juliette emphasizes the importance of targeting certain areas while cleaning.
- Begin with high-traffic areas. “The kitchen and bathrooms are really important, because they’re the most utilized spaces,” says Juliette. Once the bathrooms are spotless, it’s on to the kitchen, where her cleaners wash all the dishes. “We do a really thorough cleaning,” she says.
- Next up: the bedrooms. Juliette’s cleaners open drawers, look under beds, and make sure nothing is missed. “Then we strip the beds, air the house, completely open up the windows, soak the bedding,” she says.
- Finally, address the beds. Juliette’s routine? “The mattresses have protectors, the pillows have protectors, and you change the whole set,” she says.
Focusing on details
Think like a guest. For example, Tammi, a Host in Seattle, says: “The shower curtain often gets forgotten. I have a plastic liner, and I spray it and wipe it down after every guest. I also replace it every month or two.”
Similarly, don’t miss high-touch areas like light switches. “Those things can get nasty, but you don't notice them because you’re used to them,” says Host Adam of Atlanta. “A bit of rubbing alcohol should do the trick.”
Avoiding a hairy situation
Guests never want to find someone else’s hair in their space. Sue and John, Hosts in Salt Lake City, have a tip for tackling stray hair: “After I wash all the bedding, I take a lint roller to the sheets, pillowcases, and blankets,” they say.
Laura, a Host in Cottonwood, Arizona, suggests a mop swap. “Clean bathroom floors on your hands and knees,” she says, using a scrub brush or a microfiber cloth. “It’s quicker and easier, and you won’t miss any hairs.” And remember to clean bathroom drains between every guest.
Trying other Hosts’ tips
Here’s some cleaning inspiration from seasoned Hosts:
- Load the washing machine first. “The first thing I do is get all the bed linens and towels and throw them into the washing machine, and that’s going while I’m doing the rest of the cleaning,” says Emma-Kate in San Francisco. “It’s efficient.”
- Polish wood floors. “I have hardwood floors. I polish them on a regular basis so when guests walk in they see gleaming floors,” says Tammi in Seattle. “It gives an overall perception of cleanliness that’s reassuring.”
- Fold the bathroom tissue. “I fold the bottom of the toilet paper,” says Emma-Kate. “It’s a small thing, but it feels fresh and shows you care.”
- Refill hand soap and shampoo bottles. “It’s nice having bathroom amenities that feel new,” says Alex in San Francisco. “A full and closed bottle makes the guest feel like the first person to use it.”
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