10 Vacation Rental Cleaning Hacks You Need to Know

By Alanna Schroeder of The Distinguished Guest

By The Distinguished Guest / Sep 28, 2016

Like many vacation rental owners, one of my biggest sources of pride is positive reviews. Reviews that mention my rental’s cleanliness really make me do a happy dance because I’ve spent a lot of time perfecting the process. Now I’ll share some of those processes with the Properly audience!

Often when we talk about “cleaning hacks” we really mean cutting corners. But that’s not what the below list is about. Instead, I’ve compiled ideas, tips, and products that are effective and really enrich the guest experience.

1. Wear gloves

Gloves not only protect skin from harsh chemicals, they also prevent all kinds of germs from spreading and growing — especially on the linens! Be sure to wear gloves when you’re tackling a dirty job before moving on to making the beds to keep germs at bay.

2. Always have an extra set of clean sheets and towels ready

What is your number one source of stress when it comes to vacation rental cleanup? I bet it’s dirty laundry!

The key is to have clean backup linens. It makes the turnover speedier since you don’t have to wait for the laundry cycles. Just be sure to hide the backups from guests, because they will use them.

When you are onsite, wash as many linens as you can and take the rest home to wash or drop them at a laundry service.

3. Use ice cubes to remove wrinkles your sheets.

When your sheets and duvets have creases from being folded, pop them into the dryer for 5 to 10 minutes with a few ice cubes or a damp wash towel. This will steam them to perfection leaving them wrinkle free.

4. Keep white linens ultra bright with Mrs. Stewart’s Liquid Bluing.

This product is a well-kept secret of the hospitality industry and I’m very excited to share it with you now! I just love the hotel look and feel of bright white linens at a vacation rental. Use Mrs. Stewarts Liquid Bluing when washing your whites to maintain that bright freshness or to reverse yellowing.

5. Use a bleach pen for small stubborn stains on linens and towels.

I love the Clorox Bleach Pen for spot-treating small stains. Simply mark up the stain, let it sit for an hour, then wash.

6. Use a Magic Eraser to remove scuff marks on walls.

This little sponge truly is magical when removing scuffed or stained walls and all it takes is some water and a bit of scrubbing.

7. Thoroughly wash your coffee pot.

Let’s face it, the coffee machine is one of the most used appliances at your rental, but probably gets overlooked in terms of maintenance. Stay on top of it with a quarterly cleanse.

Mix 1 part vinegar with 2 parts water and brew as normal with a filter. Let it sit for 30 minutes then scrub it if needed. Run the coffee pot again with clean water and you’re good to go!

8. Use vinegar to get rid of hard water stains.

Hard water stains and calcium buildup are a nuisance in any home, but they are unacceptable in a vacation rental. To get these stains off your shower head, faucet, or other surfaces soak a cloth in warm vinegar and wrap it around the surface. Let it sit for an hour. Then brush the area with an old toothbrush.

9. Take immediate action on carpet stains.

Keep a bottle of tried and true carpet stain cleaner at the ready for any stain between guests! My secret weapon is Folex, a relatively inexpensive and incredibly effective carpet cleaner.

10. Steam clean the microwave with lemon juice.

Squeeze the juice from one lemon into a bowl and add half a cup of water. Microwave the bowl for three minutes. Then let it steep for another 5 minutes before opening the microwave door. After 5 minutes wipe the inside with a sponge.


Stay tuned to the Properly blog for more posts from me, Alanna Schroeder of The Distinguished Guest. I’ll be providing tips and tricks for hosts and managers, with everything from housekeeping hacks to post-season cleanup tips to interesting before-and-after studies of vacation rentals that are doing it right. Many thanks to Properly for inviting me to contribute!

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