The essential Airbnb cleaning checklist: Free printable template

Using an Airbnb cleaning checklist can provide many benefits to hosts. Not only will it give you more confidence, a good cleaning checklist for Airbnb can also improve guest satisfaction and protect your property. Read on to learn more about our checklist essentials and how to look for property damage too.

Why is an Airbnb checklist for cleaning needed?

Airbnb cleaning and property damage checklist

Download your free, printable Airbnb checklist template

Why insurance matters

Hiring a professional Airbnb cleaner for your property

Adding an Airbnb cleaning fee

Why is an Airbnb checklist for cleaning needed?

A good cleaning checklist for Airbnb hosts can:

  • Ensure your property is thoroughly clean and keep guests happy.
  • Standardise the cleaning process to make sure each guest has the same experience.
  • Keep your property looking nice and well maintained.
  • Increase the chances of getting more positive guest reviews.
  • Help to spot any guest-related property damage before the next guest arrives.

Cleaning checklists can therefore benefit Airbnb hosts, guests and professional cleaners alike. But what should a good cleaning checklist include?

Airbnb Cleaning and property damage checklist

Airbnb instituted a new set of cleanliness expectations following COVID-19. These set a strict expectation for host cleaning and dictate the steps you should take between guest bookings.

There’s a full guide in Airbnb’s own cleaning handbook, but you can also follow this easy checklist to stay on top of your cleaning game. Just tick each one off as you go. If you’re outsourcing, make sure your cleaner follows the process. Ensure you ventilate the property adequately when cleaning.

Airbnb cleaning kit 

Whether you’re cleaning yourself or using a professional cleaner, make sure the right equipment is in place so that your property is cleaned to a satisfactory standard. Here’s a list of essential items to use:

  • Cleaning detergent.
  • Bathroom cleaner.
  • Limescale remover.
  • Dust pan, brush and sweep.
  • Vacuum cleaner.
  • Jay cloths.
  • Duster.
  • Bleach/toilet cleaner.
  • Mop.
  • Brillo pads for cleaning dishes.
  • Toilet brush.
  • Paper towels.
  • Magic eraser for hard to remove wall stains.
  • Floor cleaning solution.
  • Carpet cleaner for stains.
  • New bed sheets and toiletries for the next guest.
  • Window/glass cleaning solution.
  • Microfibre cloth for cleaning TV and glass surfaces.

Now that you or your cleaner has all the right equipment, it’s time to go room by room and tick items off the list below once you’re done.

Kitchen checklist

  • Sweep the floor.
  • Wipe down surfaces.
  • Bin leftover rubbish.
  • Empty the bin and replace it with a new bin liner.
  • Clean any dirty dishes, cutlery or equipment.
  • Dry anything you’ve cleaned and put the items away.
  • Clean the inside of your oven or microwave if dirty.
  • Wipe down dirty windows.
  • Mop the floor and let the room ventilate so that it can dry.

Living room checklist

  • Vacuum the floor or sweep the floor.
  • Wipe the dust off skirting boards.
  • Bin leftover rubbish.
  • Use a duster to clean hard to touch places.
  • Lift cushions off furniture such as sofas and chairs and check for any crumbs or dirt.
  • Move furniture and vacuum underneath.
  • Wipe down tables and any hard surfaces.
  • Clean the tv surface and any dirty windows if dust or stains have accumulated.
  • Mop the ground if you have a hard floor.
  • Leave the room to ventilate.

Bathroom checklist

  • Clean the toilet and seat thoroughly.
  • Use a limescale remover to soak any difficult to remove stains.
  • Soak the toilet with bleach or toilet cleaner for a few minutes before flushing.
  • Bin leftover rubbish.
  • Wipe the bathroom mirror and ensure that the sink is thoroughly cleaned and shiny.
  • Clean the bath/shower. Ensure that any glass surfaces and the hand wash basin are clean, clear and dry to ensure good presentation and prevent mould.
  • Replace guest items such as loo roll and toiletries.
  • Sweep, mop the floor and allow the room to ventilate.

Bedroom checklist

  • Remove old bed linen and allow the bed to aerate. 
  • Vacuum/sweep the floor.
  • Use a duster to clean hard to touch places.
  • Wipe down any high contact surfaces such as tables and bedside cabinets.
  • Ensure all wardrobes are clean, tidy and smell nice.
  • Bin leftover rubbish.
  • Replace the bed linen.
  • Mop the ground if the floor is a hard surface.
  • Allow the room to ventilate.

Quality control checklist

Even if you’re being thorough, it can be easy to miss areas. Even little things (e.g. stains on sheets) can be the difference between a positive or negative review. To give you extra peace of mind:

  • Check each room at least one more time.
  • Pay special attention once more to high contact areas such as furniture, handles and surfaces.
  • Double check again that all bed sheets and linen are clean. 
  • Make sure that areas prone to stains and smells such as kitchens and toilets are spotless.
  • Ensure that the property is well presented as well as clean.

Property damage checklist

The period of time between when your guest leaves and the next one arrives is when you should also be inspecting your home for property damage. You should always encourage your guest to inform you when something is broken, but sometimes this doesn’t always happen. Here are the top issues to keep in mind:

  • Keep an inventory of items in the property.
  • Photograph each room and any items of value.
  • Check for damage as soon as the guest leaves.
  • Take a note of any changes in the state of the property before each guest arrives.
  • Check off each item in your inventory after your guest leaves.
  • Look for any broken items in your bins before disposing of anything.
  • Take a photograph of any guest damage that isn’t wear and tear.

If an item is missing or the property has been damaged, be sure to let Airbnb know as soon as possible or reach out to the guest if using an alternative platform.

Download your free, printable Airbnb checklist template

If you’d like to print out the above into a printable PDF that you can use for yourself, fill in your details below and we’ll email it to you! 

Check out our Airbnb fee calculator page and our guide on how to become an Airbnb host if you’re just starting out or our how to become an Airbnb Superhost article if you want to take things to the next level.

Why insurance matters

In the event the property is damaged or an item goes missing, the issue may be resolved by claiming through Airbnb directly or contacting the guest. Unfortunately, the protection you’ll get through platforms like Airbnb is limited compared to specialist insurance. Here are some potential problems that may arise if something goes wrong:

  • Not being able to dispute a damage claim decision without taking Airbnb to court as they don’t provide property damage insurance backed by the FCA. By contrast, with regulated insurance cover you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman if you’re unhappy with your insurer.
  • Being seriously out of pocket if a guest makes a liability claim against you. Whilst the $1 million liability insurance provided by the likes of Airbnb and VRBO sounds like a lot, a large claim could easily exceed this amount. Some regions such as the UK also require more than this if you rent your property out to paying guests.
  • Several platform alternatives to Airbnb don’t provide any cover at all, meaning that having the right insurance in place is essential if you’re concerned about protecting your home.

Most standard insurance doesn’t provide full cover for Airbnb style hosting in the UK either, making specialist insurance cover the only option for many hosts. Check out our Airbnb insurance cover page if you’d like to find out more. If you’ve taken the steps outlined in the above checklist, you should have enough evidence to take to your insurer if needed should the situation arise.

Hiring a professional Airbnb cleaner for your property

If you’re running your Airbnb as an occasional let in a property you live in, you’ll likely just clean it yourself. As soon as you begin to scale, however, you may benefit from outsourcing your cleaning to a cleaner.

Some cleaning companies specialise in Airbnb cleaning. They’ll be more familiar with the Airbnb cleaning process and the ins and outs of Airbnb’s expectations. Some may even check for property damage and inventory, but it’s always a good idea to do additional inspections yourself as a host.

Finding the best cleaners is a matter of research. Many small-scale hosts who need to keep costs affordable (and therefore keep cleaning fees agreeable to guests) may choose independent sole traders or small businesses. These can be found on Facebook group forums or through Google. Always opt for businesses that have authentic reviews and great communication – you are entrusting your Airbnb listing’s reputation to the cleaner so can’t afford to cut corners.

Additionally, some Airbnb property managers will advise you on cleaning companies and processes. If you’re not going to manage your own listing, ask them to arrange cleaning for you and set cleaning fees accordingly. If you’ve chosen a good manager, they will be able to research the market and find the right balance between cleaning standards and acceptable guest fees.

Adding an Airbnb cleaning fee

The Airbnb cleaning fee allows hosts to set a price to recoup cleaning costs. Guests pay these fees when they book a stay, receiving a full breakdown via Airbnb that clearly shows what price you’ve set, independent of the nightly fee.

While guests may expect a cleaning fee, setting one that is too high can often mean your booking is abandoned at checkout. Just like a hotel booking system that only reveals the ‘true cost’ at checkout, Airbnb’s costs don’t become glaringly obvious until the guest looks at the price breakdown or is about to book. At that stage, a high fee can be a factor in abandoning the booking.

Adding a cleaning fee to Airbnb is easy. Click here to find out more on Airbnb’s website.

At Pikl, we’re passionate about making sure that hosts and property sharers have the right insurance cover. If you have any insurance related questions, feel free to get in touch and we’ll be happy to help you.

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Read more of our Airbnb guides

If you’re wondering how to become an Airbnb host, how to grow your business or want to learn more about hosting-specific topics, take a look at our 30+ Airbnb guides.

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Pikl Insurance Services Limited is a private limited company registered in England and Wales under company number 10449346 with registered office Suite B, 2nd Floor, The Atrium, St. Georges Street, Norwich, England, NR3 1AB. Pikl Insurance Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA, firm number 773457.