Ultimate Airbnb Cleaning Checklist – Step by Step

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Looking for a thorough Airbnb cleaning checklist? We’ve got you covered.

With this checklist, no guest will ever complain again about the cleanliness of your rental — and, if no guest has ever complained about the cleanliness of your rental, this checklist will keep it that way.

Make sure that your Airbnb is as spotless as a five-star hotel, and your guests are just as happy.

The Cleaning Checklist

Whether it’s cleaning your Airbnb rental or performing neurosurgery, using a checklist is one of the most comprehensive and scientifically backed ways to make sure that you’ve covered all of your bases.

You might have to change it up a little bit depending on your specific rental, but here’s an Airbnb cleaning checklist to get you started:

  • ☐ Change and replace the following:
    • ☐ Bedsheets and other bedding
    • ☐ Bathroom towels
    • ☐ Kitchen towels
    • ☐ Linen
  • ☐ Clean the bathroom:
    • ☐ Clean the sink
    • ☐ Scrub the toilet
    • ☐ Take out the trash
    • ☐ Spray and rinse the shower
    • ☐ Check drains for hair or blockages
    • ☐ Dry vacuum the shower & sink to remove clogs (if necessary)
    • ☐ Sweep and mop the floor
    • ☐ Clean mirrors
    • ☐ Final scan of the room
  • ☐ Clean the kitchen:
    • ☐ Clean stove
    • ☐ Clean hoods and vents
    • ☐ Clean the microwave/toasters/coffee makers
    • ☐ Clean any dishes left in the sink
    • ☐ Clean out & vacuum the refrigerator, wipe down with disinfectant cleaner
    • ☐ Throw out leftover food
    • ☐ Take out the trash
    • ☐ Unload any dishes from the dishwasher and put them away
    • ☐ Clean all counters
    • ☐ Vacuum and mop the floor
    • ☐ Final scan of the room
  • ☐ Clean bedrooms & living room:
    • ☐ Dust or wipe down furniture, nightstands, drawers, etc.
    • ☐ Clear any trash
    • ☐ Sweep or vacuum the floor
    • ☐ Move the couch and beds & sweep/vacuum underneath
    • ☐ Wipe down the blades of any fans
    • ☐ Check & clean out any closets, if necessary
    • ☐ Final scan of the room
  • ☐ Check and, if necessary, restock the following supplies:
    • ☐ Coffee supplies
    • ☐ Paper towels
    • ☐ Toilet paper
    • ☐ Trash bags
    • ☐ Dish soap
    • ☐ Hand soap
    • ☐ Shampoo
  • ☐ If you have a laundry room: check the wash & dryer, clean out lint
  • ☐ Do a final scan of the whole house.
  • ☐ Clean up and sweep any outdoor areas available to guests

A Note on the “Final Scan” of Each Room

Once you’re done deep-cleaning your kitchen, bedrooms, and bathrooms, you should walk in the front door and look around as if you’re a guest or visitor. Put yourself in their shoes. If you see anything that needs cleaning, clean it. If you don’t see it, neither will they.

It’s also just satisfying to see the place so clean, don’t you think?

Best Airbnb Cleaning Products

While looking through our Airbnb cleaning checklist, you might find that you have to stock up on some products.

Here’s a list of some of the best (and cheapest) cleaning products that you can use to scrub up your rental:

1. Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch Scrub Sponge, 6-pack.

According to Leanne Stapf, the Vice President of Operations at The Cleaning Authority, you should probably be replacing your sponges once every two weeks — at latest, once a month.

(Neat tip: She even recommends that the best way to clean a sponge is actually by microwaving it).

As an Airbnb host, you’ll probably have to do a bit more cleaning than the average individual, so you’ll probably be replacing your sponges a bit more often.

Regardless, even if you replace your sponge every week, that means that this $5 6-pack of sponges will last you about a month and a half. That’s a deal that’s hard to beat.

According to Beth McGee, author of Get Your House Clean Now: The Home Cleaning Method Anyone Can Master, and 5-star rental host, you should not leave dirty sponges for guests. If you have these new sponges on hand, you can leave a clean one for each guest and use them to clean with before throwing away if they are still in good condition after the guest uses them.  

If you’re going to leave sponges for guests, you may want to order more!

2. Zwipes Microfiber Cleaning Cloths, 24-pack

As an Airbnb host, you’re going to be doing a lot of cleaning. That means you’re going to be using a lot of rags and cleaning cloths, and these are perfect for both dusting and scrubbing.

This 24-pack from Zwipes is less than $20. This is probably a one-time purchase unless you scrub so hard that you’re constantly ripping rags apart. When you’re done, throw these in the washer and reuse them.

3. Bar Keepers Friend, All-Purpose Cleaner and Polish, 2-pack of 12oz containers.

2-pack of 12oz containers.

Need to get sticky gunk off, cooked on food, or scuffs off of something? You can use this cleaner on the following:

  • stainless steel
  • porcelain
  • fiberglass
  • glass cook-tops
  • copper
  • tile
  • brass

That makes it a perfect option for cleaning pots, pans, stainless steel stovetops, and pretty much everything. A 2-pack of 12-oz containers is affordable and this product works great without scratching surfaces. It’s hard to say how long this will last you depending on the size of your place and how frequently you’ll need to scrub things, but this contains a strong cleaning agent, so you won’t need to use too much of it.

4. Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap, 2-pack of 56oz containers.

Safe to say you’ll be needing quite a bit of dish soap, and Dawn Ultra is widely versatile. You can use this to clean pretty much everything that you can’t clean with Bar Keeps Friend. And, if you properly set up your Airbnb house rules, your guests will be using it pretty often, too.

It’s tough, again, to say how long it will last, but likely at least two weeks to a month. Fantastic deal on good soap from a reputable brand.

5. Swiffer Sweeper Cleaner Dry and Wet Mop Starter Kit

Do you have floors that need to be cleaned? Look no further than the easy to use Swiffer mop. This starter kit includes everything you need to get mopping away (1 power floor spray mop, 5 pads, cleaning solution, and batteries).

Airbnb Cleaning Checklist Printable (PDF and Excel)

Do you need a quick and easy Airbnb cleaning checklist? Enter your email address below and we’ll send it to you in both a PDF and Excel template:

If you can confidently check off every item on this checklist, you won’t have to worry about another guest complaining about your cleanliness.


A lot of people don’t realize that the simple skills they perform every day, cleaning, cooking, and even socializing, have a monetary value.

For example, think about how much it would cost you to hire a maid to clean your bathroom. Great Airbnb cleaners can charge an impressive rate for their value. If you don’t have the wiggle room in your budget to hire someone to clean, having this check-list and these supplies can help you get up to speed with providing a very clean listing that will receive rave reviews.

There are things that you do every day to earn and save money. If you have the tools you need to clean your rental yourself, you can save money and be proud to offer a great experience to your guests at the cleanest Airbnb in town!

About the Author Phil Sykora

Phil Sykora is a freelance writer from Cleveland, OH. His work is focused on the real estate industry covering short term rentals. Phil is currently living in Costa Rica taking advantage of "geoarbitrage." Phil combines his passion for travel with his short term rental experiences to offer hosts advice on how to make guests feel right at home.