Cleaning for a primary residence is different from cleaning a vacation rental to accomodate upcoming guests. If you’re already experienced in hospitality cleaning, read through to see if we’ve included an idea or two you can incorporate into your business. If you’re brand-new to hospitality cleaning, read through, take some notes, and review our seminar to be sure you’re prepared to offer the quality of service Properly users expect. 

Here are some key ways a hospitality cleaning is different from a residential cleaning:

Laundry

You’ll usually find clean linens available to remake beds, but to get linens ready for the next guest turnover, you’ll likely be asked to keep the washer and dryer going while you perform the rest of your tasks. 

Dishes

In a residential clean, few clients expect you to take care of their dirty dishes. For a hospitality cleaning, however, dishes need to be clean and ready for the next guest to use, so you will be asked to run the dishwasher and, occasionally, to hand-wash a pot or two. 

Check for left-behind guest items 

Guests forget things! Finding them isn’t merely helpful to the previous guest - it ensures that the next guests don’t feel as if the property was insufficiently cleaned. You’ll want to look in drawers and closets, under the beds, and in the bathrooms for left-behind socks, earrings, and travel-sized shampoo bottles. 

Complete the job on time

It’s not usually a big deal if you need to arrive late to clean someone’s primary residence. If the client is easygoing, you might even be able to put it off until the next day! For a vacation rental, however, it’s absolutely essential to finish the clean before the guests arrive at the property.

Refrigerator

Here’s another task you’ll never be asked to do in a primary residence: empty the refrigerator! Even if the food is perfectly good, guests don’t want to see someone else’s food items in the fridge. You’ll be asked to empty it down to the items the host provides for guests, which might include a water filter, a few condiments, or a bottle of champagne for a special VIP guest. 

Replace amenities and refill inventory

Each guest needs fresh amenities for their stay, which means you’ll need to refill soap and shampoo, toilet paper, kleenex, coffee and tea, and other basic amenities. Your client should provide all of these items, but you will be responsible for stocking them in the right locations, and in some cases reporting to a client when the stock of amenities is running low. 

Hospitality touches

Clients try to provide great experiences for their guests, and they all have different approaches to creating that experience. Your client may want certain lights left on for the guest’s arrival, music playing, a welcome note or basket, blinds opened or closed, extra keys set out, or any number of other touches. As the last person to stage the property, you’ll need to help set those touches up. 

Outside areas

While most residential clients don’t ask for you to clean the outdoor spaces, you will be asked to be sure the outside is as guest-ready as the inside. This might include tidying the outside area, sweeping the porch, wiping down deck furniture, or cleaning a BBQ. 

Careful Cleaning 

You don’t need to provide a deep clean every time you clean a primary residence, but for a vacation rental, you’ll want to check every time that the property looks spick-and-span wherever a guest might look. This means checking the ceiling corners and fixtures for cobwebs and dusting baseboards, light fixtures, and the tops of picture frames. 

Garbage and Recycling

Regular clients might not mind if you leave a few items from your clean in the trash, but guests to a vacation rental will expect completely empty trash and recycling containers. Be sure you empty them last so you don’t leave a wet wipe or the contents of a dustpan behind! 

Lighting

This is a quick one, but very important: turn on each lamp and light switch to ensure they work. You may need to replace a light bulb now and then if one has burned out.

Hair

No matter how clean a property is, if a guest finds one hair, they will have the impression the whole place is dirty. It is also one of the most commonly mentioned thing in a negative cleaning review. Be vigilant, especially if you know the previous guests brought pets! If you happen to be someone whose hair has a tendency to get everywhere, consider tying it back while you clean. 

Beautification and Staging

Vacation rentals don’t just need to be clean. They need to look beautiful. Your client will often provide guidelines for how they like the property staged, but be sure to walk through and check that everything looks perfect before you leave the job. 

What’s Next?

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