10 Overlooked Areas to Clean in a Short-Term Rental

10 Overlooked Areas to Clean in a Short-Term Rental

Keeping your short-term rental spotless can be daunting, whether you do the cleaning yourself or hire outside help. You ensure the floors are vacuumed, the kitchen is disinfected, and the bathroom is sanitized in between each guest. But sometimes, the smallest, most overlooked details make a bigger difference than you realize in your guests’ comfort and satisfaction. Learn about the top 10 missed cleaning spots in a short-term rental to keep your property pristine. 

This is a guest post by TurnoverBnB, a SaaS platform helping operators of vacation rentals schedule and manage their cleaning process as well as source cleaners for their properties.

10 Commonly Missed Places to Clean in a Short-Term Rental

Cleaning can require a demanding process, and if not done right, it can lead to negative guest reviews.

Before you start scrubbing, check out our list of commonly missed items and areas in your short-term rental to keep on your cleaning radar, along with tips on how to tackle these hidden spaces. If you’re hiring a professional cleaner, share these tips to ensure your rental is sparkling clean from top to bottom.

1. Baseboards

Baseboards don’t often need a thorough cleaning. That said, if it has been several weeks since the last time they were wiped down, they likely have a buildup of dust and grime.

To remove buildup and stains, dip a sponge into a mixture of warm water and dish soap. Then, simply wipe or scrub the baseboards until they’re free of dust and dirt.

2. Dishwasher

Over time, grease, soap scum, and bits of food build up in your dishwasher. A dishwasher that does not get maintained properly provides a breeding ground for bacteria. It’s crucial to clean your dishwasher every two weeks or after a guest’s long-term stay.

Fill a dishwasher-safe bowl or mug with 1 cup of white vinegar. Then, place the bowl or mug on the top rack of your empty dishwasher, and run the dishwasher on a hot water cycle. The vinegar will loosen any food and soap scum, allowing them to be easily washed down the drain.

3. Refrigerator Drawers

No short-term rental host wants a guest to open up the refrigerator and see a strange, sticky residue lurking under the drawers.

To best clean refrigerator drawers, detach all of them from the fridge and empty them. Then, wipe or scrape off any spills, residues, or food debris stuck on the drawers. Use dish soap and a scrubber sponge to clean the drawers and then rinse them. Face the drawers downwards on a large towel to let them air dry.

4. Throw Pillows

Throw pillows are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Using them to liven up your living room area or decorate beds is a great way to impress guests and make them feel at home. However, just like regular pillows, they can get dirty, too.

Look for the manufacturer's care label on your throw pillow to know which proper cleaning method to use: dry clean or hand wash with mild detergent. If there is no care label, determine the fabric type. Silks and velvets usually need dry cleaning. For fabrics like cotton or polyester, gentle handwashing is safe.

5. Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are commonly overlooked when cleaning (out of sight, out of mind). Keep in mind that some guests don’t use ceiling fans, allowing blades to quickly collect layers of dust. But when the next guests turn them on, the fans can whirl all those pollutants back into the air they breathe.

A little-known trick for cleaning ceiling fans is to use a pillowcase to easily wipe off and contain the dust and dirt. To reach your fans easily, use a step stool or ladder.

6. Garbage Cans

Not only does the outside of your garbage receptacle collect dirt and dust, but the inside also houses old food particles, wrappers, and more. This grime often remains unseen, as it’s frequently hidden by a garbage bag.

After taking out the trash, make sure to wipe down the outside and inside of your garbage cans with a sanitizing solution before adding new trash bags.

7. Door Frames

Just like ceiling fans and baseboards, door frames are not exactly eye-level. This makes it difficult to notice all the dust and dirt accumulating.

To clean door frames, use a vacuum with a nozzle attachment to remove the majority of the dust covering their surfaces. A microfiber cloth or duster can also be used to remove any remaining particles. Lay towels or newspapers under the door to catch the falling bits of dust.

8. Grout

Grout lines are magnets for mold, dirt, and grime. Over time, you will notice grout discoloration because it is made of absorptive material that is easily stained. Unfortunately, unkempt grout can minimize the good looks of your tiles.

To properly lift dirt and grime from grout lines, spray them with hot water and scrub with a stiff-bristled toothbrush. If that doesn’t do the trick, use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar and start gently scrubbing.

9. Air Vents

The dust that gets stuck on the grates of your air vents not only may cause guests’ allergies to act up, but it will also wear out the components of the HVAC system, decreasing its lifespan.

To help ensure your guests are breathing clean air, regularly wipe down the air vents and change the filters. Unscrew and remove the vent covers, clean them with a microfiber cloth, and rinse them off with cool water.

10. Shower Liners

Shower liners have direct contact with moisture and steam during every shower, causing mold and mildew to form. When this happens, many people choose to buy a new liner — not knowing they are easily washable.

Eliminate soap scum and grime by tossing your shower liner right in the washing machine on a cool and gentle setting, along with a few bath towels. Do this at least once every couple of weeks or after a guest’s long-term stay.

Simplify Your Short-Term Rental Cleaning

To keep your short-term rental home in top-quality condition for guests to enjoy year-round, make sure to add these commonly missed places to clean to your cleaning checklist. Enhancing your cleaning protocol will also help prevent negative guest reviews relating to hygiene and cleanliness.

For more short-term rental cleaning tips, check out TurnoverBnB, a premiere software that helps hosts and property managers automate their turnovers to save time and stress less.