We all know that one negative review about the cleanliness of a vacation rental can make or break your revenue growth for that unit. Yet maintaining all of the various cleaners, cleaning supplies and materials needed to ensure your vacation rental has an impeccable standard of cleanliness is a daunting task.
With that in mind, we’ve got you covered! Read on for tips and best practices on how to find cleaners, prep your vacation rental for any unforeseen messes and much more.
So, where do we start? With the foundations: the furniture and linens in your home that will get the greatest wear and tear.
Investing in durable furniture that is easy to maintain not only makes your life easier as a host when you’re cleaning up in between bookings, but also helps your guests relax and enjoy their stay without worrying about spills. Let’s dive into which pieces you should spend more on or spend less on, as well as the top quality fabrics and materials that are easy to clean.
Spend More On: Sofas and Armchairs
Sofas and armchairs are the most used pieces of furniture in any living room, especially in a vacation rental, and they are vulnerable to stains, spills, and wear and tear. Investing in high-quality, easy-to-clean fabrics such as leather, synthetic microfiber, or polyester is worth the extra cost. These materials are stain-resistant, water-resistant, and easy to spot-treat. Additionally, choose materials that are durable and sturdy to withstand regular use from different guests.
Spend Less On: Coffee Tables and Side Tables
Coffee tables and side tables are less susceptible to damage, and therefore spending a lot of money on them is unnecessary. Instead, opt for easily replaceable, yet still stylish tables. Consider using tables made of glass or plastic that are easy to clean and maintain, and are built to resist wear-and-tear from regular use in a vacation rental.
Spend More On: Mattresses and Bed Frames
Like sofas and armchairs, mattresses and bed frames are also heavily used by guests, and investing in quality materials maintains comfort, durability, and guest satisfaction. Consider purchasing bed frames made of wood, metal, or sturdy plastic that are easy to clean and disinfect, and mattresses made of materials resistant to stains, odors, or spills, such as with washable and replaceable covers.
Spend Less On: Decorative Accessories
Decorative accessories such as area rugs, curtains, and throw pillows are changed frequently and used to add style. Therefore, spending a lot of money on such items is unnecessary. Instead, choose accessories that are easily washable or replaceable while maintaining the style of the vacation rental. Consider lofting curtains from the floor to avoid dragging and staining with dirt and moisture in case of spills.
Easy-to-Clean Fabrics and Materials
When purchasing furniture for your vacation rental, choose fabrics and materials that have a tight weave, are easy to wash, or repel stains and water. Leather, synthetic microfiber, and polyester are some of the best options for sofas and armchairs. Wood, laminate, or plastic are ideal materials for table forms. Clear glass or plastic tables are also easy to wipe down.
For the bedding, choose materials that are both durable and easy to disinfect, such as cotton and synthetic fiber blends or covers that are removable and washable. Keep in mind that light colors show more stains, so opt for darker fabrics whenever possible.
As a vacation rental host, you want to be sure that your guests have a great experience while staying in your property, and providing them with the highest possible quality linens, especially sheets and bedding, is a critical first step.
However, finding sheets that are both durable and easy to clean can be challenging, so here are some tips on how to choose the best sheets for your vacation rental that can endure heavy use while still looking fresh and new.
When it comes to choosing sheets that don't wrinkle or stain, the material is the most important factor to consider. Opt for high-quality, durable fabrics such as 100% cotton, linen, or microfiber. These fabrics are breathable, moisture-wicking, and easy to clean. Cotton is especially recommended, as it is a staple fiber that is known for its durability, softness, and resistance to wrinkles and stains. Linen is another excellent choice, as it is highly breathable and becomes softer with each wash. Microfiber sheets are also a great option, as they are made from tightly-knit fibers that prevent wrinkles and stains. Depending on the climate where you have your vacation rental, you can purchase a fabric that is both durable and appropriate for the local weather conditions.
Thread count refers to the number of threads woven per square inch in a sheet. Contrary to popular belief, higher thread count doesn't always equate to better quality. In fact, sheets with a thread count between 200-800 are considered to be high-quality and durable. Sheets with a higher thread count are often made using lower-quality fibers that break down over time, resulting in pilling, fading, and wrinkling.
The way a fabric is woven can also affect its durability and wrinkle-resistance. Percale weave is a tightly woven plain weave that provides a crisp, smooth finish. It is highly durable, easy to care for, and resists wrinkles and stains. Sateen weave, on the other hand, has a softer, more luxurious feel, but is more prone to wrinkling and staining. If you prefer a sateen weave, choose sheets with a higher thread count to ensure their durability.
Proper care and maintenance can help prolong the life of your sheets. Always wash your sheets in cold water and avoid using harsh detergents or bleach. Tumble dry on low heat or hang to dry to prevent shrinkage and wrinkles. If your sheets do wrinkle, you can iron them on low heat, or use a steamer to remove wrinkles.
If you ask your guests to start the linens in a wash cycle before they leave, make sure you leave very specific instructions so the fabric holds its quality for a long time.
Finally, choose a reputable brand that is known for producing high-quality sheets. Look for brands that use sustainable fibers, have good reviews from other vacation rental hosts, and offer a reasonable warranty or return policy.
Finding the best sheets for your vacation rental doesn't have to be a daunting task. By considering factors such as material, thread count, weave, maintenance, and brand, you can select sheets that are both durable and easy to maintain. Remember that high-quality sheets are an investment that will pay off in the long run, as they will provide your guests with a comfortable and enjoyable stay in your vacation rental.
Now that we’ve covered the foundations of selecting materials and furniture that are durable and easy to clean, let's talk about what to do when things get dirty.
Being a vacation rental host entails a lot of responsibilities, and keeping your rental property clean and comfortable for your guests is one of them. But even the most diligent of hosts can't always prevent the occasional stains on towels, sheets, and pillowcases.
One common culprit is mascara, which is oil-based, making it quite hard to get rid of stains. The good news is that it's still possible to remove mascara stains, as well as many other types of stains, without the use of harsh chemicals, if you act quickly and use the right steps. Here are a few tricks to take care of stains on sheets and towels:
Pre-Treat the Stains
As soon as the make-up or food stain is detected, you should treat the stained surface before putting the item in the washing machine. The best way to do this is by using a pre-treatment solution or laundry detergent. There are many different varieties on the market, which work effectively to remove all sorts of stains. Make sure to follow the instructions on the product packaging.
Soak in Cold Water
If the pre-treat stain remover solution doesn't do the trick, soak the stained items in cold water for 30 minutes. Coldwater won't set the stain but will help loosen and dissolve the mascara or other material staining your fabrics, making it easier to clean. Before using cold water on the stained surface, test a small, out-of-sight part of the fabric to ensure that the color won't run.
Apply Dish Soap
Dish soap contains powerful degreaser agents that are designed to break through oil-based stains like mascara or other makeup. You can add a few drops of dish soap to the pre-treatment solution or soak the item in cold water and then apply the dish soap directly to the stain. Rub the stain with a clean brush or sponge so that the dish soap can penetrate deep into the fabric.
Rinse and Wash
After treating the stain, rinse the item with cold water several times to remove any remaining soap residue. To be sure the stain has been removed, check under direct sunlight or another bright light. The heat from sunlight may help remove the leftover stains. Once you're happy with the results, wash the item in cold water with a gentle detergent.
Do not put your sheets or towels in the dryer without checking first to see if the stains have completely gone. The heat of the dryer will set the stain, making it harder to remove in the future. Air drying is a safe alternative, but be sure to stretch the fabric out to avoid wrinkles.
By following these tips, you're sure to have your rental property's beddings and linens immaculately clean, ensuring that your next guest has a great experience (and leaves a great review!).
Despite all of the previous efforts to keep your vacation rental clean, accidents happen. By offering the supplies needed to keep it clean in the event of a mess, your guests will feel more comfortable and be more likely to leave positive reviews. To help you achieve this, we've put together a list of must-have cleaning supplies to keep on hand at your vacation rental.
- Multi-Purpose Cleaner
A multi-purpose cleaner is perhaps the most essential cleaning supply in your arsenal. It can be used on countertops, floors, and even in bathrooms. Choose one that's effective against germs and bacteria, as well as being safe for your floors and surfaces.
- Disinfectant Spray
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, disinfectant sprays have become essential for vacation rental hosts. Use them on high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, and remote controls. Make sure the spray you choose lists the virus as one of the things it kills.
- Microfiber Cloths
Microfiber cloths are effective at picking up dirt and debris on surfaces, and can be used with or without chemicals. They're also machine washable, making them an eco-friendly option. Keep a few different colors on hand to avoid cross-contamination and reduce any potential for spreading germs.
- Mop and Bucket
Floors can get dirty quickly, especially in high-traffic areas such as kitchens and entryways. A proper mop and bucket can help make quick work of any messes that arise. Choose a mop with a washable and reusable head to save on waste.
- Vacuum Cleaner
A high-quality vacuum cleaner is essential for keeping your carpets and upholstery clean. Consider investing in a cordless stick vacuum for convenience. It's also important to have a few different attachments on hand for reaching tight spaces and cleaning upholstery.
We recommend investing in high-quality, low-cost products that are effective against germs and bacteria, and safe for your surfaces. By prioritizing cleanliness, you'll not only impress your guests, but also create a more comfortable and enjoyable environment for them to stay in - driving positive reviews and more future bookings!
Last on our list of must-haves for keeping your vacation rental clean is to hire cleaners! Its often too onerous a task to do by yourself on a regular basis, and a top-notch cleaning crew is the first job you should outsource as you build your vacation rental business.
However, finding reliable and efficient cleaners can be a daunting task. A cleaner can make or break your vacation rental business. Here are four steps to find and manage cleaners for your vacation rental, as well as best practices to ensure a successful partnership.
1: Finding a Cleaner
The first step is to find a cleaner who matches your expectations. Some common ways of finding cleaners are by word of mouth, through online advertisements, or by hiring a cleaning company. You can start by reaching out to other vacation rental hosts in your area and asking if they have any recommendations for cleaners. You can also post a job listing on online platforms, such as Craigslist or cleaning services websites. Lastly, cleaning companies provide a hassle-free solution because they will have a team of cleaners who will be trained and equipped with the necessary tools and products.
In our experience, outsourcing cleaning work to a company has the benefits of reduced management time, quality control, and consistent cleaning standards across all your rentals.
2: Interviewing Cleaners
Once you have a few candidates, it's time to schedule a face-to-face or virtual interview with them. During the interview, ask for their experience and qualifications, availability, and rates. You can assess their character and whether their communication style is an ideal match for your own. As your cleaner becomes an important part of your vacation rental team, it’s important that you consider them as business partners. It’s also important to communicate your own expectations and requirements for the job, as well as an explanation of how you track your cleaning service performance.
3: Signing a Contract
After you’ve selected a cleaner that you feel confident in, it’s time to sign a contract. The contract should outline all the important details that you have agreed on during the interview, such as the terms and pricing. It should also cover penalties for breaches or discipline, the duration of services, confidentiality, insurance and the payment terms, so that both parties are protected.
4: Managing your Cleaners
Managing a new resource like a cleaning crew can be daunting, but there are some simple best practices to follow that will help ease your mind about the quality of their cleaning and the impac they'll have on your vacation rental revenue.
- Create a cleaning checklist and standards document that outlines your quality control standards, making sure to also communicate the order in which they should be completed.
- Have your cleaners take pictures before and after each clean as evidence of successful service and “time stamp’ the sequence.
- Provide your cleaners with a feedback form so they can report back after each cleaning and to be kept as an evidence trail.
- Train your cleaner or hire a professional cleaning consulting company to teach your cleaners the basics of cleaning and human interaction.
- Establish clear boundaries of the work environment, including secure locks, a local map of your rental units, and emergency contacts.
Having a trustworthy and efficient cleaner is essential for running a successful vacation rental business.
Managing a vacation rental - whether it's 1 unit or 20 units - can be a challenging business, and there are many different ways to ensure you’re growing your bookings and revenue. But keeping your unit clean and fresh is the number one priority to ensure you have positive reviews that are critical to bringing guests to your front door.