A cleaning guide for vacation rental owners

Exit instructions

To help minimize the cost of your vacation rental cleaning, consider giving your guests exit instructions. Exit instructions should be simple things that can be done in minutes by your guests but can save hours for your cleaners. Recommended exit instructions include simply starting a load of laundry before leaving, placing all used towels on the floor to separate them from the clean ones and removing linens from the beds that were used to avoid cleaning linens from the beds that weren't.

Rethink white

White pieces in the home like bathroom mats, area rugs, towels and pillow cases can brighten the home and present an appearance of clean. But white pieces do not hide stains even after they are cleaned and will most often be replaced frequently. Simply using darker colors for things that inherently attract dirt like area rugs can not only save you money in maintenance but mitigate the risk of receiving complaints from picky guests.

Modesty for efficiency

When people are on vacation, they generally let loose, especially with laundry. If your home is stocked with eight towels, usually all eight will be used. If your home is stocked with twelve towels, usually all twelve will be used. But if your home is stocked with only six towels, not only will there be only six towels to clean but nobody has ever complained that a vacation home only had six towels to use.

Extended stays

If your guests are staying for longer than two weeks, consider offering them complimentary home cleaning during their visit. These cleanings don't need to include laundry and can be scheduled when they are sightseeing.

Properly price your cleaning fee

It is customary that your guests pay for your home's cleaning after their stay. Research what other homes of your size in your area charge their guests for exit cleaning on sites like VRBO (http://www.vrbo.com). Many vacation rental owners are afraid to "overcharge" their guests for exit cleanings but chances are your competitors are already charging a premium because it appropriately helps limit their liability. If you've never owned a vacation rental before, be prepared to take on some very dirty guests, especially if you target families with children and pets.

Spare sets

Spare sets of towels and linens can greatly reduce the cost of your vacation rental cleaning. If your home is stocked with six towels, consider buying twelve in total and leaving six in a locked storage area in the home or in your own home. Consider doing the same with linens. This way, your cleaners will be able to focus on cleaning the home itself and not the laundry which can be done off site over the span of the next guest's stay instead of in the usually-small time windows between check outs and check ins.