15 Things Your Housekeeper is Missing
Housekeeping and overall cleanliness can make-or-break a vacation rental guest experience. An unkempt home can result in poor guest satisfaction while going above and beyond standard expectations of cleaning may help bring a guest experience to the next level. Cleaning for a vacation rental is far different than cleaning a home for someone who is a full-time resident, and your housekeeping crew should know the difference. Your guests are bound to find the parts of your house that the housekeeper missed or didn’t clean well enough so we recommend cleaning in a 5-star manner in the first place. Don’t get stuck with poor cleaning reviews and dissatisfied guests – use our cleaning tips below to ensure your housekeeping efforts result in a 5-star guest experience.
- Behind and Beside the Toilet – The toilet. it seems so obvious. It’s one of those basic and necessary items to clean on every housekeeping checklist. However, while cleaning that porcelain bowl, how many of us think to look behind and beside the commode? That dreaded ‘splash’ can reach everything including surrounding cabinets, walls, bathtubs/showers, baseboards and floors next to the toilet. Clean it all. Around. Beside. Behind. And check it twice!
- Toothbrush Holder – You brush your teeth. You rinse your brush, You put your toothbrush back into the toothbrush holder. Do you ever look inside the holder? You may realize that you may not putting your toothbrush back into a clean container. Be sure to add the thorough cleaning of all toothbrush receptacles to your cleaning checklist!
- Bathroom Vents – Don’t forget to look up. Hair, hair product, dust and dead skin cells can get sucked straight up into the vents over time. Vacuum brushes or a simple paper towel with cleaning solution will work well for this.
- Walls Opposite Bathroom Mirror – You stand in front of the mirror every day to make yourself presentable to the world. You brush and blow dry your hair, put on some make-up, and maybe spray product in your hair or a gentle mist on your face. Voila! You’re beautiful. Have you ever turned around and look at the wall behind you? You may find spots of ‘spray’ residue there. Be sure to wipe the wall down with a gentle cleaning agent or a light soap and water mixture. In general, all bathroom walls can use a good wipe down, often.
- Door Knobs & Light Switches – It’s the dirty secret we don’t like to talk about, but let’s face it – door knobs and light switches are touched often, by anyone staying in the home. As a result, they need thorough and regular cleanings with a antibacterial cleaning agent. If you’re looking for a green cleaning agent, we recommend lemon essential oil, warm water, and a few drops of alcohol. Wipe down all knobs and light plates at each check in – check out experience. It will give the home a refreshing smell as well.
- Top of Ceiling Fan Motor – Many of us remember to clean the ceiling fans as the dust build-up on them can become obvious. Are you remembering to clean the top of the fan motor too? When you’re dusting the fan blades be sure to wipe the ceiling above and dust the motor housing with a dry cloth.
- As Above, So Below – Dusting the top of furniture seems so obvious, but are you remembering to look underneath, below and behind your furniture? Lost guest items and trash can busy behind or underneath your furniture which your next guest may not be happy to find. Check, dust and/or vacuum under cushions, side tables, heavy chairs and ottomans to be sure all areas are clean.
- Linens & Towels – I hear you saying, “Of course I clean my linens and towels”, but how you are putting them away is a better question. Clean and organized closets speak volumes to the overall quality of your home. All linens and towels should be folded neatly and folded in the same direction. We recommend a basic fold in which no seams will show when placed in the closet. Organize items in a ‘type by type’ and ‘color by color’ manner.
- *Prior to hanging or storing the linens & towels, be sure to double-check them for hair, dryer lint, or dust particles – even if you have them cleaned with a professional service.
- Hang towels for two guests per bathroom. If it’s a Jack & Jill bath you can hang enough for up to four guests. Use full sets per person – 1 bath towel, 1 hand towel, and 1 washcloth.
- Hangers – Speaking of the closet, nothing speaks to the quality of an organized closet like hangers. Push all the hangers to the ends of the closet and make sure all the hangers are facing the same direction. We also prefer that all the hangers are of the same type and color. Any sturdy hangers will suffice and be sure there are plenty in each closet. As best phrased by Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest, “No Wire Hangers!” That about says it all.
- Refrigerator Seams – You know those little rubber seams that line your refrigerator door? Well, there may be crumbs and moisture getting in them over time, and thus, are a prime candidate for mold and mildew growth. Wipe them down with a paper towel dipped in a baking soda/water solution.
- Oven Vents – You’ve been cooking for the family. You have the stove top splattering and the oven vent roaring. When your all finished, you wiped down the stove, but did you remember to clean the oven vent? You might be surprised how quickly all that stove top grease will build up. Especially with ongoing guests on vacation. Use a degreasing solution if it’s ‘bad’ and a vinegar/baking soda/warm water solution for the upkeep.
- Silverware Trays – Those pesky silverware trays just seem like a magnet for crumbs and debris to collect. Remove silverware and clean by hand or in the dishwasher. Add this to the cleaning checklist. It may not be necessary each stay but should be checked before the guest check-in. Wipe down the inside of the drawer while you’re at it!
- Walls and Baseboards – Your suitcase bumps against them. Kids kick them. Soon as you know it, they are covered in knicks and scuffs. Wipe them down with a general cleaning agent and check the walls vertically as you go – you may notice other small scuffs as well. Magic erasers can help remove these but test them on a small area to be sure they do not affect your paint.
- Remotes and Electronics – Another one of those things that we touch all day long but we forget to clean them. A basic wipe-down is a good idea!
- Exterior doors – In particular, make sure you are cleaning the exterior door frames for any cobwebs or other debris that may collect. Exterior doors also easy spots for smudges from shoes and fingers. Wood cleaner and a dust wand will work for this – use glass cleaner or hot water/vinegar solution where you have window doors.