Doubling Down on Housekeeping Protocols

Emily Hancock
Emily Hancock

April 24, 2020

Many of us at Breezeway have been in the vacation rental business for more than ten years and have a deep connection with the industry. With our platform focused on quality property care, helping managers respond to this crisis is core to our business. We wanted to leverage the experience of thousands of Breezeway users to provide tangible resources that you can use to prepare your properties.

Based on review of more than one thousand cleaning checklists from leading vacation rental managers and hospitality operators on Breezeway's platform, and updated resources from the CDC, World Health Organization, EPA we have created a guide for the new standard of vacation rental cleans in the wake of COVID-19.

This checklist highlights the importance of preparation before each clean, has multiple high-touch requirements in each room like light switches, doorknobs, thermostats, etc. The 'New Clean' focuses on steps to ensure cleanliness and disinfection, and assumes additional procedures will be followed to routinely inspect the quality and safety of the property. Similarly, this does not offer guidance and best practices for cleaning and maintaining amenities specific to market (pools, barbecues, hot tubs). For more detailed guidance on inspections, safety, preventative maintenance, and safeguarding the health of guests and staff, please contact us. 



  • Make sure to thoroughly clean your hands in accordance with WHO guidelines
    • Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dry thoroughly
    • Use alcohol-based sanitizer if you don’t have immediate access to soap and water
    • Wash hands after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, using the restroom, or discarding trash
  • Make sure to wear disposable gloves on both hands when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
    • If gloves are removed during cleaning, wash hands immediately
    • If reusable gloves are used, dedicate them solely for COVID-19 cleaning
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth throughout the clean as much as possible
  • Follow CDC & EPA guidelines for approved cleaning products and disinfectants
    • Check that cleaners contain chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, detergents, iodophors, or alcohols
    • Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser
    • Check to make sure the products have not expired
    • Refer to manufacturer’s instructions for proper ventilation
  • Follow CDC guidelines for approved disposable products (e.g. disinfecting wipes and paper towels)
  • Record the time and date that work is started and stopped
  • Ventilate rooms by opening doors and windows before beginning to clean and disinfect 

Clean and disinfect/sanitize all surfaces with CDC approved detergent and disinfecting products.

Clean surfaces with a CDC approved detergent or soap & warm water before disinfecting Kitchen:
  • All countertops, backsplash, sink, cabinets (top, bottom, interior, exterior)
  • Trash & recycling receptacles
  • Cleaning supplies that guests have access to
  • Exterior of the dishwasher
  • Silverware tray
  • Refrigerator & freezer (exterior, interior, handle)
  • Oven (exterior, knobs, handle)
  • Small appliances (coffee maker, blender, toaster, microwave)
  • Front and back of any doors, doorknobs, and door trim
  • Windows, windowsills, blinds, cranks and levers
  • Light switches and thermostat

 Living Room

  • Furniture, side tables, lamps, entertainment center, couch cushions
  • Entertainment and electronics available to guests
  • Front and back of any doors, doorknobs, and door trim
  • Windows, windowsills, blinds, cranks and levers
  • Light switches, thermostat, gas fireplace controls
  • Floor

Dining Room

  • Table, chairs and other furniture 
  • Front and back of any doors, doorknobs, and trim
  • Windows, windowsills, blinds, cranks and levers
  • Light switches, thermostat, and gas fireplace controls 
  • Floor


  • Bedside tables, dressers, lamps, shades, light fixtures, headboards, bed frames, etc
  • All bedding (remove dirty linens, sanitize mattress pad, bed skirt & pillows)
  • Electronics and associated remote controls
  • Closet doors doorknobs, and door trim
  • Clothes hangers
  • Front and back of any doors, doorknobs and door trim
  • Windows, windowsills, blinds, cranks and levers 
  • Floor
  • Light switches, thermostat, gas fireplace controls, portable AC units
  • Trash can 


  • All counters & cabinets
  • Sink, backsplash, mirror & faucet
  • Medicine cabinet
  • Shower/bathtub
  • Toilet (lid, base, seat, handle)
  • Front and back of any doors, doorknobs, and door trim
  • Windows, windowsills, blinds, cranks and levers
  • Light switches
  • Thermostat
  • Trash can

Laundry Room

  • All surfaces
  • Washer & dryer (interior, exterior, buttons/knobs)
  • Laundry baskets, soap containers, and detergent bottle
  • Front and back of any doors, doorknobs, and door trim
  • Light switches
  • Thermostat
  • Floor


  • Doors, doorknobs, locks, lockboxes, and keyless entry hubs 
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Handrails and any other commonly touched surfaces 
  • Exposed surfaces (interior & exterior) on trash and recycling receptacles
  • Cleaning equipment accessible to guests (e.g. mop handles, step stools)
  • Guest accessible amenities (e.g. bikes)
  • Outside light switches

As travel resumes, professional vacation rental managers are committed to maintaining rigorous protocols to ensure the highest level of cleanliness and safety at each property. Applying comprehensive sanitation and cleaning programs across all properties will be critical for hospitality providers over the coming months to instill more confidence in guests, owners, and communities. 

You can access ‘The New Vacation Rental Clean’ checklist here, and please reach out with any questions.