Housekeeping vs. Deep Cleaning – Which Do You Need?

Every conscientious vacation property owner knows the value of having a clean home for guests. But some owners get confused about the difference between housekeeping and deep cleaning. Which do you need to protect your investment and keep your vacation property ready for guests?

The simple answer is, you need both. Busy vacation rentals need cleaning in between guests and a periodic deep cleaning to maintain a prime level of pleasing sanitary conditions. This can become quite a chore for property owners, even if they live close to their rental homes. Book by Owner is your on-the-ground team for vacation property management, and that includes housekeeping and deep cleaning services.


What is Involved in Housekeeping?

Housekeeping is different from end-of-season deep cleaning because it involves more general cleaning between guests. The time isn’t available for a deep, exhaustive cleaning, so a quick, yet thorough, cleaning process is observed. Some local or state health department codes may require certain actions between guests, such as draining, cleaning, and refilling the hot tub, or changing mattress pads and pillow protectors.

Aside from these mandated services, BBO housekeeping follows a detailed checklist to ensure your property and its furnishings are spotlessly clean for each new set of guests. This includes:  


  • Wipe down major and minor appliances, countertops, and cabinets
  • Scrub and sanitize sinks
  • Clean and empty garbage cans
  • Clean floor
  • Empty dishwasher and put away the dishes
  • Replenish supplies and dish hand towels


  • Change sheets on the beds
  • Vacuum floor and check for trash under beds
  • Check windows for fingerprints
  • Dust furniture and clean mirrors
  • Empty wastebaskets

Dining Room

  • Sweep/vacuum and/or clean floor
  • Wipe down dining table
  • Wipe down chairs

Living Room

  • Dust all surfaces
  • Sweep/vacuum and/or wash floor
  • Check sofa bed for dirty linens, and leave clean linens if needed
  • Empty wastebaskets


  • Clean and sanitize showers, bathtubs, toilets, faucets, and sinks
  • Clean mirrors
  • Clean floors and wall tiles
  • Empty wastebaskets
  • Replenish supplies and clean towels based on occupancy


What is Involved in Deep Cleaning?

Deep cleaning after the main rental season ends involves a much more thorough cleaning indoors and out. Approximately three times as many items are included in a deep cleaning over basic between-guests housekeeping. Your BBO property management team adheres to the following deep cleaning checklist:


  • Empty cabinets and drawers, all silverware, all dishes, and pots & pans cleaned
  • Insides and outsides of cabinets and drawers are thoroughly cleaned
  • Wood cabinets are oiled
  • Refrigerator pulled; floor and walls cleaned entirely; appliances cleaned
  • All light switches and outlet covers will be cleaned
  • All small appliances cleaned and polished: toasters, microwaves, and blenders
  • Floors are scrubbed clean
  • Kitchen sink is scrubbed and sanitized
  • Garbage cans are scrubbed inside and out


  • Medicine cabinets and door tracks cleaned completely
  • Any lights are dismantled and completely cleaned
  • All light switches and outlet plates are cleaned
  • Sink, mirror, and additional cabinets cleaned out, tile and grout scrubbed
  • Shower walls and tub/shower area are scrubbed thoroughly
  • Toilets cleaned inside and out, top to bottom, and behind
  • Exhaust fans, heating fixtures in the wall and ceiling, including covers, are cleaned
  • Floor are mopped and scrubbed or vacuumed thoroughly
  • Walls around toilet are scrubbed thoroughly

Living Room, Dining Area, Bedrooms and General Cleaning

  • Fireplace area, hearth, and all outside surfaces wiped down
  • Every couch, chair, bed, or other furniture are moved and vacuumed under, and every square inch of carpet vacuumed including all room edges
  • Lamp bulbs checked and dusted
  • Any garbage in furniture picked up and furniture is vacuumed or dusted
  • All wood furniture is cleaned and properly oiled for longevity
  • Shelves emptied and cleaned; items on shelves are cleaned and re-stacked neatly
  • All areas that collect dust are swept and wiped down, cobwebs removed from ceilings, fans, windows, etc.
  • All dresser drawers pulled out and cleaned inside and out
  • Any door/bath mats and bed skirts washed
  • All mirrors are cleaned
  • Bed and sofa bed mattresses turned
  • All windows cleaned inside, blinds dusted and cleaned
  • Ceiling fans dusted and cleaned
  • All baseboards cleaned
  • All door and window frames are cleaned
  • Light switches and outlet plates are cleaned
  • Garage is swept thoroughly, hosed out if needed
  • Blankets, comforters, mattress pads, skirts, rugs are washed
  • Outdoor area and furniture is cleaned (hosed, wiped down)

Book by Owner recommends at least one deep cleaning per year, between busy rental seasons. Depending on your location and rental volume, two may be deemed necessary. Other homeowners choose to have a deep clean performed after every 5th guest stay. The goal is to keep your vacation rental property looking new and fresh for every guest, all the time.


BBO – Your Property Management Team

With Book by Owner as your local, on the ground property management team, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your guests will enjoy a clean, refreshing vacation rental and your property investment is protected. We care for your home and guests 24/7/365, all for an affordable monthly fee. Contact your local Book by Owner for complete details and pricing for all the services available in your resort vacation area.


2017 Recap – BBO and the Vacation Rental Industry

As 2017 fades into history and 2018 dawns afresh, it’s safe to say last year was huge for the vacation rental industry. More and more, travelers are choosing to rent private properties instead of cramped hotel rooms. In fact, as recently as Thanksgiving 2017, vacation rentals tied with hotels and resorts as the most popular places to stay.

Vacation Rental Industry Growth

According to Phocuswright, the travel industry research giant, almost one in three U.S. travelers in 2015 stayed in a privately owned short-term rental, an increase of 24% from 2010. Growth in the private accommodation sector is faster than in the travel industry as a whole, and is expected to be worth $36.6 billion by the end of 2018. That is double the growth rate of the entire travel sector.

According to a Bloomberg news article concerning the vacation rental industry, “If people have stayed in peer-to-peer lodging [P2P] in the last five years, the likelihood that they prefer traditional hotels is halved (79 percent vs. 40 percent);” this according to data from research by Goldman Sachs. They continue, “We find it interesting that people ‘do a 180’ in their preferences once they use P2P lodging. They move directly from preferring traditional hotels to preferring P2P accommodations.”

Without a doubt, vacation rentals represent a product that people love and a solution that people need.

Regulation Efforts in the Vacation Rental Industry

In 2017, several states and municipalities examined or enacted legislation regulating some aspects of the short-term vacation rental industry. Mainly, these laws seek to address two basic issues:

  • Location – Many local jurisdictions seek to regulate where short-term home rentals can be located, mainly within tourist and short-term occupancy zones and outside residentially zoned areas.
  • Taxation – Many states and cities are eager to enact and enforce rental taxation statutes to take advantage of the growing short-term vacation rental industry in their area.

Some states are siding with vacation rental property owners on the issue. For example, HB 216, preempts cities and counties in Idaho from enacting or enforcing any ordinance that would prohibit a short-term rental from a certain part of their jurisdictions. It took effect January 1, 2018. Even for states and municipalities that allow short-term rental properties in any zone, they still seek to require homeowners to provide a local contact person who can respond to complaints or emergencies for each home when local needs arise.

Book by Owner – Resort Property Management

At Book by Owner, we are glad to be part of the vital movement that is the vacation rental industry. In 2017, we opened new offices in Aspen, CO, Kissimmee, FL, and Phoenix, AZ, while our other offices continue to flourish. The response to our unique model of local, flat-fee vacation home services has been great from both homeowners and realtors.

As your on-the-ground team for resort property services, we provide local, personal contacts and service with corporate support, including answers to your questions concerning local laws pertaining to the vacation rental industry. We handle the hassles of taking care of a property, responding to late guest calls or calls from neighbors, and more.

This year, we expect to open many more offices in exciting locations. In fact, we’re looking for entrepreneurs that want to own and operate their own local offices. Growth through referrals is our model. Will you help us spread the word? For more information about BBO franchise opportunities, or our local vacation property services, call 877-645-7060 or contact us online.