Secrets to Finding the Best Cleaning Service for your Home or Vacation Rental

Finding a fabulous cleaning service can be a daunting task  You want someone reliable, honest, consistent, and loyal.  You want someone you can hand the keys to, and not worry about what kind of results you will be coming home to.

Imagine walking into your rather expensive hotel room, and finding dust on the baseboards. Or hair in the sink. Or <gasp> bedbugs in the linens. You’d RUN (not walk) out of there from sheer disgust, and you would never set foot in that property again.

And you’d probably post a bad review all over social media!

When you go into a hotel (5-star or not), you have certain expectations. It needs to be white-glove clean, no clutter, and tastefully decorated. It should be perfect.

All you want to do is relax, and forget about work for a while.

Finding a fabulous cleaning service can be a daunting task You want someone reliable, honest, consistent, and loyal.

You want someone you can hand the keys to, and not worry about what kind of results you will be coming home to.

I’ve been fortunate. I’ve had “mom’s helpers” when my kids were little, and I’ve used cleaning services when I (let’s face it) was tired of doing all the cleaning myself and just wanted a break. All of them were great, and I kept each of them on for years.

My first “real” job was cleaning houses, so I know a thing or two about clean toaster crumb trays, toilets, and door handles. It was not a job I was excited about, but it gave me extra money during my high school and college years.

And as a youngster, my job was to clean the bathroom. Every day. The same bathroom shared by the 6 people in my family.

I wish I had known some of the tricks of the trade back then that I now know today!

Anyway, I digress. How the heck to you find a great cleaner or cleaning service nowadays?

Where to Begin Your Search

You can begin in any number of ways:

  • Ask a friend if they know of anyone

  • Use Facebook and other social media to search

  • Church bulletin


  • Nextdoor

  • Temp agencies

  • Local newspapers

  • Google search

  • Yelp, Thumbtack, HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List, etc.

I don’t recommend something like Craigslist due to many factors. Anyone can post anything on CL, and you never know if the person on the other end is an axe murderer or serial killer. Amiright?

What Questions To Ask

Develop a short list of about 5 applicants to get you started.

You first want to have a conversation by telephone or Skype, to further cull your applicants. Ask these questions before meeting anyone in person.

  1. Why did you answer my ad/apply for this position?

  2. Are you licensed, insured, or bonded?

  3. Do you work alone, or do you have a team? Are you the person who will come into my home, and if not, may I meet the people who will be coming into my home? Is there someone who comes in afterward to inspect the work (if it is a team)?

  4. Will the same person/people coming to my home be the same each time?

  5. How flexible are you, in terms of days and times? Do you show up at a certain time, or within a range of time?

  6. Tell me about the cleaning supplies you use, and why you chose them.

  7. Do you work on weekends and/or holidays? Do you charge extra for that?

  8. How do you accept payments? (If they only accept cash, do not hire them. There are other ways like Venmo, PayPal, or credit cards, so you will have a record of payment.)

  9. Do you charge by the hour, by the room, or by the square footage? What is that fee?

  10. Are there some cleaning tasks that you won’t or cannot do?

  11. Are you willing to do other special tasks, like freshening up my guest room?

    If you are an AirBnB/VRBO/Short-Term Rental Owner, Also Ask These:

  12. Have you had other experience cleaning in the hospitality industry? (Residential or commercial cleaning is a little different than for Bed and Breakfasts or hotels.)

  13. Can you arrive consistently at [insert check-out time] on every [insert turnover day/s]? What is your backup plan in case of an emergency?

  14. Are you willing to do other tasks like painting woodwork, powerwashing the sidewalk, or greeting my rental guest with the key and showing them how to work the thermostat/coffeemaker/television?

  15. Are you willing to launder towels and sheets at home (if there is no washer and dryer at the property)?

If, after asking any of the above questions, your spidey sense sends you a red flag, consider that a dealbreaker. You don’t have the time to train someone who has no experience, or who even seems the least bit untrustworthy. Trust me; cutting your losses before hiring a poor fit gives you the opportunity to hire someone who is perfect for the job!

Go with your gut if you think something is “off.”

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The In-Person Meeting

You may just want to jump right in with the cleaning person, if this is for you own home.

If you have a certain expectation of cleanliness, or if you like your own cleaning products to be used, go through one cleaning cycle with the person/team so they know what you expect. This will ensure consistent results that you will be happy with.

If you have hired a cleaning service, you won’t need to worry so much about someone calling off sick, because the team can pick up the slack. Hopefully, the same team members will be coming each time, which gives you an opportunity to develop a rapport with them.

If You Are an AirBnB/VRBO/Short-Term Rental Host Who Lives A Distance From Your Rental:

Your only options might be to visit your property to meet with the cleaning person/team, or use Skype as your tool of meeting them. Be extra picky about your hire. This is your business, and it could make or break your rental review score.

And make it a point to develop a relationship with other vacation hosts in that area. They can probably give you some insider referrals of good cleaning companies. You simply scratch one another’s backs.

To keep that cleaning person or team loyal, reward their exemplary work with bonuses. Those 5-star reviews will be coming your way, and if the reviews mention “spotless” or “pristine” or other comments about cleaniiness, be sure to share that with your house cleaner/s.

Finding the right cleaning service for you is critical, whether it is to keep your family healthy, to keep you happy, or for the health of your short-term rental business. Follow the above steps and you will find the best fit for you!

If this is still rather overwhelming for you, if you are a new vacation rental host, or a Superhost that wants to improve their ranking, schedule a FREE 15 minute phone call with me.

Be sure to check out my very affordable packages to see which one might be right for you.

My goal is to help you create the most unique, beautiful, and booked-solid vacation rental listing possible so you can raise your rates and realize more profits on your investment.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commish if you click through and make a purchase.