6 cleaning strategies before staying in a vacation rental or Airbnb

Am I neurotic? Not usually. I'm an island girl, laid back most days. 

But talk to me about germs and my family, and all of a sudden I have a Type-A, alter ego that wants to go all Mommy Dearest on those microscopic bastards. 

Since we sold our house in May to travel full-time, we've been living in Airbnbs, hotels, or vacation rentals. This has given my family the glorious opportunity of becoming more acquainted with this alter ego than ever before. {They are accepting sympathy cards via USPS, if you feel so inclined.} 


 Did you just take a glass from the cabinet without washing it first? 

Did you just take a glass from the cabinet without washing it first? 

 Get your face off that pillow sham!!

Get your face off that pillow sham!!

So, when I first check-in to a place, I don't just collapse in a bed and pour myself a cup of wine, resting from my weary travels. Eww.  

The thought of that makes me grimace.

No, I have a process.

During that first day in our new rental, I'm a bleach wiping, Tasmanian Devil cloud, randomly shouting at the kids and hubby, "Don't touch that!!"  

So, here's my process:

  1. I wash ALL the dishes and pots and silverware. Everything, even utensil holders. I can't even tell you how many times I find dirty dishes put away in cupboards. Blehhh...
  2. I wash all the sheets/ towels/ pillowcases. I run the comforters through the dryer. This is why I LOVE to rent places with washer/dryers.
  3. I buy new sponges for dishes.
  4. I bleach wipe everything in the bathroom, countertops, and remote controls.
  5. I inspect everything. Not only am checking to see how clean the floors, tubs, and cabinets are (these things give a lot of insight into how throughly the place was cleaned prior to our arrival), I am taking inventory of what might be broken. If I find anything, I communicate that immediately to the owner, ensuring we won't be held liable for previous damage. 
  6. I buy vinegar. This is helpful for cleaning fruits and veggies during our stay, but it's also great for cleaning appliances like coffee makers prior to our first use.

Ok, so now that I got that off my chest, and confessed my neurosis...what do you do when you check-in to a place while traveling?

Believe me, confession feels amazing :) The crazier the better. Maybe you can even share something that I may be missing!