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FREE DOWNLOAD: The ultimate guide to deep cleaning Self Catering properties

Downloads | Self Catering - 28.08.2020

With most Brits opting for a ‘staycation’ as opposed to holidays abroad this year, self catering properties are fast becoming the most popular choice as they’re considered as a contained and private choice for many couples and families still desperate for a trip away. 

With demand for an even more intensive clean, housekeepers are facing longer changeover time with more things to remember and a far stricter cleaning process. 

Adapting to a new cleaning routine and ensuring it is spick, span and sanitised for your guests can seem intimidating with a lot of responsibility, especially now. 

To save time, we’ve created a handy, thorough checklist along with some top tips in keeping with government and industry guidance to ensure you deliver a clean and sanitary stay each and every time. Firstly, some things to consider... 

Clearing rooms of unnecessary décor 

Soft furnishings such as scatter cushions and those extra room trinkets may be a nice finishing touch, but consider removing these added bits and bobs to take some pressure off your tight cleaning schedule. 

Opt for BS EN certified cleaning products 

The Association of Scotland's Self-Caterers recommends using products that are certified, particularly with BS EN 1276 or 14476 certification, are an essential as they’re proven to kill up to 99.99% of bacteria and viruses, including some coronaviruses, in just minutes. 

Want to know more about BS EN 1276 and 14476 certified products? Take a look at our blog which explains everything you need to know. Make sure you follow the manufacturers’ guidelines on how to correctly use the products to ensure the effectiveness of their antibacterial and antiviral properties. 

Colour coded cleaning 

Try implementing a colour coded clean into your housekeeping routine. Developed in the 1990s by the British Institute of Cleaning, colour coded cleaning helps to reduce cross contamination and the spread of germs across different areas of a holiday home. 

Different colour cloths could be used for different rooms, for example, with designated mops, sprays, brushes and buckets for each area of a property. 

Other top cleaning tips 

Consider that children are most likely touching lower parts of your holiday let, e.g. remember to wipe down the walls and legs of furniture
  • Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to enhance the safety of yourself and your staff when deep cleaning. 
  • Ensure your new cleaning routine is in keeping with your risk assessment. For more guidance on risk assessments, take a look at our Coronavirus resources list.
  • Familiarise yourself on how to tackle laundry and waste as per government guidance
  • Opt for protectors on your pillows, duvets and mattresses to extend the lifetime of your bedding while serving as an extra barrier against germs and grime
  • Consider that children are most likely touching lower parts of your holiday let, e.g. remember to wipe down the walls and legs of furniture

Now, on to the checklist: 

There’s just something about ticking off your checklist that can serve as great motivation for getting the job done. However, now more than ever, it’s essential to ensure you’ve sanitised every surface, cleaned every carpet and disinfected every door handle. 

That’s why we’ve created a handy, double-sided spring clean checklist for you to print off and tick as you go. Here's what it includes:


  • Clean and disinfect keys and key safe
  • Wipe down all touchpoints including door handles, door lock, thumb turns, etc.

Communal Areas 

  • Wipe down and disinfect door handles, doorframes, skirting boards and other high level surfaces
  • Dust and sanitise touch points such as bannisters and light switches
  • Vacuum and sanitise carpet with a disinfectant spritz
  • Wipe down electrical appliances, e.g. lamps and Wi-Fi hubs


  • De-clutter and wipe down worktops
  • Clean and disinfect the oven, microwave and other electrical appliances
  • Disinfect and polish reflective and chrome surfaces
  • Check that all crockery, cutlery, utensils, pots and pans are spotless
  • Empty the fridge/freezer and clean and disinfect
  • Wipe down chairs, highchairs and placemats
  • Put out clean tea towels, washing up liquid, bin bags, etc.
  • Empty cupboards and wipe them down with a disinfectant
  • Sweep, vacuum and mop the floor
  • Take out the bins and disinfect
  • Dust surfaces, windowsills, lampshades, blinds, skirting board and room corners
  • Add a welcome pack containing individually wrapped refreshments and local produce
  • Wipe down door handles, light switches, skirting boards and doorframes

Living Room 

  • Vacuum or mop hard floors, vacuum and spritz carpet with a sanitiser
  • Dust and sanitise all hard surfaces including tables, windowsills and shelves
  • Dust and disinfect ornaments, surfaces, TV and remote, skirting board and door frames
  • Check TV and the remotes are in working order (and logged out of Netflix!)
  • Clean and mist furniture and soft furnishings
  • Double check for lost property
  • Ensure any windows and mirrors are sanitised and streak free


  • Strip the beds and replace with fresh bedlinen including duvet covers, pillowcases, sheets and ensure bedding is covered with protectors
  • Wash soft furnishings including cushion covers and bedspreads
  • Dust, empty and disinfect drawers, cupboards and wardrobes
  • Sanitise any high-level surfaces, e.g. on top of wardrobes
  • Vacuum the floor, remembering to vacuum under the beds, and disinfect with a carpet and upholstery sanitiser
  • Wipe down and disinfect mirrors, doors and windows
  • Dust and disinfect the skirting boards, blinds, light switches and lampshades
  • Wipe down appliances such as TV, remotes (or use a remote covering)
  • Ensure no belongings have fallen behind or under the beds
  • Steam, mist or use a fogging machine


  • Collect, wash and replace towels
  • Clean and disinfect the shower, tiles and sinks, removing any mould build-up or plughole debris
  • Dust and disinfect high level surfaces, doorframes, blinds, windowsills and skirting boards
  • Disinfect and shine taps, mirrors, windows and any chrome fixtures such as shower heads
  • Clean, bleach and sanitise toilet thoroughly, including under the rim, and replenish toilet paper
  • Collect and replace or refill any used toiletries
  • Empty bathroom bins and disinfect
  • Wipe down and sanitise bathmats
  • Vacuum and mop the floors with a viricidal disinfectant
  • Wipe all hard surfaces down with a disinfectant or antibacterial spray
  • Soak toilet brushes in bleach
  • Spritz with air freshener or add a reed diffuser


  • Disinfect bin lids
  • Disinfect door handle inside and outside
  • Clean outdoor furniture, play equipment and barbecues

Other Things to Remember 

  • Though not necessarily COVID-19 related, but equally as important, is to ensure everything in your holiday room is running smoothly, working as it should be and is completely safe for your guests. 
  • General safety checks, fire exit access, no exposed wires, alarms are in working order
  • Are appliances, facilities and electricals in working order? TV signal, Wi-Fi, heating, bulbs, shower, oven, washing machine, dishwasher
  • Check the guest information folders are updated with correct information. It may be worth recommending local eateries that have reopened or any local events or attractions that can be visited

Less Regular Cleaning Checklist 

  • Replace general wear and tear
  • Ensure the outside is presentable, i.e. sweep up leaves, weed plants, pressure wash patio, steps and decking areas
  • Replace any broken items
  • Empty septic tanks if applicable
  • Touch up paint internally and externally
  • General gardening and outdoor maintenance
  • Check roof tiles, gutters/drain, and if holiday home is weatherproof

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