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Are Your Vacation Rental Cleaners Actually Cleaning?

Since Purple Dot Cleaning’s launch in 2019 to today in May 2024, we have performed over 16,000 cleans. We have become the leading vacation rental cleaning company in the Charleston, South Carolina area. From tiny bungalows in North Charleston to million-dollar front row beach houses, Purple Dot Cleaning cleans them all


Over the years we have learned many things about vacation rentals. Whether you hire Purple Dot Cleaning or another cleaning company, here are some key signs that indicate a well-cleaned vacation rental.


First Impressions:

  1. Smell: A clean vacation rental should smell fresh and neutral. Any musty, moldy, or overpowering chemical smells are red flags.

  2. Entrance and Common Areas: The entryway, living room, and other common areas should be tidy, with no visible dust or dirt. Check baseboards, overhead fans and HVAC registers for dust. When we take over poorly cleaned vacation rentals from other cleaning companies, which happens frequently, we often notice very high dust levels. Floors should be vacuumed or mopped, and furniture should be free of stains and crumbs. For vacation rentals on the beaches, for example in Isle of Palms and Folly Beach, check for sand that wasn’t removed. Room corners and under sofa pillows are some of the most common places were cleaners miss taking up sand.



  1. Surfaces and Appliances: Countertops should be wiped down and free of crumbs or stains. Appliances, including the stove, oven, microwave, and refrigerator, should be clean inside and out. Some cleaners are lazy on appliances, especially refrigerators and ovens, so check those carefully.

  2. Dishes and Utensils: All dishes, utensils, and cookware should be clean and properly stored. The dishwasher should be empty.

  3. Garbage and Recycling: Trash cans should be empty and have a clean bag. The trash area should be neat and not have scuff marks or food stains on the walls.



  1. Toilets, Sinks, and Showers: These should be scrubbed clean with no soap scum, mold, or hard water stains. Fixtures should shine, and mirrors should be spotless. Considering Charleston’s hot and humid climate, which encourages mold growth, make sure there’s no mold in the bathroom. We often see mold in poorly cleaned vacation rentals – gross to look at and breath in, and a sure way to get a bad guest review.

  2. Towels and Toiletries: Fresh, clean towels should be provided, and any complimentary toiletries should be sealed and neatly arranged.

  3. Floors and Surfaces: Floors should be mopped, and counters and shelves should be dust-free. Be on the lookout for vacation rental cleaners who fail to remove hair, for example from shower drains.



  1. Bedding: Sheets, pillowcases, and blankets should be freshly laundered and smell clean. Beds should be neatly made.

  2. Closets and Drawers: These should be empty or contain only clean, well-organized items. There should be no lingering smells or dust.


Outdoor Areas:

  1. Patios, Balconies, and Yards: These should be swept, with outdoor furniture wiped down and free of debris. Pools or hot tubs should be clean and properly maintained.

  2. Grills: If provided, grills should be clean with no leftover food residue.


General Maintenance:

  1. Air Conditioning and Heating: These systems should be working properly and filters should be clean. We recently wrote a blog post on why keeping your HVAC filter clean is very important.

  2. Windows and Doors: Glass should be clean with no fingerprints or smudges. Screens should be intact and dust-free.

  3. Lighting: Fixtures should be dusted, and all bulbs should be working. In addition to cleaning, Purple Dot Cleaning offers property management services like changing out bulbs, keeping HVAC filters clean and performing basic handyman work.


Attention to Detail:

  1. Corners and Hard-to-Reach Places: Check for dust in corners, on baseboards, and behind furniture. A thorough cleaning job will address these often-missed areas. It may seem trivial, but to succeed in the extremely competitive Charleston vacation rental market, your cleaning has to be top-notch.

  2. Personal Touches: Small touches like neatly arranged decorative items, a welcome note, or local area guides can indicate a high level of care and attention to detail.


If you notice these signs, it generally means your vacation rental has been well cleaned and maintained, ensuring a comfortable and pleasant stay for your vacation rental guests in Charleston. And remember, Purple Dot Cleaning is always here for you when you need us, just contact us!


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