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How to Properly Clean Your BNB to Protect Your Guests from COVID-19

cleaning tips safety & security Jul 17, 2020


These are unprecedented times.  Whether it’s fact-based or media-driven, people all over the world are in a panic because of the Corona Virus, aka COVID-19.


If you haven’t yet, listen to Michelle’s podcast episode on Corona Virus Tactics to Keep Your STR Afloat.  We are in the travel industry, as you well know and understand.  Something like this can make or break your business model.  Be prepared and be proactive – ahead of the game.


Also, Michelle talks to our favorite nurse, Maria Giordano, on how to properly clean your Short-Term Rental.  You can listen to that (Episode 089) right here.


Keeping Your Guests Safe


We suggest you implement thorough cleanings each and every time a guest departs and do not deviate from those procedures.  Create an SOP, set of Standard Operating Procedures, that ensure the health and safety of your guests at all times.


Go over every surface with the proper sanitizers after a thorough cleaning.  Our crew is doing their normal routine, with the addition of wearing and changing gloves while changing all towels and linens, and following it up by a thorough sanitation of everything – EVERY SINGLE SURFACE. 


Some good news is the COVID-19 virus can’t survive longer than 24-48 hours on hard surfaces.  However, when wiping down surfaces and sanitizing them, alcohol-based or ammonia-based cleansers and wipes are the only types that will completely kill the virus.  This is important to know. 


We have a list of cleaning supplies here that will absolutely kill the virus.  We recommend you use one or more of these.


Here is a list of Coronavirus Fighting Products to View or Download


Oh, and don't start to play scientist with these chemicals!  Some chemicals mixed with others create an even more dangerous and sometimes TOXIC chemical.  So, don't mix these together:


  • Bleach & Ammonia - Creates a toxic gas called Chloramine.
  • Bleach & Rubbing Alchohol - Creates Chloroform, highly toxic.
  • Bleach & Vinegar - Creates another toxic gas.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide & Vinegar - Creates a highly corrosive acid.


Another thing you should do is keep sanitizing wipes and sprays around for your guests.  We suggest you make your own and leave them as gifts.  Seriously.  They are super easy to make.  We have a recipe below and have even linked the spray bottles we have purchased on Amazon.  These sprays are fantastic because they smell good and they will also sanitize the area without harsh chemicals.  Your guests will love them.  You can even get fancy with labels, ribbons, and notes.


We also have posted our Sanitation Policy (stating what we are doing to keep our guests safe) along with some Public Service posters we created.  You can download that poster here and place your logo on it.  


Whatever you do, make certain that you add your precautions to your listing.  Place verbiage like “Sanitized for Safety” in your listings’ Titles & Descriptions.  Place it up there, first and foremost.  Don’t make them dig for it.  If you have (and I know you have if you’re a fan of the show) lots of comments on how clean your place is, cut and paste those comments in your listing.  Let people know you are a Clean Freak!  Now is the time to let your OCD Freak Flag fly!  I’m totally OCD about cleaning and I’m embracing this moment.  For once, people are loving my attention to detail.  Yes!


Keeping YOU Safe


On a human, it doesn’t take fancy chemicals to kill Corona, either.  On your hands, just soap and water.  However, if you wash your hands like a 3-year-old, putting the foam in your hand and immediately rinsing it off, washing will do no good.  You really have to wash with soap and warm water, sudsing it up all the way to your elbows.  Pretend you’re a doctor getting ready to perform surgery.  It will keep you and those who are close to you safe. 


Wipe down your phone often.  It is literally the dirtiest and most virus-attracting object you have.


Wash your hands before eating anything, even gum.  You may not think about this but we often go out to eat and use our hands without washing.  I didn’t think this was true until my husband said something when we were at Chipotle.  Before you leave the house, you often use the restroom and wash your hands.  Then you jump in the car and get to where you are going.  You then order your food and begin to eat.  There was a huge gap between the time you washed your hands and ate your food!  You didn’t even realize it.  You touched the doors of your house, your car, the door to the restaurant, your card or money, and the tray you took to the table.  There was lots of touching going on and you didn’t even notice.  Yeah, wash your hands before eating everything!!  Really.  Teach your little ones to do the same.


Remember, masks don’t work because COVID-19 is not that type of a virus.  The only people who should be wearing masks are those who believe they may be infected and they shouldn’t be out of the house anyway.  The virus could potentially get on your hands or be transferred to the outside of your mask.  When you touch or remove your mask, you have it.  It gives people a false sense of safety.


Also, we saw a funny video on the news that showed a man coughing into his hands and then touching his face.  The anchorman scolded people for doing this.  My husband, a doctor, just laughed.  He said, “if you cough into your hand and touch your own face, it’s not going to matter.  If you already have it, you have it.  Touching your face isn’t going to do anything because you already have it.  If you don’t have it, touching your face won’t give it to you because you don’t have it.  These guys are idiots.  Touching someone else or something else is the problem.  You can cough into your own hand all you want.  Just don’t touch anyone.”


Keep Calm and Carry On


While we in America haven’t had many situations like the one we are presently in, now is the time to be loving and compassionate.  Be calm.  Be patient with others.  Be the type of person that you would like others to be to you!  Most of all, keep calm and carry on.  This, too, shall pass.  You got this!


Recipe for Hand Sanitizer


  • 1 part Aloe Vera Gel (you can get an entire leaf at grocery stores like Sprouts or on Amazon)
  • 2 parts Rubbing Alcohol (must be =/> 60% in order to kill COVID-19)
  • Tea Tree Oil (a natural sanitizer)
  • Other Essential Oils like Eucalyptus or Lavender


Pour carefully into a small pump bottle.



Here's Our Public Service Poster

You can download our Public Service Poster here or by clicking on the picture below.  Place it in your STR.  Your guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness.



Here are some other articles to help you do your cleaning research on Corona:


The New Coronavirus Can Live On Surfaces For 2-3 Days — Here's How To Clean Them

We've also got a link directly to Airbnb's Cleaning Guidelines here.  This includes their checklist and "How to" Clean.



Stay safe!  Wash your hands!



Michelle Russell

© The Prosperity Process, LLC

for BNB-Boss



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