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Summary of Cleaning Protocols & Considerations for 

Summer 2020 Short-term Rentals Due to Health Concerns Around

COVID-19 Virus

This information has been accumulated from a group of property managers, landlords, and cleaning service companies that are involved in short-term rental property changeovers in Cape May County, NJ. The opinions are not science-based, and do not address every scenario, but is merely an outline   

of some common items to consider when preparing your rental changeover properties amid COVID-19 virus activity. 

The overview includes the protocols found in the CDC Guidelines

The following is a collaboration by Jacqueline Moon, Sandcastles Home Watch, Inc and Donna Marie Tarabbio, Rentfluent, LLC. 


I.  Hard Surfaces - Clean first with soap and water, then disinfect.

A. Special attention to High Touch Surfaces. Include but not limited to:

* tables  * hardback chairs * doorknobs  * light switches * counter tops * handles * desks * phones * appliances * faucets * sinks *

* electronics (see more below), etc.

II. Soft Surfaces - Launder in as warm of temperature as possible and dry thoroughly.

A. Items to consider but not limited to:

* kitchen towels * bath towels * oven mitts & potholders * bathmats

1. Bathmat suggestion: Terry mats (used in hotels)

2. Professionally laundered or linen service delivery for:

* bed linens to included sheets, pillowcases/protectors*, blankets, mattress pads, bath/kitchen/beach towels

* Strongly suggest eliminating bed sleeping pillows.

B. Disinfect items such as carpet, upholstered furniture, etc. 

1.  Visit this EPA site for list of disinfectants

C. Eliminate bedspreads, decorative throw pillows, throw blankets

1. If you wish to provide the above items at Renters use discretion, store the above items in closets in plastic bags or containers and mark as "Not Disinfected" or "Leave Out If Used" if you choose to launder those items as well. 

2. In place of bedspreads, quilts and comforters, the Host should consider providing a fresh light-weight blanket weekly. 

D. Shower Curtains Options:

1. Cloth laundered weekly

2. Vinyl/plastic - Clean weekly with disinfecting spray and air dry.

3. Purchase inexpensive liners and replace weekly. 

III. Electronics - Wipe with alcohol-based wipes containing at least 70% alcohol and air dry:

* TV remotes * lighting remotes * keyboards * keyless entry systems * alarm clocks

1. Place remotes in disposable plastic zip bags and replace with a new bag weekly. Note: hotels have instituted this practice with bedside remotes. 

IV. Entire Home - Spray with disfectant

* all rooms * closets * dresser drawers * under bath vanities, etc. 

V. Outdoor Accessories - Disinfect accordingly following Hard and Soft Surfaces protocols above.

* furniture * grill handle/accessories * beach chairs/carts * toys 


Note: Professional Opinions. Not science-based or CDC protocol. 

I. Change HVAC air filters between rental groups

II. Guests Considerations 

A. Supply a beach bucket or other container to include alcohol wipes, gloves for for handling trash cans, sanitizing liquid soap, and disinfectant spray.

B. Request guests to remove shoes outside or at the entry way. Provide a shoe tray, basket or shoe holder at entrance. 

III. Product Considerations

A. The use of Scentiva by Clorox cleaning pads (fit on Swiffer and has disinfecting qualities) for hard floor surfaces.

B. Shower curtain - Antibacterial and Mildew Resistant 70" x 72" - $4.99 each

C. Terry washable bathmats Pack of 12 - $40.20

D. Mattress pad - Sealy fitted Antimicrobial Mattress Protector offers waterproof protection from stains. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.

IV. Cleaning Companies Recommendation for PPE

A. Disposable gloves

B. Disposable apron cover-ups. One gown worn per home and discard in trash bag when leaving home. 40 ct. $9.99

C. Disposable shoe covers. Following same use protocol as aprons. 50 pairs - $14.99


1. Eliminate leaving out Soft Surface*items that cannot be thoroughly washed or disinfected between visits. Consider a professional linen service for weekly cleaning of light bedspread/blanket between rentals.

* renters surveyed are more comfortable to have above items eliminated and replaced with a freshly cleaned light blanket/bedspread folded and left on the bed for them to put on it themselves. 

2. Bed pillows - Eliminate providing bed sleeping pillows. There is a possibility that renters will bring their own pillows. 

- Additional option: Host could provide at an extra charge, and at the request of the guest, to provide new pillows from stores like Walmart or Big Lots. They run $5 or less per pillow. 

3. Remove decorative pillows and throws from beds and furniture. Place in closet or large basket to use at their own discretion. 

4. Consider using a linen service for weekly delivery of clean bathmats, light blankets, pillow protector and mattress pads. Again, folded and left for the renter to make-up bed. 

5. On the topic of mattress pads, Plastic is practical from the disinfection-ease standpoint, but we have heard from landlords who have used in the past, renters may take them off because they can be warm and sound crunchy when they move on them. 

6. Check-out Check-in time modifications: If currently the window is 4 hours or less extend by at least one-hour.

 (i.e. 10am /3pm vs. 10 am /2 pm). Cleaning companies may choose to wait to enter a little longer for their own well being and will require extra time for additional deeper cleaning and disinfection measures. THE EXTRA STEPS WILL TAKE ADDITIONAL WORKING HOURS.

Consider forwarding and posting the special adaptations you have made to your rental properties to your rental guests. It may set you apart 

We hope that this may be of help to those involved in 2020 short-term rental property preparations. 

We wish you a safe and profitable rental season. 

Jacqueline and Donna Marie