Housesitting Cleaning Protocols from HouseSitMatch

10 Jun, 2020

Housesitting Cleaning Protocols from HouseSitMatch

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At HouseSitMatch we have long advocated good cleaning protocols for all involved in housesitting. We ask both our housesitters and our homeowners that you prepare the home environment to a high standard. Maintaining good housesitting cleaning protocols have never been more important.

As travel increases enabling more housesitting opportunities we offer a new set of housesitting cleaning protocols for your safety. These protocols are based on UK Government guidelines and the advice of a professional cleaning company working in the public and private sphere.

Wash your hands frequently and well, especially during housesitting cleaning

Why have cleaning protocols..?

Housesitting can be a very intimate experience. As a housesitter you are living in the home space of your hosts and their pets. This is by invitation of course. But it is their space nonetheless, and the homeowners will have their own cleaning arrangements and routines which we ask you to respect.

Housesitters are happy to oblige the homeowner by cleaning and maintaining the property in their absence. It is understood to be part of the ‘housesitting deal’. Equally homeowners will clean the house as part of the prep for a house sitter arriving to their home. Especially important is the the guest bedroom or where the housesitter will sleep.

Some housesits have more pets and activity in the home and garden causing more dirt. Therefore more cleaning will be required.

Covid added pressure for housesitting cleaning

Covid-19 and its spread across the world has highlighted the fundamental need for regular and stringent cleaning. Cleaning routines in homes and public spaces alike have become more than simply de rigueur  they are fundamental for health and safety. And this puts greater emphasis on housesitting cleaning as part of the responsibilities of the housesitter.

During the first half of 2020 we have all learned and abided by a set of guidelines to minimise infection and optimise health and safety. These are the principles we have all been living with based on scientific advice:

  • Wash your hands frequently and well
  • Keep 2 metres apart
  • Manage cleaning protocols to mitigate risk management
  • Minimise social contact
  • Daily cleaning of all surfaces
    •  Maintain routines and protocols
    •  Bathrooms and kitchens – water based rooms need very careful management
  • Sterilise all other frequently touched surfaces e.g, door handles
housesitting cleaning
Wear a mask if you are living with the housesitters during a pandemic

Housesitting Cleaning Protocols

In the spirit of the post Covid-19 careful cleaning and social distancing we have translated the general guidelines above as they will apply to homeowners and housesitters alike. Here below are the detailed guidelines for housesitting cleaning that we offer you to work with when you are preparing for housesitters or indeed during a housesit.

Homeowner guidelines for housesitting cleaning

  1. Plan for the minimum number of people required to housesit your home and pets
  2. Prepare your housesitter for the cleaning routines required
  3. Provide appropriate and sufficient cleaning materials for daily routines
    • Ensure there are cleaning materials in each bathroom within easy reach – request a cleaning after each use of the bathrooms and kitchen
  4. Provide appropriate and sufficient rubbish bags and paper towels for easy cleaning and disposal
  5. Create a dedicated storage space for the housesitter in the kitchen cupboards, and the fridge, as well as in the bedroom where they are staying to keep their things separate to yours – prepare these spaces with a deep clean
  6. Provide clean linen and washing liquid/ powder/ tablets to allow housesitter to clean all bedding and linen during and after their stay
  7. Organise indoor and outdoor shoe protocols, and clean any dog leads
  8. Reduce the time you spend together if possible – i.e. consolidate the briefing period with the new housesitter (prep ahead of time digitally if possible)
  9. Maintain your distance when you are living with the housesitter ahead of your departure.
  10. Use and provide disposable gloves and masks for the housesitters for the time they are living with you, and for housesitting cleaning
  11. If you are offering your vehicle clean your car before handover. And ask the housesitter to clean the car for you inside and out before you return
  12. Keep in touch with your housesitters regularly before the housesit begins and regularly during the housesit to ensure all is well at home while you are away
Clean the car before you hand over the vehicle

Housesitting Cleaning Guidelines

  1. Prepare for your housesit by connecting with the homeowner digitally before you arrive and ask as many questions as possible about the housesit, the pets, and the property
  2. Consider the risks to you before you take on the housesit, and if you have taken a Covid-19 test / anti-body test tell the homeowner
  3. Bring shoes you can wear for indoor use and outdoor use – to keep the indoor floor areas as clean as possible
  4. Be prepared to clean all the surfaces you touch on a daily routine basis
  5. Bathroom and kitchen areas will need more frequent cleaning and maintenance
  6. Keep your things in the areas prepared for you in the bedroom and the kitchen areas to help maintain where you touch and introduce your things
  7. Be prepared to keep your distance to the homeowner when you are living in the home together
  8. Be prepared to use disposable gloves and masks when you are living with the homeowner together
  9. Ensure you clean your own linen, wash dry and replace sheets and towels before the homeowner returns
  10. If using the homeowners vehicle be ready to clean the car inside and out before the homeowner returns
  11. Be aware that homeowners will likely choose singles or housesitting couples. They may want to minimise the number of people in their home.
  12. Keep in touch with your homeowner before you arrive. Check in to ensure you know all is well with them before, and of course during your housesit. Let them know all is well with you too.


Final thoughts on housesitting cleaning

We hope this set of guidelines on housesitting cleaning is useful to you, whether you are a housesitter or a homeowner. If you are a homeowner getting ready for a vacation it is natural to clean around the house in preparation for your housesitter arriving to stay in your home. And for a housesitter there is an inherent responsibility to care for the home and property while in residence. Housesitting cleaning is part of the deal.

As always we wish you the best of health and happy housesitting!


Lamia Walker

Founder & CEO



Further reading about housesitting and housesitters

At we like to share useful blogs and practical advice about housesitting cleaning, housesitters, housesitting and pet sitting. We hope you find this small selection of our blogs on house sitters useful.

Housesitters keep pets safe at home and save money

What a housesitter does – Top 10 responsibilities

What is House Sitting?


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Founder and Director of HouseSitMatch - I'm a hands-on Admin on the site. Please ask any questions and as soon as I can I'll happily answer and assist where I can.

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