Managing Your Vacation Rental

Tips and Tricks for Turnover Day Surprises

Written by Shannon Russo
4.7/5 - (13 votes)

Every vacation rental homeowner who’s ever managed their own turnovers week after week knows the frustration of arriving at your property to find unexpected “parting gifts” in the carpets, on the walls, or on the furniture.

Not damage, really, but mars in your carefully maintained décor that often take more elbow grease and cleaning supplies than a regular turnover day will allow. More often than not, the nail polish gets left in the carpet or the white heat stain on the dining room table remains until the next turnover or worse, September, when there’s finally time to address it. But what impression does it leave on the next tenants?

Prepare in the spring by arming yourself with supplies (white vinegar, bleach, baking soda, and even toothpaste!), techniques, and instructions detailed in the links below for tackling six of the most common turnover day surprises. Plus, find a BONUS link to timesaving cleaning tips and shortcuts for a more efficient turnover day in general.

Surprise #1 – Sunblock stains

Of course we want our guests to stay safe and protect their skin with sunblock, but not at the expense of our sofas! This article from provides details for getting sunblock stains out of almost every surface from nylon to flagstone to acrylic plastic.

blog-crayon-on-wallSurprise #2 – Crayon on walls or furniture

Oh, how nice. Little Susie left a depiction of her fun with the seagulls on the guest bedroom wall. The Spruce offers some great remedies using simple household items such as white vinegar, toothpaste, or baking soda.

Surprise #3 – Greasy handprints on the walls

It’s funny how the worst prints are far too high up the wall to be caused by kids! Use this excellent article and video from The blog is filled with a variety of super helpful cleaning tips and techniques

Surprise #4 – White heat stain on a table top

I’ve been blessed with a most amazing repeat renter going on her tenth year of renting the same two weeks each summer. Still, it took her three years to realize that the porcelain, fish-shaped ornament in the middle of the maple dining room table, called a trivet, was not just for show. Check out this article from It works!

Surprise #5 – Gum in carpet

Blog-Gum in carpet
Oh, the joy of children. It’s not surprising that some vacation rental homeowners would rather allow pets in their home over kids. No matter which you prefer, can help.

Surprise #6 – Nail polish in carpets or on upholstery

It happens. Next to fingerprints and smudges on the wall, this surprise occurs most often for me, and not just in the carpets.  Here’s a tip from  I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s got to be better than acetone and an Exacto knife.

Surprise #7 – Candle wax in carpets or on upholstery

Rarely can spilled candle wax be blamed on children. Regardless of the culprit, it’s best to work on removing it as soon as possible. Here’s how from How Stuff Works.

BONUS: 10 timesaving cleaning tips and shortcuts

Let us know if you’ve used any of these techniques or if you have any other tricks to battle turnover day surprises!

Did you like this?

About the author

Shannon Russo

Shannon Russo - It gave me great pride and pleasure to be the driving force behind the Homeowner Blog from it's inception in November 2011 until September 2014. During that time, I also had the opportunity to educate and empower homeowners through the production of a Homeowner Video Tutorial series, the design of all email communications, and assisting Cape and Islands homeowners with the knowledge I have gained from owning a just-off Cape vacation rental home for over ten years. Email Shannon