Having my cleaning staff check the gas grill is something that I'd like to ask them to do, but I realize that they just have so much on their plates by getting the house cleaned, laundry done, beds made, bathrooms ready to go, etc. However, part of our guests' departure "to do" list includes cleaning the grill if it was used. I post a sign on the grill asking guests to clean it after they use it. We fill the tank up prior to the busy rental season beginning and keep a spare in the garage. We ask our guests to refill it and make sure they're aware we're happy to reimburse them the cost of the propane. I'm just not sure what else we can do...?? We too live about 600 miles away. Most of our guests know this, and I'm thinking if it's not in good shape, guests know it was the previous guests failure to follow through as opposed to the owner. It is frustrating, however. I'm one who likes everything to be ship shape and I cringe at thinking it may not be.....!!
My girls do clean the bbq's between each cleaning spotless. It done between each cleaning it should take no time at all to maintain the clean. We also check to be sure the propane tank is at least half full for each new renters and replace if needed after getting a ok from the housekeeper in charge of that home and owner approval...I hoep this info helps
From: marilyn <email@example.com>
To: "tina.chabotcarlson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Saturday, February 18, 2012, 8:03 PM
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Re: Does your housekeeper clean your BBQ like new? created by marilyn in Housekeeping - View the full discussion
We have our landscaper clean the BBQ every week and tenants do it in between. He is there to mow the grass and trim the hedges.
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I have worked out a checklist which our cleaning people follow. This is the only way they are able to turn around my homes in a small amount of time.
As we pay generously, our cleaning people know that if we receive a complaint they will have to come back to the house to correct the situation at no charge to me. This has happened very rarely.
Because we only have two girls for three hours each clean all these rooms, we need the extra personal to handle the outdoors. In addition to cleaning the BBQ, he walks the grounds and checks over any garbage that may have flown intoi our property and checks the flowers, if they need triming and that the outdoors in general is o.k.
Our house cleaners will clean the grill between our weekly guests. I'm not sure how thorough they are, but I have not received any complaints and many of my guests return from year to year. Cleaning the gas grill (inside and out) is on the list I submit at the beginning of each season to remind them of the tasks I want done that they may overlook. I recognize they are not necessarily considering the cleaning from the perspective of the renter and I've tried to reinforce the importance of cleaning the gas grill each week. I'm not able to check during the season; my home is rented week to week and the turnover window for cleaning (and a visit) would be five hours on a Saturday. I send "gentle" reminders to my cleaning staff during the season. They may read them . . . I'm always assured the house is being cleaned just as I have requested.
I do a very through cleaning at the beginning of each season, replacing grates, racks, and baskets as needed, and scrubbing the grill cabinet inside and out. At the end of the season the grill appears in reasonable condition; it's hard to know if the last guest or two were particularly ******* it or if it's not been kept up.
I provide tools for guests to clean between uses and for the cleaners to do a weekly cleaning. The tools appear to be used when I do my inventory of supplies at the end of the season.
I send an email to each guest following their stay and ask for their thoughts on all aspects of their rental experieince including the cleanliness of the house. I haven't had any negative comments, and approx half return from season to season. I don't specifically ask about the grill; but it hasn't been mentioned in their responses.
I have an acct at the local station that refills tanks. I provide the acct info to my guests so they do not need to pay when they refill the tanks.
Finally, I'm happy to have the gas grill in heavy use. If guests weren't using the grill they would be mucking up the range top and oven. I'd rather they cook outdoors!
Cooking outdoors is certainly the way to go. No only for the cleaning aspect, but because of all the wonderful memories it will create for your guests.
I find I need to check on my homes in a timely manner. I realize being only 1.5 to 2 hours away (in each direction) makes it much easier. It also gives my guests a feeling that I am watching ou for your needs and vacation and that I want to make sure it is perfect. With large extended fasmilies using my homes, it is much easier to have an issue (due to the large numbers of people), but we rarely have one.
I also contact my guets after their stay to make sure everything was perfect for them. Most of the time I get a one or two word answer back, "great" "good vacation", "great home". I guess that's better than getting complaint.
Yes, the grill does make for memorable dinners. And it does get nearly constant use judging from the amount of paper plates, cups, barbecue tools, and other outdoor dining supplies that are used over the season.
I agree that checking in is a good idea.
I'm within easy distance of my home - a two hours drive and a 45 minute ferry crossing. The issue for me is getting over on a congested summer weekend within the five hour turnover period and how much I will actually accomplish by turning up during a cleaning session. I would also have to plan a visit and book a vehicle crossing months in advance, or I could decide to cross as a passenger with a bicycle or depend on bus service. I would definintely visit several times over the season if it was a car ride to the house and would probably arrange to greet guests.
I have many return guests that I correspond with on a regular basis - it would be nice to arrange to meet some of them!
My guests are a bit more generous than yours with their comments. Not much. But enough to assure me they are happy with their stay. The question that gets the most responses is "What furnishing, household item, or service would you recommend to increase your comfort during your stay?" I'm pleased that cleaning is not the answer.
The first year we rented, the gas grill was so terrible by the end of the summer that I scraped and cleaned for 5 hours to clean the grill. (I have neck and back issues so this was problematic for me.)
My housekeeper and grounds maintenance person don't really have time to clean the grill in addition to their other duties during the changeover time window.
So for the second year, I asked our guests to clean the BBQ if they use it. It's part of my signed contract. My message to renters is "If you use it, you leave it clean"! (The same is true of the fire place in terms or removing ashes.) Our contract now states, that if the grill is not left clean, a deduction from the cleaning deposit at the rate of $50/hr may be made to cover the extra cleaning that my housekeepers must do.
Guess what!! The second rental year, the BBQ only required minimal cleaning at the end of peak season to get it back to a pristine state. Making our guests accountable was the solution to this problem for me.
Now our changeover staff simply checks that the BBQ is left clean--if a minor touch-up is needed, however, my staff will do it, as I pay them well and I don't charge the guest. But I don't tell my guests that!
Thank you everyone for your feedback. Based on all the great information that was compiled in this thread I have decided the following:
I have created signs that are posted on the fridge that say "Do you enjoy a BBQ'd meal? If you use it please clean it.? And then there is a note that we have provided the Grill Daddy grill cleaner to make the job easy. I bought them for each unit and placed them on the grill. I am hoping that by making it easy to clean the grill that my guests will clean as requested. the Grill Daddy brush really does work when the grill is hot. A good cleaning solution. They work!!!
Now my housekeeper need only check to be sure that the guest did clean the grill. I put the Grill Daddy to a test and it did a fine job. I don't expect the grill to be like new but at least the elimination of the recent mess is great!!
At the end of the summer I will check to see how clean the grill is and if need be add the $50 cleaning charge threat if the guests really don't clean the grill as I hope. .
Meanwhile, during this deep cleaning trip, I have soaked the bbq grates in amonia and sealed them in a plastic bag overnight. It has helped but the gunk is baked on in some spots. I many replace the grates next season for a fresh start.
Here's my tip! I use this on my own grill that gets used at least 4 days a week, even if we have to shovel snow to get to it!
There are various spray on oven cleaners that don't require heat to activate the cleaner. I spray the grates WELL, then put them in the big trash bag, close it up and let it sit overnight. Wash it off- maybe scrub a little bit. Good as new!! ( I used to use the ammonia trick too, but found this much easier and it works better) .
Once it's clean, don't forget to re-season it. Heat the grill and then apply a thin coating of oil (I use a rolled up paper towel dipped in vegetable oil on the end of a pair of tongs). Let the grill heat for about 10 minutes and then turn it off. Done! Ready for the next gilling time!
I do the same for my charcoal grill - though we don't allow them at our rental.
One last thing - did you know that wadded up piece of aluminum foil will clean a recently used, warm grill? Yep!