The airline announced the change in a memo obtained by USA Today.
Beginning on 1 Aug, cleaning that takes place between flights will be limited to "high-touch" areas like bathrooms and tray tables. Those surfaces will still be disinfected between each flight.
Armrests and seat belts, however, will not.
The memo justified focusing on the "high-touch" areas because they see the most sustained use by passengers over the course of a flight.
"These are the most important areas to clean between each flight as they are prone to contamination from Customer use and food/beverage consumption," the memo said.
Customers who wish to wipe down the surfaces themselves will be given disinfecting wipes at their request, according to the memo.
While armrests and seat belts will no longer get a thorough disinfecting between flights, the company still includes them in the aircraft's "enhanced" nightly cleanings, which began in March in response to the virus.
In addition to the nightly cleaning, the aircraft will also undergo electrostatic cleaning once a month as well.
The change in cleaning protocol reflects the company's drive to cut back on turnaround times as much as possible. Shorter turnaround times means more daily flights, and more daily flights means more money.
However, the move also comes as the coronavirus continues to run rampant in the US, with no signs of slowing down and no promise of a vaccine in the immediate future.
The airline industry has taken a severe hit since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, with air travel all but coming to a halt during the initial lockdown in the spring. Airlines have been walking a tightrope between mitigating coronavirus risks to staff and customers and turning a profit.
Southwest is one of only a few major carriers that still mandates that middle seats remain open to keep distance between passengers. Other airlines have since abandoned that practice and have begun filling cabins again.
Ro Hawthorne, a spokesperson for Southwest, told USA Today that the company would "monitor Customer and Employee feedback as we adapt to the new normal in air travel, while ensuring we keep safety as our top priority."