What to do when guest take towels?

Level 3
Lancaster, CA

What to do when guest take towels?

Hello, everyone, I'm Sheila! I resently started hosting on a serious level. I was just wondering, what do you do when all your towels start walking away? Do you mention it to guest or just chalk up towels as a lost and buy more? I'm sure they're not file a claim worthy. 🙄 

1 Best Answer
Level 10
England, United Kingdom

@Sheila803 Its not worth the hassle of a claim but you should leave an honest review. We have never had it happen so lets hope its a one off for you as well.

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43 Replies 43

@Sheila803 Yes, I mention it to my guests but it's essential to handle the situation delicately and professionally, especially as an Airbnb host. But before reaching out to your guest, ensure that the towels are indeed missing. Sometimes guests may have used them and left them in places you haven't checked, like laundry areas or closets.


If you're sure the towels are missing or if the issue isn't resolved with your guest, you may decide to file an AirCover claim for the missing items. Ensure that you upload your documentation. Hope this helps! 

We cleaned the whole house, they are gone, but these guest left dress shoes in garage and a computer or phone cord in master room. And messaged me to see if I found ipods. So it is what it is. Not gonna file a claim for towels. I still gave them 5 stars and they did the same for me. I was just wondering how have other host handle this issue.

In the future you can leave 5 stars but mention that .....came up missing.

Thanks Sarah!

If you have a good relationship where they feel comfortable asking you.  Then I would try just asking nicely.

I can't seem to locate 2 towels, any ideas?

If  you don't ask then your guessing  maybe  correctly maybe incorrectly.  If they were that forgetful of their belongings your towels could just accidently be  buried in aaa suitcase not unpacked yet.If you  don't ask and they unpack in 3 weeks find unknown towels but you  haven't mentioned anything they are probably think you don't  care.

We have had towels missing pillows and bedding.

I send a onetary request for  the item or items  missing with their cost.

Usually have been paid by the guest with out any discussion.

Sometime, linens are packed by 

Mistake and returned.

Just be polite about it



I completely agree, handling it delicately is the first start. Sometimes mistakes happen. Start the conversation, ask what happened and then request a payment via the app. Some people say it's not worth the hassle, but it all adds up over time and after awhile people start to think it's okay because they get away with damaging or taking things.


As a side note, I highly recommend always having extra of things like this on hand for situation like this.

Hi Sheila.   I would just chalk that up to the cost of doing business.  I haven't had any missing towels yet….but we have had some broken wine glasses. And usually the guest will let me know.   Good Luck with your rentals!  

@Sheila803. All or some towels? Do you have in your check out instructions where to leave the dirty towels- thats usually a hint they need to be left behind...


If 100% of your towels are being taken at each stay then its called theft. But handle it tactfully by contacting them and asking them as perhaps they didnt realise. I once had a pillow accidently get taken and they didnt realise. I said it was more about the cost of replacing the expensive linen pillowcase and cover as I now had an odd set. Managed to get them to drop it off and all was sweet.


Another time one towel went missing from a large group of girls. I suspect they took it to cover up hair dye damage. I let it go.


Hope this helps. 🙂

Thanks for the response. I do say where to leave towels and sheets. Haven't had anyone follow these instructions yet. Dont think people are reading the house rules.

They took 2 face towels and accidentally took one of my large gray bath towels and left their gray bath towel. Their towel is a lighter shade. So now I have a gray towel that doesn't match my set. But I figure this is something that will probably walk away often so I just ordered more. 

Level 10
England, United Kingdom

@Sheila803 Its not worth the hassle of a claim but you should leave an honest review. We have never had it happen so lets hope its a one off for you as well.

Level 10
Charleston, SC


I haven't had this happen either. I had one recent guest, young couple, who was perfect, and had a chance to chat with during their stay, message me after they got home that they had accidentally packed one of the towels and offered to mail it back. I didn't notice it as I have two sets I change out so thought it must have been a hand towel or floor towel.. which I have extra so told them not to worry about it.. 

I would definitely not be giving a guest a 5 star review who took a towel. This is a good question though. I would mark them down and mention it in their review. The only thing I've had missing was a USB charger so just don't supply those anymore, and not going to make an issue out of that, and coat hangers so got the kind that stay secured because its just a hassle and other guest can complain if there aren't enough.. 

ETA: The reason I would mention it in the review, yet still be tactful, such as "excellent guest but a few things were missing, so moving forward would suggest being more careful when packing as host have to pay full replacement cost, but wish them the best moving forward!"

Because both host and guest can't see each others reviews until both write one they they can't be edited. And if its just a one off thing and you feel it was a mistake, could also just not leave a review and later after their review is posted send a message thanking them for the review, ask about the towel, and just suggest to be careful moving forward because other host may mention it in the river or file a claim.. and leave it at that.. 

Its ok though to not overreact and make something little into something big and each host has to figure out their own policy.. If sheets get stained I can usually get them out but simply don't review them and put them on the wont host again.. (and if its stains I can't get out would mark them down in cleanlensss) Its challenging for me because I don't want something little to blow up.. but after 4 years guest have never taken a towel so would likely just mention it in the review in a constructive way.. and leave it at that..

Level 2
Albany, GA

$5-10 per missing towel 

Level 2
Rochester, NY

Hi, @Sheila803 


I just replace the towels and chalk it up to the cost of doing business. The towels I use are great, but easy to replace. I toyed with idea of having very fancy towels, but I realize some might get damaged, lost, stained, etc. And then some did get stained, or damaged or lost, etc. This way I always have a stash of backups.  This goes for just about everything, linens, blankets, pillows, plates, cups, etc. I try to have extras of almost everything.  The higher ticket items are the tough ones. I'd consider going the aircover route in those instances. 


I hope that was helpful!