Carpet stains

Level 3
Victoria, Canada

Carpet stains

Hi I just replaced an area rug last month, due to a guest staining it with an unknown substance. Another guest just stained the new carpet. I have only been a host for 6 months and am ready to leave the site and make it a long term rental. I am trying not to be impulsive but I am beyond frustrated at the lack of respect people have for others’ property. I am hoping for some advice on how others deal with things like this? Do I forbid food and beverages anywhere but the kitchen?! Do I not allow long term stays? Both incidents happened during a 10 day stay. 
Thank you for any advice. I really don’t want to jump ship but I don’t live close to the property and it’s just been one challenge after another. 

19 Replies 19
Community Manager
Community Manager
Port Moody, Canada

Hello @Georgette53, welcome to the Airbnb Community Center,


I am reaching out to some of our expert Hosts to see if they would like to share some suggestions with you:@Lorina14@Nash-Cottages-LLC0@Sorcha3 and @Karlis3 





Please follow the Community Guidelines // Por favor consulta las Normas de la comunidad

Hi @Georgette53 ,

Many great tips and tricks have already been mentioned here.

From my side and experience:
1) photograph and document before and after.
2) File for AirCover
3) with a properly documented proof let the guests pay for the damage.
That easy. Treat it like a  business. Straight to the point and making people accountable. There is nothing wrong with doing that. And you have every right to do that.

Of course, this is dealing with the situation when it has happened.
It does not PREVENT it from happening.
For prevention techniques, refer to the other answers mentioned here.

Happy hosting,

Appreciate that, thank you. Problem is, both times I’ve brought it to the guests attention they’ve left bad reviews so I won’t be doing that again. I will suck it up as the cost of doing business. Or I will pull my property and rent it long term. I have lots of thinking to do. 

Level 10
Bellevue, WA

Hi @Georgette53!


Thanks for the tag @Paula,


I would state in your house rules that if something spills, please use the stain remover found under the kitchen sink. You can ask guests to kindly eat in the kitchen area but many people will disregard that or maybe think you’re too picky if you forbade them from eating in bed. I’ve had coffee stains on my mattress protector and sheets (good to have a double for everything) and stains on my wool rug (kimchee and blueberry stains) with our guests. Someone left a watermark in the nightstand next to the bed so I placed coasters next to the bed to encourage them to use that for their cups/drinks. I haven’t had a watermark issue since.


I personally used with great success Biokleen oxybleach plus powder in a small container mixed with a bit of water then placed on the stain, it has removed wonders and is non toxic. I provide a stain remover - grandma’s secret spot remover in the laundry area too. Others like the puracy spray stain remover. 

In my checkout process I ask guests to please let me know if anything is broken or needs attention to and some have let me know about things here and there (drain not draining well, heated floors not working) but the stain people did not let me know about the spills.


You can submit a claim to aircover to cover the cost of replacing your rug, just mention to the guest about the stain and part of the process of aircover is that it will ask them if they want to pay for the damages. If they decline then aircover goes into effect. I have heard forewarning the guest about this process helps them not to get upset about the problem but offers them the option to pay or decline (which most do) then aircover covers it. If you don’t do this, you may leave yourself open to complaints in the review process about the damages, etc. 


I have replaced sheets and duvet covers due to stains that haven’t come out and chalked it up to the cost of doing business. We even had a guest who broke the bed frame slats and didn’t tell us and I privately asked them to let me know in the future as it put us in a pickle with the next guests checking in 4 hours later. I didn’t charge them or file a claim though we just fixed it.


Overall things do happen and in the end you need to weigh your options of the inconvenience of dealing with these things if your cleaner cannot handle it or if it better for you to do long term rentals. Personally doing Airbnb brings in more income than if we had a 6-12 month long term renter. You will need to deal with cleaning more often and potential issues that arise from short term stays and weigh in to what is best for your situation. 

Also the guests who left stains were only here for 2 days or 7 days. The 2 month, 1 month, 3 week guests didn’t cause problems. It depends on the guest and their cleanliness and habits.  Good luck!

Thank you so much @Lorina14 ! I will take your advice into consideration!

Level 10
Seattle, WA

If you own a rental you have to figure on laminate flooring to avoid endless cleaning no replacement.

I do have laminate, it was an area rug that was damaged. It gets to -40 outside in the winter so no floor covering on the laminate likely would result in complaints. 

@Georgette53 , I have always invested in indoor/outdoor rugs. Some of the material used in these rugs are stronger and more resilient than your standard area rugs. They come in various sizes and designs and are easy to maintain (cleaning, vacuuming etc..). They are also very affordable. I typically buy 2 (one as a backup). Personally, I stay away from light colored area rugs, rugs with fringe edges and any material that takes long to dry (yes, we own our own carpet shampoo cleaner and we clean our own rugs every 6 month or as needed). 


Thank you! Great idea @Ana2038 !

Level 3
Portland, OR

Hi Georgette, 


   I have a lot of resources on my insta page its at sorchaandmattsgrandadventure! Def check that out. I try to pop in here 1-2 times a month but I am on there daily. 


   So I manage 8 airbnb's. Both my own, and for others and have 2 more airbnb's onboarding this month. Here's what I tell clients. 50% of new hosts will drop out within 6 months for exactly the same or similar reason's you have sited. This business (and make no mistake it is a BUSINESS) has a learning curve. You're learning how to set up your space to hold up to wear and tear and you're learning how to communicate rules/ expectations that may seem like common sense to you but may not be for someone else. 


1. You need to remember this is a business, and while you're sharing your home, you need to remember that no one views YOUR space the same way you do and that it's very normal for people to have accidents. Be prepared for them and ensure you're buffering in for wear and tear on your nightly rates. (I advise 5% of all bookings should go in a separate account for repairs/ replacements of items). Wear and tear is expected and something you need to develop an objective view of and address through pricing. It's not personal. They aren't trying to be disrespectful it's just not everyone is bothered by the same things, its part of being human and being different from one another. 


2. Buy a washable rug. You can get them from Amazon, or rugs USA (ruggable too but they are expensive). It will save you ALOT of $$ and time because they can be sprayed with folex or spray and wash and tossed in the washing machine. You can even tell guests that the rugs are washable! Sometimes guests will reach out and let me know. 


3. Make rules that state the following


"Damage or stains caused by guests to fabric surfaces which cannot be removed will incur replacement fee at guests expense. 


Guest must notify host immediately of any damage or inury.


By booking guest acknowledges they understand and agree to these rules." 


This way if someone damages the rug beyond repair you can submit a damage claim and get reimbursement. 


4. Think through how you can help your guests help you. Do you provide stain remover? Do you provide cleaning tools/ products to your guests so they can easily clean things up themselves? Where are they located, do you include those locations in your handbook? When you chose the materials that went into your bnb did you think about or purchase for stain resistance or how easy/ fast they are to clean?  This is all stuff you learn through trial and error and while it can be frustrating while you learn if you're priced right, it should be worth it. 


What you're experiencing  is a very normal part of the learning curve. The question you should be asking yourself is- Am I making enough $$ doing this that it's worth my time? If not, have you priced your space appropriately? What WOULD be worth your time? Can my local market and home support the price I WANT to charge for my time? 


Let me know if I can help! I teach new investors how to start, setup, and manage airbnbs all the time. 



Thank you @Sorcha3 ! I will check out your page! Right now I’m not making a profit. Breaking even I think. I don’t think I can increase the nightly rate, I’m already higher than others in town. I’m not sure it’s worth the headache. If I lived there maybe. Thanks again for the advice!

I'd be glad to review your listing with you gratis. Reach out to me on IG and we can set up a Zoom.

Level 10
Nashville, TN



Welcome to hosting and the community. Thanks for the nod, @Paula.


In reading the great advice from @Lorina14,  @Sorcha3, @Ana2038 and @Pete28, I'm not sure we have a whole lot to add. Our inclination was to tell you to remove the rug and go without, but you addressed that in one of your comments. We thought about having area rugs as well but opted not do have them for several reasons, but one being stains. You could always remove it and see how you like the space and how others react to your space without the area rug. 





Thanks @Nash-Cottages-LLC0 , I will take a look and see what it looks like without. I have 4 in the house. One in each bedroom and in the living room. I might just look for dark rugs or busy patterns. The property was an airbnb before I bought it and I bought the furnishings with it.