Cleaning Fee covers what exactly?

Level 2
Kingston, Jamaica

Cleaning Fee covers what exactly?

Looking for some quick help with this issue . . . I am new to hosting here and currently have my first booking in my listing. My understanding of the Cleaning Fee, is that it covers cleaning for the guests arrival (and in some ways cleaning after), but not for cleaning during.


The Guest in this booking asked me at check-in when she can expect the apartmetnt to be refreshed. She said she uses Airbnb all the time and that is what she has come to know, 2/3 days into the booking. Her booking with me is for 6 nights. She also said that she did not see the purpose of paying for cleaning service if she was not going to "benefit from using it".


Also, I hate asaumptions but what could the expectation of "refreshed" be? New bed linens?? New towels??


I have searched through the Airbnb site and cannot find anywhere answers or guidance to this issue . . . 


As a first time host, first booking etc. I am fearful of the "dreaded" bad review especially on something that I may have to speak to the Guest about. 


Help is greatly appreciated!!!

41 Replies 41
Level 10
Kraków, Poland

@Chadrick-and-Alison0 It is not stated in airbnb's policy. Since airbnb started as a sharing economy platform, it is assumed the conditions hosts provide are more home-like than full-time servicing.


To avoid problems, I put a clear message in my profile what the cleaning fee covers. I guess you, too, need to explain to your guests  what YOUR rules are. In areas where there are a lot of hosts, they might compete to attract guests or encourage them to leave better reviews by actually servicing them like you described. But it is left to the host's discretion to do so or not. I wouldn't. Those demanding guests never leave good reviews (from my experience).

// "The only person you can trust is yourself"

I have slept on it and have made a decision to go into the apartment and check on its level of cleanliness, and check on the supplies left (toilet paper, paper towel in the Kitchen, handwash, etc.).  And will talk to the Guests about the policy separately.


I have already resigned myself to expecting a bad review of some sort. Which is highly unfortunate considering the circumstances. I am considering contacting Airbnb beforehand as well (just in case).  . . .


Thanks @Marzena4 for your advice. Going forward I will be updating my profile to clarify these things . . . 



In my opinion, cleaning fees are just used to discourage short-stay guests. The higher the cleaning fee, the less likely you'll have someone stay for one or two days. 




Personnally, I didn't charge a cleaning on the beginning. However, whenI realized that 80% of the guests don't clean after themselves and barely don't even strip the linen, which I explain on my rule, I decided to charge a $45 fee. It's a peggy bank for broken glasses, stain blanket which I can use again if the stain does not come out, and cleanig supplies and my 3 hours cleaning. 

Interesting view. We have stayed in about 20 Airbnb's and our current one is the 1st one to ask us to strip the linens on departure, take out the trash and do the dishes along with tidying up the apartment....while still charging us a $78 cleaning fee. Mind you, we have always done all of those things except for stripping the bed.

Level 10
СПБ, Russia


Airbnb simply say this about the cleaning fee on the website - 


'Cleaning fees help hosts account for extra expenses they have getting their listing ready before guests arrive or after guests depart.'


Probably the guest has caught you on the hop by introducing her own definition of the fee as payment for a kind of maid service.

It's up to you to manage the expectations of a guest though, so this is maybe a good learning point and experience for you.


I think the majority of hosts would only consider changing sheets over, replacing an adequate supply of towels and additional cleaning for stays of at least a minimum of seven days or more, regardless of what your guest is telling you.


You may consider reviewing your cleaning fee you charge so it really reflects these expenses you have and adjusting your nightly charge if appropriate.

@Elena87 Thank you so much for the response . . . Definitely a learning experience! I will be making adjustments to my listing to accomodate this, and to ensure I find myself covered in the long run . . . 

Level 10
Kraków, Poland

@Chadrick & Alison



Tell your guest, hotels don't charge cleaning fee's and perhaps she might consider staying at the local hotel apparently, they do a refresh every day for nothing, its only 3 times more expensive to stay there, but think of the saving she'll make on cleaning fees.




In my opinion she high maintenance and trying to take advantage of your novice status.


Your listing is very nice indeed perhaps your Guest has Five Star Hotel expectations, and in that case tell her the local Hotel is only 10 times more expensive.




The Explorer's Club Krakow III


@Cormac0 . . . Thank you for responding and the compliment on our Apartment. I will have to ensure that I make some adjustments to the details in our Listing. But sometimes I fear it makes no sense because most people do not read details, they merely scan through . . . Case in point, one of my top House rules is No Smoking. She asked about smoking when my Husband (Chadrick) met them at check-in. As you (and I) picked up . . . "High maintenance". I have resigned myself to expect a bad review. 


Thank you again . . . 

@Cormac0 LOL 😄 


@Chadrick-and-Alison0 cleaning fee at my opinion not only covers extra expense of cleaning the apartment and washing sheets/towels before/after but also the time spent on doing that + time spent to meet the guests on their arrival. It is very time consuming especially when the host lives at another place.

For example our cleaning fee of 10-30€ is very low considering all of the above but at least gives some "discount" to guests who stays longer.

Cleaning the apartment mid-stay is usually every 7 days and it gives the host the oportunity to check out/controll the property as well. Instead of giving weekly discount we offer weekly cleaning.


If your guest expect you to clean the place every day then she would be better suited at the hotel. 



@Chadrick-and-Alison0 Also, if I were in your shoes, I would mention it in the review. You will never know what they have written about you until you write your own review for them.

// "The only person you can trust is yourself"

This is exactly how I felt with my 3rd guest: complained about everything, call 5 times in 24 hours and paid a cheap motel price for a whole 1 bedroom condo, with 2 smart T.V a huge deck, packed with condiments, extra linens... It's better to charge more and a cleaning fee: it selects the good guests. Quality over quantity, and I'm make more money while I work less. And you're right, they can go to Motel 6, and I don't need this type of guests.

Is it 3 times or 10 times more expensive? Decide

@Chadrick-and-Alison0   I  add it into the nightly fee to cover a cleaning before they come, and state that guest is responsible for cleaning up after themselves, things seem to run smoother that way  no trashing of the place and leaving dirty dishes because having paid a cleaning fee they expect someone to clean up after them.  I do offer fresh sheets and extra towels for longer stays.  If mine wasn't a share I would offer a cleaning day as extra to what I have absorbed into the nightly fee, it allows the host to check-in on the state of things before it's too late.