Should I charge a cleaning fee?

Level 1
Brighton, CO

Should I charge a cleaning fee?

I am wondering what I should charge for a cleaning fee? Is there a particular criteria for cleaning fees? How do you all decide?


I haven't charged any fee so far since I usually just wash all of the linens myself after a guest has come and gone. It occurred to me today when I ran out of detergent (like three months early) that bleach, detergent, and the like cost money. I'm a new host, obviously.


For each reservation I generally wash four sets of towels plus however many hand towels were used (by previous guests). I also wash the mattress protector (1), pillow protectors (six), pillow cases (7), fitted and flat sheets, quilts (2), table cloth (1), kitchen towels (2), and every so often I wash or dry clean the pillows themselves. I use hypoallergenic detergent as well as splash less bleach and oxi-clean for whites. In addition to laundry I also use vinegar to mop the kitchen floor in the suite, Windex on the glass dining table, baking soda on the carpet before I vacuum, and I wash the shower/tub, sinks, and counters throughout with an all purpose, green spray. I use a bleach tablet in the toilet back every few months or so. I also Febreze the curtains and sometimes the carpet after vacuuming.


If I use any other products I am forgetting about them right now. 😃


30 Replies 30
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

As long as you are happy that your nighty rate covers your effort then you don't need to add a separate cleaning fee.

There is an argument that in case of any dispute it's a recognisable amount that can be refunded - not sure I really buy that however.
Level 10
Nashville, TN

Of course you should charge a cleaning fee.  People expect to pay one and there will come a time when you might want to hire someone to help.  It is the best way to increase your price and still get bookings.

I didnt  charge one at first and when I started to saw no decrease in booking.

Level 3
Napier, New Zealand

Yes to a cleaning fee.  We rent out the front half of our home as guests have their own lounge, bathroom and toilet and we have two listings of one bedroom or two bedrooms.  We have alot more to clean and tidy than one bedroom and a shared bathroom and i believe our fee is small at NZD15 for the one bedroom and NZD20 for the two as this takes time and products. 

Level 8
Los Angeles, CA

One of the unintended effects, and I would say benefits, of a cleaning fee is that it is a way to charge more for very short stays.


Charge 75 a night, and have a 20 dollar cleaning fee, then that in effect is 95 dollar a night for 1 night. 85 for 2 nights, etc.... And on a longer stay it is basically irrelevant, a guest staying 20 days would only be paying an extra dollar a day with the 20 dollar cleaning fee. 

What about taxes? If you charge a cleaning fee, should then you pay social security taxes for the work you do, whiel if you only charge for the rent you only need to pay income taxes? Can anbody answer this?

Level 10
Los Angeles, CA

What is customary in your area? I charge $30 because this is customary in my area. I've thought about charging more. While I have a 2 day minimum stay, I don't want to spend my life as a "maid" and the more cleaning I do represents more wear and tear on my sheets, bedding, towels, etc as well as on my washer and dryer. The cleaning fee encourages longer stays, which I am more OK with. 

I am with Giovanna, What about taxes? If you charge a cleaning fee, should then you pay social security taxes for the work you do,? Can anbody answer this? So if you don't change a cleaning fee and your price is $50 are your taxes different than if you charged $35 with a $15 cleaning fee? 

You pay taxes on the net amount you take in whether you clean or someone else cleans. Your 1099 shows no difference in treatment tax-wise.

Not exactly. It's substance over form. Doesn't matter what you call it on airbnb - cleaning or nightly fee. What matters is where that $15 went after the person paid. Did you spend all $15 on cleaning products or was the person neat and you only had to sweep after them (just for the sake of an example). If $15 was all spent on product, your take in is $0. If you used the same broom that you've been using for a year and spent 15 minutes sweeping, yes the $15 is taxable as your income. 

Level 2
Blue Ridge, GA

I have a separate cleaning fee of $75. Most do in my area because there are a lot of log cabins and the majority are taken care of by a management company. My guest suite is also over 900 sq. ft. and between laundry, cleaning, taking care of the hot tub and the outdoor space, takes me a good 3 hours.

Having a Hot tub is a big item to clean so I would charge for your time. The living space may become easier for you once you develop a system.  I would charge $25 or $30 for the clean-up.


I charge $10 but that is because I can turn it around in about 2 hours after washing the sheets. etc. and there is no hot-tub.

Level 10
Al Hadd, Oman



The fact that you will need to maintain the room and use cleaning products is a given, most of this should be factored into the daily price of the room.


In my case I do charge a separate cleaning fee, this is not to cover the cost of cleaning products but goes to the cleaner who come to clean the room.


As has been mentioned above people usually prefer to have the full price upfront, additional costs tend to deter guests, so you may want to consider factoring it into your daily rate.

Level 1
Union, NJ

I'm going to host one person for approximately four months straight. Can I clean on a weekly basis, and have the guest put the trash in the hallway each day. As for the cleaning fee how much should I charge? Do you have to change sheets daily?

I would ask them to put the trash out weekly. Clean weekly and fresh sheets weekly. They may not want you to do anything. Four months is more like a rental. 

Level 2
Kingston, Jamaica

I didn’t charge one initially (just like you I am a new host 1 month in). What I did was start with no fee , then reviewed what the hosts of similar units in my area were doing. They do charge . Most of them . The ones who do not , generally price a bit higher , my assumption is to offset cleaning and other maintenance. It’s a balancing act , but for certain , you have to ensure it’s profitable for you business and investment wise. Your time is money.