Cleaning fees

Denver, CO
Level 7

I have been bumping up against an AirBnB dilemma that I would love other hosts’ opinions on. As a host I charge a fair ($25) cleaning fee for our one bedroom/one bathroom rental. My husband and I turn the space over on our own and can clean it in one hour or less. Our home is new (less than 2 years old) and we have very high cleaning standards for our rental. We regularly clean baseboards, windows, corners for cobwebs, you get the idea.

My dilemma is in regards to traveling as an AirBnb guest. Because I know the behind the scenes of hosting I am of course much more particular. On a recent vacation we rented a studio apartment that added on an $85 cleaning fee. I felt that was fairly high but realizing I was traveling to a beach town figured the host was just trying to add on some extra $$ to her payout and show a bit lower nightly renal fee to potential guests. My qualm came when I showed up to the bnb rental and saw the dust, hair, dirty walls/cabinets, etc. Whomever is cleaning the space is doing a less than adequate job and certainly not deep cleaning ever. 

To make matters worse there was a sign above the sink threatening renters to incur an additional $25 fee if they did not do their dishes. There was also a list of other check out chores including trash, etc. 

Am I crazy in my thinking that it is ridiculous to be asking your guests to be cleaning the space after you’ve charged them quite a large cleaning fee?! What is the cleaning fee for? As I said I’m an experienced host so I get what it takes and I never micromanage my guets regarding their cleaning duties. And 9/10 times we have lovely guests who do the right thing without our asking! I prefer the idea of bringing out the best in others by extending trust  rather than micromanaging which usually seems to backfire anyhow. 

I’d love to hear other hosts’ thoughts on this matter! Thanks- 

3 Replies

Re: Cleaning fees

Hamilton, MT
Level 2

So far I have only had one similar experience, the place I rented required that I strip the bed and also start the laundry before I left, as well as do the dishes...the place was clean however , to the point of barren, on my arrival. I don’t remember the other requirements, but a few.

I think additional requirements should have to be listed by the hosts ahead of time, and if not, guests should have recourse. My extras also were not posted with the listing. 


Re: Cleaning fees

South Korea
Level 10


Imo, you're not crazy......... I'm personally NOT a fan of the cleaning fee.


BUT I think in the end, nightly rates vs. cleaning fee doesn't really matter. It's about the total paid vs. what I got in return. If I feel I paid enough to get a clean, decent, well-managed listing then that is what I will expect regardless of whether there was a cleaning fee or not. Or, even with a hefty cleaning fee if the total sums up to be worth only a bare bones basic place to sleep and shower and not much else, then that will be what I expect.

Re: Cleaning fees

Level 10

I would love to NOT charge a cleaning fee but because of Airbnb's idiotic system, guests see the nightly fee, not the total cost. So when comparing, we're all stuck.

I think "total" fees should be required the way it is with airlines so there is equity.  I'm forced to have a lower nightly fee and tack on the cleaning fee to cover the real cost of doing the linens. What gets me is when I look at a place as a guest and the rate is reasonable but the cleaning fee is $100. I just don't book those.

The cleaning fee acts as a discount since the longer you stay, the lower the daily cost of that fixed fee.

But yes - it's the bane of people's existence.

But be careful about applying your standards to someone else's place. I have a modest fee ($50) even though it takes 4 hours to clean and sanitize the space. I expect the dishes washed and put away and the apartment straighted up. We strip the beds and do the laundry. I ask that used towels be tossed. If the guest is staying over for Monday - I provide information on how to handle the trash for weekly pickup. Otherwise we do it. So far no one has complained.

Before booking - look at the house rules. What is expected should be in the listing rules. But I do know that hiring help is expensive - that's probably what you are paying for in a beach town.

Having read these boards a lot, there are many guests who think paying "any" cleaning fee means they don't have to do anything.  I try to screen those people out which is why reviews help a lot. But yes - I think all those "signs" are because of the location and the host's past experiences with guests who left a mess.

Join the conversation