Hi Airbnb family,
I need some help. We have a repeat guest who works in our city but has a long commute home. She stays during her work week in our Airbnb.
Her first stay, she wiped makeup on a couple towels and ate in the bed. The makeup came out so not too big a deal. I debated messaging her (because she already had/has future bookings with us) kindly asking her to not use towels to wipe makeup off and offering to provide her some makeup wipes.
My husband (who is very business minded) suggested not doing that as to not upset her and lose her business. His mindset is that we are in the hospitality business and may suffer some losses when it comes to towels and such.
She just left from her second stay and I had to clean today since our cleaner needed off. Well, it made me sick to my stomach. I have 5 different towels/sheets she stained with food or something. Stain on the rug. Her dyed hair stained our sink, was able to fade the mark by scrubbing like crazy. I got the stain mostly out of the rug too. Doing the laundry now.
Hubby again says to see if all stains come out, if so, he claims no damage is done and not to worry or mention anything to her.
However, my thoughts are that she just gets worse and worse each time until she actually permanent damaged something.
What are your thoughts? Risk the chance of pissing her off by asking she be a little cleaner? (She has booked all non-refundable stays) let her continue and hope she doesn't keep getting worse and worse?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
@Elizabeth1506 As far as the makeup wipes goes, I would just buy some, or start putting out dark coloured facecloths (charcoal or black would work) when she stays. Some people choose to put them in a container like a basket and specifically label them as makeup removal cloths.
As far as the overall cleanliness, I would mention it to her politely. Dying hair is something that's best left to the professionals or done at home: I think it's very disrespectful to do it in someone else's space, because there's almost always some kind of issue with staining something. This type of wear and tear isn't normal, and I disagree with your husband that you should put up with someone being that disrespectful of your property and causing permanent damage. You don't need to be a door mat just because she's paying you to stay.
Maybe say something like:
Thanks for booking with us for dates x to x: we look forward to hosting you again!
After your last stay, we did notice some stained towels and sheets, as well as food on our rug and a dye stain in the sink. These issues did cause extra cleaning on our part, and although we're not asking you to pay for our time, we would just ask that you try and avoid spills during your future stays with us. We know you love our space, and we want our place to be perfect for your future stays, so please help us keep it that way!
We do appreciate you choosing our property, and if there is anything we can do for you, please let us know.
If she continues to leave a mess, I would honestly consider calling Airbnb and asking them to relocate her future stays elsewhere.
@Elizabeth1506 this is a tricky one! I have a business guest that repeated regularly and left some specific icky remnants in the bathroom. Every time I cleaned after I wanted to say something, but never did bc really what could I say that would maintain the relationship. I dont think anyone ever wants to hear "hey, you're a slob, please do better". My strategy was to make sure that my pricing made hosting him worth the cleanup.
btw, could your husband be the one to clean the space next time she leaves?? that might get yall on the same page about if she's worth it or not
I was going to suggest that perhaps the husband should try cleaning and see for himself how much more work it involves. however, @Kelly149 beat me to it. 🙂 I think some make-up wipes, set in an obvious place, with a cute little boldly printed note about not using the towels, might drive the point home.
@Elizabeth1506 Why do you want to keep hosting a person who eats in your bed and stains your linens? I can see not asking for damages, but your initial mistake was to not be more clear as to your expectations, like no eating in the bedroom. You should absolutely spend $5 on make up wipes to save who knows how much on towels. I think @Alexandra316 's sample message is pretty on point. But if it were me, I would stop hosting this person unless you are desperate for the bookings.
it's simple, the next time your guest checks out tell your husband to go and clean after her. I bet he will change his mind 🙂
Talk to your guest and if she doesn't like it and doesn't book with you in the future - perfect! you are saved 🙂
@Elizabeth1506 Tip from someone who was once a teenager with a blue mohawk: a good rub with nail polish remover gets hair dye stains off of porcelain surfaces instantly, before mom gets home.
Even so...I agree that it is really inconsiderate to dye one's hair in someone else's home.
Going forward, I'd suggest feigning an apologetic tone with the guest and telling her that in previous stays you'd forgotten to show her the special black washcloth dedicated to makeup, and to mention that food and drink are only allowed in the kitchen/dining area. That makes your boundaries clear without explicitly putting the blame on the guest.
I tend to operate like your husband. And I have a similar situation with a women who works in the area and has stayed with me a number of times. She isn't every clean either and while I continue to welcome her back, I roll my eyes when I see that shes booked again.
I think the trick here is to get ahead of the guest. Whenever a woman or a group of women are set to stay, I replace all the washcloths in bathroom with black ones. I've never had to throw away a black washcloth. You might even consider buying this guest her own set of dark towels (something inexpensive from Target) and put them in the bathroom everytime she stays.
You could put a framed note on the kitchen counter that gives guests some general cleanliness rules. Such as, please refrain from eating/taking food outside of the kitchen, please wipe down the counter after use, etc. This guest won't know that you are directing this at her but that you are trying to enforce rules will all guests.
I've had many guests leave a blue/pink/purple hue on towels and sheets from what I assume is shampoo/hair dye but it has always come out (I have white sheets/towels.) The cleaner Soft Scrub with Bleach will easily take it off porcelain and tile in the bathroom.
or if you're going to get her special towels, how about they be the stained ones from last time....
leave a note in your most beautiful handwriting and stationary: "we couldn't get out all the stains from your last visit, but since it was your stains we knew you'd understand"
You might leave a note that just says something like
Thank you for booking with us again. A few things have changed since you last stay and it's important for all guests to know that we no longer allow......we expect.....we ask that.....
That way it might not seem directed at her...?