Charging guests for damaged sheets & towels.

Level 3
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Charging guests for damaged sheets & towels.

i have been having a lot of damaged sheets & towels lately, & when i mention to the guests that they will need to pay for them, a number of times the respnse is: "if i were to stay at a hotel, they would not charge me for such damage."


after a comment like that, i am worried to charge them for the damage out of fear a getting a bad review, but i am also losing a tremendous amount of money having to replace damaged sheets and towels.


can anybody advise me on this matter, & also share how they handle this sort of situation?


thank you for any help!

1 Best Answer
Level 10
Zagreb, Croatia

hm... can you shop via ebay? 

anyway... try to wash it on high temperature or just use bleech or vanish

View Best Answer in original post

56 Replies 56
Level 1
Bay St Louis, MS

I see that this is an older thread, but this issue is definitely ongoing! I got a tip from a friend who has hosted for years - make sure guests know right up front that any damages or unreasonable amounts of cleaning will be charged extra.


In my listing itself I have only the basic most important house rules, but with an additional explainer for guests brand new to Airbnb. One of those is - do NOT confuse me with a hotel by messing my stuff up or by stealing anything.


Then inside the room I have a printed house manual, Places to Go, Things to Know, where I again politely spell out the differences between me and a hotel chain. And mixed in with tons of tourist information is a very detailed list of house rules.


Right up front is damages to property, including linens, where I write that if a guest does not let me know that something has been damaged, they will automatically be charged an additional $100 service fee as soon as I find it. Including make up, oils, etc on towels and sheets.


And on the microwave is a label stating that an automatic additional cleaning fee will be charged if they do not use the plastic plate cover provided. I got so tired of guests leaving it looking like a splatter movie prop and the additional half hour it took to clean!


So far this all seems to be working as a deterrent.


I also have another host friend who only buys all linens on sale at Walmart, Tuesday Morning, Big Lots, etc. 

Purple power engine degreaser! 

Level 2
Belleville, NJ

Hello everyone hope everyone is safe, I m new and will be hosting soon and WOW! its crazy the situations all of you have been through.


Im reading and taking notes , Ive been thinking of charging a $250 deposit in case of damages to the property, $50 for each damaged or stolen linens or towels and $500 on damaged furniture. would this be to much to start?


The whole place is new, furniture , appliances, beds, linens towels, everything is brand new.

Yinette Scheker Garcia
Level 2
Kingsbridge, United Kingdom

Hi everyone,


It's very interesting to read everyone's experiences and see that you all share the same frustrations.

I was thinking to include a note to guests prior to check in to kindly ask them to bring their own towels if they wear fake tan, but it just does not seem like a very 'boutique' thing to do.

Has anyone else implemented something like this?

I am new to Airbnb this year and have been busy with bookings throughout the summer which is great. Generally guests have been pretty considerate of the house rules, but I have had issues with satine towels and linen. I like to have fresh clean white linen and fluffy white towels and I don't really want to change this. However I have lost one very nice duvet cover due to a black stain - they must have put something dark on the bed when it was wet and the dye ran out. I tried everything - even paid for professional stain removal but nothing happened - write off! I also had guests who word fake tan and I tried everything to remove the stains but I can still see yellowish marks on them - not the look I was going for for my guests checking in 😞 If I word fake tan I would take an old tole on holiday with me wouldn't you? In fact I dye my hair and when I go away I take a black hair towel with me. So I guess I was shocked at the negligente. They were great guests to communicate with and left the place otherwise clean and tidy - but my towels are damaged for good and like the rest of you, I can't afford to keep replacing items like this. I've also lost a tea towel and there's been the odd little dried blood stain here and there.

I always place a couple of dark face cloths by the sink with a notice to guests who love their make-up.

I now have a sign to kindly ask guests not to use the white towels if they wear fake tan, but I haven't provided any dark towels - that quite an expense to provide dark towels as well - not to mention the extra washing and ironing.

I haven't charged guests for these stains but to be honest I'm going to have to start doing so as it's just as bad as ripping stuff up - you can no longer use them.

Any advice is welcome 🙂

Heidicha DS


Level 2
Saint Martin

This is the problem «  hotel wouldn’t charge for such damage » the guest says?????  But Hosts ARE NOT HOTEL!!!! So that does give the rights to stain towels as they are please.  That is de respectful of them I will definitely  charge the guest for damages.

Level 2
Ubud, Indonesia

I found this topic because I also had a tenant that damages items in one of my unit and the damages were made because the tenants were careless and disrespectful with my place.
The bed sheets, pillows and decoration pillows were full of sperm, allover. One of the rug on the side bed was socked wet (i do not want to even say what it was it), smelly and made the entire place stinky. Another small item that was damage, is a $1 rice-maker spatula in plastic that they used to fry... Its only a dollar but proves how they were careless and disrespectful.  There were other things that I am not going to list. However, I request to pay for the damage and surely I do not want to host them again in my place.

If the tenant will tell me that an Hotel would not request such damages, I would tell the tenant that Airbnb community is not for you and next time you better get an hotel room that cost 4 times more and there you can damage everything you want!

We’ve recently found single use makeup removal wipes and placed them with a note to “please use for makeup removal.” So far, no more ruined washcloths.

Level 2
Holden Beach, NC

I have had "damaged" sheets and towels from make up removal and one guest actually spray tanned herself and then got in bed- all of the bedding was orange.

I now tell guests they may bring their own sheets & towels or for a fee I will provide them.  I charge a flat fee and have a service do this for me as I am out of town for the majority of my rentals.  

It is a seperate charge like a cleaning fee and easier to track then if you include it in your pricing.

Unfortunately it's the couple of bad apples that made me put this in place.  I provide many other items as my added value for my place- like a starter "kit" of TP, PT, dish soap, dishwasher soap, hand soap.  I also have laundry soap/dryer sheets, toiletries and basic condiments, spices, coffee/filters.


This is the first year I am doing this and so far it's worked out fine.

Level 10
Page, AZ

I am also having the same problem. I have charged guests for ruined sheets when they were brand new and their child used a marker on them! I've also had stains left on older sheets and knew it was time to replace and the guest had no bad intention, just an accident. For me it depends on the circumstances wether or not to charge. Problem is you may get a bad review and that is always my dilema. 

What I have learned to do is immedietly when the guest leaves ask them if they enjoyed there stay and tell them I strive for 5 star reviews and would love any feed back from them on how I can improve guests stay. Then I go do the review. This way there is nothing negative and if they decide to leave a review it will most likely be good. Once they leave their review then I charge them for the items before the 14 days are up. Seems the best way to get reimbursed and to avoid bad reviews. Airbnb needs to improve review system in my opinion.

it only works if you don't have a next guest coming before you charge the guest. i.e. If guest leave on monday, you have a new guest coming on the Monday. You can't charge the previous guest after tuesday, since you need to file it before the next guest checkin. It happened to me and airbnb decline my claim. 

Level 10
Swansea, United Kingdom

This needs thought doesn't it?

Someone else seemed to think we exchange reviews THEN SUBMIT CLAIM. aS WE HAVE 60 DAYS (is that correct???) to file a claim.

So review

then AFTER 15 days make a claim?? But how does this fit with making a submission before arrival of the next guest? Unavoidable that Guest will become aware of a claim prior to reviewing... thus retaliation possible.

Level 2
Gainesville, FL

Hey Carissa! 

In this situation I would defintely try your best with bleach or whatever cleaning materials might do the job, if that doesn't work I would definitely ask the guest to cover the cost to replace the items. Perhaps send them a link to the items and charge exactly what it's worth so that they can see you're not trying to make a profit on it, just replacing it (and if possible provide a photo of the item). I feel like most hosts have a fee for keys that are lost so you should be able to have other items covered as well. My guests have always been amenable if something has been broken or damaged but I do understand the fear if you receive push back to the matter. It is a tough call though either way because every guest is different and might have a different response. 

Level 2
Ansonia, CT

What are the best color too use for bed linens?

Level 10
Page, AZ

I use white so I can bleach them or use peroxide on them for blood. I also prefer to sleep in white sheets myself and thats how I prepare all my houses is up to my personal standard.

Level 10
Como, CO

From a practical point of view I have read reports from some Hosts who have had success in recovering costs and others who have not.


Might help to makle clear in your listing that you will charge such costs.

Level 3
New Orleans, LA

 My last guests got blood on BOTH  of my king size sheet sets, a mattress pad  and a blanket with a replacement cost over $200. 


Airbnb actually helped me fill out the reimbursement request (a glitch in the app was making it impossible for me to do this myself, it  is not their SOP to fill out  RR for hosts). During this process I found out that officially it is the 

GUESTS RESPONSIBILITY  to pay for these damages and could be  deducted  from the security deposit, no contest!  




Let's do some math, I pay $1200/mo for rent, $50 internet, $150 utilities, $100 laundry (including Uber to and from laundromat), $50 for coffee /fruit /pop tarts for breakfast, $100 & up on cleaning supplies and other maintenance related items, $50 hired help when I'm really busy = $1700

I make about $2100/month leaving  $400


Now factor in quarterly taxes and the cost of start up and hours of work each week  spent maintaining  the space... 


It is not an option to eat this cost, Airbnb agrees with me, and I will not risk my health or my guests health by scrubbing a biohazardous stain from a replaceable item and reusing that item 


Level 2
Ensenada, Mexico

I just had the same problem,my house fits up to 13, and it happens at least once a month that I get a few towels with permanent stains and I have to replace them. This time, we had a party of 13  and stained 25 towels and 6 sets of sheets and 2 mattress protectors with blood, mud, soda, makeup and dirt. They left them on the kitchen floor, on the living room, dining room floor, etc. I am sure they cleaned their shoes with them too. I have never been in a situation where they distroyed pretty much all of my linens.

I am afraid if I ask them to pay they will get mad and find something to complain about and give me a bad review. What should I do?

Level 2
Albuquerque, NM

You have time to submit a request for money, wait until after the 14 day review time period expires and then submit the request. If they do not respond, get Airbnb involved. Save your receipts for the purchase in the event you're required to provide proof of purchase.

Level 10
Page, AZ

Lucy see my response below on what I do to avoid bad reviews yet get reimbursed! I would absolutley charge them for your linens. That was complete disrespect for your house and other hosts should be aware of these guests. I did just learn that if a guest gets a 3 star review they can no longer use Instant book which is great for future hosts but really bad for the guests.

@Carissa4   I would just figure out how much it costs you to replace the sheets and towels, average the cost out over the year and up your price per night accordingly.   Airbnb would most likely see it as "wear and tear" and not cover it so it's not worth the roller-coaster ride to even start a resolution.

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