Spontaneous, affordable traveling has never been easier since Airbnb was introduced in 2008. Airbnb has built its success on the relationship between its hosts and their guests. A crucial factor in this relationship is the cleanliness of the lodging. Not only are hosts expected to provide clean accommodations, but guests are expected to maintain this cleanliness.
Every host and guest will have different expectations regarding the cleanliness and maintenance of their lodging. There is a benchmark for cleanliness that Airbnb expects its hosts and guests to maintain that generally coincide with their own expectations. Guests and hosts of Airbnb are equally responsible for meeting this benchmark.
While it is important to adhere to the standards that Airbnb sets, both hosts and guests should strive for exceptional levels of cleanliness. Airbnb features a rating system for both hosts and guests, which incentives both to go above and beyond in this regard. Keep reading to learn how to clean your Airbnb to meet the standards of Airbnb and your hosts or guests.
The Airbnb Standards for Cleanliness
Airbnb, like most other Silicon Valley tech companies, features an exhaustive list of terms of service. Within the 55,081 words that comprise this terms of service, there is a section that details the community standards that Airbnb expects its hosts and its guests to withhold. There are two different sections for hosts and for guests regarding cleanliness.
The section for hosts is fairly straightforward, only making the following assertion in the “Reliability” section.
- Providing Uninhabitable Spaces: You should not provide spaces with sub-standard cleanliness or undisclosed lack of running water or electricity. You should not provide spaces that are not legitimate sleeping quarters (e.g., camping gear), not stationary for the duration of the stay (e.g., moving boats), or lack access to dedicated restroom facilities (e.g., directing guests to use public bathrooms).
The section for guests leaves more to interpretation. Essentially, the guest is expected to comply with the rules that the host has outlined for their place in the listing information. Here is an example list of cleanliness rules hosts will often request their guests to adhere to.
- Wash dirty dishes and cookware
- Put dirty dishes into the dishwasher within one hour of use
- Clean out any food waste or debris from the sink
- Wipe down any spills or messes on surfaces where spills or messes may have occurred
- Sort and place trash and recycling in the corresponding bins
- Take out the trash and recycling
- Pile up all used towels, linens, sheets, and any other items that were used for sleeping and/or bathing during the stay
Additionally, many Airbnb hosts will institute guidelines for cleanliness during your stay. For example, many hosts will request that guests refrain from using certain towels, linens, sheets, cookware, or appliances. Many Airbnb hosts also request that guests use the exhaust fan located above the stove when cooking any meals at the place.
Often, hosts will institute a mandatory cleaning fee, which many guests interpret to mean cleaning up is not necessary. However, this is not necessarily the case.
Hosts tend to leave negative reviews for guests that do not make an effort to clean up after themselves. Thus, even if there are no cleaning instructions within the listing information, it is still recommended that guests clean up after themselves.
With all of this information in mind, let’s take a closer look at how guests and hosts should work to maintaining the cleanliness of their accommodations.
How Do I Properly Clean an Airbnb?
As there are different standards for guests and hosts regarding their role in maintaining the cleanliness of an Airbnb residence, there are also different expectations for both guests and hosts. While hosts are certainly expected to do more to maintain the cleanliness of their residences, guests are still expected to contribute their part.
Let’s take a look at the roles that both guests and hosts play in maintaining Airbnb cleanliness. First, let’s take a look at the role of a host in maintaining Airbnb cleanliness.
The Host’s Role in Airbnb Cleanliness
Airbnb has recently implemented a five-step enhanced cleaning process that all hosts are meant to follow. Airbnb has released an entire cleaning handbook that further elucidates this five-step process and offers tips for the best cleaning supplies and methods for completing this process.
Let’s take a look at this five-step process, as well as some of the tips that Airbnb offers hosts in this cleaning handbook.
- Prepare for Safer Cleaning: There are several facets involved in preparing an Airbnb for safer cleaning. The first thing you should do as a host is to begin ventilating each room before you begin cleaning. The WHO and CDC recommend that hosts ventilate their rooms before and during the cleaning process.
The next step should be gathering the necessary cleaning supplies. For hosts in the United States, the EPA has registered a number of disinfectant and sanitizer solutions that are sufficient. Then, take out any garbage and collect all dirty towels, sheets, and linens and place them in your laundry machine.
Finally, wash your hands using proper procedure, at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Now, you are ready to begin the cleaning process.
- Clean Dust and Debris: First, be sure to wear the appropriate protective equipment and unplug any fixtures or appliances that are connected to electricity before beginning. Then, begin washing all towels, sheets, and linens on high heat in the laundry machine and wash all dishes in the dishwasher or handwash if there is no dishwasher.
Then, it is recommended that you dust, sweep, and vacuum the floor and all surrounding surfaces before cleaning all hard surfaces with soap and water. Soft surfaces should be cleaned depending on their manufacturer’s instructions.
- Sanitize with Disinfectant: Once you have completed dusting, cleaning, sweeping, and vacuuming, you may begin sanitizing all hard surfaces with disinfectant. Hosts should prioritize high-touch areas such as doorknobs, light switches, faucets, and cabinets.
Once you have sanitized all hard surfaces, allow the disinfectant to stay wet for a length of time that should be specified on your product’s label. The flooring of a residence is included as a hard surface that should be sanitized.
- Check your Room-by-Room Checklists: Airbnb offers checklists that detail the cleaning guidelines for each specific room in a residence. Each room’s checklist features some variation of the five-step cleaning process with varying details regarding the common items and appliances found in each room.
Simply go through each room’s checklist and double-check to make sure that all hard and high-touch surfaces have been sanitized. Additionally, make notes of any items that need to be restocked.
- Reset the Room: Finally, the host is expected to reset the room to its advertised state before finishing up. This involves disposing of any cleaning supplies, emptying the vacuum, setting out new cleaning supplies for your guests, and washing your hands using proper procedure, at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
With that, you have completed the five-step process for assuring cleanliness in your Airbnb residence as a host. Now, let’s take a look at the role of a guest in maintaining an Airbnb’s cleanliness.
The Guest’s Role in Airbnb Cleanliness
There are certainly less explicit rules for how a guest should contribute to an Airbnb’s cleanliness. Each Airbnb listing features its own rules for cleanliness, but with a cleaning fee attached to most of these listings, many guests do not take these rules seriously. However, it is important that you do so for several reasons.
For one, although the host is expected to clean up before and after your stay, the cleaning fee generally covers the clean-up process preceding your arrival. Additionally, most Airbnb residences are property that hosts will use for themselves as well. Thus, you should treat your stay in an Airbnb like you would staying over at a friend’s house.
There are also repercussions for choosing not to adhere to the cleanliness rules stated by your host. For one, many hosts have the power to charge an additional fee for leaving their residence in an uncleanly state. All hosts also have the power to leave you a negative review, which could affect your ability to rent out Airbnb residences in the future.
With all this in mind, there are several things that guests should do to avoid these cleaning fees and negative reviews. Even if the Airbnb listing does not contain a set of rules regarding its cleanliness, there are still a few ways that guests should contribute to the cleaning process. These things are outlined in the sections below.
Pile Up All Linens, Towels, and Sheets
Although it is not the guest’s job to do laundry, it is considered a faux pas to leave dirty linens, towels, and sheets just laying around the residence.
Consider removing all linens and sheets from the beds that were used and piling them up next to the laundry machine with the towels. It takes five minutes, and your Airbnb host will greatly appreciate the gesture.
Load and Run Dishwasher or Handwash Dishes and Cookware
It is more than just a recommendation that guests should wash all dishes and cookware before leaving the Airbnb. Unwashed dishes can gather tons of bacteria over short amounts of time, and it can be very difficult to properly clean a dirty dish that has been left sitting for hours.
Leaving dirty dishes lying around will not only perturb your Airbnb host, but it could even be a health hazard. This is often what leads to cleaning fees, particularly when food debris is left in sinks as well.
Empty the Fridge of All Decomposable Food
In addition to the health concerns involved with leaving dirty dishes lying around, there are also similar concerns with leaving decomposable food in the fridge.
Although it is unlikely that there will be enough time between your stay and your host’s clean-up process for any serious deterioration to occur, it is still a nice gesture to remove all decomposable food from the fridge before leaving.
Take Out the Trash and Recycling
Finally, as is the case with the last two things mentioned in this list, there are health concerns with leaving the trash full inside the residence. It is also a common courtesy to take out any recycling that may have piled up during your stay in the region of your Airbnb separates trash and recycling.
Beyond this list, there are other things you may contribute to the cleaning process if you wish to go above and beyond, but these are certainly not expected. These can include vacuuming, mopping, or sanitizing the residence. Although it is recommended that you clean up any spills or messes made during your stay, it is not your responsibility to clean or sanitize the residence.
How Do I Clean Airbnb Fast?
By this point, we have outlined the necessary steps for guests and hosts to take toward upholding the cleanliness standards set by Airbnb. These steps should be completed by every host before and after hosting a guest and by each guest at the end of their stay.
However, with varied check-out times, guests can sometimes struggle to complete all the cleaning tasks listed above within the duration of their stay. On the other side, hosts can have limited time between guests checking out and checking in. This can make the cleaning process between guests feel hectic.
For guests and hosts alike, trying to adequately clean an Airbnb residence can feel stressful, but it doesn’t have to feel that way. If you are a guest or host that is looking for tips and tricks to cleaning your Airbnb residence as fast as possible, then look no further.
First, let’s take a look at some tips and tricks for hosts to clean their Airbnb residence as fast as possible.
Airbnb Cleaning and Tricks for Hosts
There are countless blogs and articles written by fellow Airbnb hosts that detail their optimal cleaning strategy for cleaning their residence as fast as possible in between guests. There are slight variations between each strategy, but most feature the same general ideas. Here is a list that compiles all of the best tips and tricks of each quick cleaning strategy.
- Keep the Airbnb Checklist on Hand: Although the checklist is available online, many hosts choose to print out a copy and check off tasks as they complete them. There are a ton of tasks on the checklist, and keeping a visual representation of which tasks you have and have not completed can be extremely helpful.
- Start with the Laundry First: The cleaning task that will take the longest is laundry. The first thing you should do is load the laundry machine. You can start completing other tasks while the laundry machine is running and probably finish before they finish drying.
- Color Coordinate All Linens, Sheets, Towels: To optimize the laundry process even further, you should try to coordinate all of your towels, sheets, and linens so that they are all the same color. So you could do all of your laundries together in just one load, without worrying about color bleeding.
- Slightly Damp Sheets Reduce Wrinkles: To optimize the laundry process even further, it is actually recommended that you remove your sheets and linens from the dryer while they are still slightly damp. Slightly damp sheets can reduce wrinkles once they dry, and removing them early makes the laundry process even faster.
- Start from the Top and Move Down: The most important thing to keep in mind when cleaning your Airbnb residence is to start from the top and work your way down. Start by dusting and wiping down countertops, cabinets, appliances, and anything above the floor. Then, move on to vacuuming and sweeping the floor.
- Buy Cleaning Supplies in Bulk: The worst thing that can happen while you are cleaning your Airbnb residence is to run out of a cleaning product. If you buy your cleaning supplies in bulk, you will never have to worry about rushing to the store last minute to buy an extra cleaning product.
- Buy a Cleaning Caddy for Your Cleaning Supplies: With an abundance of cleaning supplies, it can also help to store all of your cleaning supplies in a portable caddy. Therefore, you can access the cleaning supplies easily and move them around the residence together.
- Master the Hotel-Style Bed Making Technique: It is crucial to the look of your Airbnb residence that every bed is made up in the hotel-style. This can be difficult to master, but there are plenty of tutorials online that help you master the technique. Once you do, you will be able to make your bed in this style in under 2 minutes.
- Use a Lint Roller on Furniture: Some hosts can struggle with finding an efficient way to clean the furniture in their Airbnb residence. The best method for cleaning furniture made of any material is to use a lint roller. Lint rollers are easy to use and pick up a ton of dust, dirt, and other materials with each swipe.
- The Last Thing You Should Do Is Mop: Finally, once you have completed every other task, you can move on to mopping the floor. It is recommended that you leave this task until the end so that you minimize the footsteps that you track around the house. Additionally, you should let the mopped floor air dry before the next guest arrives.
Now, let’s take a look at how guests can expedite their cleaning process.
Cleaning Tips and Tricks for Airbnb Guests
There is far less that is required of guests in reference to cleaning tasks, which makes it difficult to expedite the process even further. However, guests do have an important role to play in maintaining the cleanliness of the residence during and at the end of their stay.
Here are some measures that guests can take to optimize the cleaning process during and at the end of their stay.
- Minimize the Amount of Food Kept in the Residence: One of the best things you can do as a guest to minimize the amount of time you spend cleaning up is to simply bring less food into the residence. Most of the cleaning tasks guests must complete revolving around cleaning dishes and removing food from the residence.
- Wash Dishes as You Use Them: You should also make a habit of washing dishes as you use them as opposed to waiting until the last minute to run the dishwasher. It can be difficult to properly clean dishes that have been sitting out for a while, and washing dishes is the longest task guests are expected to complete.
- Bring Your Own Makeup Wipes: Although this may not make the clean-up process much faster, many hosts complain that their towels get ruined by guests who have used them to wash their makeup-laden faces. Remember to bring plenty of makeup wipes next time to avoid a cranky host.
- Limit the Number of Guests: One of the best things you can do to make hosts happy and expedite the clean-up process is to simply invite fewer guests to stay in the Airbnb with you. Some guests try to sneak additional guests in, but this is typically apparent to the Airbnb host and only leads to complaints and more clean-up.
- Venture Out: The absolute best thing you can do to minimize the amount of time you spend cleaning up is to simply spend most of your time outside of the Airbnb. Airbnb’s are ultimately meant to be used as lodging options for travelers. Go out and eat in local restaurants and experience the local culture. Use the Airbnb as a respite.
With these tips and tricks in mind, you should be able to optimize your cleaning process as an Airbnb guest.
How Do I Clean Airbnb Thoroughly?
By this point, we have outlined the necessary and recommended cleaning tasks for Airbnb hosts and guests to complete as well as the fastest ways to complete these tasks. Although all of the methods mentioned in this article are sufficient in cleaning your Airbnb residence, there are additional steps you can take as a host to ensure your Airbnb is thoroughly cleaned.
Here is a list of several additional steps you can take as a host.
Schedule Periodic Deep Cleans
Apart from the numerous surfaces you should be sanitized after every guest’s stay, there are several tasks you only need to perform every once in a while. These tasks tend to be associated with regular home maintenance and are generally unnoticed by guests.
Examples of these tasks include shampooing carpets, cleaning closet corners, cleaning inside cabinets, cleaning inside and under the oven, wiping baseboards, and cleaning the showerhead. Since these tasks only need to be completed every so often, it helps to set a schedule for each task so that you do not forget to complete any of them.
Run a Diffuser or Use Essential Oils
A major part of cleanliness, or at least the appearance of cleanliness, is the smell of the Airbnb residence. One of the first things guests will notice when they enter your Airbnb is the smell of the place. If it smells clean, guests are more likely to perceive the residence as clean.
The best way to achieve a clean smell is to either run a diffuser before they arrive or, if you do not possess a diffuser, to hide a paper towel coated in essential oils somewhere in the residence where the guests will not stumble upon it.
Keep the Airbnb Stocked
In addition to purchasing cleaning supplies in bulk, hosts should also keep their residences stocked with plenty of supplies for the guests to use. These supplies can include toilet paper, paper towels, sponges, dish soap, and anything else the guests can use to maintain the residence’s cleanliness.
If there are plenty of cleaning supplies present in the residence, guests will be more likely to keep the residence clean. Additionally, guests will be less likely to use towels or other objects around the residence that should not be used to clean up messes.
Hire a Cleaning Service
Finally, although this is certainly not expected of an Airbnb host, you may benefit from hiring a cleaning service to come in between guests or to perform deep cleans. Many hosts would rather hire professionals to do the cleaning than to routinely clean the residence between each guest themselves.
Hiring a cleaning service also means you have to worry less about purchasing cleaning supplies and performing routine deep cleans. However, it Is certainly much less expensive to simply do the cleaning yourself.
These are all the additional steps you can take as a host to ensure that your Airbnb residence is thoroughly cleaned.
At the end of this article, you should know a little bit more about how to clean your Airbnb to meet the standards of Airbnb. Additionally, you should understand the differences in similarities between what is expected of Airbnb hosts and guests in regard to cleanliness.