Airbnb Cleaning & Fees (9 Things To Know To Save Money)

In a hotel, we don’t need to think about cleaning.

On arrival at a hotel, the front desk gives us a clean room. On departure, we leave everything in place. The cleaning crew will do their job.

We also don’t need to pay extra for the cleaning. Everything is included in the room price.

However, Airbnb is different. 

In this article, we discuss 9 things about Airbnb cleaning so that you can save money.

Airbnb Not Clean On Arrival

If you find your Airbnb rental apartment isn’t clean on arrival, you should immediately inform the host and ask to resolve it.

The Airbnb is supposed to be clean on arrival. There should be no odor or dust. The dishes, fridge, laundry, bathroom, bed sheet, floor, rugs, and windows must be clean.

If you find anything dirty, contact the host immediately and request a refund for your cleaning fees.

Always contact the host through the Airbnb app. Take photos and video evidence that shows that your rental isn’t clean.

To get a refund when your Airbnb isn’t clean, you must inform the host and the Airbnb within 72 hours of arrival. After this period, Airbnb will not refund your cleaning fees even if your rental was dirty.

If the Airbnb host fails to clean your Airbnb or doesn’t give you a refund, involve Airbnb support. 

In this situation, Airbnb must refund the cleaning fee and the first night’s stay cost.

If Airbnb is unsafe due to water damage, molds, bed bugs, or other issues, you should not stay and contact Airbnb immediately for a full refund or alternative locations.

Give the host an appropriate review upon departure. Your review will help other guests with what to expect at this rental.

Are Airbnb Guests Supposed to Clean?

When you leave a hotel room, the hotel management doesn’t tell you to clean the room. They have dedicated cleaning staff who do these.

Moreover, hotels also don’t charge extra for cleaning. In contrast, most Airbnb charges a cleaning fee that ranges from $70 to $250.

The Airbnb hosts charge cleaning fees and sometimes ask guests to clean the entire apartment before leaving. They post instructions, such as, “leave the dirty bed sheets in the laundry, clean the dishes,” etc.”

It’s not only infuriating but also insulting.

Why should guests clean the apartment if they are already paying cleaning fees? The guest is not a cleaner. 

As a guest, you should do what is expected as a courtesy. Leave the rental tidy. 

If the Airbnb hosts ask too much of you to clean the apartment, don’t do it. They are already charging you money. These hosts are trying to minimize cleaning so the next guests can enter the rental sooner. 

You aren’t a cleaner. You are not supposed to clean the entire apartment. Just leave the apartment uncluttered. 

Before leaving the Airbnb rental, however, please take photos and videos.

Some unethical hosts would try to charge you more after you leave the rental by saying that you left the rental as a mess. These photos would prove them wrong.

Who Gets Airbnb Cleaning Fee?

Most Airbnbs are independent business owners who manage a handful of rentals. 

As a small business owner, cleaning multiple properties is impossible without outside help. Even if the host has one property to manage, most have other jobs, and Airbnb is their side income.

Thus, Airbnb hosts hire cleaners or management companies for cleaning their rentals. 

The cleaning fee most hosts charge typically goes to these cleaning services. Hosts aren’t supposed to keep anything from the cleaning fee.

However, over the years, we found that many hosts charge excessive cleaning fees and try to profit from it.

Is Airbnb Cleaning Fee Per Night?

The Airbnb cleaning fee is not on a per-night basis. It’s charged once per stay.

For example, if you book an Airbnb with a cleaning fee of $120, the host can only charge the amount once you leave the rental. The cleaning fee is only per stay basis, NOT per night.

Should I Clean Airbnb Before Leaving?

If the Airbnb rental you are staying in has cleaning fees, you are not supposed to clean the apartment before you leave.

The host must provide you with a clean rental and clean it after you leave.

In no circumstances the Airbnb host can force you to clean the apartment and ask you for money for cleaning fees. It’s unethical.

Don’t leave the rental in messy situations either. Instead, leave the apartment as tidy as possible. The cleaners hired by the host will do the rest.

You are not supposed to do the laundry, mop the floor or take out the garbage. It’s not normal. If any Airbnb hosts ask you to do that, they are trying to take advantage of you.

Simply leave the apartment as tidy as possible. That’s it.

It’s better to take some photos before leaving the rental so the host can’t scam you later.

Related: What happens if you damage something at an Airbnb property or you didn’t do it, but the host is fraudulently accusing you of damaging their property. Can Airbnb force you to pay the damaging fine? This article discusses everything you need to know about Airbnb rental damage.

Does Airbnb Cleaning Fees Include Dishes?

The Airbnb you are staying in should have house rules. These typically will describe what the cleaning fee includes.

However, if it doesn’t state what the cleaning fee includes, follow the guidelines outlined below.

If there are no cleaning fees or the host is charging a low cleaning fee, it’s highly recommended that you clean the dishes before you leave. A low cleaning fee means the host relies on you for cleanliness.

However, if Airbnb charges a significant cleaning fee, you should do your best to leave the kitchen as you found. Treat Airbnb as your home and do what you do in your home.

If the Airbnb host is already charging a substantial cleaning fee, cleaning dishes should not be expected. 

However, as a responsible guest, you should try your best to leave the kitchen in the state you found before you came in.

Do You Tip Airbnb Cleaners?

If you see a tip envelope, the probability is that the cleaners have left it, and the host isn’t aware of it. 

As a guest, you should not tip the Airbnb cleaners. It’s the host’s responsibility to pay a living wage to their cleaners.

Sometimes, the hosts charge the cleaning fees. And other times, the cleaning fees are already included in the rental price. 

The host should pay the cleaners, not you. As a guest, you are expected to get a clean rental regardless of whether you tip them or not.

If the Airbnb rental is clean and you give them five stars, the host should reward their cleaners with monetary compensation to encourage them. 

Thus, don’t tip the Airbnb cleaners as a guest. 

Do Airbnb Guests Have to Clean?

All Airbnb rentals have house rules. When you book an Airbnb, read the rules and learn what is expected of you as a guest.

If the rules don’t state anything about cleaning, then don’t do it. 

If the hosts contact you after you book the rental and tell you additional house rules which were not posted on the Airbnb website, contact Airbnb support immediately and tell them about the interaction with the hosts.

You should follow the house rules. If it’s not in the house rules, don’t clean, do the laundry, take out garbage, vacuum, or sweep the floor.

However, as a responsible guest, you should try to leave the rental in good condition, not in a mess. It’s a courtesy.

Some Airbnb hosts will argue that the cleaning fee is a preparation fee. It’s meant to prepare your rental before you arrive. So, you should clean everything before you leave. However, it’s flawed logic.

Nowhere in the Airbnb terms and service does it mention that the cleaning fee is a preparation fee. It’s a made-up term and flawed logic that Airbnb hosts use.

Can Airbnb Host Charge Extra for Cleaning?

In some rare situations, Airbnb hosts can charge you extra after you leave the rentals if you leave the rentals too messy.

Typically, these extra charges are taken from the security deposits. However, hosts will ask you to pay extra cleaning fees if there is no security deposit.

If you believe the extra cleaning fees are unjustified, you should contest the charges and refuse to pay.