Why Airbnb’s Cleaning Fees So High?

I’m a hotel guy. Whenever I’m on a road trip, either I camp at a campground or stay at hotels. I rarely stay at an Airbnb. It’s because, in my opinion, short-term stay at an Airbnb, such as 1 night, is not economical. Short term stay at an Airbnb costs way more than a hotel. 

A hotel charges you only room rent and taxes. That’s it. But if you try to book an Airbnb, it will charge you room rent, Airbnb service fee, Host-imposed cleaning fee, and taxes in some states. Let’s look at the example below.

Airbnb Cleaning Fee Example

I tried to book a rental property for 1 night only. The rent of the property per night is $146. But in reality, it will cost me a total of $252 for 1 night. A $146/night property owner charges $75 for cleaning his property to the incoming guest. In the same picture above, look at the other example. A $150/night property would cost you $200/night, and a $95/night property will cost you $165/night in reality. 

A hotel never charges the guest any cleaning fee, then why an Airbnb hosts charges that absurdly high cleaning fee? Isn’t it ridiculous? 

To find the answer, I contacted several super hosts about this cleaning fee. After some discussion with them, I finally realized the cleaning fee is not unreasonable at all but completely logical. In this article, I’m going to answer why Airbnb’s cleaning fees so high.

Same Cleaning For Every Guest:

Every host does routine cleaning for all types of guests. It does not depend on how many days the guest stayed. It could be 1 day, or it could be for 1 week. Even if you stay 1 night at an Airbnb rental, the host needs to clean and prepare the property for the next guest.  

An Airbnb owner doesn’t have a cleaning team like a hotel, so they have to pay a regular cleaning person to get the place ready for the next guest. That’s costly. If they aren’t paying someone, they have to do it themselves, which is not worth the host’s time for a short stay. Moreover, it’s impracticable for those hosts who manage multiple Airbnb. 

Not only does the host clean up before guests arrive, but also after the guests depart. Moreover, they too do all the cleaning while the guest is there. This is time-consuming. 

Also, you have to consider that Airbnb cleaners are different from typical cleaners. Things have to be done just like it were a high-end lodge. Every square foot of that rental has to be cleaned top to bottom every time someone checks out.

Cleaning and Laundry Takes a Long Time:

It takes a long time and a lot of labor, hot water, drying time, laundry detergent to laundry — Mattress covers, mattress topper, fitted sheet, the bedcover, duvet, duvet cover, hand towels, bath towels, beach towels, dish towels, facecloths, pillowcases, pillow protectors, shower curtain and liner, bathmats, napkins, throws, cushion covers, etc. Then several of the above needs ironing.

There’s often needs stain treatment for bodily fluids on linens and towels.

With a whole home, a host needs to clean out the microwave, fridge, oven, stovetop, toaster oven, coffee maker, unload the dishwasher, and then reorganize all the cabinets full of dishes, cutlery, pots and pans, supplies. Fill up the dish soap, restock napkins and paper towels, wash the dishcloths, trash bags, clean the kitchen window from splatters, clean trash bin, sweep and mop the floor, vacuum, and dusting. 

Amenities Cost:

The host needs to buy toilet paper, dish soap, paper towels, tissues, trash bags, coffee, tea, toiletries, and sometimes welcome gifts.

Discourage Short Term Rental:

Many hosts don’t like short term rental. This high turnover rate needs a lot of cleaning work and puts a lot of wear and tear on the rental property. Some hosts use this high cleaning fees to discourage short rentals. According to hosts, It’s a lot of work to flip over an apartment vs. a single hotel room. 

Hosts generally don’t clean the rental property, especially those who have multiple Airbnb rentals. They hire people to clean the Airbnb rentals. The cleaning service company charges money per cleaning service. Moreover, hosts don’t know how much mess a guest would leave behind. So, they have to be prepared for the worst. This is one of the reasons the cleaning fee is high.

Cleaning services are not cheap for entire houses. Also, the size and location of the rental will be a factor. Airbnb’s pricing algorithms sometimes drive down the price per night, even in high demand areas, but the cleaning personnel’s cost remains the same. 


Though on paper, it seems that Airbnb’s cleaning fees are very high, but after learning all the reasons, it seems that the Airbnb cleaning fee is reasonable unless someone is price gauging.