Scrubbing toilets and dusting shelves… cleaning your Airbnb is probably the least glamorous side of being a host. How many hours do you spend on tidying up when your guests leave? What do you think your time is worth?
Setting an appropriate cleaning fee is a vital aspect of being a successful Airbnb host – not just to ensure you have happy guests but also so you can avoid resentment when you’re washing another load of sheets for the week.
What is Airbnb cleaning fee?
The Airbnb cleaning fee is a one-time charge imposed by hosts to cover the expenses of cleaning their holiday rental once guests check out. This fee is not mandatory for all hosts, as some choose to incorporate it into their nightly rate instead.
The purpose of the cleaning fee is to ensure that the rental is thoroughly cleaned and prepared for the next guests, maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene. The decision to charge a cleaning fee separately or include it in the nightly rate is entirely up to the individual host, allowing them to set their own preferences and pricing structure.
Here are a few things to consider when setting your cleaning fee:
The type of property
Are you marketing your Airbnb as a luxury property? Is it in an expensive neighbourhood? Are you charging a considerable fee per night? Do your photos show a space that is immaculate? If the answer is yes to these questions then guests will probably not baulk at a higher cleaning fee.
How big is your place?
If you’re a host who is renting out a small studio apartment you can’t expect to charge the same kind of cleaning fee as one who is renting out a five-bedroom mansion. Think about how many hours, realistically, it would take to clean your Airbnb and make sure your fee is within that ballpark.
Also be aware that if you are renting out a private room in your house – cleaning the actual rental space won’t be time-consuming but you will also have to keep common areas (like the kitchen and bathroom) spotless at all times during their stay which can actually be more work than you might expect.
Know your competition
One of the easiest ways to figure out what to charge in relation to your cleaning rate is to check out other similar-sized properties in your neighborhood. If the average price is $50 then you can feel confident about setting yours at the same rate.
What message do you want to send to guests?
If you decide not to charge a cleaning fee, or if you set a relatively low fee, it’s reasonable to ask guests to tidy up after themselves. Be sure to put your expectations on the topic in your house rules or welcome letter. Some hosts will ask guests to strip the bed and do the dishes before they go.
Many guests will behave according to the rate you set. For example, if they’ve paid a considerable amount for cleaning, they are not likely to take out their trash and clean up before they leave because they’ll expect you as a host to take care of these things.
“Many hosts use their Airbnb cleaning fee as a way of boosting their income.”
If you are time-poor or someone who abhors cleaning, chances are you will probably want to hire a professional to do the dirty work for you. Depending on where you live (help in Singapore is cheaper than London), this can be a costly exercise.
Be smart with your pricing. Get quotes from local cleaners before you commit to a fee, but make sure to double-check what’s included. At GuestReady, for example, we supply guests with hotel-quality linen, toilet paper, and premium toiletries.
Play with it
Many hosts use their cleaning fee as a way of boosting their income. If you set yours at a price and seem to be getting lots of bookings, try to increase the fee and see if it affects interest. Don’t be afraid to play around with your fee to ensure you’re making the most profit from your property.
Increasing the fee is also a tool that some hosts use to try to discourage short-stay guests. If your fee is $100 for cleaning, guests are more likely to feel comfortable paying that amount for a weeklong, rather than overnight stay. But be careful not to price yourself out of the market by setting an unrealistic fee.
GuestReady provides a range of support services for hosts and makes sure that your apartment is ready for every guest that checks in!
Need help setting the perfect Airbnb cleaning fee? Get in touch!