Everything You Need to Know About Airbnb’s Cleaning Fees

By Nechama Rausman | April 28, 2022

Setting an Airbnb cleaning fee for your short-term rental can be a tricky part of your pricing strategy. On one hand, you don’t want to scare off potential guests with added fees, but on the other, you want to cover your costs to provide a clean and comfortable experience for each and every guest. There are many factors that come into play such as the size of your rental, whether you pay a cleaning service, and the general price range of your property. 

In this article, we will go through some of the common questions hosts have in determining whether to include an Airbnb cleaning fee and if so, how much you should charge. 

What Exactly is an Airbnb Cleaning Fee? 

A cleaning fee is an optional charge that covers the hosts’ cleaning costs following a guest’s stay. 

Is the Cleaning Fee Included in the Airbnb Listing Price?

No, the cleaning fee is listed as a separate fee from the booking charge. It’s important to note that there is one cleaning fee per booking regardless of how many nights are booked. 

Airbnb Host cleaning the floor of her short-term rental
As a host, you want to make sure your cleaning costs are covered.

How Much is an Airbnb Cleaning Fee?

The amount a host will charge for cleaning will depend on the size of the property and the location, as well as whether they will be hiring a service or cleaning it themselves. While the average cleaning fee on Airbnb is somewhere between $50 and $80, these numbers are tricky to rely upon because there is so much variety in the size and spectrum of the short-term rentals. 

The best approach is to do some research on what hosts are charging for cleaning in comparable rental properties in your area and base your prices on that. Make sure you do your research and check out at least 10 similar properties to come up with an idea of the average rate. Keep in mind also that if the majority of the hosts in your area don’t charge a cleaning fee, you may want to consider raising your nightly booking fee slightly to incorporate those costs into your rates, as long as this doesn’t raise them too high above the going rates in your area. 

How Does the Airbnb Cleaning Fee Work? 

The cleaning fee is a charge added to the nightly booking fee that is used by the host to cover cleaning expenses. It can be used to pay for a cleaning service or simply to cover the cost of cleaning materials, time and supplies. As opposed to the security deposit, which is refundable if no damages occur, the cleaning fee does not get returned following the guests’ stay. Further, the cleaning fee is a standard amount per booking and does not change depending on the number of guests or length of stay.  

Here are some examples of costs you may incur for cleaning that need to be covered (don’t forget about the time it takes you to do this cleaning):

  • Washing linens and making beds
  • Cleaning and restocking bathrooms with linens, toilet paper and toiletries if provided
  • Cleaning kitchen, washing dishes and restocking any food items
  • Washing floors and surfaces
  • Replacing garbage bags and cleaning supplies both for your use and for guests

When a potential guest is scoping out your listing, the cleaning fee will appear separately (shown prorated by the total number of nights of the reservation) and will be listed separately than that nightly rate, to make clear that it is a separate charge.  

Cleaning supplies needed to clean a short-term rental
Cleaning supplies can add up and increase your hosting costs.

Do Guests Need to Clean an Airbnb?

This is a really good question and it largely depends on the expectations you, as an Airbnb host, set out for your guests. In fact, many guests ask themselves, “How clean should I leave an Airbnb?”.  Knowing they are paying a cleaning fee, some guests may feel that they do not need to clean up before checkout, especially for a short stay, when the cleaning fee may seem steep.  Some hosts choose to include in their description a request that asks guests to leave the rental as they found it. However, it is pretty standard for guests to leave certain areas to be cleaned, such as dishes in the sink, for example. 

In short, if you have specific expectations or preferences for your guests, it is wise to make those clear before the booking is closed. Otherwise, you leave it up to the guests’ discretion and you may end up being upset by the results.  

Are Cleaning Fees Negotiable?

If you have cleaning fees added to your listing, guests booking through Airbnb will be charged automatically for the cleaning fees. It is possible that guests will reach out to you in advance to negotiate or ask for you to remove the fee, but agreeing to this is treading a slippery slope. If you do agree, the guests may start to negotiate all kinds of things and you may end up with quite a hassle. Of course, this decision is ultimately yours to make and there may be instances where a discount is worthwhile, especially if it means a loyal guest that will keep coming back. 

The Bottom Line on Airbnb Cleaning Fees

When it comes down to it, cleaning fees are a completely acceptable and financially smart addition to your short-term rental business. When selecting an amount remember that it’s not set in stone – you can always try out one amount and if it’s not covering your costs or scaring off guests, you can always change. When finalizing a cleaning fee for your short-term rental it’s always a balancing act in trying to keep your hosting manageable and profitable and keeping guests happy. 

Cleaning Management Made Easy

You can save time and effort by organizing and managing your cleaning tasks with Guesty For Hosts’ cleaning management tool. This feature allows you to schedule and automate cleaning tasks for yourself or with a team to ensure everything is done on time and to the highest quality.  Try out this feature and all of the time-saving tools on Guesty For Hosts for free with our 14-day free trial. Get started here!

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