Why Are Cleaning Fees So High on Airbnb?

Cleaning fees are set by the host not Airbnb, so a host can set them at whatever rate they deem necessary. Many hosts just add them into their nightly fee but all hosts charge for it in one way or another. I can tell you from my experience that guests can leave spaces in atrocious conditions, and if the host has a new booking on the same day as the mess makers check out, it can be a nightmare getting it all back to 5 star level in only a few hours. Try getting vomit out of a carpet, removing the smell and then drying said carpet in 3 hours. Trust me, the cleaning fees cover more than a light dusting and changing the beds.

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 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 dust. 

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 these 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.

How does Airbnb’s cleaning fee work?

The cleaning fee is a one-time charge that hosts add to the price of their listing for each booking to cover cleaning expenses.

This fee is added to the overall price of the booking and is paid for by the guest(s). It is not a security deposit; the guests don’t get their money back at the end of their stay.

The cleaning fee is the same regardless of how many guests book your listing or for how long (you can’t increase it for additional guests or additional nights).

Cleaning fees help hosts account for extra expenses they have getting their listing ready for new guests.

Some of the costs that you could consider in your cleaning fee are:

  1. Cleaning products
  2. Washing/drying towels and linen
  3. Toilet roll
  4. Shampoo, soap, etc.
  5. Cost of cleaning (e.g. hiring a cleaning service)
  6. In the search results, guests will see a nightly rate that includes the cleaning fee divided by the total number of nights in the reservation.

Because of that, you don’t have to be afraid that your cleaning fee will give your potential guests a nasty surprise.

Also, when guests submit a reservation request, the nightly rate and the cleaning fee will be listed separately in the price breakdown. It’s all very transparent.

What is the average Airbnb cleaning fee?

The average cleaning fee on Airbnb is between $50 – $80, however, this average is somewhat misleading.


airbnb managment

With such a huge spectrum of listings from tiny rooms in shared houses, to opulent mansions with 10+ rooms, it’s very hard to find an accurate average.

The best way to find a workable average is to study the cleaning fees of comparable listings within your area, and generate an average from that.

Normal house cleaning rates

Sources- https://www.housing.vic.gov.au/

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