1 negative review response out of 26

I recently received a negative review about the cleanliness of my place. It is the first one of 26 guests in the past 3 months. Unfortunately, I can help my mind from taking it personally. I follow airbnbs cleaning protocol after each guest, however I must have missed some webs, if so I can assure they are not as massive as described.
Here is the review:
“The living area (living room, kitchen) were gorgeous, but the master bedroom was disgusting. There was cobwebs on the walls. I wish I could post photos to show how gross it truly was. In times of covid, you’d really hope to see things be clean, but it made me feel grossed out and pretty unsafe when I saw the master bedroom because if cobwebs have formed, how long had it been since they cleaned the room?”

Would love some input on how some of you would respond or not even respond. I understand the business practice how one should respond with an apology. I feel like even with an apology this type of person would still blow it off. Making me feel even more angry because personally I don’t feel the guest deserves an apology. I feel like she could have brought it up to me when she noticed and I could have removed it, instead of writing a public negative review thats effects my business. I understand that cobwebs can make some people feel a certain way, but not sure if constitutes the whole space to become disgusting.

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Remember that your guests are leaving reviews for your future guests to see. Leaving an apology probably wouldn’t be seen by the guest who wrote the review. And couldn’t an apology be seen as an admission that the review is true?

I’m wondering why the guest would say the place was dirty if it wasn’t? Was there some sort of problem?

In general, I don’t respond to reviews. However if you feel that you want to (which can have a value if you’re correcting erroneous information) then what you’re doing is correcting the facts for future potential guests.

Be polite but firm. Oh, and concise. Point out that you do the cleaning yourself and therefore you’re certain it was in perfectly good condition. Add that you wished that the guest had alerted you to any problem and that you’d have attended to any problems.

And the guest might be trying to get a refund, so watch for that too.


So sorry that happened. I am not sure how to respond either. Did you have mostly 5 stars from other guests? We trust our cleaning crew to do a good job but since we are there after each guest, (Airbnb house is not where we live) , we can do an inspection and bring to her attention things that she missed. Once we went in and the ceiling fans had a lot of dust so we cleaned them, then had to vacuum and sanitize surfaces. We were not pleased. Guests vary tremendously and I think everyone is a little paranoid with the Covid. I have a cute sign up that thanks the guests for choosing our house and says "Please leave us 5 stars if you think we deserve it. I think that prompts them to think about the fact that we have provided alot of extras for the guest as well as offered a sparkling clean space.

Just as an fyi, I suggest “dusting” the walls periodically with a damp mop. I live in the southwest where dust is a problem. I also allow pets. I’m always amazed at how much dust and hair is in the room after someone stays a single night. I have a robo vac that goes over the floor and so I know exactly how much is appearing overnight.

All that said this guest sounds a bit too much. Unless there are literally just cobwebs all over the place. Like dust, they can literally appear overnight.


Guests will overlook a lot of things, but cleanliness isn’t one of them. And if one part of the place doesn’t look clean, they will assume that the rest isn’t that clean, either. I don’t quite understand how someone can “clean” without starting at the ceiling, vacuuming or brushing down cobwebs.

I’m not talking about a guest who complains because they located a square centimeter of dust in the corner of a bookcase, or something else equally as ridiculous, but cobwebs on the wall or ceiling isn’t what I would call a thorough cleaning job.

A good thing for hosts to do is to lie on the bed and look up, especially at night with the lights on, just as your guests will. Cleaning tends to happen during the day and you or the cleaner may miss things like a pile of dead bugs and dust in ceiling light fixtures, spider webs, etc.

I think you do need to apologize. At the same time, you can state that all surfaces that guests would touch are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.


Also crawl about on the floor, undignified as it is. I was once horrified to see the state of underneath the sofa. I’m not saying that guests are going to roll around on the floor (hmm…) but they might be looking for a lost flip flop or something.

Thanks Victoria! I appreciate your input. Yeah I had all 5 star reviews and one 4 star review prior to this. I used to be in customer service so I had thicker skin at that time and was less sensitive to these kind of situations but haven’t had to deal with an unhappy customer in so long that I taking this one so personal.

Thanks Jaquo! I like your input on this. Yeah I was trying to figure out all last night if there could have been some other problem or something I said.

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Thanks KKC yeah definitely not cobwebs all over the place. More like a single corner.

So if you are cleaning and you don’t see cobwebs/ dust on the wall are you wiping down every wall in the house?

Spiders can form huge cobwebs in a matter of a few hours. Our house was broken into a few years ago in the middle of the night, and by 9 AM in the morning, a spider had woven a massive web over the door the thieves used to enter.


Yes, I vacuum starting at the ceiling and work my way down the walls. It only takes a few minutes. Or I use a long-handled brush that they sell everywhere in Mexico, where I live, for exactly that purpose.

I use one of those Swiffer things. I don’t use the ‘official’ Swiffer cleaning pads (too expensive) but use paper towel or a cloth instead.

I have a robot vac that fits under most of the items in my airbnb room. The only thing it doesn’t fit under is the bedside table and I’ve made a mental note that next beside table I get will either be wider or will go all the way to the floor.

That said I still have to do a few areas by hand every other week or so to make sure it’s spotless. Also it’s a good idea to take a peek before running the robot vac. I once found a delicate pair of undies that would definitely get hung up in the robo vac. Another time a dog bone was got shoved under the bookcase.

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And then there could be (my favourite ever) tomatoes under the ottoman… :rofl:


Do you clean every wall in the house even if there isn’t anything on them?

Yes, most of the time. It prevents build up. I just run the Swiffer thing over them.

I feel your anguish. I’ve been there! I can’t stand guests who are sweet as pie to your face and hide behind a computer to utter their displeasure. I had the exact same thing happen but this woman wanted to get out of her 2 week stay one week early. First she called stating that she was leaving due to the workers being done fixing her leak in her condo. And I told her fine but she wanted a refund. I said No.

She called me 10 minutes later stating she couldn’t breathe in the suite, that she had found massive cobwebs behind the bed. She had PULLED out the bed from the wall, mind you, to find them. :wink:

And I acknowledge that I did miss them and sometimes forget to pull the bed out (no longer!) but it was ridiculous and manipulative. I would just leave an honest review and move on. Unless she gave you a ridiculously low rank (like 1 or 2, even 3), I would just be the bigger person and move on from it. :slight_smile:


Every clean, one room done thoroughly. Ceiling and walls brushed, furniture pulled away from walls and then the timber items polished. Skirtings, windows, architraves and doors wiped and polished. Floors vacuumed and mopped. Adds about 30 minutes to a clean and 9 cleans and we are back to the start, so it never gets bad.
Guests who look for hidden dirt, like pulling out the fridge, in my opinion, are just being horrible!

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Wow I hear you. I don’t get some people. If I could I would tell her for you. Yeah she left me 1 star. I was contemplating whether I should say something to her or respond to her review, but anything I would geninunely want to say will not come off as polite so I’m leaning towards not saying anything. I want to move on but her review keeps playing in my mind. Ughhh