4* or 5* cleanliness - what's the point!

If I have a guest that leaves the apartment with crumbs and candy wrappers all over, remote under a bed, dirty (bad washing job) dishes - I would give them a 4. Or a 3? However what is the difference? I will still give a thumbs up, they can still IB, and I like to keep people using the platform obviously.

How much does a 4 vs 5 in cleanliness matter to you when someone books?

I had a guest IB with 4 stars overall which alerted me to read her reviews right away. After I did I cancelled her booking. So it matters to me but I’m sure many, probably most, hosts pay no attention

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In some cases too, the person is absolutely pleasant with 5 everywhere else. Makes it harder.

Absolutely pleasant isn’t one of the rating categories though. We aren’t voting on Miss Congeniality. The woman I cancelled had reviews saying she was quiet and polite but I only cared that she is messy and asks for late check out all the time.


A good rule of thumb when writing reviews and doling out star ratings is to imagine that you are writing to a friend or beloved relative who is also a host - your mother or your best friend or whatever. Would you be happy for this person to stay with them? Is there anything you’d like to alert them to?

I know that other hosts aren’t really your best friends or your mother but we are all in the same boat. PLEASE, write a review for us that tells us what to expect!

An honest review doesn’t mean that no-one will host the guest. I use IB so don’t have the choice. But if I see that an upcoming guest has comments from a host that might be problematic here, I can mention it to the guest and nip the problem in the bud.


I just had a guest leave after a two day stay. She had 6 previous reviews and many comments about how clean she left the place. So I was surprised at how she left the place, dishes in the sink, water bottle on my table right next to the coaster (no ring) coffee cup left outside. Not the worst but certainly not what I expected. I will review her honestly with 3 stars for cleanliness.


What’s up with people not using provided coasters? Friends and family I hope you’re reading this!

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Why? I don’t want them


I would give them a 3 for being messy. If someone has a 4 I would probably accept their request, but if they had a 3, I would decline.

You have all been really helpful. I tend to be more lenient when someone has a small kids (which they did). He did leave a great review for me, but I explained why I marked them down for cleanliness.

Why don’t I leave them a thumbs down? Because I want to give them an opportunity to pay attention for next time. After marking down, they usually contact me to ask why (I also give them a description of why in my personal comments). I don’t want to give them a hammer over fixable behavior.

As I’d still clean and vacuum everywhere anyway, I’m not that fussed about crumbs or unmade beds.
Therefore, I’d always give 5*, unless they’d actually stained something. I’ve had a couple of spot cream guests accidentally bleach a towel and a duvet and a pillow case - the dog now has the towel, and I’ll plead ignorance if a future guest pulls me up on the slightly bleached bedding! But I gave 4* to the customers that did the initial staining.

I don’t have kitchen facilities, so I don’t know about dirty dishes.

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There were makeup and food stains … I mean if 5* is great and 4* is good, I do believe they need the coaching. Esp if they’re not held to a super guest standard like super hosts. Unless you all feel that it should be either 5 or 1.

I was mislead by your opening post :slight_smile:

Well, I reread the feedback from my cleaner as I was writing the review last night… so it seems it was worse than my initial take. He’s VERY clean though, so I have to take his feedback with a grain of salt. I don’t worry much about crumbs and ask the beds to remain made. However, I also gave a 4 to someone with a father in a wheelchair that also left the apartment disorderly and I have more angst over that because of the disability… was I being too harsh. I do struggle over this depending on degrees of messiness and when to hit the 4. So maybe this case is more clear cut, but I do appreciate your feedback.

And thats not the whole story, I put out those cork things you put a hot pot on, they are like 8" round so its impossible to miss the clue. It is also in my guestbook to use coasters.


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Unless you disclose this they wouldn’t know. (The thumbs down that is) This is never disclosed to the guest by Airbnb, I actually states that on the screen before you press it. I provide all necessary feedback to assist a person in the private section (albeit I rarely rarely do as I have long term guest so I’ve either gotten over it during their stay or we’ve had a conversation). I would find it a real bother to have a back and forth on the feedback after checkout- perhaps you could be more specific too them, albeit this doesn’t seem to be a bother for you which is good.

Truly, I’m not being argumentative here but I honestly wouldn’t rely on information from a third party, no matter how trustworthy. I do appreciate that people who host remotely rely on their cleaners/ co-hosts for information but for me anyway, there’s no substitute for getting into the rental myself and seeing exactly what the status is.

I know where to check and what to look for.

I know. Remote hosts have no choice. Just my take. :slight_smile:

I know. I’m missing out on that part of the AirBnB experience and truly wish I could see it myself :frowning: - but the whole reason I am on AirBnB is because my brother and I inherited 3 buildings in Boston. We turned a partially demolished, unused apt in one of the buildings into a place where we could stay for our monthly trips to make sure things are running smoothly and make repairs. Accommodations there are pricey! The place ended up looking so nice, and we didn’t inherit any money to run the buildings, so we decided to put it on AirBnB when we’re not there. So yes, we stumbled into remote hosting.


@HTXinBOS - As a remote host for almost 8 yrs., I would never want to witness myself how a guest leaves my rental, unless it was truly near-perfect (to which my housecleaner has attested on many occasions).

I prefer to witness the positive rather than the negative. I have no desire to see the crumbs, stains and crusty undies left by guests because those very same guests and I have usually already “bonded” (via email) into a cordial relationship. I do not want to be disillusioned.

It is extremely disappointing to learn from my housecleaner that the guests’ living habits were not as expected. I certainly don’t want to see their bodily smears on the toilet seat or worse, so although I will mark them down in cleanliness…AND I personally would not have them return…I would not publicly mark them with a thumbs down because other hosts may not be so persnickity as I am.

Like you, “I don’t want to give them a hammer over fixable behavior.”