Advice for shared bathroom

Hi! I am new to the platform and would like to ask your experience with renting out rooms with a shared bathroom. After the summer holidays I am planning on renting out 3 rooms on the same floor, with a shared bathroom (there is a shared kitchen and living space on the ground floor and an extra toilet which they can use). I won’t be using it myself (will be living on the floor above), but still, 3-5 guests (2 double bed rooms, 1 single) seems a bit much, so I would like to optimise it to the point that there is no/little nuiscane from waiting for other guests in the bathroom.

Do you have any tips and tricks to make this work? From setting clear house-rules to minor renovations (I am willing to invest in bathroom closets, accessories, mirrors, anything that can optimise the guests experience, apart from re-doing the entire bathroom).

Thank you in advance, I am very curious to hear your thoughts!

How many times are you prepared to clean the bathroom per day?


Thank you for your response!
Well, me and my girlfriend are both studying and are not 24-7 available, so at the maximum, once a day in the evening for a quick clean and every other day for a more thorough clean.

Shared bathrooms have always been an issue as some guests don’t do the respectful shared bathroom thing. This can drive hosts nuts!

Yes, I can understand that, but I cannot make another bathroom :wink:
Are there any tips on making the whole shared-bathroom less of an issue? I have airbnb experience with an apartment and know that cleanliness is a must and I will make sure that that is not an issue. But in practical terms I’ve seen tips such as “put a mirror on every room so putting on make-up won’t take bathroom time” and I will add separate closet space for every room, put shower gel and shampoo and a roll of toilet paper in every room as well as in the bathroom, etc. And ofcourse add an air-fresher and advice the guests to also use the downstairs toilet for their less pleasant smelling business.

But are there any must-do’s or mustn’t-do’s that you know of that can make (or break) the experience?

Keep it simple. White linens. Keep the bathroom as uncluttered as possible, provide only liquid soaps & shampoos, make it as simple to clean as possible. I have three rooms with queen beds sharing a bath and kitchen, and it seems to work fairly well as long as I have good-natured guests who are willing to be considerate of others.

I have to pop upstairs and clean and maintain it 4 or 5 times a day, even if it’s just a hair-in-the-shower-drain patrol or a quick floor sweep and rug shake.

Oh, and don’t put soap and shampoo in the rooms, because it will disappear quickly. I use body wash & shampoo in pump bottles, in the shower, and foaming hand soap with an electric dispenser at the sink, in bottles that are too large to go through airport security. Individual bottles of soap and shampoo cost a lot more, as so little bars of soap, and guests take them even if they don’t use them.

I’ll be happy when I have to money to add more bathrooms so I can charge much more than I can get now with the shared bath.

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Here are some of the tips I’ve heard:

  • Give each guest a bath caddy and require they keep it in their room. (ie. the bathroom should just have communal use items - don’t let someone take it over leaving their personal stuff)
  • A mirror (and ideally outlet) to get ready outside the bathroom. You might pair this with a wall hook if you also expect guests to take their bath towels to their room.
  • Provide cleaning wipes and ask guests to wipe down counters/mess.
  • Put bath soap, shampoo, and conditioner in a wall dispenser.
  • Shared baths almost always become a sore spot in your reviews. You should do a more thorough check at least 2x /day.

I don’t think you need to put shampoo and TP in each room. I’d keep an ample supply of TP in the bathroom. Keep the bathroom clutter in the bedrooms to the guests’ personal toiletry caddy and a spot for their towels.


Thank you for your advice! This is very useful!
I will not put the bottles in the rooms!

4-5 times a day sounds gruesome! I don’t think we will be able to keep that up, but I will make sure to check and clean more than I had anticipated!

Thank you for your advice! I will make sure to de-clutter the bathroom as much as possible, but bath-caddies and try to maintain it as best I can! Also the mirror-outlet-hook tip is great, I will make sure to include it in the rooms

We do a shared bathroom and have very little issue. In my HM I advise guest it is a shared bathroom and that I clean it once a day and to be sure and keep it tidy for the next guest. I started out with large bottles/dispenser for shampoo/conditioner but took them out because of drip issues now I use individual travel size shampoo/conditioner/body wash and at a cost of .50 per room. Saves me time and trouble.

I think twice a day is manageable and practical. That’s only once a day each @GijSoely

You’re going to have a lot of gripes about the bathroom. Some guests aren’t going to share because “they paid money to stay here”. Even though there’s an extra half bath, guests will begrudge having to use that because they’ll feel like a second class citizen or something.

Sometimes it won’t be a problem when guests have different schedules but this is really a problem about lifestyle, expectations and common courtesy. Back in the day, people grew up in a house of 10 with 1 bathroom no problem. Now, a lot of people grow up in homes with more bathrooms than bedrooms so they’re used to a private bathroom.

My one tip would be a 3 chamber dispenser in the shower.

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Provide specific instructions on bathroom conduct. Spray and rinse the stall and sink after each use.

Leave cleaning chemicals, broom, extra tp, etc. Out in the open.

Coordinate peak usage times. Some people prefer a shower the night before.

Use large size toiletries, but use branded product, I.e. Irish Spring.

I prefer not to have more than 3 guests for one bath.

Lysol spray is better received than Febreeze.

I prefer towels kept out of the bathroom because they can get icky in a moist environment.

A plunger should always be handy.

Change the shower liner frequently. I use the old ones for tarps.

Always provide flip flops or crocs.

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It sounds like a lot of trouble waiting to happen. If you’re not cleaning the bathroom several times a day you can expect the shower, tub and sink drains to get clogged with hair on a regular basis.

If you have guests who are coming from somewhere with more robust plumbing than you have, you’re going to find paper towels, wipes, cotton wool balls, used condoms, hair and toenail trimmings, wodges of loo paper, feminine items, disposable nappies and more are thrown down the toilet. This causes more cleaning and possible plumber’s charges and call out fees. (Or DIY - even worse).

Towels, bathmats and shower curtains will need laundering every other day if you’re lucky but some of those items will need changing and laundering every day if you’re not.

You’ll need extensive house rules to keep everything straight which guests will resent.

Because the whole thing will be quite hostel-y, you will probably have to have quite a low nightly fee. So the question is whether it will be worth your while.

Have you thought about limiting the number of guests per room? I have two bedrooms sharing a bath and both rooms have queen size beds. However, I only allow one person per room because I don’t want that many guests in my house and any more than 2 people sharing a bath gets too crowded. I am fully booked most months and only charge slightly less than comparable listings that allow 2 guests. Of course, how this change would affect you depends on whether there is a market for single travelers in your area.


DebTheCat did answer your question. Quick clean the bathroom after every guest using it to shower or else they will complain. This is pretty much non negotiable unless you are prepared to accept 3s or 4s for Cleanliness. Ditto the kitchen after breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I keep seeing this for “Homes of the Rich and Famous” it will say 5 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. Do they mean toilets? I can imagine 1 bathroom for visitors and then 5 ensuites if you can afford it. Who uses these extra bathrooms? Then again the R&F have two kitchens now - one for cooking and one for preparation of the food cooked by staff in the other kitchen so madame so play le chatelaine.

Two kitchens for the rich is a old as serfdom and slavery.


Yeah they’re including half baths in that count.

My home has two kitchens. I’m not rich and famous. I just wanted my sanity back so I made a kitchen just for guests.


Well so do I then but it is still a luxury for ordinary folk though I see on home reno shows a butler’s pantry is now de rigeur, effectively a kitchen behind the kitchen to put all the dirty pots and pans. I can’t wait till they rediscover all that space along the walls of the kitchen that will enable them to get rid of the bulky kitchen islands.