Cleaning after being a guest

Hey guys, I am a frequent traveler who uses airbnb instead of hotels. This past weekend, I stayed 2 nights at a great apartment. The host showed me around and when he found out I travel to the city quite often, he even offered I could be his regular guest which was a really great proposal to me.
Anyways, the first night there I woke up in the middle of the night by screeching sounds of the bed… this is a typical European bed from Ikea that does not last very long. So i removed the mattress and saw that the middle wooden part cracked (didn’t break) because there was a column missing for its support. I wandered around the apartment, found a briefcase, put it underneath and went back to sleep. When I was leaving on my last day, I washed my dishes, took the trash out, removed the sheets from bed and put them in the washing machine along with used towels. I wrote the host a note about everything with all my contact details. I wrote him again today since I have not heard from him to see what he thinks about the bed and how it could have happened because I have been feeling pretty bad. He was just getting into the apartment and here is the reason why I am on this forum asking for an advice. He didn’t say much of the bed besides that a cleaning lady might have removed the column by a mistake… But then he pointed out there were stains on the living room couch, one candy and a candy wrapper under the couch. I did not spend any time in the living room besides like an half an hour on Sunday when I took my luggage there and tried to rearrange all my stuff along with stuff I bought. I spread everything around and yes, it is possible a candy fell out and a wrapper as well. I didn’t go back to check as I did not sit on the couch at all and just felt like it should be clean. Not sure if any of my items could stain the couch…or how. Anyways, the host just texted me saying he had to put a lot of effort into fixing the bad and cleaning out the stains and what I can offer for compensation. He seems like a great guy and I would love to stay at his place again…my question is…as a host, what all do you allow your guests to leave messy? Do you charge them for extra cleaning and if so, for what? Because I truly cleaned the place as it would be my own and I feel bad this is happening. Thank you!

I think he is extra picky and I wouldn’t stay with him again. The bed slat was not your fault. I would find somewhere else. To nit pick about a candy wrapper? Come on! You should see what my guests leave behind… a lot grosser than candy wrappers! Also, I might leave your viewpoints in a review if you haven’t done it already. That will put a stop to his nit picking ways! For two nights, honestly… wouldn’t a two star hotel be easier and cheaper? I’m a host on Air for five years now and I would never stay as a guest! Too expensive and too many unknowns! I like the reliability and convenience of a hotel personally…


thank you for your response. I have been feeling so terribly. Truth be told, most of my travels are to Germany where airbnb apartments are cheaper than hotels. Also, I am on a special diet so I have to be able to cook for myself. Well he is asking for some kind of compensation - for cleaning the stains I have no idea how could there and for the bed. I would understand if I was jumping on it but I was fast asleep when the slat cracked. He also mentioned leaving a negative feedback if we do not agree.

Extortion is totally against the AirBnB rules! Call Air and report him. Don’t let him bully you please. You are in the driver’s seat here. Since you travel in Germany have you considered using Wimdu?

I agree with konacoconutz. I wouldn’t stay there again and definitely wouldn’t feel responsible for the bed slats. The candy wrapper is ridiculous. I would be curious to know what this host’s review record looks like with other guests.

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It’s a tricky one. I just cleaned up after the nicest guests who left the place in a condition that I would feel bad leaving a hotel room in. Maybe it’s a cultural thing, an upbringing thing, a standards thing - who knows. What I do know is that I would never be rude enough to comment on it - unless of course it was something like a glass of red wine tipped over a couch which would require exceptional cleaning - and then I’d ask them what happened and ask them to pay for steam/dry cleaning. I’ve had pizza sauce on quilt covers, a lamp shade burned that required the whole lamp be replaced, uncleaned toilets (I provide a brush) and bags of rubbish and half-eaten food left behind. I think the fact that this guy picked you up on a candy wrapper is petty to the point that I think you wouldn’t want to stay there again. If however you really do, then just say how sorry you are and ask what he’s after. Airbnb take a deposit, so why isn’t he showing a receipt for the cleaning and taking it from that? As a host I build a little into the cost for extra cleaning. He should do the same. Good luck.


You may want to stay at his place again, but he obviously is not interested in repeat business. Ignore him.

All hosts should charge a cleaning fee that would include stains on furniture. I have had a few guests that have stained bath rugs, linens and towels…but that must be expected when other people are using your things. I have never charged anyone extra for those items. Don’t pay him any extra money. Since you are a AirBnB regular you probably have a collection of good reviews, one negative won’t hurt you (plus you can always respond to his review with your side of the story).

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I agree with other posters - get airbnb to mediate, get photos of stains, bed is not your fault, candy wrappers are ridiculous. Good luck!!

Oh, he is being ridiculous! Gracious day - how long does it take to pick up some candy wrappers? Bed isn’t your fault - and stains? Whether that was you or not (and sounds like not), hosts have to expect some wear and tear. Sounds to me like you did way more than your part in cleaning up after yourself. I don’t expect my guests to launder the linens they use, nor take their trash out. Don’t feel bad about it.


My house rules state they must leave the apartment how they found it. They must remove their own trash and do their dishes. Most guests readily comply. Only two or three in all the years I’ve been doing this did not. If you don’t leave rules about what condition you expect the place to be left you’ll get them acting like total slobs.

If you stained his couch and it required special cleaning, he needs to submit the bill and ask for you to pay it through resolutions on airbnb. If you did make this mess you should pay for it, just as you would hope a guest that did this to your couch did this for you. This sort of ‘mess’ is not covered, just anything that can be cleaned or laundered by the host or a regular house cleaner. I hope you do the right thing if you did cause these stains. If he is using the resolution system through airbnb you should be able to see the stains he is talking about and see whether you caused them or not. Perhaps some pictures will jog your memory.

It’s wonderful we have so many hosts that expect guests to stain their couches. Personally my furniture is antique, and it’s not part of the deal for guests to go about spilling anything on my furniture. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect people not to stain my furniture. If it did occur, I would immediately submit for damages. I have submitted for pet accidents on my bedding when I used to accept pets and always received the amount I asked. Ordinary dirt and stains on linens and towels is one thing, but on furniture
comforters, or beds? No way. I don’t know what kind of guests other hosts are allowing in their home, but if someone left stains on my furniture and said nothing they would be hearing from me immediately. On what planet does a guest want to stay at a place with a stained up piece of furniture? There is nothing that will remove serious stains from a couch other than a professional cleaner. and only then if you are lucky. If that is in other hosts cleaning budget, then they are doing better than me.

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Billybob, you may have multiple units, and have professional cleaning equipment, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that the majority of airbnb hosts do not. If extra expense is incurred to clean up stains made by a guest being ‘messy’, it is more than reasonable to pass those costs on. Not everyone has couches with ‘zip off covers’ either by the way. There are hosts with different tastes and styles in furniture, When things get spilled and stains occur, it is up to the guest to pay for damage. Not every host can afford to replace their good couches with ones with zip off covers, or Persian carpets with cheap ones. All the expense adds up. We simply expect guests to treat our home as they would their own, or as they would like their guests to treat theirs. I’m pretty sure most people wouldn’t like to be stuck with a stain on their couch after a guest visit, so why would they imagine we would? It’s purely common sense. They would hope their guest paid for the damage caused. Just like they don’t have an upholstery cleaning machine tucked away somewhere, neither do we.

Of course someone with multiple units containing cheap replaceable furniture will feel differently, and that’s fine.

Once again, you miss the point. Most people can’t afford to shop for all new furniture for the rooms they are planning to book to guests, nor do the majority have multiple apartments.

Nice you had the option to buy the furniture you wanted, covered in an indoor outdoor fabric, but this is not necessarily the norm. For those of us that have guests staying with us in our homes, and are simply renting single rooms, we have already furnished our homes in our chosen styles (you may imagine antiques scream Grandma, but I personally shudder at your indoor/outdoor fabric couches in zip off covers). I don’t have sofa’s in front of tv’s for people to eat and spill food and drinks. I have a room with a great bed, and a sofa for relaxing. The other living areas (sitting room and living room have sofas, but I have never had issues with stains - nor do people choose to eat there as we have a large dining room table for that. Guests relax with wine in these areas, but I have yet to see any kind of stain. If however a guest did spill wine and didn’t bother to mention it to me so that I found it after they had left, I would definitely charge for cleaning.

There is no way I could refurnish my entire home with new sofas just so people would feel at ease eating and drinking and spilling all over them, nor would I want to. Luckily my interiors get consistently five star reviews and attract the kind of people that like my style (Manhattan and Brooklyn creatives and professionals).

If a guest had an accidental spill and alerted me to it when it happened, I would be most understanding, like any kind host. Especially as I would have an opportunity to remove it when it was best able to be removed. It is only those that don’t bother to mention their mishaps and breakages that I take umbrage with, and unfortunately I have had more of the latter than the former. It says to me ‘whoops, I know I did something here, but I’m hoping to get away with it’. That doesn’t make me feel very kindly towards a guest in my home, to whom I have done everything possible including sharing my very space with to make them comfortable. It is like a slap in the face.

I understand that those that just have a multitude of apartments that have no connection to the home or the furniture would feel completely different about the damage of the articles. The things in my home are my beloved things. The things in your apartments are utilitarian furniture and items you simply bought to make money renting to guests. A big difference here.

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Oh great! Does this mean you’ll take your own advice and stop berating, belittling and vilifying me? It must be very unhealthy for you:)

By the way, most of the time it is airbnb policy I discuss here, not guests. I have some very unfortunate experiences with guests, but it is the glaring issues with airbnb that I try to bring to light in hope of making the business better for all. Sorry you find it so offensive.

Goodness. You sound a bit angry. Surely that isn’t healthy? After all, that’s what you just told me. I’m only human, too. Or does your understanding only extend towards your guests? I’ll just feel happy for them that they aren’t in the same home as you as you sound a bit shall we say… Explosive with your temper.

And you, you wondrous stud of a stallion, are a gift to airbnb, to holiday makers across the world, and no doubt all women on the planet :laughing: Your dear wife must adore the ground you walk on and feel proud of the man you are, so much so that she daren’t try your patience ever. We know where that ends up! A cranky little Billybob!

The negativity that the two of you generate on these forums is completely inappropriate and makes me want to close my account.


Such gentile folk you are. We’re ALL convinced by your superior manners and taste.

BTW, just so you know, my husband has the same opinion about you as I do.

I would like to thank everyone for their time to respond to my question. I truly appreciate it. To give you an update, I am still very sad about the whole situation. I have been using airbnb for 2 years now and take pride in being a clean person. I work as a hotel manager and I see damages made by guests on daily basis. It is part of our job and we know things happen all the time. I do, however, understand that hosting in an own apartment is different from hotel business.
Anyways, the host has been in touch with me. I asked him several times about the couch and got no response. Honestly, he tried to play me on this one. There is no way I stained the couch.
As far as the bed, he is asking for 25EUR. Now, I did offer to pay at first but after all the advice I have been given, I am kind of hesitating now. The bed was in a bad condition before I got there. Our convos are always via text messages…not airbnb. He sent me his bank account number and gave me a date by when he is expecting the money.