Cleaning fees - changes coming by December 2022

I’m happy about all of this, especially the option to search listings for total costs of the booking instead of the nightly rate.

I think that this is good, but better would be what I thought is done in Europe: that the cleaning fee is built into the nightly rate. If Airbnb could do that, that would be perfect in my view.

Airbnb doesn’t need to do that, hosts do that. How would Airbnb be able to do what you can do yourself,and why would you want them to? I certainly don’t want Airbnb messing about in my pricing. Showing the total price accomplishes the same thing, anyway. It’s kind of immaterial whether the cleaning fee is listed separately or worked into the nightly rate. Guests are concerned with the total price they have to pay.

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That article, as with most articles about Airbnb, misrepresents things.

“Airbnb cleaning fees are a one-time charge pocketed by hosts to cover costs such as doing laundry or scrubbing toilets between guest stays.”

Cleaning fees are not “pocketed” by hosts- they are either paid directly to the cleaner or if the host cleans themselves, they are paying themselves for the time it takes. In many cases, the cleaning fee doesn’t even cover the costs.

And mentioning laundry and scrubbing toilets, which takes only a small percentage of the time required to clean an Airbnb, is a false representation. It makes it sound like if the guest washed the sheets and towels and scrubbed the toilet, there’s no other cleaning to be done.


Well, the Host cannot easily do that.

I can say that my average booking is 5 days in summer and divide my cleaning fee in five and add to the nightly rate.

As I write this I suppose I could have a nightly rate of $X, where ‘X’ would equal my current nightly rate PLUS the cleaning fee, and then set a two-day discount, a three-day discount, a four day discount, etc.

I had this impression – thought I read – that in Europe the cleaning fee IS built into the nightly rate. SO the Host would specify the cleaning fee and Airbnb would do rest. Am I mistaken about this?

Well, I agree with this. Yet there is this ‘pressure’ to reduce if not eliminate the cleaning fee. I suppose I have answered my own question EXCEPT that I use a dynamic pricing service, Wheelhouse. SO, I cannot build in the cleaning fee into the nightly rate as I described above because I never know what the nightly rate will be. It’s subject to change at least daily.

SO it would be valuable if Airbnb would give the Host a toggle switch where Airbnb would build in the desired cleaning fee into the nightly rate.

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That your nightly rate varies according to supply and demand has nothing to do with the cleaning fee- it costs the same amount and takes the same amount of time to get the cleaning done regardless of your nightly price.

And while it wouldn’t work for a lot of hosts who have a lot of variance in the length of time guests book for, if your booking length is somewhat the same in general, there is no need to offer discounts for number of days when including the cleaning in the nightly fee.

I have never charged a cleaning fee, but I set a 3 night minimum from the beginning. 3 nights is the least amount of booking length I would want to spend time cleaning for. If I have a 10 day or 2 week booking, which I often do, my cleaning time spread out over 2 weeks amounts to about 10 minutes per night. If it’s a 3 night booking, it’s about ahalf hour/40 minutes per night, so I accounted for that time when deciding how much to charge per night.

I agree.

But it has everything to do with my being unable to myself build in the cleaning fee into the nightly rate.

I can’t do it myself with dynamic pricing. If I had a fixed nightly rate then, as discussed in my post earlier, I could do the math to provide discounts to recoup my cleaning fee.

For example, if my nightly rate were $200 and my cleaning fee $100

But I cannot do this calculation without knowing the nightly rate fee, which I do not know given dynamic pricing. But Airbnb knows.

I don’t really understand what you are saying. If you set, say, a $300 base nightly rate, which includes your cleaning fee, then dynamic pricing would just up the nightly rate by whatever, according to demand, wouldn’t it?

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Yes, dynamic pricing might say, as an example, that the price should be $150 as opposed to my base fee of $250 (just an example).

Now if I knew that the market price should be $150, then for a one-night stay then if the cleaning fee were $100, my price would be $250 for a one night stay. For a two-night stay it’s be $200; for a three-night stay $183.

But Wheelhouse would give me $150/night for all three stay lengths. SO I wouldn’t recover my cleaning fee. [In real life our cleaning fee is $130 charged to guests but we pay $250, or somewhat more if we use a different and better cleaner. So I want to recoup at least the $130.]

Here are the numbers:

Wheelhouse does offer its pricing recommendation to factor in whether the price includes cleaning, but it cannot adjust discounts. So it can give you a flat price but not one reflecting length of stay [Airbnb could do that].

So that’s my point. With dynamic pricing I cannot set the discounts to recoup my cleaning fee; Airbnb could. But I might be able to get into the ballpark by using the discounts I’ve listed above, and maybe that’s what I’ll do if I want to eliminate the cleaning fee year around. I did eliminate the cleaning fee last summer before I had WheelHouse. Even then it was not exact because I have higher Thursday-Friday- Saturday-Sunday prices and the discounts are based on 1-day stay, 2-day stay, etc. You’d need a matrix to figure discounts on a 3-day stay beginning on Thursday vs Monday vs Friday etc.

Anyway, all this could easily be done by Airbnb. SO, yes, if Airbnb offered that I would love it. Because I can’t do it myself.

Are you aware that Airbnb already has the option to have a different short stay cleaning fee? I’m not sure how it works, but I know there is a setting for it.

No, I didn’t. I’ll look into that. Thank you.

Why do you think in Europe the cleaning fee is built into the nightly fee @HostAirbnbVRBO

It isn’t . @HostAirbnbVRBO

The difference in Europe is guests have always been able to see the total price when they search .

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I was not aware of this. I will look into it.

We are “half way” between a lot of different major cities. As such, we get a lot of one night bookings from people breaking their trip up into 2 days.
The one night bookings are a lot of work so I try to discourage them. But, if someone is willing to pay the nightly rate + a cleaning fee for a single night, it makes the single night bookings lucrative. (We do our own cleaning so the fee is income in exchange for our time to clean).

If I rolled the cleaning fee into the nightly rate, the 1 night, and possibly even the 2 night stays become less lucrative. Of course, one option, as people have pointed out is a very detailed discount schedule. But, if there is an option of a cleaning fee for short time stays only, that would work.

I read that it was a LOWER cleaning fee for shorter stays, not just a different cleaning fee. That never made sense to me. But if I can add a cleaning fee for short stays and none for longer stays. that might be attractive to me.

I toyed around with this earlier this year. ABB allows you to offer a “discount” of your normal cleaning fee to stays of Z nights or less. So I could have a cleaning fee of $100 but for stays of 2 nights or less, the cleaning fee could be $75. The cleaning fee can be $0, or it can be $5 or more. If the fee is $0, it wont offer you the “short-stay” discount field. If you set the fee to $5, you can set the “short-stay” to less than that but I don’t think you can set it to more. But I never tried that, so you could try it. ($5 cleaning fee and then a $100 fee for one-nighters.)

Yes, that is my understanding, too. It doesn’t make sense in terms of a host having to have the place cleaned again after 1 or 2 nights, and as we know, some guests can manage to make a big mess in one night, while others may leave it really clean after staying a week or two.

It’s one of those features that Airbnb comes up with to the advantage of guests, not hosts. Because guests may balk at paying for the amount of time it takes to clean regardless of them only staying for a night or two. That hosts would be eating cleaning costs is not part of the equation. Airbnb thinks we should be doing everything we can to maintain full occupancy, regardless as to whether it means what you do to achieve that isn’t cost-effective.