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Cleanliness standards

I just stayed in San Francisco in 2 Airbnbs and ,they were comparing to SF prices very cheap at 75$ a night for private room and shared bathroom. I stayed as much as i could in hotels but then game was in town and hotels skyrocketed their prices.
Both listings were in great location, rooms were not small, and one had a TV.
Both rooms had a distinct smell of cat, and we know it only happens when litter is not cleaned. Both listing were very dirty. The only clean thing was sheets and towels, the rest…nightmare. Bathroom was so disgusting that for 3 days i was giving myself sponge baths. Floor was sticky from not being washed for months, cobweb everywhere.
“Splashers” from China did not help either, ocean of water consistenly in bathrooms. Host told me he gets these guests i all the time, he even stopped saying anything because all of them are clueless. He just comes and wipes after they shower every morning.
Both hosts were the sweetest people. I told them in private feedbacks that seriously they need to cleenup.
So, my question is does Airbnb holds hosts to any standards at all?

I can not imagine renting to someone a room and bathroom in this condition. My guests often comment that my house is the best airbnb they ever stayed at. Most airbnbs i stayed at were clean. SOme more than others, but most were decent, and i stayed in some pretty cheap places all over the world.
Or its only US thing where hosts think its cheap then noone should complain? This is the first time actually i stayed in US in Airbnbs and both time the cleanliness level was just way too low.

Wow! Did you leave a review of this mess? You are right. It is unacceptable!

We drove across the USA last year in July and stayed at a few Airbnb’s that were less than stellar. One in Chicago was actually expensive and although not as bad as what you describe certainly not squeaky clean, ok a bit dirty. And the host made us come to her office to fetch the keys and we had to get the bedding out of the dryer ourselves at check in. Bathroom was shared among six people and the bedrooms were bare bones. Denver was even worse although the host was a doll. Both listings are no longer available but I guess probably more due to local regulations than bad reviews. I gave ok reviews and Pvt. Feedback but it’s clear clean is somewhat subjective.

How would Airbnb enforce the standard? Remove a host with a certain number of 1star reviews? This is another case of the review process being crucial. Private feedback is fine but if their attitude is “why change we are still getting booked?” then why should airbnb do anything? I’ve had several people tell me that my bathroom is the cleanest one they’ve ever been in. And my bathrooms are spotless, but it tells me that lots of bathrooms are not.

You are right, and only one review said that it s was gross when i booked but the rest were very good. I think it also because of hosts. They were the most geniune, friendly people. I did not say anything on cleanliness in reviews, but put low score on cleanliness. Honestly under 100$ there was nothing there, so it made me think that hosts know that very well and dont care because they know they wil be rented. The other thing is that these 2 houses were in perfect locations, one near Golden Gate park literally across the road. When i read bad review i thought, well, how bad it can be? And it was.
I think yes, when Airbnb sees that a host gets continiuosly dinged on cleanliness, there should be some enforcement for host to keep it at least to a minimum.

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Same here. WHen i first heard, wow, your house is sooo clean, thought, how else should it be? DOnt everyne’s houses are the same clean? believe it or not twice i had 1 star on cleanliness. One because of couple of ants, and another from a couple who actually ran away without paying me for the second night, because she thought it was dirt in a marble bathroom, but there are couple of non removable stain on a marble shower. I wish those two to stay in my SF rooms:)

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I assume that it’s a rhetorical question asking if Airbnb holds hosts to any cleanliness standards as that would be impossible.

Cleanliness is subjective and specific to the location and details of the listing. If the listing has multiple Airbnb guests and a shared bathroom it’s a good bet that the bathroom won’t be very clean. If a clean bathroom is important to you, I would recommend only booking listings where your party are the only Airbnb guests. You complain about cobwebs. In some places spiders build webs very quickly and it’s impossible to dust fast enough to make sure that guests won’t see any. I live in Southern California where we are experiencing a drought. If I wanted my guests to never see any dust, I’d have to dust all my furniture every day. I do dust the guest room between every guest, but the rest of the house once a week. Many guests who cook don’t clean the cutting boards, counters and stovetop. I clean the cutting boards and counters for food safety, but I wait until they leave to clean the stovetop.

@Yana_Agapova being a host here in SF I can tell you $100 in May-Oct is not going to go very far. There are many of these ‘budget’ rooms listed, and unfortunately they are exactly what you described, essentially a SRO (single room occupancy) motel with no standards. I agree with you the hosts should have some pride of ownership, but when you are paying well below market rate for a room or hotel, its kinda par for the course that they are not going to be up to snuff in a few areas. That being said you should absolutely call him out on the cleanliness issue and go so far as to report him to Air in the ‘feedback only for AIr Bnb’ portion of the review.

No, its not a rhetorical question.
Cleanliness is subjective but not to this extent, Both places were filthy, bathrooms disgusting with stuff on walls.
I am not talking about little dust here and there, or a little cobweb. The cobweb was like in a horror movies, hanging from every corner. And the worst of all was cat smell.
MOST Airbnbs i stayed in were shared bathrooms also, but it was always decent. I am not looking for spotless condition but decency should be maintained.

I agree, thats why i asked about any standards. I understand that i did not pay much, and i would not mind room being small which it was not, it was quite large, or no TV, or even internet, but still cleanliness should be maintained at some standard, at least minimum. That was way below minimum.
Actually it ws not a single occupancy room, room was for 3 people and it was quite nice. We remodeled few houses in a past, and all i was thinking is what a lovely house it would be if it was maintained properly. One was older house right across park, and it was huge with 4 rooms. But it was a total mess.

A shared bathroom can either mean shared with the hosts (like my listing) or shared with other guests. Obviously, hosts can control their cleanliness. We can’t control the cleanliness of our guests.

A lot of houses in the Bay Area are very old and as we have moderate weather they are usually not very well sealed. Therefore, dust and cobwebs can build up quickly.

$100.00 per night is insanely inexpensive for the areas you stayed in. As you dislike when guests complain that they are not getting an experience that they haven’t paid enough to expect, you might want to review your expectations. If cleanliness is really important to you, stay in places with five stars for cleanliness and have a lot of reviews mentioning how clean the listing was. This will cost you more. I truly believe that Airbnb has room for varied listings and as long as there is no deception in the listing it’s on the guest to make sure that the listing meets their needs.

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I do not think you are understanding the point of my post. Cleanliness is important to me but i dont require spotlessness.You dont think that the place needs to be clean?? EVEN if its priced moderately? I price my room at 50$ but i never thought that cheaper the place is the dirtier it should be. It can lack amenities or location, or quality of sheets or lack of toiletries but not acceptable cleanliness.
Several guests can not mess up bathroom like this if its being cleaned on a regular basis. These bathrooms are never cleaned i am sure of that. Or may be once in a blue moon.


SRO doesn’t have a limit on the number of occupants IN a room, but just that you are renting only ONE room. There are many long term residents that live in SRO building here in SF and have 4-6 people per room. This is very common in China town.

They (SROs) not known for being particularly clean or anywhere you would want to stay. I was simply saying many sub $100 listings here are similar to typical SROs where its shove as many people as possible in a room and not care about anything accept the landlord/host collecting the money.

I would love to see the listing. If you want to PM me that would be awesome. Did the host have a short term permit? My guess would be no, and they are in a rent controlled apartment, that their landlords have given up on maintaining.

I was in SF for the first Airbnb Open in November '15 and a group of NY hosts stayed together in a great house. Big, newly decorated, very clean, everything well laid out. I decided to stay an extra 2 nights so I looked for a place, and found a private room with fireplace in a shared apartment. I got to the shared apartment and walked in, had a look, and almost walked out. @Yana_Agapova like you it was mainly the bathroom that was an issue, although the entire apartment was filthy!!! The host texted me a few minutes after I arrived and said he’d be there shortly. I decided to wait a few minutes and talk to him. When he arrived he was a very young man, maybe 21. I told him that I was in SF for the Open, and he was surprised that I was a host, so I guess not everyone looks at profiles! I told him that I loved the location of his place, his instructions for finding it were perfect, but if I could offer him some feedback about the place itself… then I told him that I thought the place could use some attention, maybe from a professional. He got a bit indignant and said he had vacuumed my room and changed the sheets. I did see that there was lines in the carpet, but I think the vacuum had absolutely no suction, as the carpet was most definitely not clean. I also told him that if he was welcoming guests I thought that more important than dishes in the sink and a gritty carpet, was the bathroom, and that his bathroom was very dirty. He was a bit put out, and said “nobody’s complained before”. This was not dirty from one or two days, this was absolutely filthy from never being thoroughly cleaned.

I looked for an alternative place, didn’t find anything that looked so much better, so I went out and bought some Lysol cleaner, some vinegar and baking soda and washed out the tub and the surround. I took towels from the closet and laid them all over the floor, when I got out of the shower as I wasn’t about to scrub that for him. The sink got a good clean as well. I didn’t even venture into the kitchen and went out for coffee.

When it came time to review, I wrote about the location, his responsiveness, the clear directions, etc. I also added that it was a busy shared household with a lot of people using a bathroom and that while it was functional, it wasn’t very clean and despite letting the host know about it, it was not addressed.

The host got the review and freaked out and told me it was the last time he was taking some old lady as a guest. I replied back that it was a very good idea, he should stick to frat boy guests as they would likely be fine with a filthy place!


Lol, mine was young too, but around 30, and very responsive. He also made me wait for check in until 5.

We have a lot of people here in SF that hear about Air BNB and the $$ they can make and just throw their apartment/extra room on Air, not actually realizing what goes into hosting. Since SF now requires permits and possibly (pending mayoral signature) Air to purge their website of unpermitted hosts, the choices should be getting better.

If any of you need a room in SF please check out https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/511448. He’s a very good friend of mine and offers 3 rooms in his house, all at varying price points.

My guess is he was a renter doing Air illegally without his landlords knowledge, which you the guest would never have known. So please don’t take that statement the wrong way :slight_smile:

I dont know about permits, or what SRO means. look for listing in your email.
It sounds like you kind of agreeing that unacceptable level of cleanliness is ok . DOnt we as hosts still need to provide guests with clean and safe environment, does not matter what price it is? Should price determine the level of cleanliness or a certain standard stil needs to be maintained?
I understand that SF is very expensive and frankly AIrbnb prices there make no sense to me as they are as high as hotels. I see rooms listed for 150$ and up, private rooms without even private bath.Good hotels, like 4 * hotels. I stayed there for 2 weeks and paid under 160$ for different hotels. I found for 1 day deal in Fairmont for 175$, and its a 5* amazing historic hotel on a hill walking to Union square, where they packed my luggage for me. Other hotels were Intercontinental for 160$ , Executive for 127$ a night,and so on. One weekend i paid 95$ for Marina inn which was very nice small hotel few steps from Marina including breakfast.
That 3 days prices skyrocketed and because i did not make reservations ahead of time and there was a bunch of events and conferences in town, i had to look for other options.

Thanks for your friend, i will definitely look into this.

HAHA, love this :slight_smile:

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