Excessive use of linens

We are fairly new to Airbnb. Our accommodation is a huge rental - nearly 5000 square feet with 6 bedrooms, 13 beds, 3 bathrooms and huge kitchen/dining/living area. Recently a couple of small groups have been rather thoughtless in their use of linens…
ie: 6 guests for one night used 14 large bath towels, and used 11 of the 13 beds (so we have to wash 11 beds worth for 6 people.) Not to mention over 4 rolls of good quality toilet paper (we are on a septic!) and a dozen tea towels.
I feel this is excessive and a bit out of line. But I dont know if I should suck it up or mention it privately to the guests so they know for next time. My husband feels we should just accept it. FYI We charge 125.00 USD per night for ONE person, and add 25.00 per person per night. So a group of 6 has nearly 5000 square feet to themselves for $250.00 per night. Curious about your experiences and responses…

It’s excessive and your prices are too low. Are some of those bunk beds? Were there kids using them?


We have 11 double beds and 2 queens. In the last scenario it was a woman with 5 young people.
Another group of six recently were all young working professional women and they used 9 beds and TONS of towels and TP.
Our rates are low, however they are consistent with the local market and the fact that we are in a very remote location.

OOOH! I am so happy I can help with this one!!! We were having the same problem! You will have this problem again; it’s not just these guests!

6 guests should be expected to use 12 towels (2 each); guys generally use only one but you still have to give them two. Only leave out 2 towels per person. Hide the rest in a locked closet (if you have one) or in locked bins in a closet (if you do not). Same goes for sheets (we had guests pulling the sheets off and putting new ones on; if you soiled your sheets, YOU wash them!).

Leave out 4 tea towels (2 out in plain view and 2 in the drawer).

Increase your rate by the room rather than by the person (use the per person feature); lock the rooms they do not rent. I would set your minimum number of rooms high though because then you get into this constant chitter chatter about last minute additions and deletions.

Fuss with set the minimum number of rooms for the number of beds that they can get too (you have more beds than rooms). Also, only set out the amount of linens for the beds they are renting.

So, if they are renting three rooms with 3 beds and 3 sofabeds for 6 people, then only prepare the beds and set out no linens for the sofabeds.

we hide linens under the beds in underbed boxes too (so not a pain dragging them about the house).

Hard to come up with specific suggestions without knowing your configuration.

Also, don’t know where you are but your rates seem low. I charge $500 to $600 per night in Leesburg, VA for a 3500 sq ft rental (on a farm).

tp…hm…I use a roll a week (I am a girl). seems like a lot. not sure what to do about that one.

have heart that they will not use much soap. i have evidence (as in the very same soap dispensors I started with a year ago) that no one washes their hands when no one is looking!

Suck up the expense. the beds were there for use. so airbnb will not back you up.

Hang in there! Oh the stories I can tell about my first guests!


Thank you for your enthusiasm and great ideas! The configuration here is a bit tricky so not everything will work the way it does with your rental but we can tweak a few things for sure! I agree about rates but we are moving them up slowly as the local market will allow. Thanks for your feedback!

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Tea towels are tiny and easy to wash. You need at least one per meal.

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Is that 1x bath towel PLUS 1x hand/face towel?

Or 2x of each?

@HorseFeathers gave you sage advice – heed it:

  • Make up only the number of beds needed for the guest set. There is absolutely no reason that guests need more than one bed!!!
  • Provide liquid soaps in dispensers.
  • Provide only three towels (1 large, 1 small, 1 face cloth) per guest per stay.
  • Lock away all other linens, towels and consumables.
  • Lock all bedrooms not needed for each guest set.
  • Provide only 1 roll of TP per guest per stay-- and mention it as adequate (let them buy more if they need more)
  • Provide only 4 tea towels per stay.
  • Do provide paper facial tissues – this helps prevent excess TP use

Good advice but I don’t get this one. Isn’t the amount of nose blowing/make up removal going to be the same regardless of whether they use TP or tissues. Isn’t TP cheaper per yard than tissues? Am I completely missing something? Should I provide a box of tissues rather than the token handbag pack I put in the bedside cabinet?

I have a box of tissues in every room! Saves on spills and the towels.

I only ever provide that which is needed. In the early days of hosting, I provided kitchen roll, face wipes and boxes of tissues - even for a 2 night stay for 2 people, the whole lot disappeared… at the point the loo roll ran out, the boxes of tissues were used instead. I used to leave bedding for a single bed and sofa bed only to find extra guests had been sneaked in, so now I only make up beds according to number of booked guests and remove all additional bedding.

One set of “guests” decided to “liberate” all the condiments, an unopened jar of marmalade, the kitchen foil, clingfilm, dishwasher tablets, washing machine supplies and numerous books… :roll_eyes:

Now, I only leave exactly what is required for the number of guests and the length of stay. Guests can always ask me for more :wink:


SIDE NOTE: you don’t ever want them to resort to kleenex to replace tp. don’t want them flushing Kleenex!! not good for septic!!

i do leave a box in every room

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As a girl, I need one bath towel for my hair and one for the rest of me! I do not use hand towels at all or wash cloths (i bring my own poof thing when I travel).

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Only provide amenities in the rental that you’re happy for guests to use.


I totally get your pain …, but didn’t I just see another thread where someone got the observation of ‘missing amenities = missing linens on bed’ in a review?

And, unless you manage to make it crystal clear to your guests that renting your 6 bedroom rental means that 6 guests will only have access to 3 bedrooms …, which might or might not work for groups of 6 friends, you might just risk getting requests for full refunds for promised and not provided basic amenities.

I can also see the single mom with the 5 kids promising each child their own bedroom and who’s to blame her for it?

Then a question for those recommending making only a few beds: are you leaving the mattress as is?

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Well TP is for one end, and facial tissues for the other! TP can be a multitasker, but facial tissues can’t. What I do know from experience is that once we started supplying facial tissues, the guest consumption of TP dropped drastically.

We buy facial tissues from Costco in big enough quantities to be cheaper even that TP bought there.

I’d let it go. Think of ways to prevent the abuse/over-use in the future.

AirBnB’s are getting more prevalent and therefore more competitive. Your listing has a personality. Don’t create a negative one in the public reviews unless the actions are really egregious. Keep your listing’s personality as inviting as you can.

You have a private feedback for a reason. Give them a heads-up in a constructive positive way in their private feedback to let them know that you enjoyed having them but that the next host might not be as gracious with their reviews.

I agree that staging the house for different numbers of guests is the best solution for excessive bed-use. Combo locks on the rooms would allow you to do this. Also, I’d suggest you instruct guest to strip the beds when they leave to better identify the beds that need to be changed. (this might make them think before doing the goldilocks shuffle) This is always a frustrating issue for us. I almost want to tell people they don’t get extra points for making their beds. :smile: (Also, this might make them think before doing the goldilocks shuffle with your beds.)

Make-up removing wipes are a great way to keep the mascara off pillow-cases and sheets. You might note their existence and suggest their use in your house rules… people run off with them once in a while, but it has helped in preventing the need for new sheets and pillow cases…

You’ll need to spot check to make sure you’ve got those pre-treated, by the way. If there’s one thing that’s a no-no is stains on the sheets and pillow cases.


Your rate is way!!! too low. You do not want 1 person booking a 13 bed house, ties up the listing for a more expensive booking. Your rental should be marketed to larger groups. I would set your rate to target large groups around 12. Maybe have add ons after 12 people or something. What is your max occupancy?

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Yeah I get the kids all having their own room, and we certainly have the space,. We want people to leave feeling like ‘Wow the kids each got their own room - it was terrific!!’ It may be that I simply have to re inforce with them to ‘use the rooms they wish but confine themselves to the beds they actually need’ and then just put up with the few who don’t play nicely in the sandbox! My original question was, 'should i mention it to the guest in private comments, or just ignore it. I don’t want to alienate them if they are otherwise good guests, but i also feel maybe they don’t understand this is a home, not a hotel… Thats the bit i am struggling with.

that is the simplest best answer yet!

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