Guest doesn't wash dishes

*We rent a room at our apartment

We have a guest (right now), who cooks breakfast every morning and doesn’t wash dishes after herself.

Any idea how we can gently inform her that has to wash dishes after herself?

Place her dirty dishes in front of her bedroom door, with the note: “You forgot to take care of these. Thanks.”


I’m sorry, we don’t do business like this here in Moscow.

We are superhosts, so we do care about our five-star reviews.
And we are looking for a different solution, which will not affect our future review from a guest side.


Presumably you have something in your house rules about guests clearing up after themselves whether in the kitchen, bathroom or other communal areas @Anton

When you showed the guest around did you show her how she could wash up after herself?

That being the case, when she is making her breakfast just give her a gentle reminder. Point out how she can wash her dishes again ie rinse and stack in dishwasher or point her in the direction of washng up liquid and sponges and ask if you can remember to do this when she has finished eating after her breakfast.

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I guess I would take a passive aggressive approach. I would hide all the clean dishes and just leave her dirty dishes in the sink. That would force her to wash her plates.


Why be gentle? Why be passive aggressive? You’re not being unreasonable, after all. Expecting a grown up person to clean up after themselves is more than reasonable and so is mentioning it. There’s no need to walk on eggshells.

If she knows that she’s doing wrong, then she’s being deliberately awkward and there’s no reason to act subserviently. If she’s dumb enough not to know, then you’ll have done her a favour for future stays.


There is no “gently inform her” solution this this issue. You need to either do as @Don_Burns said, and put the dishes at her door; or confront her face to face and say “Wash your dishes, we are not your servants.”

In Moscow or New York or Port Vila, being a Superhost does NOT mean bending over backwards to placate guests who think you are their servants. One 4 star review will not hurt your status.


The next time she’s home, just say “Guest, I’d like to show you where the dish soap and cleaning supplies are. We may have overlooked this when we gave you the home tour, but we expect our guests to clean their own dishes after cooking a meal. Here’s this, that, the other thing…”

It’s not a big deal. Just approach them as a friend - you’re just teaching them how to operate in your home!


“Hey, Jane, could you do us a favor and wash your dishes? We’d really appreciate it. “

Then change the subject to something more positive, to avoid awkwardness.

“Oh, by the way, I wanted to tell you about this great store/cafe/museum/park/whatever near the house. I think you’ll really like it.”
(Change to your specific situation and the guest in question.)

If she gets up earlier and you never see her, I guess you could say the same things in an Airbnb message.


She won’t. If she’s made it this far in life thinking thats ok to be that inconsiderate, then its going to be really difficult for her to even understand why this might be a problem. Even if she wanted to do the dishes, she might be in such a rush that she hasn’t set aside time for it.

My suggestion is to take the kitchen off as an amenity and remove all the pictures of it if you don’t want to be cleaning up after guests. I struggled with this for a while. I even started charging a $20 cleaning deposit to use the kitchen but then I got complaints ‘Its just a bag of popcorn…’ or ‘I just want to make tea…’.

In the end, I built a second kitchen just for guests and I don’t mind as much if they make that one dirty because its just for guests. They pay extra for that listing with their own kitchen though. Its half the price for a room without it. When guests want to use the kitchen in their booking request for the less expensive, I let them know about the listing that has the kitchen.


@KenH, honey. Please. This is not hospitality. You are the undisputed master of the concise negative review, but on this issue you are simply not thinking like someone in the hospitality business.

“Hi! Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening! Are you having a nice stay? Great - I am happy to hear that and I need to mention one thing - we do expect guests to wash their own dishes if they use our kitchen. Maybe we did not make that more clear, for which I am sorry. We washed your dishes on other days, but going forward, we do ask that you wash any dishes and cookware you use to cook and prepare your own meals. … Thank you for understanding!”

Done. No pussyfooting around, but you’re nice about it.


… I also love @GardenGnome’s suggestion - especially changing the subject quickly to let them save face and be less awkward. No one likes to be shamed. No one.


Sounds like the main problem is that she didn’t wash them one or more times and you washed them for her. Now she either thinks it’s OK or she’s just taking advantage of it.

If you’re around when she’s cooking, just ask her to wash her dishes when she’s through, and make sure she does it.

If you’re not around, then leave the dirty dishes in the kitchen for her with a note saying please wash your dishes after cooking/eating.


I had guests like this and often. Some even if i told them still dont wash dishes.
One couple during one night stay drankmtea all night and everytime pulled a clean cup out. At the end of the night there were 8 cups there in a sink.

I little not next to clean dishes or over sink: all used dishes mus be washed. Do not leave used dishes in a sink.
Or just tell them: please wash dishes after yourself

Bending forward and being rude to your guests are 2 different things

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well, believe or not it happen to me once, while I was a guest. Not to me per se, but I was traveling with my son and I trusted him to clean the cereal bowl. No, he put it in the sink, as if the dirty dishes fairy was going to come after him! The next morning before we left I told him to wash his dishes. he did. So, if your guest is doing this every morning it’s one thing, if not that’s another.
long does she stay? You can put up with her and deal with it in the review if all you care is your 5 star rating. After all what she does is annoying, it’s not like she caused any trouble, or did something major!

So glad we have this forum to tackle the tough hosting questions. I’m surprised no one has told you to call Airbnb or to cancel their reservation.


Some very valid comments already, as a few hosts have already mentioned being too blunt could leave you with a unhappy guest, and when you’re in the hospitality game it’s all about leaving your guests with a warm and fuzzy feeling (and topping up those rave reviews)!

That said, it’s your home and you are well within your rights to expect guests to clean up after themselves (after all it’s a few plates - you’re hardly expecting them to clean the windows and mop the floor)! If you are going to tackle the situation make sure you do it with a lighthearted request and a big smile!

It’s also worth making sure you have clear house rules, a simple one about clearing up after themselves should provide a nudge in the right direction for any future guests.

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More often than not it’s just something that got overlooked. Do the dishes in front of her and show her how. After all, if dishes are the only problem, great!

Port Vila?? Ken, you been there? Me too<><>

Give hr a stack of paper plates.

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