Help with review

Fairly new host here.

We had a couple stay with us for 1 night who had an amazingly extensive spill of coffee as well as a red beverage all over the bed: flat sheet, fitted sheet, comforter, duvet cover, pillow cases, mopped up with the white bathroom mat and towels.

My husband happened to encounter them as they were leaving the unit and they mentioned a spill. I don’t know if they would have let us know if we hadn’t co-incidentally encountered them as they were leaving.

Our house rules at the time said “no food in the bedroom” which I have subsequently clarified to “no food or beverages (other than water)”.
I have also subsequently provided “mop-up towels” to be used in the case a spill needs to be mopped up, so nobody needs to use the good bathroom towels.

It took a lot of our time to get the stains out (we thought we got the stains out of everything when we wrote to them, but in retrospect the stain on the fitted sheet did not come out completely, so that one is also a loss), and we needed to take the king-size comforter to the laundromat.

We requested the guests cover the $21 laundromat bill (which didn’t even include the $5 tip I gave to the laundromat assistant who was indispensably helpful in getting the stains out).

This was almost 2 weeks ago and they have not even responded.

We are wondering now a couple things:

  • We are not considering sending this through the Airbnb resolution center to invoke the host guarantee, as it is probably not worth the effort for $21
  • Should we write a review about them?
    On the one hand, I’d like to just let it go and not write anything.
    Then I think if they write a negative review about us, last minute (Thursday is the last day for reviews), then I’ll regret not having written about them.
    Accidents happen, so my beef with them is about not taking responsibility.
    I would give them low marks on cleanliness, and communication. Given that I was not more explicit in the house rules, I guess I cannot say that they broke them.
    How much should I say in the review itself? I am thinking to just say “They staid 1 night” and let that speak for itself.

Be honest and accurate please.
My first thought is always - do I want them back?
I had guests who ate pizza in bed, spilled wine as well despite house rules regarding this. When asked about the stained bed I was informed that they had behaved exactly as they would in a hotel and I had to put up with it! A hotel model is where we are heading and this appears to be the behaviour that we will have to tolerate.

1 Like

Yes, you should write a review, and do so right away.

Tell, in factual language, what happened.

Maybe something like this:

“The guests spilled coffee and another beverage on the bed, staining all the bedding. They told us about it the next morning. We’re working on the stains but haven’t yet gotten everything resolved.”

I agree that accidents happen, but I also agree that the guests should certainly pay the $21. And, although you wouldn’t mention this in your review, I am puzzled about how they managed to spill two beverages all over everything. That sounds pretty irresponsible to me.

One more point, not about the review: I suggest that you use as bedding only things that you can wash on site—or at least without having to resort to a laundromat. Everything on our beds and in our bathrooms can be washed at our home. It’s all cotton, all white, and nothing is as thick as a comforter. We use layers (mattress cover, sheets and pillowcases, cotton blanket, cotton spread). They’re so much easier to wash and dry than something big, puffy, or heavy. We also provide an extra cotton blanket and a throw in case guests are cold. Most guests don’t use the extras.

Because you won’t be able to post a response to their review if you haven’t also written one.

This in addition to all of the other reasons you should write a review. Just write it at the last minute!

Thanks - that’s very helpful.
I actually just ordered another identical comforter (they are really nice; eco-filling made from recycled plastic bottles, organic cotton) as a back-up, so I could deal with another disaster like this. Your comment makes me re-think the strategy; I’ll probably return it and take your advice on layering.
All our sheets are organic cotton, aligned with our philosophy of sustainability, but it may be too expensive to keep up…


Thanks! I didn’t realize that point.

1 Like

By the way, I’m not an expert review writer. I believe it’s @KenH on this forum who knocks it out of the park every time he suggests a review. If he responds, he may have something excellent to suggest.


I’m in the home and got that response as well. I pointed out, politely, that my HR and HM state clearly that only water is to be consumed in the bedroom. Not red wine, not stinky fish paste, and no smoking indoors. And I said that they agreed to these rules when I specifically asked in a message before I accepted their booking. Please respect my home. Or you’ll get the $80 pest control fee sent through Air because … Florida … bugs.

We need to be polite and firm. Anyone tells me that I have to put up with something because they’re paying the bill puts my back up. Like the folks who stay at a restaurant table even after they’ve paid and the tablecloth has been cleared. “I paid for this so it’s mine.” Um, no. You paid for the use of the table until you pay your tab. Now it’s not yours anymore, please move to the bar. Or a hotel where they’re used to being abused. :frowning:

They paid for the use of the rooms according to the terms of your home. Period. Rehome them.


Of course. Of course. Of course. Imagine that your best friend or your mum was an Airbnb host and these people had booked with her. You’d warn them, right? So please, please, please warn your fellow hosts!

We all rely on the system and on other hosts to be honest about their guests.

If the guests are ignoring your request for money then your chances of getting them to pay are pretty much zero. Your insurance deductible will probably be a lot more than $21 so going forward, make sure that you have an amount built in to your nightly price to cover these things - they happen quite often and as you say, accidents happen, but you should be able to cover them financially.

Ideally you need three of everything. (One set in use, one in the washing process and one spare). Imagine if a guest contacted you late at night because they’d just spilt water all over the bed - you’d need the spares then.


I don’t know if I would present them with the bill given the fact its just 21$. In my experience once you present the guess with a bill, they’ll give you a bad review.
However I would mention the spill in the review. Based on this I would think twice whether I want them or not. For example: if this is a single incident and they have glowing reviews for the rest, yes I’d accept them because accidents happen. If being careless is the norm, I wouldnt want them.

Just relate the facts, nothing personal, in the review.


Spills and stains happen and I consider them just “cost of doing business”. I probably wouldn’t have tried to get the $21 from them because it’s not worth the time and trouble and the fallout from the review (and the time and trouble with that). However, I understand your situation may be different. And also that it goes against instinct. But it’s the long-play.

What really strikes me about this situation is that the spills and stains seem very extreme and yet the guests were unapologetic. I think that’s what I’d like to know about them from your review. If you tell me they left spills and stains, I’d probably excuse it because “accidents happen” but if you tell me that they were unapologetic about it, well, that speaks to character and tells me more about these guests. It has the added bonus of not breaking Airbnb’s rules about mentioning the outcome of a case but still tells me how poorly these guests handled it (as opposed to saying they didn’t pay, I wouldn’t say that because you may risk having your review removed).


Should we write a review about them?

Then I think if they write a negative review about us, last minute (Thursday is the last day for reviews), then I’ll regret not having written about them.

Who gives a rat’s butt about their review? You shouldn’t!!!

Here’s what I would say:

“Guests only stayed one night, but left a major red stain over all our white bedding, and mopped up the excess with the white bath towels. Cost us over $20 for special cleaning! They barely mentioned it as they left. Poor communicators, too.”


@KenH FTW on reviews, again.



Thanks, KenH - and everyone - for these super helpful comments.
KenH’s suggested wording is a little stronger than I’m comfortable with. So combining with RebeccaF’s suggestion, I’m coming up with this:

The guests stayed one night; they spilled coffee and another beverage on the bed, staining all the bedding. They mentioned it in passing as they checked out. We’re working on the stains (cost us over $20 for special cleaning!) and trying to communicate with the guests but haven’t yet gotten everything resolved.

I’m not familiar with Airbnb’s “rules about mentioning the outcome of a case”. Am I staying clear of that with this wording?

1 Like

It’s in their content policy:

Content that provides specific details or outcomes of an Airbnb investigation”.

Also, I would leave out the actual quote of the $20. I understand that it may be feel significant (or may be depending on where you are) but it comes across a little petty in a review and I’m afraid would muddy your point and inadvertently reflect poorly on you.