How do you inform guests who spray water everywhere and do not use your towels to clean up?

It is probably a cultural thing, but not using your provided towels to dry themselves or the mess they made is an ongoing problem.

I assume that their homes are waterproof in their bathrooms, and are ok with splashing water everywhere. Following their shower, they do not use towels, but actually will use up a roll of toilet paper to dry themselves (if at all) and will happily use up half a roll of paper towels per person if you allow access.

How do you inform them how Western bathrooms work? That it is NOT ok to leave standing water all over? That a newly provided towel is ok to use to dry off and it is NOT ok to use toilet paper for this purpose?

Just tell them in the same way you typed it out here. If they don’t speak English, use a good translation app.


I would probably happily provided $2 worth of paper products in place of towels if they aren’t using them. For me the problem would be the stereotyping of guests in advance. Maybe put paper products in the bathroom, towels in a closet that I assume were untouched if they look untouched. On the floor I would probably put bath rugs to soak up the mess. In addition I would as suggested by Jaquo, put instructions in their language on a laminated sheet in the bathroom.

I don’t like standing water but there is only one part of the bathroom that will be affected by it and that’s the vanity cabinet. If the water is standing on the vanity top or the floor it doesn’t have much affect. I might see if I could install something like a tile edging at the bottom of my vanity if this were a recurring problem for me.

So yes, I’d inform guest but knowing I can’t control their actions I would see what steps I could take so the behavior didn’t irritate me so.


A shared bathroom means that the next person using it is walking in standing water. It goes on the floor, on the walls. And soaked floor rugs that need to be rotated after every use of the bathroom? Going in to replace them at 1am so that the next guest who uses the bathroom at 2 does not step on sopping wet rugs? Not practical.

Paper products replacing towels is not only environmentally wrong, it also means that they need to be collected and thrown. These guests leave them on the floor even tho there is a wastebasket. Some bypass paper towels and either use toilet tissue or nothing at all, padding thru the house dripping water and reclining in their room on chairs and beds.

I agree with not controlling their actions but I still need two solutions: how to inform people what is correct in the West (fyi I already have them in rules in English, Mandarin, etc; they just do not seem to want to read them?) and also temper their their incredibly rude and thoughtless use of my home.

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Do you have bathroom mats? may help

I missed that. I agree that standing water in a shared bathroom is a no go.

I know but if they are going to use them anyway… I provide purified tasty water in refillable glass bottles and still empty out a plastic bottle per day. Also in my environment there is a trade off between landfill space and water. I realize the manufacture of the products is also a consideration but that creates jobs…I can go down a real rabbit hole analyzing all the impacts.

As I said, instructions in whatever language they speak. Send it to them in the app and put a sheet in the bathroom. Maybe a picture with the international no (red circle and slash) symbol. Maybe you could try an extra cleaning fee for wet bathrooms. Just the threat of it even if you can’t collect would work on 1 in 10? When you do the house tour tell them not to flood the bathroom?

I’m wracking my brain but since I don’t have to deal with this problem I should probably bow out.

That’s what I’d do. I’ve found that face-to-face communication beats any number of signs, house rules etc. This is probably because you can tailor them to the guest on the spot. “Hey guys, I’m sure this doesn’t apply to you but I had guests recently who XXXXXXX so I just wanted to explain that…”

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If this is an ongoing issue for you with people from a particularly area, who don’t have English as a first language - get your guest book translated and have signs translated in the bathroom.

Different cultures have different customs as hosts we need to find ways to adapt our listing to help them understand our expectations.

Can you imagine arriving in a country and staying in a home where everything was say in Arabic or Mandarin from how to use the cooker and heating to how the electronic lock system worked. Then a host got upset because you didn’t take off your shoes in their home or committed some other cultural faux pas. You wouldn’t have done this to upset them deliberately you simply weren’t used/aware of this custom.

So it is for your guests. Simple translated signs in the bathrooms with amusing illustrations is probably the way to go :slight_smile:


I just thought … although I’m too old to be around to see it, younger hosts here might one day find that they are hosting guests from other planets! Now that will be a culture shock. Might as well practice now… :slight_smile:


Let’s hope this isn’t how they do it @jaquo

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I already have them in rules in English, Mandarin, etc; they just do not seem to want to read them

I already have them in rules in English, Mandarin, etc; they just do not seem to want to read them

That’s interesting I have had many guests from this part of the world and have never had any problems whatsoever the bathroom has always been kept immaculately clean as have their bedrooms.

I do have signs in the bathroom I can put out in Mandarin and Cantonese.

When you say rules are you talking about translated signs in your bathroom or rules in your listing?



It occurs to me that we have another case here of guests are not doing what they need to do but we are digging to find what you are doing wrong.

As a close reader of this forum you know “guests don’t read” is universal regardless of SES, race, nationality. The only thing I can think of are some kind of positive or negative consequences that are directly related to the desirable/undesirable behavior. So tell them that there will be a fee every time they flood the bathroom or tell them there will be a refund for an unflooded bathroom. If you allow kitchen use, quit allowing it except on a case by case basis.

Have you spoken to your guests and asked them what you can do to help your guests from China/Chinese speaking countries understand bathroom culture in your country? @Rolf

As I mentioned earlier I have never experienced this with guests from China, Indonesia, Taiwan etc so am not sure what to suggest.

If it’s an ongoing problem, I would explain it to people right when you meet them, politely of course. If your guests are Chinese, you could try providing small hand towels that they can hang up to dry. I’ve noticed through friends and family who are from that culture that small towels are more common than the large ones we Americans are used to. They are probably not being purposefully rude, but it instead a cultural misunderstanding since we all do things based on what we have learned growing up in our own cultures.

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We currently have a Chinese couple who are not very used to Western appliances either and have needed some guidance. For example, they didn’t know that pizza is baked and were about to try to cook a frozen pizza on the stovetop in a pan. They had no clue how to use an oven and had to be shown. Once they were shown they did just fine.

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When I show guests their shower room I actually ask them to keep the floor dry, and the things clean for the other guest using it.

We have had a number of guests from Asian countries that have left the bathroom floor extremely wet, etc. We’ve started insisting on an in person check-in and we point out that the shower curtain liner must stay in the tub, and that the floor has no drain so no water should be sprayed/splashed on the floor from either the sink or tub. So far this has worked but we haven’t had that many since we’ve decided to try this. It’s just a matter of bathrooms being different there and explaining how we use ours.