How long should it take for me to clean a unit?

That depends on location and the length of your bookings. It is really dusty where I live in the tropics in dry season, and buggy, and there are geckos that run around the walls and ceilings and drop little poops. Cleaning the baseboards isn’t time consuming for me, I just run a damp cloth along them when I’m washing the floor, and believe me, it’s necessary.
I might not do it every time if I took 1 night bookings, but my minimum is 3 nights, and most of my guests stay longer.

But when I lived on the rainy west coast of Canada, there wasn’t any dust or bugs or geckos, so when I cleaned things, they stayed clean for a long time.

Wow! I never realized how much our current situation is saving us in cleaning time! Our guesthouse has a kitchenette - but not even close to a full kitchen you could prepare meals in. Most of our guests eat out or have it delivered so our kitchenette clean up is minimal. We also tend to get a lot of one night stays, so there’s only so much damage that can be done. We have found that the length of stay and number of guests has a huge impact on clean-up time. For most guests, with my wife and i working together we can have it ready for our next guests in around 30-45 minutes tops - but we’ve been doing this since 2016 so we have it down to a finely tuned machine! We used to bemoan our “one night guests” fate…but now, i am seeing the bright side!


I would estimate that at least an hour, probably longer, of my ‘cleaning time’ consists of re-stocking and also checking.

If a host only leaves out the number of products they think the current party will use, then many items at turnover will need to be replaced or re-stocked.

Most hosts don’t leave vast numbers of supplies in their rentals as these might be deliberately nicked or accidentally overused - things like loo paper, paper towels, toiletries, coffee / sugar / tea. storecupboard items like condiments, oil etc, dish soap, dishwasher pods, cleaning materials, local weekly magazines, bottled water, and so on and so on.

Other items need to be re-stocked or replaced less often such as filters for the water jug, batteries for the remote etc.

Then there’s all the checking that can be so time-consuming as we have to be sure that everything is working perfectly. This isn’t just the kitchen appliances but also all lights and lamps, TV, water heater, internet, AC (or heat), and much more.

Then, as if that lot wasn’t enough, there’s checking inside the closets, inside dresser and nightstand drawers, in the oven, in all the kitchen cupboards and drawers … and when all that is done, the exteriors that guests will use or see - terrace, dock, deck, balcony, walkway, paths, parking space - plus any outside furniture.

All that in addition to thorough cleaning - no wonder I look to be about a hundred years old.


No it isn’t. Neither is cleaning the windows every time if part of your USP is the view.


I have this issue right now. My Airbnb space on the bottom floor of my house is a separate apartment. My cleaners take 2.5 hours to clean including the window on the the terrace. The previous cleaner took the same amount of time. This usually doesn’t include laundry which I do myself. Partly it is because there are a lot of pictures, books, rugs and objet d’art. And most of my guests bring dogs who are allowed onto the furniture. My cleaners own their own purpose built Airbnb apartment attached to their house and it is kept fairly basic as they can clean it themselves which takes about 1.5 hours. Other hosts I know also take this minimalist option, which is similar to hotel rooms so room service can easily clean the whole place in under half an hour. I check with my guests and they say they like the books and pictures so hopefully it isn’t messy (except to clean) or overwhelming. One even offered to buy some books from me! Hope that helps. 4.5 hours seems excessive, but who am I to judge. I know from experience that some people take twice as long and if you watch them they are working the whole time but not very efficiently. Like going back and forth to decide something, rather than just doing it. Not saying that’s you.

I often get guests who tell me enthusiastically they have cleaned the place so no need for the cleaner to do it. I explain the cleaner has to budget like everyone else so I can’t just tell them the day before not to bother coming. Also I ask them if it was as clean as the guests said it was and they just smile and shake their head “only the bits you can easily see”. I also get some guests who I swear the whole point of their vacation is to travel around and judge other people’s cleaning standards. Something like “I noticed there was a spot behind the very heavy cabinet in the bedroom your cleaner missed”. Then claim to have cleaned it better and still do a meh job.

I make a point of the windows to the sea view being cleaned as my previous cleaner said they were a bit dirty from the salt air. Now I make sure they are squeeky clean every time. And I have hjad comments the baseboards were dirty from when I cleaned it myself on crutches and couldn’t reach down that far. One tip I used was if you can’t afford to repaint the whole place at least repaint the base boards.

1 Like

I’ve read so many times on other forums guests saying “I didn’t make a mess and washed my dishes and swept the floor, and bagged the garbage, so what am I paying a cleaning fee for?”, that it’s obvious most guests have no idea what cleaning between guests entails. But they’ll be quick to complain if they see some hair in the shower drain or encounter some dishes with bits of food stuck on. The most common category ratings you see with less than 5*s is for Cleanliness.

For that matter, neither do some hosts understand what cleaning entails, when they think their cleaner should be able to thoroughly clean a one bedroom apt. in 45 minutes, saying that’s how long it took them when they cleaned it themselves.

And of course it would never enter most guests’ minds to consider that to retain a good cleaner, they have to be able to depend on a regular schedule.