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How messy is too messy?

Copious crumbs on the floor, soda spills, stained towels, just a general lack of cleanliness? When do you mention it in a review?

What’s the cut-off for you, as a host, when you go from “this is normal and acceptable” to “you are pigs”?

I’m still struggling with this after 2.5 years. Most people leave the place immaculate, but some…not so much. And I never really know where to draw the line between “ok, maybe this is just how they live…” and “wow, that’s pretty disrespectful.”

Honestly, when I can’t pinpoint the difference, I usually don’t leave a review, and I know that’s not what I should do. But I’m hesitant.

So…what do you do? Advice please.

I’ve found that the Anally Expulsive think any kind of care for your home (and livelihood and life’s work possibly) is Anally Retentive.

I just found melted cheese in the crumb tray of my toaster.

Geez, we’ve never had a guest that behaved like that. Ours have always left the place nearly as clean as they’ve found it. I suppose if we did get a guest like that, I’d mention it in the review, and not nicely…

May I suggest…put your fee up. It seems to attract more responsible people. During slow periods,my fee goes down a bit and I have noticed the dregs come out to play. This includes irresponsible, dirty people. I think people value what they pay more for, in all areas.

None of these bother me. People are on vacation, after all, and I don’t expect them to clean. Crumbs on the floor are no problem because the floor needs cleaning/sweeping before the next guests anyway. Soda spills are fine unless it’s dark coloured and on a white sofa. Stained towels are to be expected as are stained linens etc. These things are just normal use to me.

Well if 95% of the guests manage to eat their bread without spilling crumbs all over the place, then the other 5% do not earn all of their stars.

There is no reason to turn into some kind of pig when you are on holiday.


My area has a fairly complicated waste sorting system (we have waste, compost, then three different types of recycling) so if they mix up the recycling, I don’t ding them for that, even though I do take the time to explain (and have a sorting guide up on the fridge, and all the different types of receptacles available).
However, when I’m finding maxi pads and diapers in the compost bin, then I’m going to take a few stars off for cleanliness.
I have it in my house rules that “If you spill anything, please clean it up (I provide cleaning supplies). Please wash, dry, and put away your dishes before leaving, strip the bed(s) that you used, and put your used towels in the hamper” (something like that, anyway).

The majority of the guests I’ve had have followed this - I mean if they don’t strip the beds I’m not fussed, and crumbs don’t bother me (I have to wipe down counters and sweep floors anyway it just takes me an extra second or two to do so). But the guests who left here yesterday … didn’t. There was a nutri-grain bar smashed into the sofa cushions, oatmeal on the counter, some sort of sticky red juice on the kitchen floor, the dishes were left dirty in the sink, hair everywhere, and all the (sopping wet) towels were piled on the (hardwood) floor NEXT TO the hamper. They have received all positive reviews so far, so I’m debating between just NOT writing a review or giving them 0/5 stars for cleanliness.

I understand they had two small children with them but you clean up after your kids.

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This might be true among tourists but not among travelers. My rental is a room in my home. It is brand new and quite nice and my price have never been over $50 for 2 people. I’ve had over 140 different guests and only good experiences. But, my town gets few tourists it’s mostly people passing through.


Was exactly my thought. Stained towels are not ok because it’s damage and stains don’t come off. Spills are not ok, they have to be wiped . Crumbs it depends. If it’s a little then it’s fine but not the whole floor covered with them.
Guests know they will get a review , they need to work for it like we host do. It’s a 2 way street

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You need to give a review. To give 0 stars would seem petty, maybe 2? You can say something like “these guests were not respectful of my place. They did not try to follow my house rules regarding cleanliness, and they even left food out in multiple places.”

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For me, too messy is anything that can’t easily be fixed. So if guests spill red wine on a sofa, for instance, I expect them to tell me about it right away, and they generally do.

We tend to have the opposite problem and I specifically state in the house manual that we don’t expect guests to spend their last day cleaning. They nearly always do, particularly the French! I’ve also tried to make the apartment and the loft reasonably easy-maintenance and have had very little damage or mess that can’t be cleared.

Since we and our cleaning lady have perfected our routine, which consists of blitzing every available surface, I’d really just as soon have a bit of mess rather than something that looks superficially clean but not to our standards, so we’d have to clean it again anyway …

Also, because I like to keep an eye on things, we offer a “room refresh” every 4 or 5 days if guests are staying a week or longer. Guests always seem to like this, but they don’t realise it’s actually for my benefit so I can keep an abreast with any possible problems! So although I’m pretty much a Neat Freak myself, I’m much more laid back when it comes to messy guests.

I find crumbs and maybe rubbish occasionally. I just rate them lower. I don’t say “clean” in the review (i always do if they are).

@KKC, I feel like we have to repeat this over and over! My prices were rock-bottom at the beginning and my guests were lovely. It’s actually less fun now that I’m charging more.

Do you charge for this?

I wouldn’t. Long-term guests (unless getting a crazy discount), should earn you more money regarding time spent cleaning, AND, it would keep them accountable with keeping it clean/maintained. A win and worth the time.

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Yes! I’m going to keep repeating it.

Talking about a different kind of messy…I know you’ve been thinking about how much you can get for inauguration. The pope was here on the border (he was in our sister city in MX) and supposedly people were going to be able to make a killing. I just couldn’t see jacking up the price for someone who is devout enough to see the pope. It turned out the remodeling wasn’t finished so I didn’t have a dilemma. If I lived in DC I would not be able to rent to someone coming to celebrate a Trump victory (I’ll probably get criticized for saying that but whatever.) So I’d have to wait until the election to make the room available.


I understand your thinking - but, wouldn’t it be better to benefit from the Trump victory than to not?

Either way, I want to earn my insurance premium that weekend. ; )

I hope you get a fabulous booking for that weekend.

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We’ll see!!! I think it’s all insanity - I just want to bury my head.

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