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Laundry and detergent, do you provide for free?


I can imagine myself booking into a place for one night if I was for example camping and wanted to use the laundry. But in that event I would always offer to pay the host for the privilege. I take it that guests never do that?


I charge $5 per load for guests to use my washer/dryer which includes detergent. It’s a really big washer so usually one load is all they need.


I’ve travelled extensively with family and solo in various types of hotels, cottages, hostels, whole home rentals. None have ever offered free laundry. When we travelled as a family, I always ended up doing the wash at the laundromat.

It’s more than the cost of soap. At my place I have no gas dryer- running the electric dryer is costly, I don’t use it. Then there is the septic, excessive loads would put a burden on it. There are two laundromats in the nearest town.

I think forum members have to accept that we can be good hosts even if we don’t do it your way.


Play it by ear. I take in only one guest at a time so I advertise free use of washer/dryer. “Guest Soap”(written in red Sharpie) is on top of the dryer. It’s some gawdawful scented stuff from the 99cent store that someone left. I tell them to use that or buy their own because, as you mentioned, soap is expensive.

If I’m going to do a load I’ll ask them if they have anything they’d like washed. Many do. It’s always hugely appreciated.


We have different host styles all together. For me, it is unacceptable to simply buy the cheapest washing powder I find. For environmental reasons I buy the product that is most environmentally friendly and this is often an expensive product. For the same reason, I believe that it is not good when guests just wash a few garments. By requiring payment guests wait until they have filled the washing machine well before they wash. The dryer uses a lot of power, even this is not environmentally friendly. By taking charge extra for the dryer ( only a small amount) our guests rather hang up the laundry on the drying rack. Forme this has nothing to do with it if I make money or not, but that I will respect the environment.


Prior to moving to where I am now I had city water all my life, never gave it a second thought. It was cheap, very cheap. Now not so much. The municipal water system is crumbling and after decades of neglect (that cheap water I spoke of) the bill is going way higher.

Now, I have a well as do all my neighbors. Many have gone dry this past Summer, many needed to be re-drilled… way deeper. Water is something I think about a lot these days. Save my wash for one load a week. Shower a bit less unless really dirty.

Just my two cents.


I think we probably have very similar hosting styles–at least regarding the laundry issue and being environmentally conscious. I buy the environmentally safe, non-scented detergent that I use sparingly. I also hang to dry some of my stuff on the ends of sawed off palm fronds in my driveway.

Since I show in my listing a pic of the washer/dryer for their use, I leave the crap soap there if I’m not around to ask if they have anything they’d like me to wash with my stuff. Most don’t; but if they do it’s a couple or three items. If I were hosting couples and families I would definitely have a re-think of my laundry policy :slight_smile:


As a host - I advertise that we offer laundry with eco-friendly soap. I think it is an added benefit that gives my listing value.

When I’m the guest - we travel light, so it is important to find places that offer laundry along the way. We pack just a few days worth of clothing and wash it every 3-4 days. For those “laundry days” I particularly choose a place that has laundry. The cost of doing it may be factored in to where we stay.

So offering laundry (paid or free) might just be the thing that gives you the edge in your bnb listing.


I don’t know…my experience has been the same. Almost no one does laundry at my house! And it’s free, along with the soap! You’re just lucky that way, @Yana! :wink:


I don’t think so that I am just lucky that way. It’s like saying I am attracting a certain type of guest, which never made any sense to me.
But even if few do it like washing 4 pieces of clothes every day it’s bad enough.


Sorry, @Yana - I was being sarcastic. I know it’s been an issue for you and was making a joke of it, but didn’t mean to be unkind. I do think of it now and then, why some guests get chronic laundry washers while I get so few.


I started leaving some laundry detergent again just to see if guests do laundry. I left 3 pods out and there was an almost empty bottle of liquid detergent but had at least another load or so. Guest who stayed 2 nights used all of it except for a tiny bit in the bottle. Two parents and two children between 5 -9. They only lived less than an hour away.

I am not sure how the pod thing works. Anyone know if people put more than one pod in if it is a large load? Anyway, if it is one pod per load plus the liquid detergent…she did at least 4 loads of laundry. I cannot imagine how many loads she would have done if she stayed a week and had four kids. Most likely washing tiny things separately, etc OR she brought laundry from home to get done. They also were extremely wasteful with the amount of towels they used. I have never had a need to only put out a certain amount of towels out for guests. I won’t be changing that system either…unless it becomes a pattern. It is most definitely not the behavior of my baby boomer guests. Younger people always use the most towels.


We include a washer as well as washing powder.


Have you considered that they might have taken the pods home with them? It happens all the time.

If you’re in an area with hard water (or if guests from hard water areas don’t know the difference) they might use more soap.

Ours has a squirt top that measures the concentrated liquid with a label saying “only 2 Tbps per load”.


It’s possible they took them home with them, but they didn’t take any of the extra rolls of toilet paper, paper towels, kleenex, etc. - all these other things they have access to. The number of towels from bath and kitchen was just crazy, so it matches the behavior of someone washing 4 loads in less than 48 hrs. And they live less than an hour away…so it wasn’t like they had been traveling or anything.


Very strange. I hope they weren’t sopping up something with your nice towels!


We used to offer it for free but people abused it. They would do a whole load for just a few pieces of clothing then a few minutes later they’d do another load for a few more pieces.

So we decided to charge $2, if they used our supplies. Suddenly everybody had their own supplies! And they kept abusing it

So now we charge $2.00 if they have their own supplies and $3.00 if they want to use ours. Now no one has their own supplies anymore, but they don’t abuse it anymore either. And the $3.00 now pays for their supplies and ours too, so we now look forward to every load!


For me, as it is a whole-house rental, laundry room and supplies come with it. I think in the past years I maybe have went through 2 bags of 36-count pods, so not a big deal. I find most people don’t do laundry, or they do only one or two loads.

For me, it’s just part of the whole package that you get when you stay here. Laundry soap (Tide pods), Fabric Softener, Bleach pods (no liquid bleach, that’s asking for problems!), spray starch - we provide it all! In the end, probably costs us less than $40 a year to keep the laundry room stocked.



Same experience JONYORK.
But reading that most of you have had guests that don’t use washing machine at all or used it very light makes me very happy because that means I’m through an unlucky period… I hope in the future! I started as host 4 months ago. All my guests don’t use the facilities but abuse.

Sometimes I think they are not tourists, but some social experiment like “be a housewife in other country”. Cook and wash all the time! :disappointed:

(sorry for my english, I’m italo-argentine)


I have approach this issue in the past in 2 different ways:

  • Buy your detergent in bulk online, perhaps a place like Amazon ( you can have a run of the mill brand and whichever one you prefer for yourself apart) the point being that the cost will go down.

  • Or find a local laundry/drycleaners and let them know you’d like to send them some clients. Then you can remove the option of Laundry in house but offer the services of this laundry nearby. We have worked with some great ones here in Montreal where they will come pick up your clothes and delivered them folded within a day. It’s a fantastic service when you don’t mind paying for it. But again that’s a choice for your guests to make.

ps: You can also set a referral fee with the laundry so you get a small commission every time a guests uses their services, ditto for restaurants, bars and businesses in general nearby.

Hope this helps.