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New guy looking for insight about soap and shampoo and more

I am a new guy in this and my guest room has been used so far for 2 nights, and the guest is booking another night as well, so i am happy! But i have a couple of questions since i am new and not too sure what to do about preparation.

I left out some towels and a mini shampoo and soap. The guest did not use the soap or the shampoo. I am wondering, since this room is a shared bathroom, and will probably be for short term things, do people buy a generic shampoo and liquid soap and leave it in the shower? What brands etc?

Also, on these one night or two night stays, do the guests usually want amenities like coffee or such?

Thanks in advance for answering these questions - i think i will be a great host i hope lol

I started out with mini soaps and shampoos I’d saved from previous hotel visits. Then guests left a lot of their own shampoo - people travel to your place, go out to buy shampoo, then leave since they don’t want to take it on the airplane. You can ask guests what they want before they arrive to have it ready for them.

Have you ever left a bottle of regular size shampoo out for a guest?

Yes, I had a bottle of Trader Joe’s tea tree tingle out.

I suppose your place will look nicer if you always put out brand new shampoo but it’s rather costly.

Re: your question about coffee, I think it’s entirely up to you. If it’s something you want to offer and think it will add value to your listing, do it. But if it is a hassle for you, don’t feel obligated. Just make sure whatever you do, that you set guest expectations in your listing by describing what is and is not included.

I have little bars of soap from hotels that I lay out. Usually the guests don’t use them. I also have two big bottles of shampoo/conditioner in the shower that I plan to replace when they are empty.

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I buy generic body wash at Wal Mart and also offer shampoo that the other guests leave behind in one of the bathroom cabinets. Most bring their own small bottles of what they prefer using in terms of shampoo and conditioners so I find that the shampoo doesn’t get used much.

I also buy small bottles of hand soap and refill them with the big bottles before every guest. I think buying little soaps is OK but you have to trash them between every guest so a lot goes to waste. I find the refillable soap bottle works well and are cost effective.

You could try buying a dorm sized small coffee pot and providing coffee and tea, but more than likely they won’t really care. I find really that they don’t seem to appreciate it much so I stopped doing it. (And had the nerve to complain it wasn’t KONA coffee!!) so If you are in a city and they can easily get to a starbux most of them are going to opt for that.

Each thing I offer adds one more thing I have to clean or provide so now I am all about the “time is money” factor. I’ve been an Air host almost since the day they opened their doors.

interesting, i have shampoo and body wash in the bathroom, in case if someone doesnt have. also some bath oil, and others, what guests left. coffe, cream, sugar, instant capuccino, sweetener in the kitchen, black and fruit tea also, and they tend to use them.

No one uses my little soaps either, but I keep a wicker basket of items in case someone forgets a razor or toothpaste etc. I have a mini Keurig machine. Got it on sale at Walmrart when they had their “Back to School” sale. My guests love their coffee, but we live near Seattle and Vancouver, so coffee is very important here.

I think mid-range brand of shampoo and conditioner is fine - nothing very pricey - if the guest is very particular they will bring their own with them. However, I wouldn’t go to cheap either as it will make you look, well, cheap. Find a nicer brand that is on sale. I would offer coffee and tea - seems like in our culture that’s just the basics, as basic as shampoo and soap!

Good luck with your listing!!

Many high-end places do provide Kona coffee, which can run $30 per pound for estate grown. If I bought that for every guest, it’s almost half my nightly rate. I can’t afford it.

I don’t provide provisions for guests due to so many different tastes and preferences and the fact that I’m a budget priced place. There’s condiments such as salt, pepper, oil and a few other standard items but otherwise I let all guests know that provisions are the responsibility of the guest. I’m not a high end B&B where you might expect those things such as Kona coffee.

Guests should not expect a four star type of place from me, nor do I promise that. Most guests really love that I have high end snorkeling and beach gear. It’s where I’d rather spend my money.


If you live near a Ross, they have soaps & shampoos that look fancy but are discounted.

I also have a K-cup brewer. Four guests and no one has used it. Glad I didn’t buy it just for this. We’ll see.


I’m with you on the Ross soaps!


Me too! Have Ross body wash sitting in my unit as we speak.

Keep in mind I rent a two bedroom house and am not there with my guests - so this is what I leave:

I provide those giant bottles of Tressemme shampoo and conditioner.

No bar soaps as I can’t imagine someone using a bar of soap for a couple of days and then just tossing it. Plus, I don’t get to hotels so don’t have mini ones. I provide shower gel: not generic brand but not fancy either - Caress, St. Ives, Axe for him/her, etc.

I put the above in a container and leave underneath cabinet. I let guests know before they pack that they can help themselves and all bottles are shared by other guests.

Coffee: I purchase a box of S&D regular packets from Sam’s. Each packet makes a pot of coffee. I provide a drip coffee maker. For creamers I offer the mini Moo Moo’s that can sit out at room temperature. I fill a sugar dispenser - no packets. There is an old coffee mate powder creamer. And an old Folgers decaf canister from so so long ago. I guess I should throw it out…lol. I don’t think I will continue to offer decaf.

Next to the coffee I have a canister filled with 8 name brand granola bars purchased from the discount grocery store. So they may be expired but not long after the “best sell by” date. Hey but they’re free! I eat them too. Good enough for me then good enough for my guests. It may be fruit bars the next time. It’s whatever deal I can snag.

There is also a bin of instant oatmeal variety and cheese grits. This was also purchased from the discount grocery and hardly anyone touches it.

I am going to order some individual teas too. I am going to upgrade from my one box of black tea bags that are not individually wrapped.

But do what works for you. If you drink generic coffee from a canister then you may want to only provide a shared canister for guests. I did that for a long time. Some people think it’s gross but oh well…it’s complimentary. And if you can use it yourself then it won’t go to waste.

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Forgot to add - when the shampoo bottles and body wash get low I buy new ones. I use the old ones because I don’t have a preferred brand. So again, whatever works for you where you don’t have to waste product.

As we speak I am trying to clear my coffee station of horrid vanilla flavored coffee that my last guests brewed. If anyone leaves that crap behind I toss it. I’ve run two pots of vinegar and water and the smell is still there. Any suggestions?

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Sorry - wish I did have suggestions. I wonder if squeezing a lemon would remove the odor? My coffee machines always smells like coffee no matter after how much cleaning. I always wonder if guests think I don’t clean it.

I am a Costco shopper so I have a large Pantene shampoo and conditioner in the shower, and toothpaste in a large tube. I also provide (Dunkin Donuts ground) coffee in a small jar, as well as sweetener, salt and pepper. I do not like the waste of small container items. I am not a hotel, I have a home. If people are wary of trying something that has been shared with others, they are welcome to provide their own items.

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I leave shampoos and other toiletries like conditioner or body scrub from other guests. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Some guests leave behind hardly touched bottles. Soap I only provide liquid In a bottle. Coffee: most of my guests don’t care about coffee or tea. They want to leave the house as soon as they are finished with shower. Especially if you have coffee shop nearby or some breakfast place like I do. Most of my guests I don’t see in a morning. I offer coffee only to those who I bump Into on my way to work. I always tell them that they can make coffee themselves and offer to show them how but they usually are not interested.

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