Please help me respond

We offer weekly cleaning for our guests (who book for a minimum 30 days). This is actually the legally allowed minimum in NYC.

Once of our guests obviously had the runs in our bed and we found staining on our fitted sheet, top sheet and the mattress pad necessitating extensive stain treatment and multiple laundering. The cleaning took our cleaner twice the amount of time plus he was completely freaked out by the incident. Other cleanings were delayed. We tried not to humiliate him and wrote a sensitive note saying that he obviously had an accident in the bed but that and we took care of it but that should this happen again that he needs to take care of it himself and give us a heads up. He wrote us back saying he doesn’t know what we mean. He is foreign but we think he is playing dumb. Does anyone have advice about how they would handle such an incident?

Photos and ask what happened?
Most of us would consider these issues to be part of the being a hotel deal…but it does disappoint when they don’t advise / admit to an issue.
Like the guest who used hair dye in my marble bathroom - completely denied it.

1 Like
  1. Consider whether your cleaner is up to the task. Poop and vomit are going to happen on occasion an he needs to deal with it. Freaking out isn’t an option.

  2. The cleaner needs to be prepared to take photos of things that are out of the ordinary. You will need the photos if you ever need to make a claim.

  3. Get a water-proof encasement for your mattress, and your pillows, too. You can buy these that are made of a terry-cloth like material instead of the crinkly plastic from many years ago. Do this ASAP.

  4. If you don’t have any photos, there’s nothing else you can do. If there is a next time, send the photos and ask what happened, although if all it took is a some extra laundry treatment, then I’m not sure I’d say anything at all. Personally, I think your cleaner is inexperienced and took twice as long only because he was freaking out. He should’ve just bundled it all up into a plastic bag, put spare sheets and protector on the bed and then washed the soiled bedding offsite. It’s hardly different from what he should be doing on every cleaning.


Thanks for your response. We wrote: we had a bit of a time in your room today. Looks like you had a personal accident with the sheets/ linens. We had to treat and wash the linens and mattress pad here today, in addition to sending out tomorrow with the normal service. We would appreciate your mitigating this as soon as this occurs. We understand this can happen. Thanks for your cooperation. And have a good weekend.
Guest response: what do you mean? I don’t understand? Personal accident? :flushed:
This is beyond what a normal cleaning should be. Would you charge this guest for additional cleaning?

We could have said, “your fitted and flat sheets and mattress pads were covered with feces and bowel distract.”

Thank you. Appreciate the calm response. Sometimes we need to step back and take a deep breath.

I would have handled it the way you did. The problem is his denial. Let’s hope that for most healthy people this is going to be a one time occurence. If I had to deal with a denial I’d would probably say “if this occurs again there will be a charge of xx dollars.” All the advice about what the cleaner should do and how you should have doubles or triples of everything is accurate. However, if a guest has an accident and lets it soak in and dry and refuses to make any change in their behavior then the guest is the problem, not you.


I had a guest this happened to. The difference was that when I got up in the morning, she was standing there in her doorway, looking mortified, and told me what happened. It wasn’t as extreme as what the OP here experienced, it hadn’t soaked through the sheet yet, she had jumped out of bed the instant it happened and whipped the sheet off. I was able to allay her embarrassment somewhat by telling her not to sweat it, that the same thing had happened to me when staying at a friend’s house, not that long before, after eating out and obviously getting a mild case of food poisoning (which was totally true).
She said there was no way she wanted me to have to deal with it at all, and could I please show her how to work the washing machine (which isn’t normally on offer to guests).
Mature aduts overcome their embarrassment and do the right thing.


I would be very concerned if my guest is not grasping that they soiled sheets during their stay?

I am no expert but for me personally, I would contact AirBnB and register my interaction with this guest and their denial of soiling the sheets. Send AirBnB all the information I had including the photos.
Then ask for the guest to be re-homed.


I hadn’t seen this post when I responded previously. Did you send him the pictures? After his response I’d have sent these picture and said “You shat the bed!” Okay, maybe not. But lordy. I’ve met adolescents like that… they will deny even when caught red handed. As Muddy says it’s extremely immature. And I’d be tempted to have the guest re-homed depending on if I thought I could fill his spot. Then again a whole new set of linens could probably be purchased for a few nights of his booking.

As the guest didn’t have English as his first language, he might have understood that better than ‘a personal accident.’

He would also probably have not properly understood ‘we had a bit of a time in your room today’, ‘in addition to sending out’ and ‘mitigating’.

No I wouldn’t charge for extra cleaning - we’re in the hospitality business and these things happen. Hopefully your nightly charge has an amount built in for such contingencies. But as Brian suggests, I’d definitely question the cleaner being ‘freaked out’. That’s not the sort of person to be working in a rental situation.


Re. photos. Is that it?? A couple of poop stains? For goodness sake, just soak in oxyclean and wash the damned things. What on earth is the fuss about? There is something seriously wrong with your mattress protector if such small stains seeped through.

Fair enough, it was not good that the guest seemed unaware or didn’t care that s/he’d left such a nasty mess but such issues should be for reviews, no?

Like @muddy, I’ve had a guest who shat the entire bed due to a gastric bug. She dealt with it all herself and would not let me anywhere near.


Not if it’s for a 30 day stay. Given the literal shit I deal at times with the dogs I have a high tolerance for mess. But I wouldn’t want to deal with this more than once. It’s not the stains it’s the “how to deal with a guest who acts like they have no idea they shat the bed?”