Press Release: AirBnB's Enhanced Cleaning Initiative

If you haven’t seen it yet, AirBnB released a press release on their upcoming cleaning protocol. The protocol itself is to be released in May.

From the press release:

The host Cleaning Protocol will include specific information on COVID-19 prevention, such as the use of personal protective equipment, like masks and gloves for hosts or their cleaners, as well as disinfectants that are approved by regulatory authorities. A CDC recommended 24 hour wait period before entering is also required, as a precaution to address the possibility of particles that may remain airborne for a few hours. The protocol will be available to all hosts and we encourage them to commit and adopt these enhanced cleaning practices. Listings enrolled in the Cleaning Protocol will be available for stays immediately after the enhanced cleaning is performed.

If hosts are unable to commit to our Cleaning Protocol, they can alternatively opt into a new feature called Booking Buffer, to create a vacancy period between stays. Hosts can commit to keeping their home empty for a set period in between stays, with no activity other than cleaning. Reservations will be automatically blocked during that time frame, currently set at 72 hours.

I know many hosts were asking for guidelines from the company. Does this give you peace of mind? Is anyone who is currently closed feeling more confident to open up your listing?

I’m finding the messaging unclear. Do we wait 24 hours before entering the unit, clean, and then wait another 24 before allowing guests to enter? Hopefully the guidelines released in May will be clearer.

I’m not sure how we’re supposed to get PPE given health care providers are unable to get these items and should take priority. I think AirBnB probably means something more “loose” than the CDC definition, which includes gowns, goggles, and face shields. Probably just a cloth mask and gloves.

Just wondering how you prove you have followed the prescribed protocol - dated photos?

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Airbnb isn’t staffed to examine or verify proof (assuming anything could be actually be provided as proof).

Picture of you and your guests toasting with Clorox.


Or qualified.


So if you get a midweek booking and they depart on a Friday…there goes the weekend booking. Are hotels doing this 24 hour buffer, too?


Can’t you set rules to prevent that from happening? Maybe you have to enable professional hosting tools in your profile.

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It’s starting to feel like nothing is going to be good enough until people are protected by a vaccine. We will be jumping through way to many hoops just to get a guest, and even if we get one, it feels kind of dirty. The entire travel industry is going to remain a mess if everyone feels like going places is a health risk. Seems like hosting isn’t in the cards for me for a while. I’ve always been an insane cleaner, but even I don’t wear a mask while I clean. It’s too hot and uncomfortable. I feel like you would have to leave tons of cleaning products for guests to use in order for them to feel safe. I’d want to wipe everything down, even in a freshly cleaned house… Who can be bothered with that when you’re on a trip? Not me… Rental homes aren’t always the cleanest since the cleaning protocol varies based on the property manager or owner.


We have shut down for 6 months so hubby’s spending money is gone. We have a granny flat in the backyard where we could rent and have days between guests. But I have Type 1 Diabetes and am not risking it. Luckily I can work from home so we are all good here. Stay safe and alive. Also I’m in Australia and we are okay at the moment


THAT is the real truth!

That 24 hour wait is ridiculous unless Air pays us for mandatory ‘down time’ between guests {which will never happen}! No hotels will consider it; why should we. Wearing PPE is also ridiculous, other than gloves to keep cleaners off your hands.

Frankly I’m NOT changing one bit of my existing “cleaning protocol”. My partner is in the medical field, and the way we clean is better than any hotel uses, certainly. Hotel cleaners don’t wipe handles and knobs for example…

Air can take their ‘placate the masses’ Cleaning Protocol and Booking Buffer and stuff them sideways AFAIC – until they hire tens of thousands of Health Inspectors to stand over our shoulders while we clean there’s no way they can even begin to enforce it.


I like to believe that the buffer time and extreme PPE will only be necessary until we have a vaccine. Every host will just need to weigh whether they will be able to continue with this approach. We will lose a lot of hosts.

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Too many unanswered questions - I have already put the 72 hour buffer in and plan on waiting to clean for a day after guests leave. That is if I get guests again…calander opened as of May 4 but no bookings or inquries as of yet. I see this a a pretty much lost year or two as we wait for a vaccine. Staying open just to keep the listing active and will reevaluate as time goes on if we will even stay in the business. As it is, the 72 hour buffer will kill most of our booking potential - over half our stays were back-to-back one nighters.

My other concern - will guests see Plan B - the 72 hour option - as a lesser standard than Plan A and avoid those listings? My guess is the cleaning protocol will be ridiculous and way over the top complicated.

Probably should wait until after his 3:00 talk today to get too wrapped up about it though.

Agreed. I can’t really see myself comfortable hosting until there is a widespread vaccination. The STR market in my city has crashed and other Seattle hosts are reporting the low quality guests who come with rock-bottom rates. Adding in mandatory down-time and hospital-grade cleaning procedures, it is not worth the risk for $40 a night. This is why I say I don’t expect to be hosting again for 1-2 years. If AirBnB survives. (My listing isn’t suitable for the other platforms but perhaps a replacement for shared-home hosts will arise.)

In this market, my guests would clean me out, so to speak. I’d have to say farewell to my toilet paper and disinfectant wipes! I remember when I first started hosting in 2015 I used AirBnB’s recommended prices and my guests used to take all the coffee, snacks, etc. after a one-night stay. (I started hiding the refills after that AND raised my prices.)

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I don’t find Airbnb’s initiative’s to be particularly relevant to me. I was doing super enhanced cleaning beginning 29 Feb and now I’m closed until the end of June. At some point I’ll reassess. Hosts who choose to continue hosting with god only knows what standards and the guests who choose to stay with them have their own risk tolerances. I do feel confident that when I resume hosting I will be one of the best and safest Airbnbs as I always have been, in spite of Airbnb, not because of them.

Airbnb is just putting these protocols in public to protect themselves.


Personally, what Airbnb says is totally irrelevant to us, we’re an STR operation and Airbnb are just another advertising platform.

We haven’t fully decided on what steps we’ll be taking between guests, but a seventy two hour buffer isn’t going to be one of them.

Over the next wee while if anyone is travelling, using public transport, rental apartments, hotels etc, then there is an element of risk involved. To be blunt, even if you go for a crap outside your home toilet these days, there is now an element of risk.

Our main criteria is our protection, we must be able to operate safely in order to stay healthy and in business. If we can’t achieve that, we wont open.

From a guests perspective, we will try to make our apartments as safe as is humanly possible. There is no way we can entirely sterilise an apartment, just the same as a hotel or restaurant can’t entirely sterilise a bedroom or dining room, it simply can’t be done if the general public have access to it.

We’ve got a couple of months to sort it, even if the deescalation here goes to plan its already been mentioned that Hotels and tourist accommodation will be the last services to reopen.

Some of the things we’re considering is reducing the crockery, glassware and cutlery to a minimum, that’ll make it easier to simply run everything through our dishwasher. Multi lingual laminated sign on inside of the cupboards explaining why so little there and asking guest to contact us if they need additional plates etc.

Throws, decorative cushions etc, if they can’t be washed between guests they’ll be removed.

Books, tourist leaflets and DVDs removed.

On the basis noone is likely to be flying in, toiletries (apart from handwash) removed from bathrooms and the amount of TP left will be reduced. Again, small laminated sign saying why and for them to contact us for more.

We are fortunate, our apartments are not overly furnished so sanitising hard surfaces will be a lot easier than a four bedroom, three bathroom whole house rental.

It’s all a work in progress, hopefully when the time comes we’ll be ready to start welcoming guests again.


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This is the number one thing my scientist friend recommends.


Yet there is commentary from other “experts” who indicate fourteen days is the length of time needed.

It’s a learning process, this is all new.

Whatever we decide, our prime focus is on our health and safety. In fact, our local government has stated that any business that wishes to reopen must provide a safe working environment, and we don’t disagree with that.


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All of this information is already on the CDC website :unamused: It’s not going to be dramatically different than how good hosts already clean. There are hosts who don’t clean well, so it seems like a cleaning protocol should’ve already been a thing, if Airbnb was sincerely concerned. The timing of this has to do with public perception and that is important right now so I’m glad they’re doing it, but it would have been nice for there to already be a protocol and guidance for hosts.

Covid is dangerous but you also don’t want you or your guests to get a cold, the flu or the Norovirus (or salmonella, staph, etc, etc). Sure, not as many people die from those (not at the same time at least) but some do and they all ruin a vacation or a business trip.

There is, understandably, a lot of Covid-tunnel-vision right now but, there’s nothing in the CDC guidelines that shouldn’t have already been a cleaning protocol for hosts. The exception being the 24 hour period wait period and the masks; however, hosts should have already been wearing gloves and different clothing when cleaning their listings and disinfecting and laundering everything. The part that bothers me is that there is even an option to not clean like this by replacing it with a 72-hour waiting period (because a lot of other stuff survives longer) :woman_facepalming:

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The only way they ever enforce anything is by turning guests into inept inspectors. The five stars are not Michelin stars, sparkling clean is based on the guest’s mood, “your guest says you have a stove” is based on the guest thinking maybe there was one. Guests will tick some box saying the protocols were followed. They will have no real idea, but their experience of how many gloves they imagined were used and whether they think they smelled bleach will be what counts.


The 24 hour option is no big deal to me- not any different than what I’ve been doing all along, as I’ve always had a 1 day prep-time block, have a 3 night minimum, seldom have bookings that are less than a week, and sterilize surfaces anyway- I might be sterlizing a bit more stuff- i.e. I always do the doorknobs, light switches, fan controls, bathroom surfaces, faucet handles, but going forward I’ll also sterilize things like the nightstands, desktop, headboard, etc.
But yes, there is no way that Airbnb will be able to enforce this. It’ll be a matter, like lawre said, of adding a check box to the guest review form as to whether the place was cleaned according to the standards- the guest snitch line, based upon nothing but the guest’s opinion, or whether they are trying to harm a host.