Towels - how often do you change them?

I provide each of my guests with one bath towel and one hand towel. If their stay is for 7 nights or more I will change all the bedding and towels at a mutually convenient day. However, my latest guests asked if they should wash their towels or would I provide clean ones on the second day of their 3 night stay. I said I would change them but to me this seems excessive - or am I being mean? I went to change their towels over today, they were all still clean and not damp (because I provide a heated towel rail.) I didn’t want them washing their own as I don’t have a tumble dryer, it was raining, and I didn’t fancy damp towels dripping in my Georgian cottage.


I wash my towel every other day and nobody would call me a germaphobe. It’s a fact that as towels are wet they are breeding grounds for bacteria. I don’t think that a heated towel rack would be enough to rid the towels of bacteria.

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IMHO clean towels on 2nd day is excessive – we’re not a Hotel. I’d explain that fresh towel changeout is after a 7 day stay. But if the guests ‘threaten’ “give us new/clean or we’ll wash them ourselves”, I’d given them clean.

We had one guest who expected two clean wash-cloths every day. We explained that we only had four total and were not going to ‘waste’ a load of laundry on facecloths. We gave her a packet of disposable makeup removers instead.


We give them one full set per guest. If they are staying more than 3 days we stock an additional full set for every person in the closet and make them aware of this.
We have two places, one with a full laundry room and we try to get longer term guests to book there so they can do laundry as they please. Thankfully this has not been an issue for us so far I have read of other people taking advatage of laundry.

I change towels every 2nd day for guests, bath towel and half bath towel ( no idea what its called ) and in their bathrooms I change the towels everyday. Damp ole weather here, the towels stay damp, I kinda have to. I give guests face wipes in their room and bathrooms

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I just leave them a pile of towels in the wardrobe. Some use 1 for a 3 day stay, other will use 2 in 1 night. I don’t fuss over it, it’s not a big deal to me if I have to wash a few extra towels.

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Like Garden said, I provide a bunch stacked in the bathroom. They can use what they want. Just wash what is used at the end of the stay. Creates no more work.

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I offer two big bath towels and one smaller for hands per person. I offer a change once a week, including the linen, kitchen towels and bathroom mats. We live in the Mediterranean so the weather is mostly sunny and dry and there are plenty of opportunities to line dry the towels. It happened occasionally that a guest asked me for new towels after 3 or 4 days; I provided them but it is not my regular practice. Once I had guests who demanded 4 towels per person and asked them to be changed every day. I told them that this is not a hotel.


We provide one bath towel, hand towel, and wash cloth per guest plus one extra set on a rack in the bathroom. In the hall closet I have a big stack of extras (usually my slightly older, cheaper towels) of everything. Most guests are very reasonable. Occasionally I get someone that uses too many, IMO, but I figure it all evens out. Everyone has different preferences. If staying more than a week I try to collect the used towels and offer to replace them if they need more, but so far no one has needed more. I also started providing some black washcloths that say “makeup” and I haven’t had a ruined towel or washcloth since (knock on wood).

I provide a stack of towels in all the standard sizes. Some guests use more, some less. There is a lidded vinyl hassock under the bathroom vanity that they can stuff used towels in if they don’t want to look at them. Just had a guest tell me, “Thank you so much. The other Airbnb I stayed at only gave me one bath towel. I have long hair and I really need that extra towel.”


Thank you EllenN and everyone who has responded to my question. It’s the first time I have posted a query and am really impressed at the number of replies. I don’t think I will be printing that article off and putting it in my Airbnb, ElleN but have put my own towels straight in the washing machine!

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Welcome to the forum @gajw.

I’ve offered to give out a new set of towels for stays longer than 5 nights. The towels I provide are white bath towels. I also leave a pair of smaller non-white (face) towels in their wardrobe for makeup/stains and such.

I agree with other answers that says that changing towels the next day or every other day seems excessive.

This is exactly why I give two bath towels per person. I empathize with other long haired people. :smiley:


I stayed in luxury 5800 sq ft home in Costa Rica last month. There was one bath towel, one beach towel and one wash cloth/face cloth per person for 7 nights. Maybe if we had asked for more they would have been provided but no one asked.

I set out one full set for each guest (white bath sheet, white hand towel, grey washcloth for women), and I make them aware of where the extra towels are located. I haven’t had anyone abuse this yet, and it seems to work well.

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I provide a little more towels than they need but I never wash the towels during the guest’s stay. We are renting out a home that has washer and dryer, we do not provide house keeping services. If they want to they can wash the towels they used.


I leave a large bath towel for each guest coming in a room–stacks of wash cloths and hand towels are kept in the bathrooms and extra towels are kept on a cart just outside the bathrooms as well as on a shelf inside the bathroom in case they forget theirs. I figured when we started this that towels might be an issue for folks, so I made sure there were plenty available.

That might have been a tactical error.

I’ve never seen people go through towels like this. We can have five or six guests staying and between them they will not hesitate to use 15+ towels plus accompanying washcloths and hand towels IN ONE NIGHT. Between the towels, the sheets, and our own clothes, we are literally constantly doing laundry.

With our guests (who are from widely varying backgrounds and cultures), there is absolutely no hesitation to use multiple towels each. Yesterday, we found 4 towels dumped in the shower stall, two more on the bathroom counter, a couple on the floor of the other bathroom, and about a dozen placed in the laundry baskets in each bedroom. We had six guests total. For one night. Just one night. That’s just insane.

We are re-vamping our thinking on how many towels to make available, since free-for-all method is definitely causing us pain.

On the interesting side, almost none of our guests have ever used the towels specifically left in their room for them, out in plain sight. They always use the ones from the cart or the ones in the bathroom, as though those ones are somehow better, despite being exactly the same. For a brief time, we stopped leaving them in the rooms, figuring if they weren’t going to use them, why bother. This bizarrely resulted in confusion on the part of the guests, who kept asking if they could please use the towels in the bathroom and off the cart–towels guests were previously using without restraint. We weren’t too bugged by that until one guest complained that all the towels were filthy,
old, and ratty (yes, the same fairly new towels purchased specifically for guests and used by no one else in the house). We put towels back in the rooms (same towels) and everyone was delighted to have such nice clean towels (that they then proceeded to NOT USE!).

I have learned so very very much about human behavior running an Airbnb.


We use Macy’s 100% cotton “Hotel” towels in the guest bathroom. We have 3 sets in different colors that coordinate with the shower curtain and accessories. All three sets are stored in the guest bathroom closet. We put out 2 hand towels, one wash cloth and one bath towel for each rental. They also have the option to use more if they want. We have a three night min. stay and a two person max. Because we are in Hawaii and the air is moist, we encourage the guests to use a new towel as often as they like, and to throw the used ones in the hamper provided. Sometimes, if the guest is staying longer than 3 days, I remove the used towels when the guest isn’t there just so they will have to get a new one. Most of the time our guests are very respectful and don’t use a lot of towels. Occasionally someone will use what I consider to be excessive amounts, but I would rather give them the choice than have someone say we were skimpy with towels.
And while we’re on the bath subject let’s talk about soap. We provide body wash, bar soap and liquid hand wash. We used to unwrap a new bar of soap for each new guest and place it in the shower. Whether they used it or not it was still getting wet and couldn’t be used again, so we started placing the bar soap, still wrapped, next to the basin so they would have a choice. Now they rarely use it and clearly prefer body wash, so I’m saving a lot on bar soap. I buy large bottles of body wash, shampoo and conditioner from Costco and it seems to be working fine. I also refill the hand soap from the big economy size jug, so it’s a lot cheaper than bar soap also.

I stayed at an airbnb that was a large house on the beach in Mexico. There was supposed to be a W/D, but there wasn’t. We had 6 people and like a total of 7 or 8 towels for the entire week. It sucked tbh. I mean i could have gone to the laundromat but just having some extra towels for that long of a stay sure would have been nice.

Hi there! I’m new to the site, first post.

Bit of background, I’ve been hosting on Airbnb for the best part of four years on and off, and I’ve hosted my fair share of guests, and have had superhost status for the past three years.

For long term guests (over five nights) we offer one change of towels (two bath towels, two normal towels and two face / hand towels) so in a five night to seven night stay, the guests will have had 12 towels between them. Anything under 5 nights (so four days four nights and below) we just provide one fresh clean set, which should be more than enough, even major hotels try to only offer you fresh towels every 2 or 3 days these days.

One thing we have noticed is that Airbnb is getting very popular with Asian guests, South Koreans in-particular, and I’d wager one third of our bookings are now made up of South Koreans, so much so we even offer guide books and maps of our city in Korean.

However, one bug bear - 90% of the time, the guests are requesting, some even demanding clean sets of towels on a daily basis. Is this fair? Sometimes we crack and provide them, sometimes we say no, especially if they are one night stays - yes we have had people on one night stays go through multiple sets of towels :-/

The thing is, some of the guests are leaving in their reviews that we “only” provide one clean set of towels during their stay… I think 12 towels per stay is way more than enough don’t you?