If you are a host that cleans your own Airbnb, as soon as you start thinking about cleaning post checkout, you can count on that feeling of dread in your stomach. Worst case scenario and your listing looks like a pig sty; best case scenario and your guest leaves your place relatively clean. Even so, there are still a slew of annoying things you have to deal with every time a guest checks out – that annoying mark they left on your wall from who knows what, the scuff they leave on your trim from dragging their luggage on the trim, the hair they left in the bathroom that’s enough to make a wig and the water spots left from the glasses they used.
Luckily, after hosting for over 3 years, we’ve been through (almost) everything and we’ve built up a handy toolbox with the best tools to deal with these annoyances and more.
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Marks on your walls and stubborn stains
First thought that comes to your mind is – ugh, I’m going to have to repaint this. And of course Airbnb won’t compensate you for that or your time to do it. Enter the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser! I don’t know what they use to make this but it’s seriously magic. We’ve used it to clean scuffs off walls, stubborn scum off the bathtub and even pen marks from our white tulip table. It cleans while preserving your walls, furniture and whatever else you use it on. Just gently scrub the wall where the mark is for 30 seconds, and you’ll slowing see that the mark will come off. This is one of our favorite cleaning products and no Airbnb host should clean without it. Even if you don’t clean, your cleaner will probably thank you for making their life easier with this awesome tool.
Scuffs on your baseboards / trim
Cleaning trim is one of my most dreaded cleaning tasks. When a guest scuffs it with their luggage, I’m ready to tear out my hair in frustration. Does anyone want to repaint trim? Ughhh NO. I decided to see if there was a solution that would hide marks and leave my trim looking spin and span and most importantly, white! I ended up finding the Dynamic PA10142C Putty Pencil, White. It doesn’t fix dents but it will cover any marks and whiten the trim and render the dent unnoticeable. We’ve also used it to cover nails from replacing broken trim from a guest and we didn’t need to putty and paint the nail holes.
This works if say they dented your trim and left a mark at the same time. The pencil won’t fix the dent, but it will whiten your trim and make the dent unnoticeable. Worked really well for us for the past 3+ years!
Scratches on your wood furniture / wood floor
I’m sure I’m not the only person who has had a guest scratch their wood floors or furniture. Heck, even I’ve been the culprit before and scratched my own floors or chipped something off a piece of furniture (hello Ikea furniture I’m looking at you!). I initially used a brown Sharpie to repair marks but that’s really not the right use for them. A friend introduced me to these Set of 6 Assorted Furniture Repair Markers Stain Scratch Floor Pens and they are great at covering marks without the color coming off. Seriously a good buy at $10 since it’s much less than replacing your floors or buying new furniture!
We have tried this on our floors, and most of the time it works really well. Of course that is given that your floor or furniture matches one of the colors that it comes with Great product for less than 10 bucks.
Dirty, smelly or stale sheets
Unfortunately, I’ve stayed at an Airbnb where the host didn’t wash the duvet cover and there were stains all over it. Because of that I didn’t want to use any of the linens and it really tainted my experience staying there. I make sure to highlight in our listing that we wash all our linens and I also want guests to smell how fresh and clean they are when they get into bed or use the towels. Finding a powerful yet delicious smelling detergent is really important to me and I’ve tried lots of different detergents, pods and scent boosters. It gets pretty expensive after a while but then I tried the new Tide Plus High Efficiency Liquid Laundry Detergent from a sample and I was hooked. It smells and works a whole lot better than regular Tide, and although it’s a bit more expensive than the regular Tide, I end up saving money because I don’t have to use any additional scent boosters.
Tide Plus a touch of Downy High Efficiency Liquid Laundry Detergent, April Fresh
Stains or hair on sheets / clothing and grout / caulk
Dirty grout drives me crazy. I’ve bought countless products and tried scrubbing furiously to no avail. I actually found this amazing Chlorox Bleach Pen that removes stains from clothes and sheets really well but more importantly, it works like a charm on dirty grout and caulk. It’s the only thing I’ve ever found that actually cleans and whitens grout and caulk. If it changes your life, feel free to send me a gift in the mail.
Another lifesaver when you are cleaning after guests are have a ton of hair is the lint roller. I find the brand name lint rollers work better than the dollar store ones.
Oxyclean is another product that hosts have tried which comes highly recommended.
When we first started our Airbnb listings, I wanted to use grey linens because while white looks great at first, it’s prone to stains and turning yellow and dingy after repeated use. Of course hubby decided that we would use white anyway and he immediately regretted this choice 3 months in. I hate to say it but I’m always right. I will say that Google is a lifesaver because I Googled and Googled to find out how we could get our sheets and towels white again because I sure as heck wasn’t buying new linens and towels and Google came to the rescue once again. It sounds crazy but this Mrs. Stewarts Liquid Bluing Agent actually does get your whites white again! It’s a bit scary because the liquid is blue and what kind of crazy person puts white into a blue liquid to get their linens white but I swear it works better than anything I’ve ever tried. The best part is that you don’t need to bleach your linens and towels anymore so you get a longer lifespan out of your things.
We were away on vacation during one long term Airbnb stay so we hired a professional cleaner to clean the suite after the guest checked out for that 1 booking. When I came back, the smudge on the carpet in the living room of the suite that was there ever since I bought it from Craigslist was gone! Obviously, I had to ask what magic she used to get rid of the stain. At first she was really reluctant to share but I told her I had 3 Airbnb suites and helped managed my in-laws listings as well and would refer her and use her again so she finally relented. This Folex Carpet Spot Remover is seriously amazing and I swear it must be a professional cleaner’s secret weapon or something!
Suite that needs a fresh scent
I know everyone has different opinions when it comes to scents and a lot of guests don’t like them. If you are looking for a scent, especially one that isn’t offensive to most guests, we use the Air Wick Apple Cinnamon Oil Plug In and we’ve had guests comment that it reminds them of their favorite apple cinnamon pie. You can adjust how much scent comes out and if guests do unplug, the oil doesn’t leak everywhere so they can easily take it out if they don’t like the scent.
Ants going into your guest’s suite
If you’ve been hosting for awhile you’ll no doubt encounter guests who complains about ants in their suites. The good news is, there are a few products you can use without using pesticides. We have pets have home and would never get anything like that. Luckily, I’ve discovered a product that works really well. They are essentially stakes that you put around your house and they are bait that the ants will take back to the nest, and within a week or so the colony will die off! Must try if you have been using pesticides to kill ants. It’s not the cheapest option but it does the job.
Guests asking if you have extra charging cables for their phones
Occasionally guests would ask me if I have a cable for their iPhone or Android device. Well if you have this cable, then they would ask no more! It’s a 3-in-1 cable which supports USB-C, USB-mirco, and also lightning (for iPhone), all in one! So effectively this cable covers 99.9% of phones out there!
Guests clogging your toilet
Fortunately for us, this happens rarely. However, I have heard from other hosts, especially ones with older toilets or the elongated ones, is that they get called frequently about the toilet being clogged. This is a patented plunger that will fit a lot of toilets and from what I’ve heard, it works well at getting the job done.
Guests needing a place for their luggage/worn clothes
Guests don’t really complain about it, but if you have one of these, it will certainly be a lot more pleasant. It’s a 2 in 1 luggage rack/hamper. The luggage rack portion really people with back pain as they don’t have to kneel to the ground to get their clothes out of their luggage. The hamper portion really help guests who are staying longer term. And best of all, it’s foldable and it’s inexpensive compare to other ones you see at home furnishing stores.
For guests who are bringing extra guests
There are certain times where a request comes in and the guest wants more bed than you have and are willing to pay you for the extra guests. I’m sure you have an air mattress lying around, but it’s not really that professional or comfortable. I was looking for a solution and a host suggested this to me. It’s a roll up memory foam that expands up to 12 inches (depending on the model). The 8 inch model is a good balance for the price. Also this foam mattress roll up into the box for easy storage!
Does anyone have more suggestions on recommend products they use? Reply here!