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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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.
Not all hosts will have a power drill handy but if you do, then this is a good one for you. It attaches to a power drill and it makes cleaning super easy. I don’t have one personally but I’ve seen how handy it is at cleaning a grill…just make sure you don’t use full power when using detergent.
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!
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
This is a suggestion from one of our members – if you have a rodent problem then you should look at this ultrasonic repellent instead of using poison (for obvious liability/safety reasons if a child ends up taking it). I didn’t believe it works until I read it on the different blogs.
This is always annoying to me – having to clean the shower curtain and scrubbing out the mold! This liner has a anti-mold coating and it really works! For $8.99 this is a no brainer.
Guys this is the real deal – we use this and it’s definitely superior to sheets you get at Walmart. It’s so good that it’s got over 53,000+ positive reviews. You don’t have to iron your sheets frantically before a check-in with these sheets anymore!
I love anything that offers lifetime replacement because I know it means they stand by their product. These pillow protectors come in 2-packs and 4-packs and treated for anti-shrinkage and are extra soft. Anti-wrinkle, just like the above product!
Let’s just say your future self will thank you after you put these on your mattress from having to deal with any liquid leaks. Face it, there will be accidents when you host people (especially couples that are on their honeymoon).
Never have your towels ruined again by guests wiping their makeup on your towels (even when you tell warn them not to in your house rules). Offer these towels that are specifically for makeup and that get softer with each wash to avoid guests ruining towels ever again.
Another option if you want something that looks a little more durable - makeup face towels in cotton.
One issue that hosts often overlook is the wifi network. We live in a super connected world and our guests demand a fast connection while they are away from home. There are 2 problems that this product is addressing. First is that perhaps your guests are complaining about a slow WIFI. Google’s mesh networking WIFI comes highly recommended as it truly extends the range of your WIFI. The other killer feature is that the router has a companion app that will log all the sites that a particular device is using. This is good in case your guest starts downloading copyrighted material (or worst yet, illegal material that could get you in trouble). You’ll have proof that the site wasn’t being accessed by you. In addition, you can block certain sites so it’s a non-issue to begin with.
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!
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 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.
Let’s face it – you can’t always be there when your guests arrive, so the best option is to get a lockbox that will allow your guests to open the door themselves. The best option that works for us is the Master Lock 5424D Set Your Own Combination Portable Lock Box with Light Up Dials. This is great because sometimes the guest will check in late (after you have gone to bed). The dials on the key light up when touched, so that’s a nice touch. It’s a little bit more than the basic one and the batteries don’t last too long (~6 months) but your guest will appreciate the added touch. The non lighted one is shown also as a cheaper alternative.
It never hurts to have an extra safety kit around just in case of emergencies:
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!
A lot of times they need a place to put their keys. These ultra strong magnetic hooks has a force of 44 pounds! They really work – especially when placed on fridges and other metal surfaces: Strongman Magnets Super Strong 44LB Neodymium Heavy Duty Magnetic Hooks! 5 Pack with LARGER hooks +3M Stickers! Multi Use Indoor/Outdoor Hook Magnets! Declutter and Add Storage Now! Non Scratching
Our guests love it when we provide things to set the mood. These remote controlled candles are safe since it uses batteries only, and they last 150 hours on a single charge. Remote controlled!!
Does anyone have more suggestions on recommend products they use? Reply here!