Unlike hotels and traditional B&B’s, Airbnb lets you charge Airbnb cleaning fee to guests to cover the time and money you spend to clean the property after a guest leaves.
What is Airbnb cleaning fee?
You can charge a certain amount for each stay to people who book your Airbnb property.
A cleaning fee is to help host pay for expenses they acquire when Airbnb cleaners get a place ready between one guest checking out and another checking in. It is up to the host whether or not to charge a cleaning fee and how much it will be.
There are many aspects you need to think of when setting up your Airbnb cleaning fee.
Set the right cleaning fee
Do not treat cleaning fee as a way of boosting your income – that’s a terrible idea, and you will lose a lot of bookings for charging more than average cleaning fee in your area.
Airbnb allows you to charge it once for every stay irrespective of the length of the visit and remember, it not only covers a light cleaning after the guest leaves but also includes expenses to replenish cleaning supplies and toiletries.
Cleaning fee includes:
Servicing the rooms
Cleaning used items
Wash used dishes
Clearing out cupboards and the fridge
Time spent on cleaning
Always keep the cleaning fee to its actual value as a majority of travellers see this as an overhead and keeping it low as possible can get you ahead of the competition very quickly.
If you use a cleaning service:
Charge the exact cost that you pay to have your property cleaned, and linen washed.
If you do the cleaning yourself:
Calculate the amount of time you spend on each turnover and value of your effort per hour.
Know your competition
If you are not sure how much to charge, the easiest ways to figure out an optimum cleaning fee to charge guests is to check out other similar-sized Airbnb listings in your neighbourhood. If the average price is $50, then you can feel confident about setting yours at the same rate.
How it impacts your listing performance
This is how cleaning fee will be visible to guests when looking at your Airbnb listing:
When looking at your listing, guests will see cleaning fee separate from the nightly rate.
If you opt to charge higher cleaning fee that the average in your area, people will see your property less favorable and highly likely you will lose the booking to the competition.
Airbnb cleaning fee for long-term stays
Airbnb does not allow you to charge a different cleaning fee for long stays.
So the cleaning fee guests pay will be the same for 2 nights or a 20-night stay.
This creates complications such as:
- Cleaning after a long stay needs more time as compared to a 2 or 3 nights stay
- If you provide linen, towels etc, a long staying guest is likely to ask for fresh supply periodically
How to handle the Airbnb cleaning fee for long stays?
⛶ Option 1: Don’t allow long term stays.
Limit the maximum number of nights people can book for. You set this limit under ‘Availability >Trip Details’ settings of your listings.
⛶ Option 2: Ask for additional payment from long term guests to provide periodic cleaning or fresh linen.
You can request additional payment from guests in Airbnb resolution centre as explained in my previous blog.
⛶ Option 3: Don’t provide periodic cleaning for long term stays; offer them means to do it themselves.
Make sure you give the guest access to cleaning equipment such as hoover, mop, surface cleaners etc. so they can clean it themselves.
If you have a washing machine in the property, provide washing detergent so they can wash the linen, towels etc.
The last option also means you may have to deal with heavy cleaning at the end of the stay if the guest wasn’t keeping it well and it is something you will have to bite into, unfortunately.
How to set cleaning fee on Airbnb
You can set cleaning fee under ‘Pricing > Standard fees and charges’ section of your listing settings.
Note: With a recent update, Airbnb now allows you to set cleaning and linen fee separately.
Cleaning fee (1), this should include charges for labour and cleaning equipment for each turnover.
Under ‘Add a standard fee (2), you will see multiple options in the dropdown.
Choose ‘Linens fee’ and mention the amount you spend to getting the linen washed for each turnover.
It is a good idea to mention cleaning and linen fee separately; this will give more insight to guests and shows him a breakdown of the charges, which can be comforting.
Is the Airbnb cleaning fee refundable?
Yes, cleaning fee is always and automatically refunded to guest if the booking is cancelled before the start of the stay (before check-in time on the day).
For example, if the check-in start time is 3 pm, the cleaning fee will be refunded in full to the guest if the booking gets cancelled anytime before 3 pm on the check-in day.
Read more about Airbnb cancellation policy.
Is the cleaning fee negotiable?
Often you will get queries from potential Airbnb quests asking for a discount or waive off in the Airbnb cleaning fee.
It is entirely up to you if you wish to offer a discount, but it doesn’t mean cleaning won’t be needed.
In my opinion, hosts should never compromise on the cleaning of the property and giving a discount in cleaning doesn’t guarantee that the same guest won’t leave a bad review about poor cleaning standards in the property 🙂
Read my post on how to keep your property pristine by following an Airbnb cleaning checklist for each turnover.
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