If you’ve ever booked an Airbnb, you may have noticed that the cleaning fees can sometimes be shockingly high – even exceeding the nightly rate for the rental itself! As an Airbnb host and traveler, I’ve experienced these fees from both sides, so I wanted to provide some insight into why cleaning fees on Airbnb are often so expensive.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Cleaning fees cover the cost of thorough cleaning and disinfecting required between guests, along with fees and overhead for the cleaning company. Requirements and rates vary greatly between properties.

Cleaning Standards and Requirements Vary by Property

One of the main reasons why Airbnb cleaning fees can vary is because the cleaning standards and requirements differ from property to property. Since Airbnb offers a wide range of accommodation options, it is important for hosts to maintain cleanliness and hygiene for the comfort of their guests.

However, the level of cleanliness required for an entire home rental may be different from that of a private room rental.

Entire home vs private room rentals

When it comes to entire home rentals, hosts are responsible for ensuring that the entire property is thoroughly cleaned and prepared for each new guest. This includes cleaning all rooms, bathrooms, kitchen, and common areas.

On the other hand, for private room rentals, hosts may only need to focus on cleaning the designated guest room and shared spaces.

It’s important to note that cleaning an entire home requires more time, effort, and resources compared to cleaning a single room. Therefore, the cleaning fee for entire home rentals tends to be higher to compensate for the additional work involved.

Location and local regulations

Another factor that can contribute to higher Airbnb cleaning fees is the location of the property and the local regulations in place. Some cities or regions may have stricter cleanliness standards or require specific cleaning procedures to be followed.

For example, certain destinations may have regulations regarding the use of certain cleaning products or the disinfection of high-touch surfaces.

Hosts in these areas may need to invest in specialized cleaning supplies or hire professional cleaning services to meet these standards. As a result, the cleaning fees for Airbnb listings in these locations may be higher to cover these additional costs.

Property size and amenities

The size of the property and the amenities it offers can also influence the cleaning fees set by Airbnb hosts. Larger properties with more rooms and bathrooms naturally require more time and effort to clean thoroughly.

Additionally, properties with amenities such as swimming pools, hot tubs, or outdoor spaces may require extra cleaning and maintenance.

Hosts may need to hire additional cleaning staff or spend more time on cleaning tasks to ensure that these areas are properly maintained. Consequently, the cleaning fees for properties with larger sizes or additional amenities are generally higher to account for the additional work and resources required.

Fees Must Cover Complete Cleaning and Disinfecting

One of the main reasons why Airbnb cleaning fees can be higher than expected is because they are designed to cover the complete cleaning and disinfecting process of the property. Unlike traditional hotels where cleaning is typically done by staff members, Airbnb hosts are responsible for ensuring that their properties are thoroughly cleaned before and after each guest’s stay.

Multi-step cleaning process

Airbnb hosts follow a multi-step cleaning process to ensure that the property is clean and ready for the next guest. This includes tasks such as dusting, vacuuming, mopping, changing bed linens, cleaning bathrooms, and more.

Each step is important to maintain a high level of cleanliness and provide a comfortable environment for guests.

COVID-19 cleaning protocols

With the ongoing pandemic, Airbnb hosts have also implemented additional cleaning protocols to ensure the safety of their guests. These protocols may include using disinfectants that are effective against viruses, paying extra attention to high-touch surfaces, and following guidelines provided by health authorities.

These extra measures require more time and effort, which can contribute to the higher cleaning fees.

Supplies and equipment

In order to maintain cleanliness and meet the cleaning standards expected by guests, Airbnb hosts need to invest in various cleaning supplies and equipment. This can include disinfectants, cleaning solutions, vacuum cleaners, mops, and other tools necessary for a thorough cleaning.

The cost of these supplies and equipment is often factored into the cleaning fees charged by hosts.

It’s important to remember that the cleaning fees charged by Airbnb hosts are not just for the basic tidying up, but for a comprehensive cleaning and disinfecting process. By charging higher cleaning fees, hosts are able to provide a clean and safe environment for their guests, which is crucial for a positive Airbnb experience.

Hosts Outsource Cleaning to Companies

One of the main reasons why Airbnb cleaning fees may seem high is because many hosts choose to outsource the cleaning of their properties to professional cleaning companies. While this may incur an additional cost, it offers several benefits to both hosts and guests.

Professional cleaning services are expensive

Professional cleaning services can be quite expensive, and this cost is often passed on to the guests through the cleaning fee. These companies provide a thorough and efficient cleaning service, ensuring that the property is in top condition for each new guest.

They have the expertise and equipment to clean even the most hard-to-reach areas, such as high ceilings or deep carpets. This level of professionalism and attention to detail comes with a price.

Cleaning company fees and overhead

Cleaning companies have their own set of expenses, including employee wages, cleaning supplies, and overhead costs. These fees are factored into the overall cleaning fee charged by the host. Additionally, the cleaning company may also need to cover administrative costs, insurance, and other expenses necessary to run a business.

Increasing labor costs

The cost of labor is another factor that contributes to the high cleaning fees charged by hosts. Over time, the minimum wage and labor costs have been increasing in many areas, which directly impacts the prices charged by cleaning companies.

Hosts need to pay their cleaning staff a fair wage for their work, which can further drive up the overall cleaning fee.

Airbnb Sets Cleaning Fee Guidelines

When it comes to the cleaning fees on Airbnb, it’s important to understand that hosts have the flexibility to set their own fees. This means that the cleaning fees can vary significantly from one listing to another.

Airbnb allows hosts to charge a cleaning fee to cover the cost of preparing the accommodation for the next guest.

Hosts set their own fees

One of the reasons why Airbnb cleaning fees can be high is because hosts have the freedom to set their own fees based on various factors. These factors may include the size of the property, the number of guests, and the level of cleanliness that the host wants to maintain.

Hosts also take into consideration the time and effort required to thoroughly clean and prepare the space for incoming guests.

It is worth noting that hosts are responsible for managing their own cleaning fees, and Airbnb does not have a fixed rate or guideline for hosts to follow. This means that the cleaning fees can vary greatly depending on the individual host and their specific circumstances.

Airbnb provides fee estimate tool

To help hosts determine an appropriate cleaning fee, Airbnb provides a fee estimate tool that takes into account the size and type of the listing, as well as local market trends. This tool can serve as a starting point for hosts to establish a reasonable cleaning fee.

By using this tool, hosts can ensure that their cleaning fees are aligned with industry standards and are competitive within their local market. It also helps hosts set realistic expectations for potential guests regarding the costs associated with cleaning and maintaining the accommodation.

Excessive fees can result in account review

While hosts have the freedom to set their own cleaning fees, it is important to note that excessive fees can result in Airbnb reviewing the host’s account. Airbnb aims to maintain a fair and transparent marketplace for both hosts and guests, and excessively high cleaning fees can be seen as an attempt to exploit the system.

Airbnb encourages hosts to set reasonable cleaning fees that accurately reflect the effort and costs involved in cleaning and preparing the accommodation. This helps to ensure that guests have a positive experience and are not discouraged by excessive fees when booking a stay.

It is always recommended for hosts to research and compare cleaning fees of similar listings in their area to ensure they are setting a fair and competitive rate.

Other Factors That Increase Cleaning Costs

While the cleaning fees for Airbnb listings may seem high at times, there are several factors that contribute to these costs. Understanding these factors can help hosts and guests alike appreciate the reasons behind the pricing. Here are some other factors that can increase cleaning costs:

Remote locations

In remote locations, it can be more challenging and time-consuming for cleaning professionals to reach the property. This can result in higher transportation costs and longer cleaning times, which are reflected in the cleaning fees.

Additionally, limited availability of cleaning services in remote areas can drive up the prices.

Late guest check-out

When guests check out late, it can disrupt the cleaning schedule and put pressure on the cleaning team to complete their tasks within a limited time frame. This may require additional resources or overtime pay for the cleaners, leading to higher cleaning fees.

It is important for guests to respect the check-out time specified by the host to avoid any inconvenience or extra charges.

Damage or extra cleaning required

Occasionally, guests may cause damage to the property or leave it in a condition that requires extra cleaning efforts. This can range from stains on carpets or furniture to excessive mess in the kitchen or bathroom.

In such cases, hosts may need to hire specialized cleaning services or spend extra time and effort to restore the property to its original state. These additional costs are usually passed on to guests through the cleaning fees.

It is worth noting that cleaning fees are not arbitrary and are typically based on the actual costs incurred by hosts for cleaning services. Hosts aim to provide a clean and comfortable environment for their guests, and the fees charged reflect the effort and resources required to maintain the property to a high standard.

To learn more about Airbnb cleaning fees and their breakdown, you can visit Airbnb’s official website.


While high cleaning fees can be frustrating for Airbnb guests, they reflect the real costs hosts face to thoroughly clean and sanitize properties between stays. By understanding what goes into setting competitive cleaning fees, travelers can better account for this expense when budgeting for their overall trip costs.

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