If you have booked an Airbnb or vacation rental recently, you may have noticed a cleaning fee listed on your reservation. This additional charge is meant to cover the cost for the host or property management company to professionally clean the unit after you check out.

But what exactly does “cleaning fee per stay” mean and what does it cover?

In short, a cleaning fee per stay is a one-time flat fee that the host charges each time a new guest checks into the rental property. It pays for a deep cleaning of the entire unit including washing linens, sanitizing surfaces, taking out trash, and restocking supplies.

The cleaning fee is the same whether you stay one night or a whole month.

Why Properties Charge a Cleaning Fee

When booking accommodations for a trip, you may come across a cleaning fee included in the total cost. But why do properties charge this fee? Let’s explore some reasons behind it.

Covers the Cost of a Professional Cleaning Service

One of the main reasons properties charge a cleaning fee is to cover the cost of hiring a professional cleaning service. These services ensure that the property is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized between guests.

Hiring professionals ensures a higher level of cleanliness than what a regular turnover cleaning might achieve.

Professional cleaners have the expertise and experience to tackle even the toughest cleaning tasks. They use specialized equipment and cleaning products to ensure the property is spotless and ready for the next guest.

From deep cleaning carpets to disinfecting bathrooms, their services help maintain a high standard of cleanliness.

According to a study conducted by The American Cleaning Institute, professional cleaning services can eliminate up to 99.9% of germs and bacteria.

Helps Maintain Cleanliness Standards and Review Scores

Charging a cleaning fee also helps properties maintain cleanliness standards and receive positive review scores. Guests expect a clean and well-maintained accommodation, and the cleaning fee ensures that these expectations are met.

By investing in professional cleaning services, properties can provide a clean and comfortable environment for their guests. This leads to positive experiences, which in turn translates into higher review scores.

These positive reviews not only attract more guests but also contribute to the property’s reputation and credibility.

Host’s Time Saved on Turnover Cleaning

In addition to ensuring a high level of cleanliness, charging a cleaning fee also saves the host’s time on turnover cleaning. Turnover cleaning refers to the process of cleaning and preparing the property for the next guest after a previous guest checks out.

By hiring a professional cleaning service, hosts can delegate this time-consuming task and focus on other aspects of managing their property. This allows them to provide a better overall experience for their guests and attend to other important responsibilities.

According to a survey conducted by Airbnb, hosts who use professional cleaning services save an average of 2 hours per turnover cleaning.

What’s Included in a Standard Cleaning Fee

When booking a vacation rental, you may come across a “cleaning fee per stay” listed in the pricing details. But what exactly does this fee cover? Let’s take a closer look at what is typically included in a standard cleaning fee.

Changing Bed Sheets and Towels

One of the main tasks included in a cleaning fee is changing the bed sheets and towels. This ensures that each guest starts their stay with fresh linens and a clean bathroom. The cleaning staff will remove the used sheets and towels, wash them, and replace them with clean ones.

Vacuuming Floors

Another important aspect of the cleaning fee is vacuuming the floors. The cleaning staff will thoroughly vacuum all carpeted areas to remove dirt, dust, and other debris. This not only improves the overall cleanliness of the rental but also helps maintain a healthy environment for guests.

Cleaning Bathrooms

Cleaning the bathrooms is a crucial part of the cleaning fee. The cleaning staff will scrub and sanitize the toilets, sinks, showers, and bathtubs, ensuring that they are clean and ready for the next guests to use. This helps maintain hygiene and prevents the spread of germs.

Wiping Down Surfaces

In addition to the bathrooms, the cleaning fee typically includes wiping down surfaces throughout the rental. This includes countertops, tables, and other commonly used areas. By doing so, the cleaning staff removes dust and ensures that the rental is clean and presentable.

Removing Trash and Food

The cleaning fee also covers the removal of trash and leftover food. The cleaning staff will empty all trash cans and dispose of any garbage left behind by previous guests. This helps keep the rental neat and prevents any unwanted odors.

Replenishing Consumables

Some cleaning fees may also include the replenishment of consumable items, such as toilet paper, hand soap, and dishwasher detergent. This ensures that guests have the necessary supplies throughout their stay without having to purchase them separately.

It’s important to note that the specific inclusions of a cleaning fee may vary depending on the vacation rental and the host’s policies. It’s always a good idea to read the listing details carefully or reach out to the host for clarification.

Now that you know what’s typically included in a standard cleaning fee, you can better understand what to expect when booking a vacation rental. Remember, a clean and well-maintained rental enhances the overall guest experience and contributes to a positive stay.

How the Fee Amount is Determined

When it comes to cleaning fees per stay, several factors are taken into consideration to determine the amount. These factors include the size of the rental unit, the location’s cleaning costs, the amount of furniture and bedding, and any special cleaning needs.

Size of the Rental Unit

The size of the rental unit plays a significant role in determining the cleaning fee. Larger units generally require more time and effort to clean thoroughly. A larger space means more rooms to clean, more surfaces to dust and sanitize, and more bathrooms to scrub.

As a result, the cleaning fee for a larger rental unit may be higher compared to a smaller one.

Location’s Cleaning Costs

The cleaning costs can vary depending on the location. In some areas, the cost of hiring professional cleaners may be higher due to higher labor costs or other factors. For example, in popular tourist destinations, cleaning services may charge more due to the high demand for their services.

It’s essential for property owners to consider these location-specific factors when determining the cleaning fee per stay.

Amount of Furniture and Bedding

The amount of furniture and bedding in a rental unit also influences the cleaning fee. More furniture means more surfaces to clean and dust. Additionally, if the rental unit provides bedding and linens for guests, the cleaning fee may be higher to cover the cost of washing, drying, and ironing them between stays.

Property owners should take into account the time and resources required to clean and maintain the furniture and bedding when setting the cleaning fee.

Special Cleaning Needs

Special cleaning needs can also impact the cleaning fee per stay. If there are specific requirements or requests from guests, such as deep cleaning of carpets, upholstery, or high-touch areas, the cleaning fee may be adjusted accordingly.

These special cleaning needs may involve additional equipment, time, and effort, which can contribute to a higher cleaning fee.

It’s important for property owners to carefully consider these factors when determining the cleaning fee per stay for their rental unit. By taking into account the size of the unit, location-specific costs, the amount of furniture and bedding, and any special cleaning needs, property owners can ensure that the cleaning fee accurately reflects the time, effort, and resources required to maintain a clean and welcoming rental for their guests.

When the Cleaning Fee is Charged

When you book a stay at a vacation rental or hotel, you may notice an additional charge called a “cleaning fee.” This fee is typically charged upon booking or at check-in, and it is meant to cover the cost of cleaning the property after your stay.

It is important to understand when and why this fee is charged to avoid any surprises or misunderstandings.

Upon Booking / Check-In

The cleaning fee is generally included in the total cost of your stay and is paid upfront either at the time of booking or during the check-in process. This fee is separate from the nightly rate or room rate and is a one-time charge.

It is important to note that the cleaning fee is non-refundable, regardless of the duration of your stay.

Covers Only Standard Cleaning Tasks

The cleaning fee typically covers the cost of standard cleaning tasks required to prepare the property for the next guest. This includes tasks such as vacuuming, dusting, mopping, and changing linens. However, it does not cover excessive mess or damage caused during your stay.

For authoritative information about what is included in the cleaning fee, you can visit the website of the vacation rental or hotel you are booking with.

You May be Charged Extra for Damage

If you cause damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear, you may be charged an additional fee to cover the cost of repairs or replacement. This fee would be separate from the cleaning fee and would be assessed based on the extent of the damage.

It is always a good idea to treat the rental property or hotel room with care to avoid any additional charges.

If you want to learn more about the policies regarding damage fees, you can visit the website of the vacation rental or hotel you are booking with.

Tips to Understand and Manage Cleaning Fees

When booking a vacation rental, one of the fees that you may come across is the cleaning fee. Understanding and managing cleaning fees is important to ensure a smooth and hassle-free stay. Here are some useful tips to help you navigate through cleaning fees.

Read Listing Details Carefully

Before booking a vacation rental, make sure to carefully read the listing details, including the section on fees. The cleaning fee is usually mentioned in this section, along with other charges. Pay close attention to the amount of the cleaning fee and whether it is charged per stay or per night.

A cleaning fee per stay means that you will only be charged once for the entire duration of your stay, while a cleaning fee per night means that the fee is applied for each night of your stay.

Ask Host Questions Upfront

If you have any questions or concerns about the cleaning fee, don’t hesitate to reach out to the host before making a reservation. Ask them about the specifics of the cleaning fee, such as what it covers and whether it includes additional services like linen change or garbage disposal.

Getting clarifications upfront will help you make an informed decision and avoid any surprises.

Leave the Unit in Good Condition

To avoid any additional charges or disputes regarding the cleaning fee, make sure to leave the vacation rental in good condition. Clean up after yourself, wash the dishes, and tidy up the space before checking out.

By doing so, you can minimize the time and effort required by the cleaning crew and ensure a smooth transition for the next guests.

Compare Fees Across Listings

When searching for vacation rentals, it’s a good idea to compare cleaning fees across different listings. Some hosts may charge higher cleaning fees than others, and it’s important to consider this when making a decision.

However, keep in mind that a higher cleaning fee doesn’t necessarily mean better cleaning services. Look for reviews or ratings from previous guests to get an idea of the cleanliness and maintenance of the property.

Cleaning Fee vs Cleaning Deposit

It’s worth noting the difference between a cleaning fee and a cleaning deposit. A cleaning fee is a mandatory charge that is applied to every guest, while a cleaning deposit is a refundable amount that is collected upfront and returned after your stay if the vacation rental is left in good condition.

Some hosts may choose to have either a cleaning fee or a cleaning deposit, while others may have both. Understanding the terms and conditions regarding these fees will help you manage your expenses and expectations.


While cleaning fees may seem like an annoying extra charge, they are a necessary part of operating a short-term rental business. The fee ensures each guest arrives to a clean, sanitized, and well-stocked unit.

As a traveler, make sure to understand what is covered in the cleaning fee and prepare accordingly. Leaving the property as you found it goes a long way to avoid additional charges. With an upfront understanding of the cleaning fee per stay, you can better budget for your next Airbnb or vacation rental trip.

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