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Aussie Airbnb apartment cleaner's revelations

Aussie Airbnb apartment cleaner's revelations RBC-Ukraine collage
Author: Maria Kholina

Jason Shipway, the owner of a cleaning company in Western Australiam openly discussed his collaboration with the short-term rental service Airbnb. He confessed that after this partnership, he has little desire to stay in such apartments in the future, according to Yahoo.

According to Shipway, as the owner of Enhanced Cleaning, a company managing Airbnbs in the state, he was asked to do some peculiar things. Before cleaning the apartments, he received a list of conditions they wanted him to follow.

For instance, the company requested that he not wash the bed linens after each stay to save on laundry costs. They also asked him to neatly fold towels that "don't appear dirty or used" back into the closet and clean dishes that were presumably not used.

"The day before we were supposed to send one of our teams in, we got an email from the management company. In this email, they informed us that they have a procedure they'd like us to follow in order to save money on turnover times. The more I read this email, the more horrified I became," Shipway said.

The company he had to work with manages 50-60 Airbnbs in Western Australia, ranging in price from $200 to $500 per night, with an additional cleaning fee. According to him, such practices are considered "standard" in the Airbnb industry.

"They just wanted us to take the linen off, flip it around so that the top was now at the bottom in order to make it look like they were cleaner," he alleged.

His team was also provided with a small sprayer to help straighten out the sheets and create the illusion that they weren't wrinkled.

"They also said they'd supply us with a little spray bottle that we could spray on the sheets to make them less crinkly, to appear like they hadn't been used by the previous guests," he added.

If the towels were not very dirty, they were to be neatly folded back on the bed or placed in the closet.

"They basically said any dishes leftover in the sink or in the dishwasher that had been used but didn't look dirty, could just be put back in the drawers for the next guest as well," Shipway said.

Cleaning the floors and vacuuming was only necessary in areas with visible dirt and fingerprints, he added.

According to Shipway, there are some excellent Airbnbs out there, but this was his first experience as a cleaner, and he believes that most short-term rental services fall far behind hotels due to such cost-cutting and greed.

"They just want to make that little bit of extra money from the stay and so they sacrifice on cleaning big time. It’s really gross and unsettling to think that the next 'bnb that you could be going to could be run like this," he added.

He declined to work with the company that provided such cleaning standards and made it clear that he did not want his teams associated with such a cleaning standard. Later, he reported the incident to Airbnb.