Hosting an Airbnb During a Pandemic – Staying Afloat


We have been hosting AirBnB rentals for a few years now, and we can honestly say we weren’t sure what the COVID-19 pandemic was going to mean for our 2020 rental season . If you’re like us, as an AirBnB host, you want to provide your guests the best possible experience. Given the current state of events, we were initially hesitant to commit to opening our home to travelers this year. But after some research and reviewing the protocols Airbnb has developed as a result of the pandemic, we decided to give it a shot. The following is our approach to hosting an Airbnb during a pandemic.

You’ll find many references to the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) websites in this post. We believe their guidance is tops in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and have incorporated them into our Airbnb hosting protocols.

First Things First – Take the AirBnB Training

Airbnb now offers an ‘Enhanced Cleaning Protocol‘ for hosts. They have worked with leading health and hospitality experts to develop this training. Once you complete Airbnb’s “Enhanced Clean” training, your listing will display that you did so. This provides potential guests with peace of mind that you are being extra diligent during these times. This feature highlights your commitment to sanitizing high touch surfaces, using cleaners and disinfectants with 70% alcohol or higher, wearing a mask and gloves while cleaning, wash linens on high heat settings and follow local guidance.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a long list of all the approved COVID-19 cleaning agents listed here.

Airbnb Cleaning Guide

Watch the News

While preparing to host your guests, it’s a good idea to have an idea what the news is saying . Be aware of where your guests are traveling from, and provide them information about where they are traveling to. Stay up on local regulations in the town where your Airbnb is located, and be sure to regularly familiarize yourself with the Airbnb requirements.

Allow for one night in between guests

When planning out your Airbnb calendar, the app actually allows you to block out one night in between guests. This allows a full 24 hours to pass without anyone needing to enter the rental space. While it is not fully known how long the virus remains on certain surfaces, it can’t hurt to allow the extra time.

Wear a mask

Wearing a mask while cleaning protects both you and the guests by minimizing exposure to the virus. And if you are planning to greet your guests in person, you’ll certainly want to have your mask on and practice physical distancing. You can read more about wearing your mask properly on the CDC website.

Run a fan

Once the guests check out, we open a window, place a fan in the rental space and run it to get the air circulating. Improving airflow is one of the ways to minimize interaction with the virus.

“Taking measures to improve ventilation in an area or room where someone was ill or suspected to be ill with COVID-19 will help shorten the time it takes respiratory droplets to be removed from the air.”


Handling Laundry with Care

When doing laundry, we developed a system where we put all the dirty sheets and towels into a trash bag to transfer them from the rental space to the washing machine. We then directly empty the contents of the bag into the washer. We wash and dry the linens on the hot setting.

“If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely.”


Wash Your Hands Frequently

And refrain from touching your eyes, nose and mouth in between washings. Washing your hands often is one of the best ways to minimize the transfer of the disease.

“Washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. “


Redecorate a Little

Our rental space was by no means consumed by decorative pieces, but we have made an effort to reduce some of the decorations/knickknacks to minimize touch surfaces around the space. This decreases the amount of surfaces you’ll need to clean in between guests.

Peace of Mind

We also furnish the rental space with anti-bacterial hand soap and disinfectant spray. With these items at their disposal, guests so can regularly wash their hands and any items they bring into the AirBnB.

Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting refers to using chemicals, for example, EPA-registered disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. CDC


Update Your Recommendations

This is also a good time to revisit the list of restaurants and establishments that you usually recommend to your guests. Be mindful that some of the establishments may not currently be open due to the pandemic. Additionally, make recommendations for spots that offer take out and patio seating. And don’t forget to remind them is there is a mask ordinance locally in place.

Make a list and Check it Twice!

It’s helpful to develop a list of cleaning duties, even when a pandemic isn’t afoot. This list will help you stay on task with your cleaning ritual and is super helpful in the event that you need to have someone cover a cleaning shift for you. This ensures cleaning consistency from one guest to the next. Your list should include high touch surfaces like light switches, handles and counter tops. By including knobs, chairs, doors, remotes and bed frames to your list, you’ll cover pretty much all bases.

A thorough cleaning of our ~400sqft Airbnb space takes the better part of four hours. It is essentially a non-stop cleaning while four loads of laundry are washed and dried.

For more ideas and suggestions for starting up an Airbnb or stepping up your Airbnb game, check out 11 Tips to Nail Hosting a Successful Airbnb. Or feel free to drop us a line!

Are you hosting an Airbnb this year? How have you changed your hosting practices?

float on, kat & phil

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