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    Answering top questions about the 5-step cleaning process

    Here’s what you need to know about the 5-step enhanced cleaning process.
    By Airbnb on Apr 24, 2020
    6 min read
    Updated Jun 25, 2021


    Guests care about cleanliness—from the supplies you’re using to the extra steps you’re taking, they want to know what you’re doing to help keep them safe. And they’re not the only ones. Government officials and policymakers are focusing on cleaning practices in an effort to protect their communities as travel resumes and communities reopen.

    Early in the pandemic, we heard from many of you who asked for more guidance around how to clean and sanitize your spaces. It was one of the top requests in our recent listening sessions with Hosts from around the world, and cleaning tips continue to be a popular topic in Community Center discussions and here in our Resource Center.

    That’s why we developed the 5-step enhanced cleaning process, which helps Hosts like you clean more effectively during COVID-19 and beyond. The 5-step process is based on Airbnb’s cleaning handbook, which was created in partnership with experts. We know it can be difficult to adopt a new cleaning routine, which is why the comprehensive handbook includes expert-backed guidance, safety tips, and checklists.

    We know you might have some questions about the process, and we’ve done our best to answer them here.

    Where can I access the enhanced cleaning information?
    The 5-step enhanced cleaning process is based on Airbnb’s cleaning handbook, which was developed in partnership with experts. The comprehensive handbook includes expert-backed guidance, a list of supplies to stock up on, safety tips, and checklists. You can find additional tips, custom checklists, and more in the cleaning section of your Insights tab.

    What’s the difference between the 5-step enhanced cleaning process and the COVID-19 safety practices?
    The 5-step enhanced cleaning process is just one part of the COVID-19 safety practices. Hosts and guests must also wear a mask and practice social distancing when interacting in person when required by local laws or guidelines.

    Do the COVID-19 safety practices apply to guests?
    Yes, when required by local laws or guidelines, Airbnb’s health and safety practices require guests to wear a face mask and maintain 6 feet (2 meters) distance when they interact in person with Hosts or other guests who aren’t in their group.

    Why are all hosts now required to follow this 5-step enhanced cleaning process?
    As the pandemic continues, it’s important that we all do our part to help curb the spread of COVID-19. We know it can be difficult to adopt a cleaning routine, so we’ve put together a comprehensive cleaning handbook that includes expert-backed guidance, safety tips, and checklists.

    How will guests know that I’ve committed to the 5-step enhanced cleaning process?
    Once Hosts commit to the process, their commitment to enhanced cleaning will be shown on their listing page, so guests will know they’ve agreed to follow a consistent cleaning standard. There are a few things you need to know:

    • In order for their enhanced clean commitment to be shown on their listing page, Hosts will need to agree to follow the 5-step enhanced cleaning process for all their listings between each guest stay
    • Private room Hosts will need to follow additional guidance as part of the cleaning process
    • Once you commit to the process, your commitment to enhanced clean will appear on your listing page within 24 hours

    How will Airbnb verify that hosts are following the cleaning process?
    Hosts are required to follow the 5-step enhanced cleaning process. Our review system offers additional checks and balances—if a Host isn’t following the requirements, guests can bring it up in their reviews of the space. Guests can also request a refund for their stay, if eligible under our Guest Refund Policy, by contacting Customer Support.

    What if I don’t attest to the COVID-19 safety requirements?
    Hosts who offer accommodations will find a prompt in their app or dashboard that will include the 5-step enhanced cleaning process and a page where you can attest to the COVID-19 safety requirements. If you do not attest to the requirements, your account may be subject to warnings, suspensions, and, in some cases, removal from Airbnb.

    What if a guest reports a Host who has committed to the 5-step cleaning process but isn’t upholding the standards?
    We believe that most issues can be resolved with extra Host education and support. However, Hosts who repeatedly or severely violate cleaning standards may be subject to warnings, suspensions, and in some cases, removal from the Airbnb platform. 

    Following the 5-step cleaning process is going to cost more to clean. How will I pay for that?
    As a Host, you have the option to add a cleaning fee* to your listing, and what you charge is completely up to you. Adding a cleaning fee—or adjusting yours if you have one already—can help offset any additional costs of following these requirements. 

    I’m a private room Host. Do I need to follow the 5-step cleaning process?
    Yes, Hosts of stays must follow the 5-step cleaning process. After a Host commits to the process, their commitment to enhanced clean will be shown on their listing page. We know that Hosts with common areas face unique challenges when it comes to cleaning and social distancing, so we’ve included additional guidelines.

    I’ve hired a professional cleaner. How do I ensure they meet the requirements?
    You should share the 5-step process, cleaning handbook, and other resources in the Resource Center with your professional cleaner—and make sure they’ve agreed to follow the standards. You’ll need to agree to each step on behalf of your cleaner, and take responsibility that they’re following the steps.

    Are any booking buffers required if I commit to the 5-step enhanced cleaning process?
    Please note that by committing to the 5-step cleaning process, you agree to comply with local laws. This includes following any additional safety or cleaning guidelines from your relevant governmental agency, like how long to wait before entering a space. For example, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests waiting as long as possible (at least several hours) after the guest leaves. If you'd like to set a booking buffer between reservations, you can do so in your settings. Leaving extra time between stays doesn’t just reduce the risk of exposure to germs—it also gives you more time after each guest to clean, sanitize, and reset your space.

    I host an Airbnb Experience. Do you have cleaning requirements for me, too?
    Yes. For those who host in a country or region where in-person experiences have resumed, we’ve created a set of cleaning guidelines and health and safety recommendations and requirements specifically for you.

    Beyond the requirements, do you have additional guidelines on hosting and traveling during COVID-19?
    In addition to the COVID-19 safety practices, here are other steps that Hosts and guests must take when hosting and traveling during this time:

    • Make sure to wash your hands often, and avoid touching your face at all times
    • Don’t travel or host if you’ve recently been exposed to or have symptoms of COVID-19
    • For more info, please read the health and safety guidance for Hosts and guests, and be sure to follow any relevant local requirements

    How can I stay up to date on local laws and guidelines?
    The situation continues to evolve, and certain rules and recommendations (like how long to wait before entering a space) may differ depending on where you host. Please bookmark our Help Center article for more information about cleaning laws and guidelines in your region. You can also reference this resource page for up-to-date travel advisories, restrictions, and mask and social distancing guidance in your area.

    We hope you find these resources helpful as you revisit your cleaning routine. We appreciate the care Hosts are taking to help ensure the safety and comfort of guests during this challenging time.

    Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

    *Excluding Hosts who offer accommodations in mainland China. Find out more 


    Apr 24, 2020
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