Choosing the best laundry detergent for your Airbnb isn’t one of the biggest choices you make as a host. But using the right detergent can make a difference to you and your guests.
Kate and I have been hosting Airbnbs for over three years now and we’ve run into a few issues with our laundry detergent that caused us to make some adjustments.
Here’s what we do now.
A Laundry Detergent Story
I never thought that the laundry detergent we use in our listings could possibly matter to our guests. And 95% of the time they don’t care. But we have had a few guests that do care.
Most laundry detergents have fragrances that contain some allergens. Most people love the clean smell of those fresh smelling detergents, but the allergens can give some guests itchy eyes and runny noses. Not a good experience for those guests.
We had some guests that had a pretty rough weekend in one of our Airbnbs because they were uncomfortable from the allergens present in our bed sheets. It resulted in a less than perfect review for us.
Today we use a hypoallergenic laundry detergent. In fact, we have been using this detergent for over 2 years and haven’t had any more complaints.
The other lesson we’ve learned is that our sheets and towels get washed A LOT. There have been weeks where we were washing sheets every single day.
That means that your sheets and towels will wear down much faster than the sheets and towels you sleep on at home.
We use two techniques to slow the process of our linens wearing down.
- We have two sets of everything, that way things get washed half as often.
- We use a detergent that is gentle on our sheets and towels
When your sheets are washed this often, you don’t need to have a powerful detergent. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend it. You want your detergent to be gentle so your linens last longer.
Two Detergents: Two Purposes
Our current policy is to wash all our sheets and towels in the hypoallergic detergent. However, sometimes guests need to do their own laundry. And for that we have another solution (which we’ll get to shortly).
Hypoallergenic Detergent: ECOS Laundry Detergent
This is what we use to wash everything our guests used during their stay. It’s worked great for us.
The linens come out smelling fresh and clean, and our sheets can go through a hundred washes or more before they start to show signs of wear. It’s hypoallergenic, so it shouldn’t irritate any of your guests allergies.
Related: How to maximize your Airbnb profit.
The ECOS detergent checks all my boxes, but what’s the catch?
Well it’s not so much a catch, but the reality of running an Airbnb is that your sheets and towels (particularly the hand towels) will slowly become discolored. Guests will sweat in your beds and if you have white sheets, they’ll start turning yellow. Guests will wipe their hands on your bathroom towels over and over again. The light colored towels will start to turn brown.
A gentle detergent may allow the discoloration process to happen a bit faster. We try to counteract this in two ways. First is that not all our linens are white. A light blue or green will hide the stains much longer. And if you have white sheets and towels you can always run them with some bleach.
Single Serving Detergent: Tide Pods
If you leave your ECOS detergent (or other liquid detergent) out for your guests to use, I can promise you will run into some issues.
First, you’ll have some guests that use more of your detergent than you thought was humanly possible. I’m not sure if they bring 10 loads of dirty laundry or they just dump 5 cups of detergent in each load, but we’ve come back to empty detergent jugs.
Second, you’ll find detergent spilled on your machines, floors and possibly even your walls (yes, it’s happened).
Accidents happen, and the reality is that many guests aren’t motivated to clean up after themselves.
That’s where the Tide Pods come in. Instead of leaving a full jug of detergent for your guests to use, you can leave 2 or 3 pods out for your guests.
Unless you have a true outlier, you won’t be cleaning up any laundry detergent messes, and you know exactly how much they might use.
You can use the same technique when leaving laundry detergent for your Airbnb guests.
Let’s be real. Choosing laundry detergent isn’t the most important decision you’ll make in your Airbnbs. But choosing wisely can help you prevent problems for yourself and your guests.
I’m sure other hosts have had different experiences, but for us, we’ve had great luck with a hypoallergenic detergent for our sheets and towels. And putting out tide pods for your guests can also save you from unexpected messes and overuse of your detergent.