I Wonder If It’s Just as Gross at an Airbnb

The Huffington Post had a story today about the five germiest places in a hotel room.

Nothing on the list really surprised me, once I gave it some thought:

  • tv remote
  • bed comforter or duvet
  • drinking glasses
  • lamp/light switch
  • housekeeping materials (the cart)

But I also must admit that I don’t think about these issues too much when I go to a hotel, since everything usually looks so clean. Perhaps hotels need to start putting hand cleansing units in every room, much like hospitals have been doing over the past few years. Seeing one of those might be a good reminder to double check/cleanse everything before using it.

But the article also got me thinking if the problems are any better or worse at Airbnb sites.

On the one hand, I would guess that there’s less chance of a professional cleaning crew to come in to an Airbnb in between guests as compared to a hotel room.

On the other hand, there may be more personal pride that goes into cleaning an Airbnb, particularly if it is being cleaned by the actual owner of the rental unit.

I also believe that the renters in an Airbnb probably put more effort in trying to keep the place clean as compared to the average guest at a hotel room.

Also, trust is such a key part of the Airbnb model, along with the reviews by both the renter and the owner. These reviews play a critical role in how successful the owner will be in renting his or her unit as well in how successful the tenant will be in finding a place.

As a result, I think both sides of the transaction have a strong incentive to keep the unit clean since the reviews are so personal. While renters can leave reviews for a hotel stay, it’s targeted at some faceless entity, not like a review of a specific owner in Airbnb. Also, the Airbnb model allows the owner to review the renter, which does not exist in the hotel market. This is a strong motivator for the renter to keep the place reasonably clean.

So while I am not sure if a hotel room or an Airbnb has more germs lurking around, my guess is that it would beĀ  a hotel room.

Of course, like many things in life, I could be way off target here. I could probably do a Google search to see if anyone has already looked into this, but I did not want to be influenced by facts, it’s much more fun (and easier) to share my opinion.

Sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite…

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