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Airbnb Towel Damage (2024): How to Protect Your Vacation Rental Valuables

Creating a luxurious experience for your guests involves making sure a lot of things are perfect: linens, furniture, amenities, and yes, towels! Having great towels can help cultivate a spa-like atmosphere in your Airbnb’s bathroom, and guests have come to expect this. But how can you make sure you’re not having to replace your expensive, fluffy towels all the time?

Here’s how to protect your vacation rental valuables!

  • Pick items that hold up to heavy use
  • Make sure guests know your expectations
  • Implement a security deposit if necessary
  • Try changing your prices
  • Check what your insurance covers

Still unsure about vacation rental insurance providers? Click HERE to find out more about my top pick, Proper Insurance!

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Don't Rely on Your Standard Homeowners Policy!

Pick Items That Hold Up To Heavy Use

Some people think that durable things and luxury things are on opposite ends of the spectrum. This is not the case! You can find towels that stand the test of time and hold up to almost constant use but still stay soft, absorbent, and great looking. 

You’ll want to pick towels that you can easily launder. I prefer white towels because you can bleach them, and they stay looking fresh and clean. They also give off somewhat of a hotel or spa vibe, which is always a plus. 

Don’t pick towels that are crazy fluffy, but try to find some that are pretty soft. Too fluffy and they’ll leave lint al over everything and be a nightmare to wash; too thin and they’ll become crispy and uncomfortable within a few uses. I would also pick matching colors of hand towels, bath towels, and a bath mat (in my case, all are white), so that they can be interchanged if you need to clean something mid-stay. 

The one exception to the “all white towel” rule is that I like to include a makeup towel that is dark gray or even black. Trust me, this will be a lifesaver when it comes to trying to remove stains. You can’t bleach this color, of course, but stains shouldn’t show very well, and you can have a few on hand if one needs to be replaced. 

Make Sure Guests Know Your Expectations

Hopefully your guests have enough common sense to be courteous and respectful of your space and belongings. Aside from this, there are a few simple rules you can put into place to ensure your Airbnb towels stay with you for the long haul. 

I’ve began to implement a rule that I’ve seen used in lots of hotel and B&Bs around the country: dirty towels that need replacing can be left on the floor, and clean ones that guests want to re-use stay hung up on a hook or door knob. This saves on your cleaning time, laundry costs, and wear from over washing your towels. 

This mostly applies to hosts who clean or replace linens mid-stay, as I wouldn’t try to re-use the same towels across multiple stays just because someone else says they are clean. A little sign in the bathroom or a message at check in can remind guests of this policy and cut our laundry load by a lot if people follow suit. 

Lastly, I would also make sure that guests are aware that excess wear and tear on your belongings (including towels) could result in a replacement fee or another additional charge (more on this below). 

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Implement A Security Deposit If Necessary

I should start by saying that some hosts consider replacing linens, towels, and other amenities as just part of their operating costs. They don’t collect security deposits, and don’t charge guests extra to replace these items if they’re damaged too badly to use again. 

If you’re one of these people, or you’d just like to avoid the hassle of collecting extra money from guests, check out the next section where I discuss how to price accordingly. 

If you would like to implement a security deposit, Airbnb makes it pretty easy. Once you find your listing on the website, click the Pricing icon next to it. Then select the Edit button next to Extra Charges, and enter in the amount you’d like guests to put up.

It should be noted that Airbnb doesn’t actually take this money from guests, a hold is just placed on their account in the amount of the deposit. If you do want to collect a security deposit, you’ll have to make a claim through Airbnb and they’ll help you. It can be disputed by the guest and is sometimes a lengthy process. 

Consider Changing Your Prices

If you’d rather not mess around with a security deposit (or even if you do have one but want extra protection) pricing your rental accordingly can help offset the cost of replacing items that are damaged or just suffering general wear and tear.

While you should definitely have short term rental insurance as a backup, raising your nightly rate even slightly can really add up over time. You might be able to upgrade amenities, replace worn out items, and just pay yourself more! A small percentage increase across the board isn’t likely to make you less competitive, so try it out and see how it works for you. 

Rental Recon Tip: Shopping around for vacation rental insurance can be a daunting task, so I’m here to break things down for you! Check out how my top pick Proper Insurance compares to one of its competitors, Foremost, to see which is right for you!

Get Your 5-minute Proper Insurance Quote
Don't Rely on Your Standard Homeowners Policy!

Check What Your Insurance Covers

While your insurance isn’t likely to cover things like wear and tear on your property over time, they should cover damage to things you own. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth it to make a claim on something like a couple of towels, but you’ll definitely be glad you have the option if something larger or more expensive gets ruined. 

One of the reasons why I love Proper Insurance is that they let you select your coverage level so you pay for what you need. They cover property damage and even have additional coverage options for things like bedbugs! Get quote from them TODAY!

Do I need Airbnb and vacation rental insurance?

You sure do! While Airbnb does offer a basic level of coverage with its Host Protection and Host Guarantee, these are absolutely not comprehensive options and should not be relied on to help you protect your vacation rental.

Both of these are free services offered to everyone who hosts on Airbnb (not for Experiences, though). They’re a great start, but have lots of limitations. One of the biggest ones is that there’s essentially no guarantee of a payout, and a lot of the payout process involves requesting money from guests who have the option of declining, further drawing out the process. 

On the other hand, vacation rental insurance is something you shop for and pay for yourself. It’s separate from homeowners insurance and required if you’re renting out a space and not simply using it as a residence. Many policies allow you to pick and choose coverage levels and covered events, so be sure to shop around and find one that’s right for you!

Ryan Drew- Contributor
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Ryan Drew- Contributor

I'm an Airbnb Superhost sharing my Airbnb journey and tips that I've learned along the way.

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