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‘What I never have to buy as an Airbnb cleaner’: Airbnb cleaner shares all the food she gets for free

'The place we stayed at said we would be charged if we left any food.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Mar 31, 2023   Updated on Apr 2, 2023, 9:55 am CDT

While there are many drawbacks to being an Airbnb cleaner, the job has its perks—mainly, as TikTok user Dee (@deetakesovercleaning) explains, free food.

In a video with over 442,000 views, TikTok user Dee (@deetakesovercleaning) shows off her “haul” from a recent Airbnb clean.

From a guest named Mike, Dee received leftover Mac and Cheese, a loaf of bread, a bag of tortilla chips, several small chip bags, beer, a pack of hot dogs, cheese dip, a pre-made cocktail, green tea, hot pockets, and ice pops. “Help yourself to our leftover snacks,” a note by Mike left on a paper plate reads. “There’s extra in the fridge, too.”

“What I never have to buy as an Airbnb cleaner,” the text overlay reads.

“It’s a good day back,” she said in the video.

@deetakesovercleaning Things I never have to buy as an Airbnb Cleaner 💰😱FREE FOOD/DRINKS! TBT! #airbnbcleaner #airbnbcleanings #airbnbcleaninglady #airbnbfinds #freedrinks #freefood #freefoodhack #cleaninglady #airbnbsuperhost #airbnbcleaning #airbnbhack ♬ original sound – Deetakesovercleaning

In the comments section, many users and former cleaners confirmed that this was a relatively common experience.

“I miss cleaning houses for this reason,” one user wrote.

“We’ve done this several times!” exclaimed another.

“Fav part [of] being an airbnb cleaner,” added a third.

A few said they intentionally leave food for cleaners or subsequent guests.

“I always shop…it definitely cut[s] cost and since I can’t travel with it,” explained a commenter. “I’ll leave it behind hoping they enjoy it or leave snacks for the next guests.”

“We always have leftover [unopened] food when we leave vacation…and we leave it but was never really sure if the cleaners took it or threw it out,” shared a second.

According to Dee, “it’s not always like this…but it’s nice when you find little surprises.”

However, a few users warned that some Airbnbs have specific policies against this practice.

“The place we stayed at said we would be charged if we left any food,” claimed a user.

“Beach rentals in NC, you get fined for leaving any food!” detailed an additional TikToker. “Soo wasteful, in the trash.”

“I never truly understood that especially if it’s unopened items,” Dee wrote in response. “I know each owner has their own checkout rules so always check with the owner first.”

As for why she didn’t leave the food for the next guest, Dee said doing so would go against her host’s policies.

“Unfortunately I am instructed by the Airbnb owner to clear the fridge & pantry items for next guest since it could be a liability issue on their part,” she noted.

The Daily Dot reached out to Airbnb and Dee via email.

Update 9:54am CT, Apr. 2, 2023: In an email to the Daily Dot, Dee says this was “one of the biggest hauls I have received.”

“When it comes to guests leaving food, it all depends on their checkout instructions,” she says. “Unfortunately, some owners have some very strict rules, and they warn [guests] that there will be a charge if the food is not disposed. I always tell my followers to first check with the Airbnb owner directly and ask them if it’s okay if they leave some leftovers for the cleaners. I am also instructed to either take or dispose of anything in the fridge or pantry, but each owner is different. Some owners still want you to leave certain condiments in the fridge or pantry area, but definitely never alcohol and any food items.”

“I would say that the Airbnb Cleaning Industry is highly underrated, and meanwhile, this is definitely one of the nice perks about the job,” she continues. “There are endless opportunities in this business. My husband and I both quit our corporate jobs around 4 years ago and we have been doing this full-time, and it has surpassed our income compared to our corporate jobs tremendously because you’re in control of how much you can make. We have more flexibility, [we’re] less stressed, and it’s truly been a blessing.”

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*First Published: Mar 31, 2023, 1:03 pm CDT