Running a Cleaning Business

Next-level Towel Folding Techniques for Airbnb Cleaners

Airbnb cleaners play a vital role in preparing properties for new guests. By incorporating enhanced towel folding techniques into your STR cleaning portfolio, you can upgrade your services to help curate welcoming guest experiences.

By The Turno Team

Last updated: January 12, 2024

How Towel Folding Elevates Guest Experience

While in the middle of a busy turnover, towel folding may seem like an unimportant or time-consuming detail. But, making the effort to take your towel folding skills to the next level greatly aids in shaping the guest experience. It’s not just about neatness; it’s about creating an inviting and organized space.

When towels are neatly folded and thoughtfully presented, the stage is set for a positive first impression. Guests arrive and immediately sense the care put into the home’s preparation. This simple act communicates a visual message of attentiveness and hospitality, making guests feel welcome from the get-go.

Airbnb guest towel presentation isn’t just aesthetically pleasing; it directly contributes to an enjoyable stay. When guests encounter carefully folded towels, they’re reassured that the host has taken the time and effort to ensure their comfort. It enhances their trust and confidence in staying at that specific vacation rental.

Importance of Presentation in Airbnb Cleaning and Hospitality 

For professional short-term rental cleaners, advanced towel folding techniques are a value-add service they bring to the business relationship. Airbnb cleaners help their host customers by making guests feel pampered by simple yet elevated aspects of their stay, such as the towels. These little touches set your vacation rental cleaning services apart, leaving a lasting impression on both the host and their guests.

The impact on guest perception cannot be overstated. When you go the extra mile with something as common as towels, guests notice. Folded towels don’t just signify cleanliness; they create an ambiance of order and care that helps guests feel like they have entered into a space prepared for their comfort. 

By enhancing your cleaning services with delightful details, you’re offering more than cleaning—you’re crafting an exceptional experience. Guests feel valued, and that’s what makes an Airbnb stand out among the rest. As a benefit to your host customers, upscale towel presentations can lead to photo sharing and social posts that boost a listing’s marketing efforts. 

5 Great Techniques of Towel Folding for Airbnb Cleaners

Spa-Style Fold 

The spa or rolled fold for guest towels is a classic method. This towel-folding technique is widely used in hotels and short-term rentals alike due to its clean lines and elegant appearance. 

How to create the spa-style fold for Airbnb guest towels:

  • Spread the bath towel out on a flat surface
  • Take one corner of the towel and fold it towards the center, about a third of the way
  • Fold the other corner towards the center, overlapping the first fold
  • Flip the towel over and roll the towel tightly, beginning from the square edge
  • Once rolled, tuck the loose end into the roll to secure it in place
  • Gently adjust the roll to make the towel even and tidy

Place the rolled towel in a basket or on a shelf for a spa-like display and easy guest access. This tight fold simplifies storing and organizing towels and eliminates the potential for stacked towels to appear cluttered or messy. 

Pocket Fold 

Another appealing method for elevating guest towel presentation is to use the pocket fold technique. This folding style is perfect for countertops and enables you and the host to provide guests with luxury amenities like shampoo and conditioner, hand lotion, chocolate, and more in the makeshift towel pocket. 

Steps to creating a pocket fold for Airbnb guest towels:

  • Lay the towel widthwise and fold up the bottom fourth of the towel
  • Repeat the first step
  • Flip the towel over so the double-folded side is facing down
  • Bring the towel in toward the center a third of the way
  • Repeat with the other side, creating a tri-fold
  • Fold the towel in half, making sure the bottom half of the fold has formed a “pocket”
  • Slide small bottles and other amenities into the pocket for added elegance 

Note: If the properties you service have a swimming pool or beach access, the pocket fold method can be easily used to create a tidy presentation of beach and/or pool towels. 

Pocket and Fan Set Fold 

You can beautifully fold more than just bath, beach, or pool towels. Hand and face wash towels can easily come together for a packaged set of guest towels. These towel sets are a great way to work with hosts who operate an Airbnb with a pool or beach access to create a more thoughtful guest experience. 

Follow the pocket fold instructions in the video above to complete the first half of the set. The next steps are to be used on the hand or face wash towels to create a fan fold: 

  • Fold a hand towel in half lengthwise
  • Fold the towel back and forth lengthwise in an accordion-like manner
  • Press down gently to flatten the folds
  • Bring one end of the towel to the other, folding it in half
  • Adjust the folds to ensure they are neatly splayed 
  • Tuck the towel with the fan fold facing outward in the pocket for a decorative touch 

Building a folded pocket and fan set adds a level of luxury to a guest’s stay. Hosts also appreciate the extra care, knowing these details improves guest satisfaction from the first impression. 

Flower Vase Fold  

Make an impact on guests by creating simple, yet elevated, towel art designs. Once the basic towel fold techniques are established, you are ready to create just about anything. The flower vase fold is a perfect example of using the basics in towel folding to upgrade your towel presentation. 

How to do the flower vase fold for STR guest towels:

  • Using a hand towel, fold the towel back and forth widthwise to make up a fan-fold
  • With a face wash towel, tri-fold the towel lengthwise 
  • Place the fan-folded towel in the middle of the tri-folded face wash towel 
  • Bring either end of the folded face wash towel to wrap around the fan-fold 
  • Use a rubber band or ribbon to secure the fold and ensure it stands up
  • Add a flower or piece of chocolate as decoration

Place the folded towels either on the end of the bed or on a bathroom countertop or shelf. Keep the display minimal. The focus should be on the towel art. If you choose to decorate the design, stick to one or two items. Typically a colorful ribbon or small flower is recommended when personalizing this type of towel art. 

Animal Folds

Get creative with your towel folding techniques by incorporating animal shapes. 

For Airbnb hosts, presentation is essential to their business. The way their property is presented directly influences guest perception and satisfaction. Animal-shaped folded towels add a level of luxury and excitement to any property. This, in turn, reflects positively on both the host and your cleaning services. 

Here are five highly popular animal towel folds for short-term rentals: 

two swan-shaped folded towels forming a heart with their beaks on an Airbnb bed


Animal towel shapes like the swan are ideal for luxury vacation rentals or romantic destinations. When paired with rose petals, chocolates, or extra bathroom amenities the swan fold creates an elevated touch that guests will admire and appreciate. 

Watch this video to learn the steps to creating a swan-like shape for guest towels!

Showcase your commitment to excellence by collaborating with hosts in creating unique and unforgettable towel folds like the swan.

elephant shaped folded animal towel for a vacation rental


For kid-friendly vacation rentals, animal towel folds like the elephant bring more joy to the guests’ stay. Animal towel folds signal that the vacation rental isn’t just for grown-ups; it’s a place where kids are welcomed and celebrated.

Watch this video on how to form elephant-shaped Airbnb guest towels!  

Incorporating these creative folds adds a touch of sophistication to the guest experience, making every vacation rental more memorable.

bear shaped animal folded towel sitting on a bed

Teddy Bear 

The teddy bear towel fold’s playful and familiar design appeals to guests of all ages, making it especially suitable for accommodations catering to families. Moreover, this versatile animal fold aligns well with sustainable vacation rentals, cabins, or nature-inspired themed Airbnbs.

Watch this video on how to build a bear-shaped animal fold for Airbnb guest towels! 

By prioritizing these small but impactful touches, you contribute to positive reviews and help hosts create a welcoming atmosphere that sets their property apart.

crab shaped animal folded towel with sunglasses for eyes


Tailor a guest’s experience with Airbnb towel art by creating animal folds relevant to their location or the property’s theme. In addition to this crab, you can incorporate other sea creatures like turtles or seahorses to create a charming touch to a coastal vacation rental. 

Watch this video to follow the steps to fold a crab-shaped animal towel for Airbnb guests! 

Personalize a guest’s experience with Airbnb towel art that introduces marine-themed towel folds. Not only do these add a unique touch but they also enhance the property’s overall coastal ambiance.

Sleeping Puppy

Household animal towel designs are great for pet-friendly vacation rentals. They also add an element of surprise and fun to a guest’s arrival, creating a lasting impression right from the beginning.

Watch this video to learn how to fold Airbnb guest towels into the shape of a puppy!

The playful touch of towel animals showcases thoughtful hospitality, setting a positive tone from the moment guests step through the door. This attention to detail creates a memorable experience and a warm and inviting atmosphere. 

Tips for Implementing Towel Folding Techniques in an Airbnb 

Towel folding is a higher-level service every short-term rental cleaner should be leveraging. Collaborate with your Airbnb host by introducing creative towel-folding techniques. Once you have the basic towel-folding techniques mastered, you can approach your hosts or property managers with confidence and work together to create a unique guest experience. 

To incorporate towel folding techniques into your vacation rental cleaning service: 

  • Select the right fold for each property. Ensure that the fold accommodates any extra offerings the host may want to provide guests.
  • Maintain consistency in presentation. Select and stick with a preferred towel folding style for each property you service. 
  • Practice makes perfect. Enhance your towel folding skills and speed over time by perfecting the basic folding techniques.  

Create a Welcoming Airbnb with Towel Art and Presentation 

Craft a unique Airbnb experience by incorporating next-level towel art and presentation. Utilize creative folding techniques to transform towels into charming shapes. Instantly greet guests with an attention to detail that elevates their experience, making them feel welcomed and valued. 

The Turno Team Avatar
The Turno Team , The Turno Team researches and publishes articles designed to provide short-term rental Hosts, Property Managers, and Airbnb Cleaners with insightful, useful resources. Articles written by the Turno Team cover a wide range of STR interests, from the latest industry data and best practices to real-world, practical advice on running efficient, revenue-generating vacation rental businesses in an ever-changing market.