Bathroom toiletries

I’m new to hosting sitters when I travel. I’ve only used the same couple 3x now. The first time I left them a platter of fresh fruits, crackers and veggies in the frig for which they thanked me. The second sit, they texted me in advance and requested specific items from the platter. I also noticed after the sit that they used all of my bath and shampoo supplies. They also complained that I didn’t have strong enough cleaning supplies (I don’t use chemicals in the house).
I just want to know if this is customary moving forward? I am not using them again for other pet care issues so I have a different housesitter coming next week and want to be clear with communication and expectations.


I would never touch someone else’s toiletries that’s so out of order.


No it isn’t usual. Requesting certain foods? Using bathroom products? Run, run fast.


My hosts have usually said to use anything in the shower. They also leave either a fresh bar of soap, or packaged hotel toiletries.

… but I bring everything. Even hand soap, because I’m sensitive to certain smells.

I bring my own refillable travel containers of my favorite products, as my hair is naturally wavy and I don’t want to risk using other stuff.

If you don’t want sitters to use your expensive products, it would be kind of you to drop 5 (dollars/pounds/euros/etc.) on products from a cheap store and put your fancy stuff away.


Hi @LouSil, welcome to the forum.
I have separate toiletries for my sitters. If they get too old, I toss them and buy new ones. I try to get everything unscented because it usually works for everyone.
Also, most of the sitters I’ve had don’t expect any food, but I still offer and ask for any dietary restrictions. It’s just part of what I think it’s being a good host.
It’s important to have good communication with your sitters so they understand what is expected - caring for pet, home and plants and likewise is important for the sitters to know of about your pet’s routine, behavior and anything that might come up. I like to make sure sitters feel comfortable to tell me about anything weird that might come up, so treating them with respect and being friendly is important. I always try to put myself in their shoes. Not every sitter will be as good as others so I try to stay as neutral as possible, but it’s important to set expectations for both sides before the sit starts. You can do that by making sure they have a welcome guide - I usually share mine right away and follow up to make sure they’ve read it and ask if they have any questions.

Wow, I would never use any bath supplies other than hand soap. Requesting specific items for ‘their’ platter also takes some nerve. Yikes. Probably best that you are moving on to a new sitter. I can understand that they might have asked for other cleaning products, if vinegar and baking soda aren’t doing the trick. But hey, at least they cleaned? No, their behavior is not the norm. Move on, you’ll find someone better.


We’re sitters and we don’t touch an owners toiletries, and it’s your home so it’s up to you to use whatever cleaning products you like, unless a sitter decides to supply their own.

But it’s lovely that you gave fresh fruit etc, but I certainly wouldn’t have asked what a sitter wanted fruit, veg, crackers wise in advance, just let your sitter arrive with no expectations like that and they will be delighted for whatever you decided to leave them as a gift. We love it when an owner leaves us something local, like if there’s a really good bakery, or local wine, but we never ever expect anything.


I leave out shampoo and bath/hand soap for sitters and put anything I don’t want used away. I wouldn’t care if the former were used up (although I’d be :thinking: if it were a sit less than several weeks), I’d be pissed if they got my personal items out and used them.

I can kind of see, since they were returning sitters, mentioning certain favorites from the platter - but it really depends on tone. There’s a big difference between “your platter last time was so thoughtful - we don’t actually eat celery and I’d hate for it to go to waste” and “please have a plate with just strawberries this time”.

Sounds like they won’t be invited back for other reasons, but if you do have repeat sitters in the future, that’s perhaps an opportunity to ask if they either liked the platter or would prefer something else - assuming that the repeat sit is because you got along, felt good about the care of your pet(s)/home.

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Welcome @LouSil
Nothing is expected to be left for a sitter. I’ve often been told I can help myself to perishable fruit, veg and diary products in the fridge but anything else is a kind bonus.
I bring my own toiletries like @MissChef I have sensitive skin so use these even if offered fresh shower gels etc by the ho.

The toiletries or the sitters?


It feels like your generosity has been taken advantage of here, so sorry you had a Sitter who feels that “everything is provided” it’s now it works (maybe if for a weekend or overnight, however to then request items in future and use all your Bathroom products is “wow” I don’t know what else to say.
Cleaning products, again, “wow” there’s practically nothing that White Vinegar, Bi Carb Soda and Dishwashing liquid can’t clean (you might have to scrub or soak but it can be done, it’s how we have lived for many many years now)
Trusting your next Sitter is much better experience for both yourself and your Pets.
If HO be it a regular we sit or new says " use anything in the Kitchen/Bathrooms" I might try a product if I have wondered about it and see if I like it, the same goes with Herbs and Spices (often I go home and buy some for home use)
We always bring our own Toiletries even down to TP and Dishwashing Liquid, we have arrived a HS in the middle of no where where there was not a single sheet of TP, no Tissues nothing… and they didn’t have bidets, our regular sits leave stuff in the Fridge and we use it up, it’s an understanding, they usually leave TP and handwash, dishwashing liquid, dishwasher Tabs, Laundry tabs/powder/liquid, however again if it is an overnighter or weekend, I bring everything with us.
If for some reason we use something up, we replace it.
HS isn’t all inclusive meals/toiletries included package.
We are grateful and love it when HO leaves us treats (being Plant based, we get some really thoughtful treats left for us, however never expected) Fruit and Veg is always a hit for us. We love it when we get a treat on their return from their travels, however again never expected.
I always ask if HO want’s bread and milk in or a meal, some are happy with me leaving them usually a Vegan Tikka Masala for their return, however understand this is not for everyone.
Wishing you all the best for future sitters.

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I don’t use a HO toiletries, not even hand soap. I bring my own. I may use the hand soap at the kitchen sink, though I try to save a piece of an almost-used up bar of soap of my own there for that purpose. I do supply shampoo and conditioner for my own houseguests and if I were hosting sitters, I’d do the same. It was not right that your sitters used your personal toiletries.

One of my HO regularly rented the room I stayed in on Airbnb. She left me pretty little toiletries and a tray with a tea pot, tea bags and treats, etc. ( her Airbnb spread). I did not use these— she needed them for her customers.

It was so kind of you to leave a tray of food for your sitters! But it took an inordinate amount of nerve for them to request certain selections. HO are not expected to leave any food or gifts for their sitters, but it’s a lovely gesture when they do. Those sitters were presumptuous and looked a gift horse in the mouth.


It really comes down to good communication. We usually bring our own shampoo and soap, however, if the Owner has a huge bottle of a common brand in their shower, I might use some, but I would always replace unless they indicated that we could use.

If you don’t want the Sitters to use your hair products and soap, then put them away and let the Sitters know that they need to bring their own. If the Sitter is coming by plane, it would be nice to have some hotel size soap and shampoo available until they have a chance to get to the store to buy larger products.

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With sitters often traveling long distances or flying. I think leaving basic toiletries is more than basic etiquette.

I would worry about HO who have an issue with this what other issues they would have. They would not be worth the hassle.

As said above. If you don’t want something used. Put it away.

Edited in line with forum guidelines.


I use ONLY what the HO has offered or left specifically for me, and sometimes I don’t even use them as it doesn’t feel right. If I am left a bottle of wine or chocolates or something that is specifically a gift, I accept it, otherwise I bring everything myself, right down to my own loo rolls lol The homestay and pet care is a sitters role, not a reward or something “deserved”.

I am a sitter and homeowner and would never dare use my home owners products unless they have given me explicit permission. I returned from a sit yesterday and found that she had taken things that I had purposefully put away and used them. I have medically perscribed products so I found this highly disturbing and upsetting.

That sitter is incredibly out of line for having such a request.

That kind of behavior crosses lines of good manners, which I’d expect from guests or sitters.

Hi LouSil, welcome to the community!

That was kind of you to leave a platter. I can see why, if they liked some items but didn’t eat others, they might tell you so you didn’t get them things that would be wasted. But using your toiletries uninvited isn’t usual. If they were relatively new sitters, they may have been on sits before where toiletries were offered, and thought this was normal. In truth it varies, but isn’t expected of the HO.

I think it’s always good to state clearly what consumables sitters can use, as TH doesn’t have anything in the welcome pack to specify this. If an HO tells me, ‘you can help yourself to anything in this cupboard’ I know everything else is off limits, and welcome the clarity.

On a side note: is it just me who’s a little chary of the notion of ‘using’ sitters? It’s subtle but important (to pedantic me, anyway!) point about equality of relationship. Sitters talking about using HO’s homes would sound strange!


Raised my hackles, too. (I tend to listen for tone; what is implied but isn’t said.)

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Why do you refer to volunteer housesitters as ‘using them’ really crass :woozy_face: