Chinese medicine smell

Let me do first a disclaimer: this is not one of those (insert nationality here) bad guest type.

My one-night ridicoulsly high mantaince guests just cooked/brewed some kind of Chinese medicine in their room and the smell is emanating to the whole house. For who doesn’t know, Chinese medicine are a mixture of herbs and the smell is pretty terrible and strong. It is now 2am and the lights in their room is off, the smell is EVERYWHERE in the apartment, all private and common areas as well as can be smelled from the building staircase. This smell wasn’t hereuntil a bit over midnight when i went to the common area to grab something. I went back to my room at 12 and now I opened my door and the smell filled my room and it is giving me a terrible headache. I was about to send them a message and knowck on their door, my husband stoped me. I have guest in the other room and a (already know) picky guest tomorrow.

The smell is horrible and it is very heavy! It is not like cigarrete smoke, there is n smoke but it stays everywhere.

They are bad guests who didn’t even bother to read the listing. Arrived late, complaining, and at 11:59pm requesting breakfast for tomorrow morning knowning they booked with no breakfast.

I am so pissed, I don’t know what to do. Writing this with my head pulsing inside. Husband and my daughter also can’t sleep with headaches now.

Hi @Vera,

Sounds nasty. I’m not an expert on difficult guests like many people here, but can’t you just politely ask them to toss whatever they have in there? I probably would. Though my listing doesn’t have an prohibitions against toxically aromatic medication - I don’t suppose yours does either. Is there any kind of fan/air purifier thing you can run to disappate the smell?

These stories are just amazing, I cannot believe how inconsiderate and clueless people are.

I think you have to counter the smell by boiling something in water – put in a lemon peel and some baking soda. For the future, there are products like these that I’ve been wanting to try:

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They have air purifier in their room, whole new one, bought a week ago. I bet they didn’t bother to turn it on, but the smell is so strong that I guess the purifier wouldn’t get rid of it anyhow. I am thinking tomorrow morning I might need to run to get a quotation from those services to remove smell.
This is not a medication like Western medicine where there is a daily dosage etc, it is more like therapy, if you miss one day makes no difference. And makes me blnt that they started it after midnight.

My husband won’t let me knock on their door now.

Heh. Tell your husband you need your sleep. Or you are going to be extremely cranky tomorrow. :slight_smile: I thought husbands did what their wives wanted. Apparently you need to work on it…

Seriously, for this kind of off the wall stuff, you really need to not worry about being polite. I’d just go in there and tell them to get rid of the thing. Take your husband for moral support if you want.

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Thank you @chicagohost I think tomorrow I will start my day doing that. Boiling and putting baking soda everywhere.

I might need to wash all curtains again and even apologize for the other guest in the other room.

I will definitely look up the product in the link and see if they sell it locally or a similar product.

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I will discuss with my husband now. I will be back tomorrow to tell you the result. Fingers crossed.

I completely sympathize with you. For a few years, my husband believed that Chinese herbs were the solution to all his problems. He got some herbs in our local Chinatown that came with the instruction that they needed to be boiled for two hours initially, then boiled daily for him to drink. Our house stunk so bad during this period. I finally put my foot down and told him no more “medicine” that stinks up the house. The good news is that if your guests are also boiling it; the smell should dissipate quickly as the water will evaporate. If I were you, I would have no problem telling them that you are so sorry, but you are having an adverse reaction to their medicine and will they please not use it in your house.


That sounds HORRIBLE!! Poor you!!

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NIGHTMARE! I used to use Chinese Medicial stuff and i know it stinks like old socks. Best thing is just to review them as “cooking up medicine in the room - not a problem for future hosts if they don’t mind the strong smell” Are they there for just the 1 night? if not you’ll have to make your own stink about it tomorrow. for now - just try and sleep. Very sympathetic to your situation! It does make a difference if you miss a dose though, I used to make and freeze mine in advance though.


Ok, i woje up they have left (made a lot of noise slamming doors at 6am). Webt to their room here it is. I am going out for a fresh air now, have a calming tea, to vent my anger before I come back to this smell.

We didn’t sleep most of the night

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At least they left early!

Came back to the apartment. The smell is EVERYWHERE, the other guest is upset.

I want so bad to write to them and tell them how I feel about the Chinese medicine in my home at midnight.

Omg what a crazy story! I’m actually in acupuncture school learning about Chinese herbs and I would never dream of decocting that in a stranger’s home, let alone my own home! And I thought I’d heard every crazy airbnb story!!

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People!!! Please say something to calm me down.

I just received a message 20 minutes ago from the guy.
Here is what it says:

‘I noticed yesterday after booking that you have the same listing for a room with the same picture for US$16 while we paid $26. Did we overpaid or you have similar smaller room? Or at other location?’

This is my reply:
‘You paid 14$ + 8$ (second guest) + airbnb fees. This is below our lowest base price.’

My price is $40 and it is already almost for free. I dropped to the 27th page after I decline a few inquires so for that night only I dropped it very cheaply to see if it would come up and unfortunately this guy was able to IB because he has one good review.

I was hoping to just check as trial and error what was going on with my listing since I didn’t remove any amenity and this guy booked IB right away.

I now followed with this message to him:
‘By the way, I noticed you brewed large amount of Chinese strong herbs in the room. My child couldn’t sleep last night with headache due to the smell which started around midnight. This morning I spent the whole morning trying to air the room and clean it out washing curtains and upholstery however I might need a professional steamer cleaning service to clean the smell. At midnight the smell was all over the apartment and we had a restless night. Could you please inform us especifically what it was? I have it here in the trash bin but it would be helpful to let us know the specific name so I can give a heads up to the steam cleaning company on the type so they can prepare how to deal with the smell. Thanks.’

They were an old couple, around their 50’s from the USA!!!

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You have no obligation to explain to a guest why your price fluctuates. The price of pretty much everything changes due to demand. Try not to get roped in.

Regarding the Chinese herbs; if you need to spend money on getting the smell out, you might want to contact Airbnb to find out if they will have the guest reimburse you.

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He had the audacity to argue with me last night why I wouldn’t serve him breakfast. And he wanted it at 6AM. I replied politely that he booked without breakfast, abd that I had confirmed it with him previously. I feel how come he has the audacity to want explanation about pricing paying this ridiculous low price.

I tried used 5kg of baking soda, washed everything, cleaned like a freak, have dehumidifier, air purifier, fan, ac, all on since morning until now (almost 3pm) and the smell is still terrible.

I will need to run to get a quotation or something. Does Airbnb need the receipt to claim for the security deposit? Because even if I am successfully to find acompany specialized in it i doubt thwy will be able to schedule the service for the next 48hours ( time required by airnbb? Só i woukd have no receipt and most likely only a hand written quotation.

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Hi @Vera,

I really hope you give this person a bad review. It sounds like he deserves it. If you want help with phrasing, I’m sure the people here are ready to assist.

Thank you @faheem I would love help on the review, English is not my mother language and I am bias as to my nerves being exposed in the review.

Also I just found out they broke my 3 month old spa shower set. It is broken everywhere!!! Leaking all over the place, they even moved the fixed top shower head to the wall and broke the valve.

For those who already have experience with resolution cnter. Do I need to talk to this piece of clown first by message or can I just start a claim in the resolution center directly?

The shower set costed 250$ + 70$ installation. I don’t think it will be fixed, we gave the warranty from the shop and we will try to use that, but if it doesn’t count since it was broken by a human not corrupted by conditions or manufactory broken I am not sure they will cover and I might need to pay for a new one and installation.

I am sure this Cheap lad will deny in the resolution center and my security deposit is just around 100$ only.

Thanks so much, everyone.

for the smell of chinese herbs: Open the window for a long time. You can try to use the skin of honeypomelon or Chlorophytum comosum,jasmin, air spay…

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