For anyone who thinks "scenting" their place is a nice thing to do

While the majority of hosts on this forum seem to be in the “no scents” camp, this article points out how even so-called natural scents are not a good idea.


I’m asthmatic and have allergies and scented homes not only cause breathing issues, but migraines. Very few scents don’t bother me (vanilla, lavender, lemon), and I’ve gone to dinner parties where I’ve had to beg the hostess to snuff out the candles. So if I know they like them, I bring ones I can tolerate… Ugh.

Honestly, bleach, vinegar, lemon, and Dawn dish soap can clean anything. Fabulouso is my arch enemy.


I have to admit that I do use Fabuloso to clean (I detest both the smell and taste of vinegar). But I have one day prep time and clean the guest room the day before check-in, and live in the tropics, so all the doors and windows are open for at least 15 hrs before guests check in and find the smell dissipates quickly. I also use very little of the stuff in a pail of water. I had to train my cleaner (I always clean the guest quarters, she comes once every 2 weeks to clean the rest of my house) not to pour half a bottle of Fabuloso in a pail of water. Mexican cleaners seem to have the idea that if it smells like Fabuloso, it must be clean- they tend to keep mopping with the same dirty water, which drives me nuts. I’ve had to tell every cleaner I’ve had to use only a splash of the cleanser and change the water out frequently.

And most homeowners I know here have forbidden their cleaners from using bleach, as they somehow manage to splash it around, getting bleach spots on everything.


Same in St Lucia.

But I think I finally have my housekeeper convinced that using a mop to spread the clean water on the floor and then use the upright wet-vacuum/scrubber to suck up the dirty water is the best way to go. (Where’s the happy dance emoticon?). Maybe it’s because she’s gotten older and that’s easier on her back than mopping. Or maybe it’s because I demonstrated to her how much dirt is left on the floor when you just mop. After she mopped, I went back and put more water on then vacuumed it up, and she saw just how filthy that water was!

But she is pretty good about not using a lot of Fabuloso - it helps that she is very mindful of costs. And I know what you mean about bleach! She uses some, but has switched over to Steramine when she needs to sterilize things.

To be fair, it occurred to me a long time ago that this habit of continuing to mop with a pail of obviously dirty water and using lots of cleaning product might have to do with a lack of abundant water, at least in Mexico. There are areas of the country which have little water, or send water to different areas only for limited times during the day or night. Where I live, they send water down the lines to my area only for 2-3 hours each morning.

I have a water set-up where the city water goes into my cistern and then pumps up to a large tank on my roof. But many of the older homes here and even newer ones just depend on the city lines having enough pressure to get up to a small rooftop tank. When the pressure is low, or city water supplies are low, people may have to be quite conservative with the amount of water they use.

I lived in Israel back in my late teens for a couple of years and they had the best, easiest floor cleaning system in many places. Floors were almost always tiled, with concrete subfloors and they had a drain somewhere in the floor of each room. You threw water on the floor, along with a bit of cleanser or soap, rubbed it around with a broom, then used a large floor squeegy to push it all towards the drain. Then clean rinse water squeegied to the drain.

Cleaners (as well as construction workers) here are very resistant to doing things in any other way than they have traditionally done them. They won’t use a vacuum cleaner unless you insist. A friend brought an industrial mop pail down from the US, the kind with a mop wringer and a foot pedal, thinking his cleaner would be so happy about it. She used it once, stuck it in the storeroom, and went back to wringing out the string mop by hand. :roll_eyes:

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I think that’s quite common with many cleaners, they are trying to trick us into thinking disinfecant smell = clean. Also could be an old fashioned thing, cos my mum loves Pine-o-clean and i find the smell makes me gag. She also loves those plug in “air fresheners” and whenever I visit her I turn them off. I personally do love scented candles but I also love my fresh country air! The cold winds blowing up from Antarctica have the best taste/smell, hard to describe, bit like cold mountain stream water.

You never know what someone will be sensitive to. Heavy fragrances tend to make me think that someone is either covering something unpleasant or is totally unconcerned about whether I find it pleasant.