Getting rid of odors

Hi all. It’s been a while. I’ve reopened to a new kind of guest, the inexperienced or just don’t care kind. Requests for dates already booked on the calendar, poor or non-communicators, and regretfully the most recent couple wore so much perfume and cologne I can’t get the stank out! I’ve had the windows open for days! Is rug shampooing and painting again my only options?

Open Boxes of Baking Soda help with aromas. There are also pet odor eliminators like Simple Green that can help. Open windows are only useful if you’re running fans to push the interior air out.

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I swear by baking soda. Sprinkle over carpeting and let it sit overnight then vacuum. Also place open boxes of baking soda in each corner of the room. You can also wash the curtains just in case the smell is on them as well. Keep the fan on also. Even better if you have the boxed fans for windows.

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There have been quite a few anecdotes about this. It seems to me that there are many new guests who aren’t yet trained to the way Airbnb works. And who is going to train them? We are. Those of us who have hosted long enough that Airbnb wasn’t well known are quite familiar with this process. We are happy to share it now with newer hosts. :wink:

That said I don’t think excessive perfume wearing has anything to do with it. People who wear too much perfume are across all time and space. I notice it more with older (over 40) who I suspect can’t smell well.

Some people have suggested bowls of vinegar help. Someone posted recently about some product they use that is very effective but I can’t recall what is was. Maybe a search of recent threads will help.

I suggest minimize soft goods like rugs that are hard to wash. Have you tried washing the walls?

Baking soda! Of course! I do believe the flashback to my father dousing himself too liberally in Old Spice overwhelmed my ability to think clearly. Yes, I do agree that this odiferous issue is separate from the others I mentioned, thought this is incommunicato pair that left me wondering if they were going to show right up until they pulled in the driveway.

I guess the lack of communication or any info on profiles has caused me to feel uneasy. This isn’t an anonymous hotel stay. On a positive note, I am looking forward to welcoming quite the opposite today. My weekend guests are a mother and daughter who are very excited to visit friends at a goat show.


LOL. Now that’s unusual.

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The goat show may lead to different types of smells. Maybe they’ll cancel each other out.

I recently hosted a woman with a special needs child, who was six and still in diapers. She was very considerate - she told me that to cover any stray smells she brought her own scented trash bags and her own (heavily) scented laundry detergent. I know it was well meant, but even after buying and running and ozone machine and airing the apartment for days, I could still smell it. I continue to catch a whiff from the dryer occasionally :woozy_face:

Not sure what I’ll do if she wants to stay again. She didn’t do anything wrong, just more scent than a normal human can take.**

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Trivia for the day. As we age our estrogen drops. Estrogen enhances our sense of smell. Menopause ruins our sniffers

This is worth a try. Works for all odors. Private duty nursing care of patients with bowel complications…’nuff said


A good friend just started her goat herd. She wants her gig job to be create a mini-Beekman 1802. business

Well being over 50 now, its nice to know my hormones can be blamed for my nose being picky! Thanks for the tip @Annet3176. Its getting chilly so I went in to close the windows. Looks like I will be trying wall washing next. Maybe the goat people will balance it out haha.

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That’s good to know, thank you!

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I use a product that another host recommended on this site. Ozium:

It is available through Amazon, Target and Walmart. I am highly allergic to perfumes and strong scents - this has neither. We use this in our Airbnb when we’ve had lingering cooking odors or heavy perfume users. I also use it at home and it works great.


Citrus based deodorizers work really well. I’m upset that Citrus-Mate apparently went out of business so Lemon-Mate is no longer available. Anyone in the Eugene/Cottage Grove area know why?

This is very true. Over the years I’ve had so many people getting in touch to ask if our apartments are fragrance-free.

Seems there is an epidemic of perfume-allergies out there. Either that or people simply hate synthetic scents.

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Question for all hosts who have live flowers in their homes - do people complain about the scent? No war to be started just wondered…

I get flowers for every turnover. I think it makes the apartment look good. I’ve never had anyone complain about them. Although I do have a theory that when hosts say "no one has ever complained’ that guests often just don’t.

I suppose that if any guests were allergic to anything to do with cut flowers they’d either mention it before they arrived or just throw the flowers out.

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Sadly, flowers with any scent would bother me!

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I really dislike air freshener, my husband says it gives him a migraine. However the last 3 stays we have visited have been highly airfreshened or cleaned with strong chemicals. We usually end up putting all airfreshners outside for the duration of our stay and opening all the windows. My condo has a slight smell we can’t seem to get rid of, we use charcoal and baking soda, vinegar,peppermint oil, etc but we’re not going to resort to air freshener.,.So far no complaints,

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Yep. One of those horrible little electric scent vaporizers will have me choking in a minute. I don’t understand why someone would want to add scents to a place that has no smell.

The only scent in my toiletries or cleaning products is lemon, which rarely triggers allergies.

I advertise this in my listing, and ask that guests try to limit scent use, to protect me and other guests. Most of my guests appreciated that policy. I only had one egregious open-all-the-windows southern belle (I didn’t know that anyone still used hairspray!) that was so overperfumed I hung the sheets in a tree out back for a day before washing them. Had to wash the duvet and sheets twice to get the smell out. She was an AirBnB newbie who thought that I was going to provide clean towels every day for a weekend stay. I expected her to ask for the room service phone number before she left.

Epi-Pens are so expensive now that it should be illegal to charge so much, and I really don’t need that added expense.