Guest left a persistent dirty smell in my room again, should I have a rule about guests own linen?

I just had a guest for more than 2 weeks whose laundry standards were very poor and he smelt bad. Despite my offer of a free load of laundry each week he hardly washed anything and no socks or underwear whatsoever. He didn’t go to the launderette either, only 5 minutes walk away. He also had his own towel and duvet which similarly had not been washed and smelt.
Now I am struggling to get rid of the smell. I deep cleaned the room for yesterday’s guest and the window was open all day. Understandably she shut the window because it’s Autumn. Today the smell is back! I am steaming the carpet again ready for tonight’s guest. I am fearfull the smell will come back, and I will get dinged on cleanliness.
It sounds odd but I feel like saying no to guest bedding on hygiene grounds. It doesn’t happen often (this was a postgraduate), but almost every time it’s caused the same problem. It’s such a heart sink to prepare a fresh smelling room only to have it immediately spoilt.

Never heard of guests asking to bring their own bedding. What sort of set up do you have.?

Its nothing to do with my set up, I provide all linen. As I said it doesn’t happen often. It was a postgraduate and the lease on their other accommodation was up so they needed extra time on Airbnb. Another time it happened someone was in between rental contracts. Anyway, I would prefer them not to bring their stuff but find it embarrassing to ask.

I have many guests who bring their own but they are driving and have plenty of space. I provide bedding of course. I’ve also traveled with people who take their own sheets and pillows. In the case of my friends they are compulsive about those sorts of things. I bring my own pillow on driving trips because I need two pillows because many pillows are too overfilled for my comfort.

I offer a choice of thin and plump pillow, and a variety of warmth layers. It shouldn’t really be necessary for people to bring things. However we’ve veered into talking about guest choice and comfort, my problem is hygeine with guests bringing their own stuff. I mean with 3 back to back bookings after the smelly guest it’s made the room impossible.

For people with psychological issues what we consider necessary is different than what they consider necessary. But in any case I was addressing Helsi’s comment that she has never heard of this when in my experience it’s somewhat common. I’d guess that 20% of my guests are bringing some of their own linens/pillows.

As for this fellow’s smell it may or may not be related to his linens. It might have been just as bad with only his body and his clothes.

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Possibly, I just guessed the mass of dirty fibres in the duvet would have held more smell from a previous dirty environment.

There are some cleaning products that deal specifically with odours. Have you tried applying one of those?

I am in the no Febreze camp. I use vinegar but not on soft furnishings. I am really surprised steaming hasn’t worked. At the end of the day clean smells clean, I will have to shampoo the carpet, but another guest checking in tonight.

Put baking soda on the carpet. Let it sit for as long as you can. Vacuum it up.

Al so, put bowls of baking soda around the room

Yes it’s a good standard practice. It still smells! Why on earth don’t people just teach their sons to change their socks! Arrgh. I have just ordered a HEPA/charcoal air purifier, because this is not the first time.

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We had a couple stinky guys recently too but luckily it’s the slow season so I’ve been able to just leave the fan on to air out the room for a few days.

I have the problem of stinky workmen. We have a handyman who works on the apartments and I really need to air the apartments for at least 24 hours after he’s been in. I can be totally frank and forthright (okay, pretty rude really) with guests if needs be but how to tell a regular workman that he pongs?

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To elaborate, it’s not that he’s stinky when he gets here. And he always has the AC turned to a cool setting when he works. But he gets stinky in the process of going about his work.

The guest was sweet and not much older than my sons. I really had to hold myself back from telling him he needs clean underwear and bedding. What is wrong with parents?

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Ah ha, getting the Summer fan back out and blowing the air out of the window is a thing I haven’t done yet. I will do that tomorrow before the next guest, because the HEPA/charcoal purifier won’t be here til Tuesday I think.

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You should tell him what a disgusting smelly mess he is in private feedback, something like this perhaps…

Dude you were here two weeks and did not wash your underwear or sox, did you even take a shower or brush your teeth? The room stinks to high heaven and I may need to cancel my next guest rather than subject them to your disgusting smells that have permeated my guest room. TAKE A SHOWER AND WASH YOUR SOCKS FOR GODS SAKE.

Public review 1 star on cleanliness and say something about the smell without being mean so Air does not remove it.


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I know what you mean. He did shower, but pretty pointless without clean socks and underwear daily and clean t-shirts regularly. I think it was some sort of a cultural thing about not letting other people see underwear in the laundrette or my pulley airer. I wonder if it’s my place to tell him, sweet young man, is it not his parents job?

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Clearly his parents have failed him. He needs to be told in no uncertain terms what a disgusting pig he is.


I get the occasional guest who brings their own bedding. Usually because they have an allergy to washing liquid. Or they bring their own pillows. These guests all live in a nearby city so bringing them in their own car, not in luggage by plane.

Sounds like your guest had an allergy to soap as well :slight_smile: