Welcome! We are a community of AirBnb hosts

This forum is dedicated to connecting hosts with other hosts. Sign up to get the latest updates and news just for AirBnb hosts! Note that we are not affiliated with Airbnb - we are just passionate hosts!

How much does Indian food smell matter to others?

I often have Indian families who airbnb my place I personally love Indian food and love hosting these families they are often lovely kind people they do however leave a crazy strong smell that lingers almost permanently.
I have an upcoming 2 month booking for a 5 Indian it students here on an exchange trip.
I’m becoming increasingly worried about the smell that will linger.
'My partner thinks I should deal with it and people don’t care. What are other hosts thoughts?

I love Indian food too! But if I was staying in a place that reeked of someone else’s dinner (of any cuisine) then I’d question the cleanliness of the place. That’s irrational, I know, but first impressions count and the nose can generate a first impression very quickly.

Because it’s a two month stay, I’d be inclined to block the next few days in the calendar and air the place out well. The other alternative would be to make it a house rule that spicy cooking is not allowed but as these are students, and it might be their first time away from their home country, that might be too much of an adjustment for them to make.


I care.

I lived with a great Indian guy but could not bear the constant strong spice smell. Nor did I like that the house stank. I wasn’t sad when he moved out, but it took months to clean out the smell.

Ironically when I went to visit him at his new place, he’d only been there a few weeks and already the strong spice smell had permeated his new flat.

In terms of smells that linger, number one goes to cigarette smoke, number two is definitely curry and Indian food.

1 Like

Different people have different tolerance levels. There are threads here where hosts have complained about Chinese cooking which I find to be bland and non-spicy. I cook a lot with garlic - is that unacceptable?

Hosts should have a methodology to rid their spaces of smells be it cooking, strong perfume or worse.

What I hate particularly are American guests (in my experience) who fry everything and leave the place stinking of grease.

1 Like

This has been endlessly debated on this and other forums. I love the smell of Indian cooking. Others don’t. I hate the smell of bacon frying. Others love it. I think that if you allow cooking in your listing the best thing you can do is get a good range hood with a fan and ask guests to use it whenever they cook. Also, you need to wash the screen often.

1 Like

Hi guys , I agree that if cooking is allowed then you have to make do with the good and bad. But in my experience Indian cooking lingers in the furniture and carpets and is almost impossible to clean i need to give this a lot more thought I appreciate everyone’s feedback


I was thinking of investing an $80 ozone generator to get rid of smells in between visits. I wonder if anyone else here has experience with that?


I wouldn’t like staying in a place that smells like food. Curry and garlic just permeate.

Our last long term tenants were Indian. When they moved out, we required them to clean the carpets. This helped a lot. We then just cleaned everything, and that basically got rid of the odour.

The worst AirBNB experience was a guest who deep fried heaps. They only stayed for five days. It took me over a day to remove all the oil in our tiny kitchen. The guest was really lovely, and seemingly was unaware of the issue.

Getting rid of the smell of cigarette smoke is much, much harder.

Just ban the use of curry in your kitchen.

Make it one of your house rules, just like you might ban cigarettes or the spraying of insect repellent in your house.


Great idea!

I would not want to stay in a house that smelled strongly of Indian food. The smell of curry makes me almost sick to my stomach - yuck.

It is a bigoted act to ban one people of one particular ethnicity to cook their food yet allow people of other ethnicities to cook their food. I’m pretty sure this would be considered discrimination.


Banning the use of curry, to me, is not discriminating against one particular ethnic group. It’s not saying that they aren’t allowed to stay with you. I wouldn’t let people smoke in my house for the exact same reason - it’s hard to get rid of the smell and often results in a negative experience for future guests.


It is definitely discrimination if you permit people of other ethnicities to cook their food, but not Indians. Discrimination is not subjective, it is objective. Smoking is completely different as it isn’t limited to people of a particular ethnicity.

The problem here is very subjective. What makes me want to wretch is going to be different than what triggers you. For example, I hate hate hate microwave popcorn. The smell lingers for days and it smells like an oil refinery to me. Or how about the English boiled sausage and cabbage that my landlord in France made every single night. Those poor lovely French artisanal sausages. It smelled just disgusting. Well cooked Indian food doesn’t irritate me at all.

I think if you are renting the use of a kitchen, it is in your best interests to have decent ventilation since any smell could irritate the next guest. I am just not sure how you can tell a guest that the food that they know how to prepare is off-limits after you have accepted their reservation. Seems a bit mean.

1 Like

The use of curry in cooking is not limited to Indians…


Especially since there is no such thing as “curry.” What you are calling “curry” is a mix of spices and herbs used for flavoring cooked foods, unless you mean curry leaves, but they have a simple and light citrus smell that couldn’t be considered more annoying than fresh mint.


I bet there’s someone out there who hates fresh mint. :grin:

1 Like

Well it sure would be nice if someone could chime in on how to eliminate strong cooking odors very quickly (after 5 people staying for 2 months)

Anyone know if someone constantly uses the hood fan - will that prevent the cooking odors from permeating throughout the carpet, walls, furniture, curtains, bedding, rugs, etc?

I don’t agree with your partner’s thoughts that new guests won’t care. With your past Indian families - how long did they stay, number of guests, and how long did the odor remain after you tried to remove it?

@MissKris816 I suspect you are right, which takes us back to a good and powerful ventilating fan. :wink:

1 Like

Curry originated in India. The only cultures I know of who regularly cook curry are Indians (and the countries that split from India after the partition.), England (because colonizing is the most fun you can have with your clothes on) and Japan.

Altcoin Fantasy - Crypto Fantasy Trading and Simulation Game - Win Bitcoin and Altcoins!