Need advice on reviewing guest

I’m not sure if this is the correct space to ask a question, but we are new to hosting and am not sure what to do about our last guest. We started hosting in November and we have had no problems until now. Our space is separate from the rest of the house so we don’t know exactly what people do in their room, but our room now has a rancid sweat smell to it that I just can’t get out. The guest stayed for 1.5 weeks and rarely left the house. When he booked, he said he would be gone most of the day and would be using the place basically to sleep. Instead, he never left the room, was up all night long watching TV and playing video games. He was still up when I left for work in the morning. It was a bit irritating because we didn’t sleep much while he was here so we were glad when he left for that alone. He left the room clean but it had a sweet citrusy kind of smell to it. At first I thought maybe it was a cleaner, but the smell never went away. I’ve scrubbed every inch of that room including the walls and it is still there. And it is pretty strong. I even painted parts of the room. Nothing is helping. It’s been a week now and no amount of airing it out or cleaning is helping. I even poured baking soda all over the floor for the past couple of days. I’m beginning to think maybe he was vaping or something up there even though we have a policy against it. Not sure what to do or how to review his stay. Can I ask him about the smell? I don’t want to offend him, but I also want to know what the odor is from so I can get it out. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Does it have curtains? They can absorb all sorts of odours


Yes, of course you can. Only he knows what the cause was.

It is SO important to review guests honestly. Please do so. Other hosts need to know.

Please! This has no bearing on the problem. Do what you have to do.

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No curtains. Can’t seem to find the source. Even washed down all the walls.

Did you wash the mattress cover/protector, pillowcase protectors, etc? If you don’t have another guest, you might want to try leaving out a few bowls of vinegar. We had this happen with a someone who smoked in our space and I bought a product called OdoBan. You can get it from Amazon, Walmart, etc… It helped a lot, but I think it took a couple of days. Febreeze might help, too.

I’m so sorry you are going through this. Our bad smoking experience was six weeks into our hosting adventure, and it was very upsetting. Odors seem to be something we still deal with quite frequently—perfumes, garlic from cooking, etc… I haven’t added a
rule about it yet, but I’ve been tempted.

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Ozium Air Sanitizer Reduces Airborne Bacteria Eliminates Smoke & Malodors 8oz Spray Air Freshener, Original

Ozium 804281-4 Smoke & Odors Eliminator Gel. Home, Office and Car Air Freshener

Enerzen Commercial Ozone Generator 6,000mg Industrial O3 Air Purifier Deodorizer Sterilizer

Looks like you’re not alone:

very very bad smell from a guest, what can i do ?

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If you want my opinion, I wouldn’t do that. It’s just part of the hosting experience. You may occasionally get those. I know very well how frustrating it can be, but particularly since I’ve heard several hosts saying this, negative reviews or even less than perfect ratings may result in de-ranking your search.

With that said, just buy a tobacco suppressing spray and add some of those deodorant sticks and Gosh, maybe even a deodorant plug. Keep the door of the room closed for a day and leave the windows wide open even during the night, and as someone suggested, if you have curtains, wash those as well. The spray should be sprayed on the walls as well!. That’s at least how I deal with that.

Hope this helps. Take care :slight_smile:


Smells are so tough because it’s not something that can be proven. I’ve had a couple of guests in the last 6 months that did something that produced a smell that I can smell in my part of the house. They have a separate space with two doors between them and me but there are adjoining walls and connecting ductwork. Luckily I live in a temperate climate where I can air out the room even most days in winter. I didn’t say anything in the reviews but I did in the private feeback. In one case I think they smudged the room and as strong as it smelled for awhile, it wasn’t wholly unpleasant and it dissipated quickly.

In your case the only thing left I can think of is the mattress itself. Is there a connecting bathroom? Have you checked all the drains?

I just had guests who used something strong in their cooking…even though it appeared they did not cook very much. I could smell it wafting into my home upstairs. It’s like the smell you get sometimes when you walk into a health food store… curry, turmeric?? It dissipated after a while. I ran both fans and opened the doors and windows but still. It’s just rude to do that.

My very worst was when guests lit mosquito coils inside the house. That did not dissipate for a couple of weeks.

I think sometimes we psych ourselves out about the smells we perceive in our rooms but they are not really as bad as we are thinking. I don’t have a solution, but your smell just can’t stick around forever. If a mosquito coil can dissipate, a citrus smell can too.

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Sometimes the thing you smell is a masking smell people use to cover up smoking (especially pot) and the cover up is as bad or worse. Me personally I wouldn’t mention it in the public review but I have mentioned to people in the private review that I could smell cigarette smoke and that smoking in the doorways is also against the rules.

ive had weird smells, even if you clean and wash bedding. does the room have a couch? wash the couch covers, and try put the actual matrress outside in the sun, the mattress seems to absorb the smell, also do you have carpet? can you get a steam celaner? leave windows open all day and night and put some strong smelling flowers in the room thats what i do. also cut up onions absorb smells