Poor personal hygiene

I have a full house over Easter, with a group of four young Australians here x 4 nights, plus three couples passing through for one night each. All, so far, have been fabulous guests but unfortunately, one of the Ozzie lads smells; I think it’s his clothes or unwashed hair, but it lingers. When I came down to prepare breakfast, the dining room stank so much, I had to open all the windows, and now it’s freezing in there! They were up late, playing chess. The male of the current one nighters has been distinctly chilly this morning, and I’m wondering if this is the reason; he barely had anything to eat and left the room at speed.

Does anyone have a hint on how I manage tonight’s new couple? I have thought of opening windows and lighting the log burner; with some herbs thrown on!

As he is here for four nights, I think you will need to have a word.

Say that you know when you are travelling it is hard to keep on top of things, but there is a noticeable odour which other guests have commented on.

Could you help by doing a load of washing for him and he is welcome to take a long shower in XXX bathroom.

With your one nighter - it could have been the smell, it could have been that he was cold or like me he’s not a morning person and doesn’t eat a lot first hing.

I wasn’t quite sure who you are referring to when you talk about managing tonight’s new couple?


Nightmare…I had a member of staff at my old shop, just would not take the hint, didn’t seem to realise what I was telling her. Perhaps she just smelt - i have a mate in his 40s, smells like a 14yr olds bedroom, even straight after a shower. Chances are, this will be a difficult chat, he can only be embarassed that he hadto be told.

I had four guests few weeks ago (entire place). After they left, they stained some of my towels and the place was much dirtier than average. On one of the beds, all white sheets turned grey because of huge amounts of tiny black fuzz. And an unbelievably strong odour. I had to wash 3 times to remove the odour and fuzz, and use lint roller after dryer, multiple times.

After I washed all linens, I found the room stink, and I discovered very strong odour on pillow protector, mattress protector, quilt and pillow. I had to take all these to wash as well. That smell was ridiculous and makes me want to vomit. The odour even got through a waterproof mattress protector onto the mattress but luckily smell on mattress was no longer strong. The mattress couldn’t be washed so I sprayed with air refresher and put under the sun. I also had to spray the wall around where head is positioned.

This was a terrible experience and luckily all the other three guests didn’t cause similar problems. I couldn’t figure out home come some people have such bad hygiene, but it is extremely rare. We have a whole house rental so it is different from your case. It must be quite challenging when you host different guests in your home, and one guest is making other guests uncomfortable.

And I thought I had problems… So sorry to hear of your tribulations; far worse than mine.

And thanks for everyone else’s thoughts. Helsi, as much as I’d love to have a quiet word, it’s not really possible, given he’s with three companions, one of whom is his g/f! Like Barns, I’ve worked with someone whose clothes reeked as if they had been washed, but not dried/aired properly, so enhanced bacteria were busy. Not good during a London heatwave. Him, I could discreetly bring it to his attention, not that it made any difference. As for the showering, I’m assuming yes but hard to tell as they are in my suite, so it’s not obvious.

Hey ho. But the people who left this morning were lovely and didn’t complain; he was just very shy in a large group of people I think. I aired the guest dining room thoroughly but unfortunately they are back from hiking and the smell of the Great Unwashed has gone up. I have more guests checking-in soon. I just hope they like the pub!

There are a lot of things that change body chemistry and make the skin oils and exhaled breath smell. Cigarettes, garlic, alcohol among them. Some people have medical conditions. Some have no sense of smell at all and combine several things and may smell even if they shower daily.

I tend to think the guy does have poor hygiene and probably does not use an antiperspirant/deodorant. If that’s the case, you will have a continual all-room stench to deal with, including lasting odor residue on fabric, wood and other semi absorbent surfaces. I would never allow it to continue without having a word with the guest or, better yet, his group.

The least embarrassing would be to say something to all of them so no one is singled out. Say that you received complaints from other guests that all or one of their group needs a wash and that you also notice it to be true. Then either offer the use of your laundry facilities or suggest the nearest laundromat available in town. Also add that in consideration of your home and the shared situation, everyone should have a daily bathe after activities.

If you deliver it as a short speech in a friendly but no-nonsense way, it should get across that you mean business.

I’ve been through the same thing with a former boss…he looked great wearing a starched shirt and a coat and tie but he smelled of the worst body odor, as if he had been working in the field in the hot sun. After weeks of enduring his rank B-O from 8 am-4 pm, I went into his office and told him I had something rather sensitive to discuss. I said, “My co-workers are complaining that when you walk past their desk, it seems like you don’t have any deodorant on and they asked if I would mention it to you.” He said it was true, he is allergic to whatever is in them but he will ask his doctor for a suggestion because he recalled there was a hypoallergenic type. So he did and I never had a problem after that and worked for him for 10 yrs.

BTW, my co-workers hadn’t complained…I was the one who found it unbearable.

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That has also happened to me. A customer came into the shop, who was pretty much a tramp with her own home, she was almost blind, and had a dozen elderly dogs, her smell was astonishing. She arrived by taxi, and I saw that he was prepared for her, he’d taped dustbin bags to the seats, and whilst waiting for her, had all doors open, and was spraying. Made me physically gag, the smell of cesspit. I nipped out to the back of the shop and opened the back door, hoping to keep a draught flowing through the shop, knowing that I’d be stuck with the stink for hours. A young couple were shopping, and I whispered ‘sorry about the smell!’, and indicated in the lady direction. They were both horrified that I could say such a thing, and flounced out of the shop, giving me filthy looks. I thought I’d meant it in a kindly she-can’t-help-it way, and that normal service would be resumed.

There’s no easy way to mention a smell.


And don’t forget, he who smelt it: dealt it!

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My co-working husband (weekends only…) can’t smell it either, but I have an extremely sensitive sense of smell; I can smell gas leaks that others can’t and have never been wrong when calling the safety guys out to check.

My last morning of this. We have no bookings until the w/e and have blocked the intervening nights off to air/deep clean/launder etc etc. It’s not really body odour, much more a dirty clothes/laundry not dried properly issue, but I’ll know more once I get into their rooms. They have been out walking every day, all day and there have been other guests around, so not really appropriate to raise without privacy.

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