Airbnb Hosting

3 Smells that Turn Off your Airbnb Guests & How to Keep your Airbnb Naturally Fresh!

Long after your Airbnb guest checks out, bad smells can linger. Staying natural is the best way to neutralize these odors without resorting to harsh chemicals or artificial room sprays (Your guests with allergies will thank you!) Read on to find the best ways to remove ‘post-guest smells’ as fast as possible, before your next guests checks in!

Guest Turn Off #1 Leftover Cooking Smells.

One of the top complaints of Airbnb Guests in reviews are leftover cooking smells. Strong spices such as curry and cumin or fried dishes with garlic, bacon or fish can move in for days and the smell can stick to the walls and furnishings. You have to act fast to remove these smells before the next guest checks in. If you have a few days the smell should lessen but there are also quick fixes you can apply when you only have a few hours.

Tip: Some hosts mention in the house guide: “When cooking dishes with stronger spices, garlic or bacon, please turn on the fan, open a window and close the doors of the bedrooms- Thank you” This is what most people do at home, it may seem direct but sometimes a reminder helps if your dealing with multiple guests per month.

Let the Fresh Air In.

A great way to fresh your vacation rental is to simply open up the windows and let the fresh air in. Even for an hour or two, you can get rid of stubborn cooking smells this way. If you can get the air circulating with a fan pointed at an open window, you’ll help to speed things up.

Keep an Odor Absorber in the Kitchen.

Find non-toxic ways to absorb the smells as they are produced by guests, before they can soak into everything. The Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag, is a bamboo and charcoal miracle that sucks up anything pungent left in the air. The Bad Air Sponge is another quick fix that you can stick in the corner of your kitchen to eliminate those greasy bacon smells from your last guests breakfast.

The White Vinegar Trick.

If a stubborn smell is still in the air, place a couple small bowls of white distilled vinegar around your kitchen. I cannot explain this magic, but odors just vanish away. For a quicker and more powerful approach, simmer 50/50 water & white vinegar on the stove top for awhile. If you feel like the smell is sticking to the counters and cabinets, you can spray a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar on to these surfaces and wipe clean.

The Baking Soda Solution.

If you have a few hours or a day before guests arrive, a clever trick is to spread a cup of baking soda on a plate, leave it on the counter and let it do it’s work. This works wonders! You can also use bowls of coffee grounds to take the smell out of the air. To deodorize your carpet, mix baking soda and some eucalyptus essential oil drops in a bowl, then sprinkle on your carpet or rug. Let it sit as long as overnight and then vaccumn to really zap odors!

If you really want to get serious and own a Crock Pot, you can create a powerful air cleaner! Add 2 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of baking soda. Set on low and simmer with the lid off for 8 hours

Invest in an Air Purifier.

To help keep your home smelling fresh all the time, run an air purifier regularly. In addition to eliminating strong kitchen odors, it also reduces dust and pollen for your guests.

Guest Turn Off #2 Stale and Damp Smells.

Damp and musty smells are a total turn off for guests. They think ‘mold’ right away, when that may not be the case. If your renting a basement suite, this is a problem that is very common. You’ll need to utilize a few tactics to keep musty smells from returning. 

Use a Dehumidifier.

If it’s just an issue of humidity,  you’ll want to run a dehumidifier to take the excess water out of the air. This can be run in between guests to keep your suite dry and clean smelling. This dehumidifier sports a sleek, clean look with convenient built-in wheels and handles as well as a quiet fan that will do its job without you hearing it.

Add Air Filtering Plants.

Live plants help to filter the air and keep your home fresh and clean. if you’re looking for cleaner ‘Airbnb’ air, why not try supplementing your space with some greenery? Way back in the fabulous year of 1989, NASA researchers published a clean air study based on the work they’d done trying to figure out the best way to purify air in space stations. The top air cleaning plants according to NASA are listed below.


Try Natural Essential Oils.

Guests have commented how they love My essential oil diffuser. I use a mixture of eucalyptus and peppermint for a light, clean fresh scent. Just add some water and a few drops of your favorite essential oils, and guests can enjoy the scent all day (while it neutralizes the bad smells) This starter essential oil collection is amazing!

Tip: Sprinkle a few drops of your favorite essential oils onto a cotton ball and wipe right onto your furnace filter to keep the scent pumped throughout your home.

Try A Natural Room Spray.

For heavy duty smells that need to be cleared in a short check out window. A natural spray made with plant-derived ingredients will do the trick. Spritz the air, your furniture or linens with Caldrea Linen and Room Spray in Pear Blossom Agave scent. Heavenly!

Guest Turn Off #3 Garbage and Drain Smells

The odor from a dirty drain can permeate throughout your entire Airbnb. Bacteria grows on food that is stuck deep in the drain, creating a bad smell that turns guests off. If there are longer periods between guests standing water in the drain can give off a stagnant smell. Here are a few non-toxic cleaning methods that will keep your sink drain fresh and free of odors!

The Baking Soda & Vinegar Trick.

Such a simple yet powerful recipe: 3/4 cup baking soda | 1/2 cup white vinegar and a squeeze of lemon. Pour the baking soda and vinegar into the drain and cover with a dishcloth or plug ( it’s going to bubble up like a volcano!) After 30 minutes pour a pot of boiling water slowly down the drain.

For Garbage Disposals, grind some ice cubes to loosen any stuck food from the blades, finish with a few slices of lemon to freshen the drain. Yay its clean smelling again! Always check inside your Airbnb’s garbage cans when changing the bag, if there is any residue or smell present, rinse with a drop of dish soap and hot water.

Use Great Smelling Cleaning Products.

To help keep your Airbnb smelling fresh, use cleaning products with scents that guests will love. Method Cleaning Products are all natural & have amazing scents like French Lavender, Pink Grapefruit and Eucalyptus Mint (and they work harder than the chemical stuff!) I buy them in bulk when they go on sale at the grocery store (Safeway has them) or I buy online.

I am the author of the book ‘The Ultimate Superhost Guide’ an essential tool for Airbnb Hosts! The more you know about Airbnb, the more you will be able to use this knowledge to help you rank your listing higher in searches and become a Superhost. There is definitely a steep learning curve to Airbnb and it will cost you money and time to try to learn everything on your own over time.

It’s available on Etsy Click here and make your hosting life easier!

P.S The Ultimate Superhost Guide comes with freebies like a Modern and 100% Customizable Guest Welcome Book that will save you hours of time!

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