Fragrance sensitive & detergent adverse...Clean linen problems

in
Traverse City, MI
Level 10
4,073 Views

I've gotten two comments in private feedback about detergent/softener smell in my bedding* so wanted to check in with the collective host knowledge on this...

 

I use Arm & hammer detergent and either unscented softener or white vinegar (great for towels!) in the softener dispenser. Infrequently I'll use bleach. The sheets smell clean, not scented to me. Am I behind the times in still using fabric softener and regular detergent, or are people just being really fussy?

 

Any insight on whether this is about harsh detergents, or scent? Some of the "eco" brands seem fragrance heavy, too.

 

I have a note in my rules to let me know in advance about any allergies or fragrance sensitivities, but neither of these people gave any warning. Thanks for any advice you can offer!

 

*I had a wonderful rest full sleep. One tiny thing I noticed was your bed linin had a bit of fabric softener sent to them. I did not mind but someone who is overly sensitive to this might not have liked it. 

**Everything was great, Allison, thank you. I would say that the only suggestion I can make is that we get migraines from chemical smells like fabric softeners and laundry soaps -- so while the smell said fresh, clean bedding, it also can mean a miserable headache for some folks.

 

122 Replies

Re: Fragrance sensitive & detergent adverse...Clean linen problems

in
Seattle, WA
Level 10

Keep it simple.

Go to your store and you will see over 80% of the selections are scented laundry soaps. These soaps are from companies who have made billions of dollars from knowing what people want.

Why reinvent the wheel?  These are companies that invest hours in meetings, consumer testing and they have created a "standard"

Just choose lighter frangrances so you don't upset the guests who will freak out from "Knowing" you are using frangranced soap.

 

 

 

Re: Fragrance sensitive & detergent adverse...Clean linen problems

in
Farmington, MI
Level 3

Bad advice. those of us who are sensitive/allergic to scented laundry products are no different than people with peanut allergies. Would you sneak a small amount of nuts into their food. Finding places to stay is incredible difficult because the mentality out there is that everyone loves scented products but the truth is many of us have issues with them. Also these companies that "know what people want" don't have to lable all the toxic ingredients (chemicals) that are used in them, many of them which are known to cause cancer, headaches, asthma attacks and more. Suggesting lying to your guests makes me not trust hosts. If you use scented laundry products the smells/chemicals seep into your mattress and bedding and cannot be washed out so you will not fool anyone sensitive to these products. Still can't beleive you have suggested lying to your guests so that they don't "freak out".

Re: Fragrance sensitive & detergent adverse...Clean linen problems

in
Ormstown, Canada
Level 10

Yes, I switched some time ago to unscented hypoallergenic laundry detergent and NO softener. When I used regular detergent I had two sets of guests make comments that they are allergic and could tell that I had used scented laundry detergent.

Re: Fragrance sensitive & detergent adverse...Clean linen problems

in
Conroe, TX
Level 4

Thank you for switching to fragrance-free detergents etc... I'm searching for airbnb that don't use any fragrance but it seems there are no filters for this.  There are many people like myself with an allergy to fragrances seeking accommodations and I appreciate that you are tuned into our needs.

Re: Fragrance sensitive & detergent adverse...Clean linen problems

in
Crozet, VA
Level 10

You can't win. I had a guest say they loved the place - but in private feedback said she and her boyfriend have severe allergies - and that I should use unscented detergent on the bedding, like a hotel.  When I used unscented hypoallergetic detergent, a guest (who loved their stay) sent private feedback that the linens did not smell freshly laundered. So now I have a line in my listing to inform me if you want the bedding laundered in hypoallergetic detergent, otherwise it will be laundered in regular scented detergent. Rock, meet hard place. 

Re: Fragrance sensitive & detergent adverse...Clean linen problems

in
Louisville, CO
Level 1

It's extremely hard on people with allergies to scented laundry soap. People who think clean smells like perfume are uniformed. This is not a preference issue.  For those of us who suffer with feeling sick, headaches, headfog, feeling nauseous and other symptoms...which last for several weeks of not feeling so good from in. I ask you to please use unscented laundry detergent and vinegar as a fabric softner.  It's very serious, it's like chain smoking around someone who has asthma.  There is no escaping scented sheets while sleeping and having to rub scent on you body while drying off.  Honestly scented laundry soap is toxic and carcinogenic. Check out the links:

 

http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/toxic-laundry-detergent/

 

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/scented-laundry-products-release-carcinogens-study-finds/

 

Re: Fragrance sensitive & detergent adverse...Clean linen problems

in
Texas, United States
Level 3

You are correct! It’s just like smoking in the home. 

Re: Fragrance sensitive & detergent adverse...Clean linen problems

in
Farmington, MI
Level 3

I am one of those people who are sensitive and travelling is difficult because almost all chain hotels use fragranced products now because for some reason people equate perfurme with clean. What they don't understand is that it is the farthest thing from clean. The cemicals used to scent products are just that, chemicals, and those of us who suffer from this, suffer often becasue the United States has become obssesed with chemically scented products, all of which cause cancer and other issues when exposed to for long periods of time/ or in our case, immediately.  So even if you're not having a reaction, like many of us do, you are still exposing yourself to pollution. Even though you offer a choice, I still couldn't stay at your place becasue the scent of the scented sheets you use over and over soak right into the mattress and get onto the sheets that were wased in a free and clear detergent, thus, still causing a reaction. But thank you for at least letting customers know what you use for laundry, it makes our search easier. We spend a lot of time asking hosts that question. More times than not, scented is used. Public buildings became smoke free, and in it's place came scented products, which are equally as bad. All you have to do is research it and you will see. 

Re: Fragrance sensitive & detergent adverse...Clean linen problems

in
Crozet, VA
Level 10

I’ve had only the one guest mention the scented detergent because of allergies in the nearly two years of hosting. And nobody has requested I launder the linens in the hypoallergenic soap. I will leave it up to the guests to take the initiative to let me know if they have specific health needs. 

Re: Fragrance sensitive & detergent adverse...Clean linen problems

in
Texas, United States
Level 3

I’d also be aware that laundering them in hypoallergenic soap won’t be accommodating if they have been washed in scented products previously. 

Re: Fragrance sensitive & detergent adverse...Clean linen problems

in
Columbia, MO
Level 2

I didn’t know I had a specific health need until I find myself feeling sick from the odor in the sheets. I didn’t even notice it until I laid down. 

Re: Fragrance sensitive & detergent adverse...Clean linen problems

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

@Allison2 yes, people become to fussy and spoiled. Especially from some countries 

Re: Fragrance sensitive & detergent adverse...Clean linen problems

in
Seattle, WA
Level 2

Chemical fragrance is toxic. It’s not a matter of being fussy. 

Re: Fragrance sensitive & detergent adverse...Clean linen problems

in
Texas, United States
Level 3

Wow... fussy and spoiled because they don’t want to sleep in a bed full of chemicals or breathe chemicals into their lungs? The fragrance is quite toxic. I would do some research and inform yourself on this topic. 

 

Also, are you insinuating that people with allergies and sensitivies are being “fussy and spoiled” when they NEED accommodations that won’t make them sick, or worse, kill them if they end up in anaphylaxis?

 

These are your GUESTS. They are PAYING you. 

 

 

https://branchbasics.com/blog/fragrance-is-the-new-secondhand-smoke/

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