I'm fairly new to Airbnb and hosted my 3rd guests this weekend. Upon check out they messaged me and said they both have allergies and that most laundry detergent brands have a "sensitive or fragrance free option" as they were sensitive to the smell of freshly laundered linens. They left the apartment tidy, and I didn't hear a word from them until check out about the linens, and if they had told me about their allergies when they booked the apartment, I would have made sure the linens were washed in a fragrance free detergent. They haven't left a review yet, and I wrote them a good review, as they were good guests. But shouldn't they have infomed me ahead of time if they had such sensitivities? I've also contacted everyone currently booked and asked about allergies AND added to the house rules to let me know if they need the linens washed in frangrance free detergent.
Personally I love the smell of sheets right out of the dryer! I responded to her message that I would have the frabgrence free detergent on hand, and I added to the house rules to let me know when booking if the guest would like me to use it on the linens before their stay. I think that covers those situations.
Great home cleaning brand is Earth Friendly, ...there are others. Only use natural products and
then advertise your home as being a " *Green Home" Most guest will appreciate it.
Thank your guest with appreciation for bringing this to your attention and let them know you plan to switch to healthy product.
Win -win for all!
Guest always make suggestions and most suggestions are very helpful.
I agree with all - It sounds like only some feedback, not really a complaint. But, I would add something in your listing; however, after 21 Guests, we've had one person mention sensitivity to frangrance - as when we first started we had too many air fresheners in our house, and have since cut way back. I think this will be an infrequent occurrence, and the Guests should know to tell you in advance. Your being very conscientious - and that is wonderful, but they do have nothing to complain about, and you can publicly respond to their review and say just that, if their review is negative. Other review readers will understand.
The funny thing is, the person who I recently bought the house from (I Airbnb the terrace level apartment) also used the apartment for Airbnb and when she used fragrance free laundry soap, a guest told her the sheets didn't smell freshly laundered. :-)
Things don't need to soaked in chemicals and emit toxic fumes to be clean. Please consider the chemically sensitive. You'll be doing yourself a favor in the long run.
We have had about 150 guests in our house. Only one guest had allergies and she notified us in advance so we could take measures. Most people who truly have allergies love Airbnb because they can contact the host prior to booking and locate minimal allergy homes. In my opinion if a guest does not contact a host prior to booking, or at least arrival, to inform the host about fragrance allergies then they have no right to complain.
Here's one who doesn't appreciate staying in a room that smells like a gas attack. Higher end hotels don't use scented anything. They are naturally clean. If you need to mask your place with fragrences, it's probably because it's dirty and mouldy. I don't complain, I just ask if they're fragrance packed, then don't stay there under any circumstances. Also realize that these products are made from certified toxic ingredients like petrochemicals. It's just as bad as smoking in the room, but most Americans haven't caught up with that yet.
FYI to all hosts who love synthetic fragrance in laundry, room "fresheners," trashbags, soaps, shampoos, etc. I suspect "allergies" was just a word used to convey a sensitivity to an overload of fragrance in your linens. Sadly, you CANNOT JUST wash in fragrance-free detergent and then pronounce an accommodation to guests with sensitivities. Your mattresses and pillows will still reek. To strip odor from linens you would need to use borax OR mega amounts of washing soda in addition to fragrance-free detergent to begin to strip odor from fabrics. Even multiple washes would be ineffective until you strip odors from your washer (w/baking soda and vinegar cycles). You would use vinegar in softener dispenser in lieu of fragrance-free softener. PLEASE DO NOT USE DOWNY FREE. It reeks of chemical odor. Even Seventh Generation free & clear brand softener is highly offensive to me.
Highly allergic guests will make inquiries before booking and would request that you remove all bath and body products, as well as "air fresheners," scented candles, scented trash can liners, etc. Highly reactive guests will not be able to use your dishwasher, either and will know to BYOB things like dish soap.
You could make a clean start and begin to detox your environment today. I use free & clear Seventh Generation glass cleaner, dish detergent, rinse aid, dish soap and laundry products (excepting softener). I shop wisely, so these are no more expensive than P&G brands. Everything else is cleaned with baking soda, vinegar or lemon juice.
Wow @David1345, this is a great overview. It sounds like you have a lot of experience with this? Thanks for sharing.
I just wanted to weigh in and thank you for being concerned, Lizzie.
I heartily second David's advice. I suffer from allergies and asthma and am currently planning a 3 week trip to Europe covering 5 countries. It has required literally months of searching and corresponding to find rooms that will not make me sick. I have encountered all manner of issues, from outright misrepresentation to incomprehension regarding what it means to provide and "allergy-free" or "hypoallergenic" room (e.g., small hotels all over Switzerland report providing these types of rooms but almost none know what this means--they use perfumed detergents and cleaning supplies and air fresheners).
As long as you room is truly clean (no dust, mold, mildew, damp smell) and entirely smoke-free, creating an allergy-friendly room is very simple. Just eliminate all added scents (air fresheners are deadly to the lungs of any human being--not an opinion but a chemical fact of life when concentrated tiny particles, like perfumes, are added to the air we breathe). As David said, clean with unscented products (large hotel chains will wash down the room with vinegar and baking soda, then rinse and dry with microfiber cloths). Choose disinfecting agents that do not have added perfume and use them only in the bathroom -- sparingly and with the vent fan running. Choose "Free and Clear" laundry products --no perfumes or dyes. These are inexpensive and readily available.
In between washings, throw all fabric, like duvets and pillows, in a hot dryer for 20-30 minutes. This eliminates most dust mites and bacteria. Never use carpeting (previously finished wood, linoleum, tile, concrete--all are OK). Use washable blinds rather than drapes. Eliminate unnecessary upholstry. Never remodel or renovate with products that contain volatile organic compounds. Keep your air conditioning scrupulously clean and free of mold. A well-maintained air cleaner is a plus.
Lastly, be absolutely honest about what you do or do not provide. A guest's health will depend upon it.
So the trick is mostly to eliminate things, not buy expensive extras. You will find that all your guests will love breathing fresh, clean air.
Again, thank you for being interested and concerned!!