We don't have awesome ventilation with 18 inch thick solid stone walls-- our cottage is like a tiny fortress and everything just lingers. As a result, we have asked guests not to deep fry, we don't have a toaster as burnt toast lingers for days (but they can use the broiler on the stove), we don't allow smoking inside, etc. When we recently went to turn over, it was clear that the guests had done a lot of frying as the house smelled like grease, but it was probably something like eggs that were not covered by our "no deep frying" rules. Most guests don't have this issue, but whatever they were cooking definitely stuck around. These guests also brought a lot of groceries with them and left behind plastic bags which REEKED for cigarette smoke. They had stashed them in the pantry but again, with 18 inch stone walls and a closed door, my pantry now smells like a smoking lounge. Likewise all of the throw blankets, pillows and bedding smell as though they were rubbed across a sweaty ashtray in certain spots. We had to throw out a couple of things after trying to wash but still having some funk remain.
We have smell eliminating products, candles, air fresheners, etc but the sad reality is that some guests are just smellier than others. Our space is not well situated to move odors along. I have seen several threads with other hosts asking about body odor, so I thought I would see if we could get a "smell and solution" thread going. So for example, the smell is "fried food" and the solution is...? The smell is cigarette smoke and the solution is...? Any tips?
@Laura2592 Part of the cause of the smell that lingers from cooking is the thin film of oil residue dispersed onto every surface (including the ceiling), so attacking all these surfaces with a potent degreaser will cut down on it a bit. Another trick is to boil a mix of vinegar and water on the stove for a few minutes. The vinegar smell dissipates quickly, but you can add in a pleasant aroma using some fragrant spices. My choice is a mix of orange peels and whole cardamom pods or a cinnamon stick - much cheaper than buying essential oils, and the house smells more like Christmas than like KFC.
Agree with Andrew. Also cut up onions work well - they really absorb odour ( work particularly well in oven and fridge and smaller confined spaces - eg your pantry). Bicarb soda sprinkle on furnishings and then vaccumed off isnt' bad either - though it will depend on the furnishing. Eucalyptus oil or tea tree oil ( if it's pure it can be mixed with a little water) are also great at over powering other odours - they are also antibacterial. They're powerful so you don't need a lot. I often put in a few drops with the laundry if clothes are stinky or sweaty - works well with cigarette smoke too
@Laura2592 Believe it or not, Febreeze, which I hate the smell of it, but it does seem to work. The place will smell like Febreeze for a day or two but then both the original smell and the Febreeze smell will disappear. I also am a big fan of white vinegar as a cleaning agent both topical and put into the laundry. And of course, just opening windows and running a fan will help considerably.
Our last guests smoked in the unit...vaping, cigarettes and weed...and a week later it smells of vape smoke, but we haven't done anything active to counter it since we don't have any upcoming bookings.
@Mark116 Febreze does not remove or destabilize odor causing molecules; what it does do is add a plethora of contaminants to your home environment, including some associated with neuroxicity, and many that are irritant or hazardous to people with even minor chemical sensitivities. Not a thing I'd be inclined to subject a guest to without knowing what health issues might be triggered.
@Laura2592 You may want to invest in an air purifier. I've heard that Hepa filters are good. Do read up about the various types of air purifiers, though, the ozone generators are health hazards- no one can be in the house when they are on, but I really haven't researched much else about them, like how soon it's safe to go in after it's turned off.