Even after a thorough cleaning, an unpleasant smell can linger in your vacation rental. The smell of cooking, garbage, a dirty drain, and other funky odors can settle into the pores of your home, and to eliminate them before the next guests arrive, you’ll need air fresheners.
Since scents are tied to memories and emotions, with the right indulgent scent you can help your guests create more memorable experiences.
Natural and store-bought air fresheners can make your short-term rental smell good for each new round of guests. But, what is the best air freshener for Airbnb? We’ll discuss both DIY scents and store-bought to help you find the best solution.
Should You Use an Air Freshener in an Airbnb?
The opinions on the use of air fresheners are quite divided among hosts and guests. Some love them and find them to be the icing on the cake for giving the rental that cozy and relaxing feel. On the other hand, many find them overpowering, especially for those with a sensitive sense of smell.
What everyone agrees on is that you need to eliminate bad odors such as cooking smells, musty/damp smells, and garbage smells. An unpleasant smell is a huge turn-off for guests.
However, commercial and synthetic air fresheners can trigger allergies, headaches, and nausea with their strong scents. They can also give the impression that you’re trying to cover up something foul with such an overpowering fragrance.
The ideal solution to this controversial issue is to use natural air fresheners that will add a subtle and calming scent to your short-term rental.
The Best Scents for Vacation Rentals
When it comes to scents, people’s tastes differ. So, when you need to conform to the needs of a wide variety of guests, natural scents always beat synthetic ones.
For that light, refreshing, and perfect scent experience, we suggest scents inspired by nature or derived from essential oils.
Luxury hotel air fresheners are usually based on natural smells. For example, the Mandarin Oriental’s home scent has notes of coriander, lemongrass, and cardamom. W Hotels use a signature spray with a blend of lemon, green tea, and laurel leaves, while Westin Hotel’s recognizable scent is white tea.
The Best Air Freshener for Airbnb
If you want to use an air freshener that can give your short-term rental that fresh, clean, and natural scent, we suggest using diffuser sticks and essential oils. Not only will they spread a wonderful and subtle smell around your rental, but they also work well as decoration pieces.
You can pick your favorite scent among these popular ones:
- Lavender – Peaceful and relaxing
- Tea Tree – Purifying and cleansing
- Lemon – Energizing and uplifting
- Roman camomile – Restful and calming
- Eucalyptus – Calming and refreshing
- Grapefruit – Invigorating and energizing
- Peppermint – Energizing and refreshing
If you’re unsure about which one you should get, you can get some free samples to find your signature scent. You usually need to make a small purchase or pay for the shipping, but it’s still worth it as you can get several different scents to try out. Some companies that give out free samples are Jade Bloom, Barefut, Favospa, Eden Botanicals, Airomystic, and TruGardens.
You can also choose a more techy diffusing option which is the upgraded diffuser for essential oils. This InnoGear Essential Oil Diffuser allows you to choose between two misting modes, and you can also pick a color that goes best with your rental.
Just make sure that you’re adding the right amount of drops to the diffuser. The general rule of thumb is to add 3-5 drops of essential oil for every 100 milliliters (or 3.4 oz) of water.
Odor Elimination Alternatives to Keep Your Airbnb Smelling Fresh
Before the diffuser starts spreading the intoxicating smell around the rental, you first want to get rid of those bad nauseating smells. There are many efficient ways of repelling and eliminating nasty odors, but here are a few of our favorite ones that have proven results:
Air Purifying Bags – These bags contain activated minerals that absorb odors, toxins, and chemicals and filter the air in the room, leaving a fresh scent. The Vergali Nature Fresh Bamboo Charcoal Air Purifying Bags are non-toxic and fragrance-free, and they will eliminate odors and purify the air. You’ll get ten bags and ten hooks so you can place them in every room of your rental.
Air Purifier for Allergy Relief – If you allow pets indoors or your rental seems to be a dust magnet, this LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home, Allergies, and Pet Hair is the ideal solution to clean air and odorless rooms. It uses an H13 True HEPA filter (the highest tier when it comes to filtering technology) alongside the pre-filter and high-efficiency activated carbon filter to capture 99.97% of airborne particles.
You can also choose the replacement filter that best suits your needs—whether that’s a toxin absorber filter (for smog and toxins which is great for city rentals), a smoke remover filter (if you have a grill or allow smoking in the rental), or the pet allergy filter.
Air Purifier – If you struggle with damp air and a musty smell, an air purifier can help. The Bad Air Sponge is super easy to use as you just need to open the lid and let it sit. For really big spaces, you can flip it over to expose the sponge more. It will absorb the moisture from the air as well as the odor.
White Vinegar – For those who prefer DIY tricks, white vinegar is a powerful cleaning tool. Pour white distilled vinegar into small bowls and place the bowls around your rental. Soon after, you’ll notice the magic of it as it will absorb all the smells.
If you can detect the source of the smell (for example, the stove, cabinets, or countertops), mix water and white vinegar (50/50 ratio), spray it on, and remove it with a cleaning cloth. Make sure you’re using gloves if your skin is sensitive.
Baking Soda – Another scent-eliminating ingredient straight from your kitchen is baking soda. Take a cup of baking soda and spread it across a plate. Give it a few hours or leave it overnight and you’ll be astonished by the effect. To remove bad odors from the carpet overnight, add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to baking powder, sprinkle it on the carpet, and vacuum it the next day.
Baking Soda and Vinegar Combo for the Drains – Combine these two odor-fighting ingredients and you’ll get the winning solution for cleaning a smelly drain. First, you should sprinkle a half cup of baking soda into the drain and leave it for 30 minutes. It will absorb the smell and loosen the stuck-on waste (but if it’s clogged, you’ll need to use drain clog remover). Then, add a cup of vinegar and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Lastly, run warm water to wash it all away!
Air Purifier Plants – Some plants have air purifying properties so they can keep the air in your rental fresh. Indoor plants that have this power are bird’s nest ferns, bamboo or areca palms, snake plants, English ivy, and spider plants. For more plant suggestions and details about each one of them, head to this Homes and Gardens post.
Your rental needs to be odor-free, but chemical-infused air fresheners aren’t the solution. Instead, you should choose natural scents that would suit all your guests and leave your rental smelling fresh and clean.