Cleaning Tips

Removing Odors: A List of Natural Methods

Let's face it, there's a chance your Airbnb will contain unwanted odors from time to time. Here's how to get rid of them.

By Mark Burstein

Last updated: March 09, 2022

Whether your guests are staying indoors, participating in outdoor activities, or are bringing pets to the property, odors may be present on your property. Let’s take a look at how you can use natural methods to removing odors from your Airbnb.

Washing Machine

Even though washing machines are made to clean and sanitize clothes, foreign odors may arrive if regular cleaning maintenance is not exercised. Front-load and top-load washing machines are the two most common types on the market. Front-load washing machines often create odor due to mildew forming from a rubber gasket. Whereas, top-load washing machines create mildew from a lack of ventilation.

Follow these steps to swiftly sanitize and clean your washing machine

  • Fill the detergent container with a solution of 1/4th cup of baking soda and 1/4th cup of water.
  • Scrub the interior of the washing machine with a solution of water and vinegar with a sponge.
  • Next, pour 1 to 2 cups of white vinegar into the drum and run a cycle at high temperature. 

This swift and effective method should be performed every time a guest leaves your vacation rental property to ensure your appliance is sanitized and safe to use. 


Another place that you need to be using natural methods for removing odors from your Airbnb is the bathroom. More so than others, the toilet is the culprit of these smells. There are two different ways of solving this problem:

  • One method is to scrub the inside of the toilet with a baking soda and water solution.
  • The other method is to soak a few cloth towels in a sweet soda along the rim of the toilet for a minimum of 20 minutes. 

It is also important to note that toilets release odor and microparticles into the air every time it is flushed. With this in mind, regularly sanitizing the floor and walls is crucial for your properties’ sanitation. 

The most efficient way to clean a shower curtain is to put it in the washer with detergent and a bit of vinegar with hot water.

Another useful tip is to open the curtain fully after you or your guest is done showering otherwise water will not be able to evaporate.

Trash Cans

A simple solution that reduces odor in any trash can would be to sprinkle a few tablespoons of baking soda along the bottom of the bin. To ensure its cleanliness, you can also scrub the inside with a baking soda and water solution. 


Drains in general are another commonplace in the house that gathers smells. First, squeeze a couple of lemons into a bowl and mix with 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Apply this solution onto the drain and leave for 20 minutes. Rinse with hot water and repeat if necessary. 

Air Vents 

removing odors methods
Photo by Henry & Co. on Unsplash

If your vacation rental property comes equipped with a ventilation system, utilize the following method to create a natural air freshener.

  • Start this process by peeling two oranges and microwaving the rind or skin for 5 minutes.
  • Once that is finished, grind the orange and mix an equal amount of coffee beans with it. Depending on the size of the vent, space out the mixture onto a couple of thin cloths.
  • Cover the ends firmly with two rubber bands and place them evenly throughout the vents. 

Another key way to ensure that your vacation rental property’s air quality is clean and refreshing is to open all windows and doors on a daily basis to get a natural breeze. Having a few fans running in rooms that do not receive natural airflow is another great way to ensure that there is a healthy circulation of air. Doing this will help reduce humidity which can limit the spread of mildew and mold.

Floor Stains

Depending on the severity of the substance spilled on the floor there are a few ways of ensuring that its odor does not linger. For carpet and upholstery, you can place the baking soda on the area for a couple of hours and vacuum the area when finished.

More severe odors such as pet fecal matter can be dealt with by gently blotting the area with cold water and vinegar. You can also put coffee grounds on the area to get rid of any smells. Be sure to wrap the coffee grounds in a thin cloth before applying it to any carpet or stainable surface. 


As an Airbnb property owner, having guests who disobey your rules by smoking inside against your approval is a nightmare. More specifically, cigarette smoke is one of the strongest odors that can linger around. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can diminish and eliminate this smell.

  • First things first, open all windows, doors, and turn on any fans or ventilation systems to ensure maximum airflow.
  • Secondly, layout bowls of baking soda, white vinegar, or charcoal to soak up any lingering smoke particles in the air.
  • In regards to an expedited method, you can boil white vinegar so its particles can flow throughout your property.
  • Third, sprinkle baking soda on carpeted areas for a minimum of 2 hours and vacuum when finished.

The last option is to thoroughly steam clean your property. Steam sanitizes and removes any leftover smoke particles.

Another way to ensure that your vacation rental property smells good is to leave natural, essential oil-based scent boosters out for your guests. If the smell still lingers it may be time to call in a professional cleaning service.

Removing odors from your Airbnb using natural methods on a regular basis ensures your vacation rental property is maintained. It also requires regular maintenance with the right equipment.

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