Hotel Room Smells Musty – Here’s What You Can Do!

ways to fix bad smell in a hotel room

It’s the middle of summer, and you’re on vacation in a hotel. But instead of feeling relaxed, all you can smell is mildew.

Do not panic.

If you are feeling a bit irritated with the unbearable odor, here in this article, I will give you some solutions to get that musty smell out of your room. So, stay tuned, and let’s get started.

11 Ways to Fix Bad Odor In A Hotel Room

Bad odors are not a problem in a luxurious hotel, resort, or lodge. But if it’s a budget hotel you have to stay in for some reason, there is a good chance that you might face this problem.

Several factors can cause these awkward smells. The most common one is humidity. When the air is too humid, it will cause the growth of mold and mildew.

As a result, your hotel room will start to smell musty.

Another reason for the bad odor can be the previous guests. If they were smokers or had pets with them, it is quite possible that the room still smells of cigarettes or animal fur.

So, what can you do to get rid of the musty smell in your hotel room?

First, you have to identify the source of the odor. It could be the carpet, the furniture, or even the walls.

Once you have found the source, here are some things you can do:

1- Open the Windows to Air Out the Room

Most budget hotels will not have an air conditioner to make your room fresh and cool. Most likely, they will have a small window in place.

So, open that window and let fresh air come in. It will help to get rid of the musty smell quickly.

If it’s too hot outside and you can’t stand the heat, put a fan in front of the open window.

If you don’t even have a window in the room, you can consider leaving the door open for a few hours to ventilate your room.

2- Ask If You can Get a Hotel Room Deodorizer

Many hotels can provide their guest with a machine called an electric room deodorizer.

Hotels often use these machines to make the rooms smell good after guests leave.

You can ask the hotel manager or staff if they can get you one -either for free or at a small price.

This machine will help to remove the musty smell from your room by emitting negative ions into the air.

If you stay in a hotel for a long time, it is worth considering buying your machine. You can use it in the hotel room and at home.

3- Use Baking Soda to Get Rid of the Musty Smell

Baking soda is a great absorbent, and it can help to get rid of bad odors quickly from sources such as carpets, stinking bedding, or mattresses.

Just make a mixture of baking soda and water. Use a cloth to apply this mixture to the source of the odor.

Leave it for a few hours or even overnight. The smell should be gone in a few hours, and you are relieved.

4- Put a Bowl of Vinegar in the Room

Smells from moldy guest house walls, cigarette smoke, body smell of previous travelers, and other such odors like rotten eggs or fish in the room can be eliminated by using vinegar.

Put a bowl of white vinegar in the room and leave it there for a few hours. The vinegar smell might be strong at first, but it will go away in a few minutes.

After a few hours, you will also notice that the bad odor has gone away.

5- Use a Dehumidifier to Get Rid of the Musty Smell

If the musty smell is humidity, the best way to get rid of it is to use a small dehumidifier.

If you don’t always carry a dehumidifier while on vacation, you can easily buy one from a nearby store.

Turn on the dehumidifier and let it run for a few hours. You will notice that the musty smell has gone away, and your motel room feels fresh and cool.

how to solve bad smell in a hotel room?

6- Use a Potpourri Bowl or a Glass Vase

I don’t know about you, but I always carry some potpourri flowers in my backpack when traveling. Potpourri flowers are nothing but dried flowers that come with a strong fragrance.

You can find them in any store that sells home decor items.

To fix the musty smell in your Airbnb or holiday homes, put some potpourri flowers in a bowl or glass vase and place it in the room’s corner or bedside.

These flowers have a very strong scent that will quickly cover the musty fragrance of your space and make it smell fresh and beautiful.

7- Use Scented Candles or Essential Oils

Scented wax candles, essential oils, and salt lamps are also a great way to make your room smell fresh and eliminate musty smells.

If you don’t have them in your travel bag, one of these will be readily available in the nearby general market store that sells home décor goods.

Add a few drops of essential oil to a diffuser or light a scented candle – and place it in your hotel room for a few hours.

The fragrance emitted will quickly cover the musty odor and make your environment seem inviting.

8- Spray Some Air Freshener in the Room

If you don’t have any of the things mentioned above with you, the easiest and cheapest way to stop the smell of a musty room is to use an air freshener.

You can easily find the air-neutralizing sprays in any store or petrol pump near the hotel or cottage you are staying in.

My favorite and most recommended is the citrus flavor. But if you want, you can try sandalwood, vanilla, cedar, lemon, etc.

Hotels worldwide often use these scents as air fresheners to freshen up their rooms after the traveler has checkout.

Just spray it in the room, and the musty smell will instantly disappear. If the odor is too severe, you may consider spraying it more than once.

9- Ask the Hotel Staff to Change the Sheets and Clean the Room

The most common cause of a musty smell in a hotel room is dirty sheets and an unclean environment.

If you can’t find the source of the smell, it is best to ask the hotel staff to clean your room and change the sheets.

This will eliminate the musty smell and make your room feel more comfortable and inviting.

Do not forget to offer some tips to the staff member for their services; he/she will be more than happy to serve you any time sooner or later in the future 🙂

10- If the Problem Persists, You can Ask to Change Rooms

If, after trying all the methods mentioned above, you still cannot eliminate the musty smell, it is best to ask the hotel staff to change your room.

This way, you can be sure if the problem is with your room or the hotel itself.

If a room is available, the hotel staff will be more than happy to help you and give you a comfortable room.

If there are issues with appliances, such as a broken-down air conditioning system, most likely the musty smell is coming from there, and you will feel no smell after changing the room.

11- Worse is If You Need to Change the Hotel

It can happen – even after changing the room in a budget hotel, the smell does not disappear.

The smell you feel might even get weird, like sewage, and that mostly happens if inorganic gases or sewer gas are coming from blocked vents or damaged drain lines.

The best thing to do in such a situation is to immediately check out and leave the hotel.

It’s not worth risking your health just to save some money on accommodation.

There are plenty of other hotels and cottages that you can find in the area that will offer you a clean and comfortable stay with nice smelling scents.

Why Do Some Luxurious Hotels Smell So Good?

There are a few reasons behind it. The first and foremost reason is that these hotels focus more on hospitality, and for that, they charge their guests extra.

The price for one night can be five to ten times higher (and even more) than what you will expect to pay for a regular hotel.

The second reason is that luxurious hotels such as Marriott, Hyatt, Westin, and many others have better facilities and use high-quality materials for everything from furniture to bedding to carpets.

The third reason is that these hotels have more advanced ventilation systems in place along with expensive scent systems to pump the scent

all through hotel lobbies, gyms, spas, and meeting rooms.

This eliminates any unpleasant smells quickly as soon as its detected.

And lastly, they have a team of professional cleaning staff that clean the rooms and common areas thoroughly every day. This leaves no scope for any musty or unpleasant smell to linger around.

So, if you are ever staying in a luxurious hotel and wondering why it smells so good – now you know the reason. 🙂

The conclusion

On vacation with your family and arrived at a hotel room only to find it smells musty?

If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel, you’ve smelled that musty, damp smell. While it’s not always alarming, it’s not pleasant.

If you are trying to eliminate that pesky smell, follow the tips above. These will surely be able to enjoy a fresh and pleasant stay.