Use These Hacks To Ensure Your Hotel Room Smells Fresh For Your Whole Stay

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Walking into a hotel room that smells musty can put a damper on your vacation plans. In tropical areas where there's high humidity, it's not uncommon to smell mold and mildew coming from damp areas, like the bathroom or inside the air conditioner. In some cases, according to WebMD, strong odors can trigger allergies and headaches. This adds insult to injury when you've paid a pretty penny for a room that smells less-than-stellar.

The first step is to ventilate the room and see if that corrects the problem. Open all the doors and windows to let in fresh air and sunlight, including the balcony. Inspect areas that commonly trap moisture to determine the source of the odor. Report the unclean smell to hotel staff and request to change rooms. If that's not possible, ask if they have a scent diffuser or dehumidifier. Let it run for several hours and find an activity to do elsewhere, as the machines can be loud.

If the hotel has a kitchen, ask if they have some white vinegar on hand. Fill a bowl with at least half an inch of vinegar and bring it back to your hotel room. Place it in the center of your space, letting it sit for several hours. Though this household staple is pungent — and not exactly pleasant — it's an excellent choice for soaking up stubborn odors.

What to grab at the store

If you've tried every possible solution at the hotel, it's time to head to the store (or remember to pack a few key items for next time). The simplest solution is a clip-on air freshener, which you can attach to the vent of the AC in your hotel room. The Pink Sands Smart Scent from Yankee Candle is always a winner. There are also plug-in air fresheners from Air Wick, Febreze, and Glade, which warm up the scented oil and release a pleasant aroma. While you're shopping, pick up some citrus cleaning wipes for surfaces and appliances, along with lavender dryer sheets for inside the hotel drawers.

An essential oil diffuser is another possibility. According to the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, eucalyptus, clove, and lavender have antifungal activity. Citrus-based oils are a popular ingredient in cleaners for their ability to freshen up any space, like orange, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, and lemongrass. If you can't find those, look for room sprays in the home goods section or auto section of a store. Fresh Wave has a plant-based spray that comes in a travel size, filling your hotel room with a blend of pine needle, cedarwood, anise, lime, and clove. Rooms sprays are a temporary solution, and you'll need to reapply them often, but it's worth it to make your hotel room feel more like home.