Smell B Gone

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Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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Last night family of 3 shows up for check-in. It's an older couple with their 45  y/o mentally handicapped daughter (who is very pleasant). They've booked online just a day ago, so I didn't get the chance to talk with them or send them my confirmation letter. Anyhow, the mother tells me that they're 'gluten-free'. Ok, fine. Now I have to rearrange the menu for the next three days. Whatever.

This morning I make veggie fritatas, sausage, biscuits, and fruit. All is eaten without question. Family ready to go out for the day and the mother asks if she can speak with me a minute. Sure, what can I help you with? Mother says that the smell of urine on her sheets last night was so strong that she could hardly sleep! WHAT!???surprise I put those sheets on the bed yesterday myself...right out of the dryer! Of course I don't mention this to mother. 

So, I go up to the room after they leave. At this point, I'm not only completely horrified, but utterly baffled as to how something like this could happen. My cat, maybe? But he is rarely in the inn side and he was not yesterday at all. So, I start stripping the bed...sniffing everything as I go. I have a very sensitive sniffer.But cat urine is strong and has a very distinct odor.  I cannot smell a thing, no urine, nothin, except for the protein powder that they've got in the room (the place looks like a pharmacy!). I smelled everything...no sign of urine at all!! I did find a used pad in the garbage. Maybe that's what smelled???

Anyway, I've stripped the bed completely and everything is in the was now...mattress pad, blanket, quilt, pillow shams and now I'm going up to deodorize the carpet, too (even though it doesn't smell - but I don't know what else to do!) 

What do I tell this woman when they return later? What's to prevent this woman from saying the same thing tomorrow morning? sigh...sometimes....!!

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Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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They even 'Liked' my Facebook page for the Inn. Weird.

The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that this woman was dreaming about the smell. If it were really that strong that she couldn't sleep, then I should have been able to smell something!

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Whew! I bet you're glad they're gone. Good for you for facing the problem head on. They could obviously tell that you cared about them and were responsive to their problems.

Congrats!!

Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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Well, they're gone. And they LEFT A TIP!!! OMG!! I almost passed out!

Of course, we couldn't go a whole evening without some 'issue'. Last night they said that the TV wouldn't work. Well, the remote works a lot better when you don't cover up the receiver box with your dirty clothes!

"That was easy".

Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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Yes, holding my breath. Tomorrow cannot come soon enough. 

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

yes Let's hope it's smooth sailing from here on out!

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Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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Apparently all is well this morning. No ghost smells!

Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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well, they came back..sort of in a rush to drop some things off and go back out. I explained that I had stripped and washed everything that wasn't nailed down and that the comforter might be a little damp because it just came out of the dryer. I also asked them to let me know immediately if they find anything amiss.

Oh, guess what they brought back.....stinky cheese! 

Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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I keep asking myself if there is there a possibility that this woman is making this whole thing up. But why? So far, she hasn't 'demanded' anything. And two more days to go!! Egads!

I've checked and double-checked every surface in the room that I can think of. The canopy, the bedskirt! I even crawled under the bed and dusted the baseboards and floor. All I can smell is their vitamins.

Madeleine's picture
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Aussie Innkeeper wrote:

I keep asking myself if there is there a possibility that this woman is making this whole thing up. But why? So far, she hasn't 'demanded' anything. And two more days to go!! Egads!

I've checked and double-checked every surface in the room that I can think of. The canopy, the bedskirt! I even crawled under the bed and dusted the baseboards and floor. All I can smell is their vitamins.

Vitamins? Iron pills make me gag. When we first brought our dog home she peed on the floor and it smelled exactly like iron supplements  to me. Maybe they are not used to having the pills all piled together in the room.

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05/22/2008

Well when she comes back. Take her aside and tell her you were worried about what she told you and that you have totally checked and cleaned everything in the room. Maybe walk up to the room with her and tell her to take a wiff! Smiling

seashanty's picture
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1. i totally agree that you tell her to come get you immediately if she smells anything so you can check for yourself

2. i am wondering about that pad in the trash --- wondering if any soiled undies got stashed under the bed as some adults with issues get embarrassed and tend to hide them. 

3. re the pillows and other things in the room.  may be a long shot, but musk perfume and cologne smells like urine to me.  any possibility that prior guest wore some?

 

Silverspoon's picture
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We had, at one time, a hand knotted canopy on one of our beds.  Each spring and fall I took it off, shook it, hung it on the line to air and then replaced it.  The directions suggested that it not be laundered unless absolutely necessary.  Since it was well out of the way of greasy hands and other bodily grim we used it and cared for it for 10 years until a guest complained of an "off" smell in the room.  I couldn't smell it but DH, who is 6'5" used his sniffer at his higher altitude and, lo and behold, it was the canopy that smelled like urine!!!

To this day, we have no idea why it smelled that way.  But we laundered it and it was fine for another 5 years with no problems.  We have since "de-frufrued" all the rooms so the canopy was retired.  Check all of the fabric in the room (which it appears that you have already done)....and don't skip anything....even a string canopy.

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Gardens are not made by singing "Oh, how beautiful" and sitting in the shade.
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

 

Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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I used the Magic Zymes.

Generic's picture
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Get some charcoal briquettes and put them in a plastic container, uncovered under the bed or in a space that is hidden. Do you have any magic zymes or ozium to spray? 

When the smell is in the walls, the only way to stop it is with oil based or shellac based primer, generally Kilz or Zinnser. It locks the smell on the other side of the barrier. But you need to paint every nook and cranny closed with the stuff.

I can smell mold, mildew and urine more than most people. We put in humidity detecting fans in some of the bathrooms to ensure it's not a problem.

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Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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Thanks for the advice. I have another room that does get an "off" odor (not too bad), but only when it's really hot outside. I've done everything I can think of to do away with it. Have NOT checked the gutters, though. Will do that! Thanks.

 

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I use to get odors in my house years ago...I kept complaining to my husband and he just thought i was nuts Sad  Then I insisted that he move his old cars out of our basement garage to another garage on the property. Guess what...no more smells in my house Smiling

His nose has become so used to those old car and parts smells...he doesn't even recognize them. Now that he has them all restored and cleaned..they are allowed back under my house.

Madeleine's picture
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Nicely explain that you are the housekeeper and that you would never put smelly linens on the bed. But that you replaced all of the bed linens and sanitized the carpet and that if she smells ANYTHING she's to get you immediately as you are baffled where the smell could be coming from. I don't know if you want to say you didn't smell anything as that just makes people mad. (Did you check the pillows? Maybe someone slept on them with wet hair and she's getting some sort of smell from the pillows.)

We had a room that smelled like damp basement and it was like that forever. When we bought the place the PO's told us to just put one of those odor absorbers under the bed but it was so bad I could not even set foot in the room. We worked on everything we could think of. Then, it spread to the upstairs hallway and another room.

One day, DH cleaned out the rain gutters and the smell went away. We dealt with that smell for 2 years until he figured out what it was. Only in the summer. We had added more ventilation, removed the A/C and totally cleaned that, moved the downspouts on the gutters thinking the water was getting in behind the clapboards, etc.

 

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