What Air Freshener Do Hotels Use?

When staying at a hotel, guests want to walk into a fresh, pleasant-smelling room. A clean scent gives the impression of quality and indicates the space has been thoroughly cleaned for the next visitor. Hotel housekeeping staff work hard to make each room feel like a welcoming retreat for their guests. Part of creating a comfortable room ambiance involves utilizing the right air freshening products to leave a positive lasting impression.

So what type of air fresheners do hotels rely on to make rooms smell their absolute best? Hotels consider many factors when selecting air fresheners. They need effective odor elimination to tackle smells from pets, smoke, cooking and more. Long lasting scents help maintain air quality between cleanings. The fragrances used should appeal to a wide variety of visitors, without triggering headaches or allergies. Hotels also look for cost-effective products from reputable brands that are safe to use.

By using the right air freshening strategy, hotels can provide a clean, refreshing scent that makes guests feel pampered throughout their stay. Let's explore some of the most popular air freshener types hotels use to create the perfect aroma.

Factors Hotels Consider When Choosing Air Fresheners

Hotels have a lot to take into account when selecting an air freshener for their rooms. Guests have high standards and expect a clean, inviting environment during their visit. The right air freshener helps set the mood and meets the needs of both guests and housekeeping staff. Here are some key considerations hotels weigh when choosing room fresheners:

Effectiveness at Eliminating Odors

One of the top priorities for any air freshener is the ability to effectively neutralize unpleasant odors. Hotel rooms must contend with a variety of strong smells from pets, cigarette smoke, cooking foods, body odors, and more. The freshener needs strong enough fragrance oils and ingredients to fully mask these unwanted smells. Lingering odors will lead to poor reviews, so it's crucial to choose a product robust enough to tackle tough odor issues. Hotels require air fresheners that provide complete, long lasting odor elimination.

Long Lasting Scent

When a hotel room gets cleaned, it needs to maintain a pleasant fragrance long after housekeeping staff have left. The ideal air freshener will provide a lingering scent that persists for days or weeks between cleanings. Time-release formulas help fresheners emit fragrance gradually over an extended period. Scent cartridges also supply enduring fragrance. Hotels favor options that provide continuous odor coverage without frequent reapplication. This ensures guests keep enjoying a welcoming scent throughout their stay.

Pleasant, Inoffensive Fragrances

With so many guests coming through, hotels need air fresheners with inoffensive scents suitable for the general public. The fragrances should be light, fresh, and mildly scented to appeal to a wide variety of visitors. The smells need a clean, neutral profile that does not trigger allergies or headaches. Strong perfumes and artificial scents will bother some guests. Hotels choose universally pleasing fragrances that feel soothing, comforting and refreshed.

Cost Effectiveness

Hotels have many rooms to stock and maintain, so cost is always a consideration when buying supplies. Fresheners should balance quality with affordability to keep expenses reasonable. Products that are budget-friendly while still meeting performance needs are ideal. Features like time-release formulas and long-lasting cartridges help maximize value. Hotels also consider labor costs for maintenance when choosing an air freshener system. Overall cost efficiency ensures money gets well spent.

Brand Reputation and Recognition

Well-known brand names inspire trust in a product’s quality and safety. Hotels often select air fresheners made by leading companies like Glade, Febreze and Lysol that are familiar to consumers. These major brands invest substantially in product research and technology. Their expertise results in fresheners that work effectively while maintaining a positive brand image. Hotels lean towards reputable, recognizable companies when sourcing air fresheners.

Safety and Low VOC Emissions

Since air fresheners release chemicals into indoor air, hotels must consider safety. Many commercial-grade fresheners contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can pose health risks. However, air fresheners are available with lower VOC formulas and non-toxic ingredients. Hotels choosing the safest options reduces hazards for both housekeeping staff and guests. They analyze a product’s ingredient list and certifications to minimize risks.

Popular Air Freshener Types Used in Hotels

With so many air freshening options on the market, hotels have to decide which method works best for their needs. Factors like room size, labor requirements, and scent intensity help determine optimal formats. Here are some go-to air freshener systems commonly utilized in hotel rooms:

Spray Air Fresheners

One of the most versatile and convenient choices is aerosol spray air fresheners. Housekeepers can simply spray these as needed for instant odor neutralization and fragrance. Light mist application lets staff regulate and direct the scent. Sprays are ideal for freshening specific areas like bathrooms, curtains or carpet. They provide a burst of freshness wherever applied in seconds.

A spray freshener's portability also makes it easy for staff to carry a can on their cart for touch ups throughout cleaning. The aerosol application allows a targeted, adjustable scent level in each room. Sprays are affordable, accessible and enable complete odor control. Overall, spray fresheners give hotels fast-acting, customizable freshening.

Plug-in Air Fresheners

Plug-in air fresheners offer automated, consistent fragrance over an extended period. These units plug into outlets and actively emit scent from a cartridge or oil reservoir. Once housekeepers activate and install the plug-in, they provide steady air freshening 24/7. The plug-in slowly releases fragrance without the need for sprays or manual application.

Hotels appreciate the low maintenance nature of plug-ins. They passively freshen without staff oversight until it's time to replace the cartridge. Many offer features like timer settings, night lights, or adjustable scent control. Their steady fragrance release keeps room air lightly scented for weeks. Plug-ins also come in decorative styles to accent hotel décor. Overall, their automated functioning and long-term scent makes them a trusted choice.

Gel Air Fresheners

Gel air fresheners are another favorable option. These use scented fragrance oils suspended in gel inside a container. Air circulation passes through the gel, releasing a constant scent. Gels provide intense, robust fragrance from a compact source. They are designed for longevity, keeping rooms smelling fresh for 30+ days. Their small size lets housekeeping tuck them discreetly out of sight while keeping rooms actively freshened.

Gel fresheners are also inexpensive compared to other formats. Their intense, lingering fragrance makes them extremely effective. Gels can be placed almost anywhere and require no external power source. As air continuously interacts with the gel, it emits pleasant fragrance. Hotels often use gels in bathrooms, AC vents, behind furniture and more.

Reed Diffusers

Finally, reed diffusers are a common air care option. These utilize natural rattan or bamboo reeds inserted into a base filled with scented perfume oil. The reeds absorb and disperse the oil's fragrance into the air. As air passes around the diffuser, guests enjoy a light ambient scent.

Reed diffusers provide a gentler, subtler effect than some other fresheners. There is no overwhelming spray or bursts of scent. The fragrance is steady yet understated. Diffusers with natural essential oils align with health-conscious hotels. With no cartridges or batteries, reed diffusers are an uncomplicated system. Their aesthetic design with decorative bottles blends right into hotel decors. Overall, diffusers give off a delicate continuous scent fitting for upscale guest rooms.

Scents Hotels Often Use in Air Fresheners

When selecting an air freshener, hotels pay close attention to fragrance. The goal is a clean, neutral, comforting scent guests enjoy. But they still have many pleasing options to consider:

Fresh, Clean Scents

One of the most popular fragrance categories for hotels is fresh and clean. These evoke a sense of cleanliness with crisp, refreshing notes. Examples include:

  • Linen – Smells like fresh laundered sheets.
  • Cotton – Crisp, freshly washed scent.
  • Fresh laundry – Clean from the dryer aroma.
  • Spring breeze – Fresh air and floral notes.

Clean scents reassure guests their room has been thoroughly sanitized and put them at ease.

Soothing Scents

Some hotels opt for mild, soothing fragrances that relax guests. These include:

  • Lavender – Floral, herbaceous aroma used for calming.
  • Chamomile – Sweet, mellow, tea-like scent.
  • Eucalyptus – Cooling, medicinal mint tones.

Tranquil, soothing scents can aid restful sleep and provide a spa-like retreat.

Neutral Scents

For a universally pleasing aroma, hotels often choose light neutral scents like:

  • Green tea – Refreshing mellow green tea fragrance.
  • Lemongrass – Citrus, grassy, and herbaceous.
  • Jasmine – Floral scent with sweet, rich tones.
  • Vanilla – Warm, nostalgic fragrance.

Neutral fragrances appeal broadly without being polarizing or overpowering.

No matter what direction they go, hotels steer clear of strong, pungent scents that could bother those with allergies or sensitivities. The freshening should lift the room without imposing an overt perfume.

Eco-Friendly Options for Hotels

To align with today's focus on health and environmentalism, many hotels now favor eco-friendly air freshening solutions. Here are some of the key considerations:

Natural Ingredients

Products made with plant-derived essential oils appeal to sustainability-focused travelers. These natural scent ingredients avoid synthetic chemical compounds. Brands like Mrs. Meyer's offer fresheners and cleaners containing essential oils. Diffusers with 100% pure essential oils also fit with natural hotel values.

Low VOC Emissions

Many conventional air fresheners and cleaning products emit high levels of VOCs that are hazardous indoors. To reduce air pollution, hotels can implement low-VOC and VOC-free fresheners. This creates a healthier environment for guests and housekeepers. Looking for Green Seal or EPA Safer Choice certified products ensures safety.

Limiting Plastic Waste

Between aerosol cans and disposable cartridges, air fresheners generate plastic waste. Options that minimize plastic like unplugged diffusers or reusable, refillable canisters prevent waste buildup. This keeps hotels greener and more sustainable.

Automatic Dispensers

Motion-activated dispensers or timed sprays prevent staff from overusing products. This minimizes waste and unnecessary spraying. Dispensers allow freshening on demand, only when needed.

By opting for plant-based, low-VOC formulas dispensed through eco-friendly methods, hotels can freshen rooms responsibly. The right choices make properties both sustainable and welcoming.

Location Within Rooms

To work best at neutralizing odors, air fresheners need strategic placement:


Providing an initial pleasant scent right when guests enter sets the tone. Fresheners by the door or front hall help make a good first impression.


Since bathrooms harbor odors, it's key to freshen them. Well-ventilated areas like behind the toilet or under the sink work well.

Air Vents

Fresheners placed near AC vents or heating systems get circulated through airflow. This disperses the scent evenly.

Hidden But Accessible

The freshener should stay out of sight (under beds, behind curtains) but allow for easy refilling and maintenance.

Finding the right hidden yet convenient locations lets the scent spread effectively without intrusive appliance visibility. Testing different spots during cleaning helps optimize freshener placement.

Safety Precautions When Using Air Fresheners

While air fresheners improve hotel ambiance, staff needs proper training to avoid hazards like:

Keep Away From Heat Sources

Don't place fresheners near heat emitters, lamps or other ignition sources. Read labels for flammability warnings.

Secure Dispensers Against Leaks

If using spray cans or bottles, secure them firmly in holders to prevent spills. Don't let containers tip over.

Maintain Adequate Ventilation

Keep a window cracked or run bathroom exhaust fans to prevent buildup of chemicals.

Follow All Instructions

Use only per directions on packaging and train staff thoroughly on procedures.

With training and simple precautions, fresheners safely elevate the hotel experience.

Cost Considerations for Commercial Air Fresheners

Finally, hotel managers have to weigh expenses when selecting air fresheners. Here are factors that influence costs:

Balancing Quality and Affordability

Ideally a product offers maximum odor elimination, pleasing scents and easy maintenance at reasonable prices. Seek the best possible performance within budget constraints.

Consider Refill/Cartridge Expenses

Fresheners like plug-ins and sprays require repeated purchases of refill cartridges or bottles. Factor in costs for ongoing supply replacements.

Value Longevity

Products that last over a month with one application have better value than short term solutions. Time release gels and diffusers extend usage.

Factor in Labor Costs

Consider how frequently staff must service each system. Long maintenance intervals are preferable. Automated dispensers also minimize labor.

Weighing price against performance helps properties maximize their investment in quality air care.


Pleasant scented air is a key component of a welcoming hotel stay. The right air freshener helps convey cleanliness and comfort for each new guest. While hotels have diverse options, the most effective products share traits like eliminating stubborn odors, providing enduring fragrance, using pleasing scents and aligning with brand values.

Factors like room needs, cost, staff training requirements, and eco-friendliness help hotels determine optimal air freshening solutions. With thoughtful product selection and strategic placement, properties can craft an inviting retreat that feels like home. A sublime scent works hand in hand with luxurious decor and amenities to indulge visitors and exceed expectations. Investing in an elevated air care routine shows guests their relaxation is priority one.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hotel Air Fresheners

What is the best air freshener scent for hotel rooms?

Hotel rooms tend to benefit from light, clean scents that appeal broadly without triggering allergies or sensitivities. Popular options are fresh laundry, linen, green tea, lavender, vanilla, or similarly mild fragrances.

How often should hotel staff refresh air fresheners?

Depending on product type, air freshener cartridges, gels or oils should get replaced per the manufacturer recommendation - typically every 4 to 6 weeks for plug-ins, and 2 to 8 weeks for diffusers or gels. Staff can top up more frequently for stronger scent.

Can air fresheners fully eliminate tough odors in hotel rooms?

They help significantly reduce odor, but may not completely eliminate all stubborn smells, especially if excess ventilation is not possible. Using enough freshener product for the room size and spot treating problem areas improves effectiveness.

Are there any health or safety risks to commercial air fresheners?

Many standard commercial fresheners contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that have been linked to adverse effects. Hotels can minimize risks by selecting low-VOC or VOC-free air fresheners with non-toxic ingredients, and ensuring proper ventilation when used.

Nora Johnston
Nora Johnston

Hi, my name is Nora. As a busy working mom, I'm always looking for ways to keep my home clean and fresh smelling. With two kids and a husband who works construction, odors can build up quickly in our house. I've tried many different air fresheners over the years with mixed results. I'm pretty sensitive to strong artificial fragrances, so I have to be careful about choosing scents that won't give me a headache. I prefer fresher, lighter scents rather than heavy florals or perfumes. I've had good luck with some essential oil-based fresheners, but some brands seem to lose their scent too quickly. I want an air freshener that will last a while after spraying and effectively neutralize odors rather than just covering them up. Automatic spray air fresheners are nice for high-traffic areas like the bathrooms. But I worry about all the chemicals being released into the air. Lately I've been experimenting with some natural odor absorbers like baking soda, vinegar and charcoal. But it's hard to keep up with replacing them all the time.