What can I do with a smelly customer?


I’m going to address a more sensitive matter this week: have you ever wanted to tell someone about their personal hygiene problem?  But then you felt you just couldn’t find a way to do it?  Me too – and it stinks…

I have a ‘client’ who visits my house on a weekly basis.  It would be wrong to identify this person online, so I’m keeping quiet about whether they are child or adult, pupil or parent, male or female and whether they come for a lesson in piano, keyboard, ‘cello, Maths or English.

But…there’s no denying it… they smell very strongly of wee.


After their weekly visit I have to spray air freshener through my Teaching Room and all down the stairs.  Even then, my next appointment can often smell the residue.  Not nice.

What can I do?  I’m running a business, and the last thing I want is for people to be ‘nasally offended’!  It’s unpleasant, bad for business and for me, very distracting too.

But how would you even begin to approach someone about this?


I’ve thought about dropping big hints, like following them downstairs after the lesson with an air freshener spray.  I’m known for speaking my mind, but even I don’t have the front for that!

I could try to have a word with someone else in their family, but what if it backfired?  What if the individual or the family took offence?   Can you imagine the headline in the local newspaper?  “Local Teacher Kicks Up A Stink…”

Still stuck

I genuinely have no idea how to fix this.  Perhaps I just have to put up with it.  But as Summer approaches I can only imagine it will get worse in the warmer weather.  Just a thought: I might find an alternative use for those clothes pegs I keep behind the piano for holding music pages together.  Hmmm…!

Are you a music teacher or other educator/service provider with experience of this?  How did you deal with it?  Let me know in the comments below, would you? I would so appreciate it!