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How to Remove Cooking Smells From the Kitchen

Are you looking to rid your kitchen from an array of scents? Read on to discover our expert tips on removing cooking smells from your kitchen.
Man Disgusted By Smell

Getting Started

Even though certain dishes taste delicious, they can still leave an unpleasant odor that hangs around the kitchen. Even meals that smell fantastic while cooking can lead to aromas that turn into something less than appealing by the next day. Fish, for example, is notorious for funky lingering smells.
But you can't avoid cooking your favorite fish entree, so what's a home chef to do? How can you remove these pungent cooking smells? Follow this breakdown on how to remove cooking smells from the kitchen, easily and naturally.

Get Rid of Smells with Coffee Grounds

One way to remove cooking smells from kitchens is to leave out small bowls of fresh coffee grounds. Coffee grounds are a fantastic way to neutralize bad odors. If you don't want to waste the coffee, make a pot to enjoy and let the aroma of the roasted beans waft around the kitchen instead.

Banish Smells with Baking Soda

One tried and true odor absorber for refrigerators is baking soda. So, why not use it outside the fridge too? Remove cooking smells in your kitchen by placing a few baking soda-filled bowls around the cooking area. Alternately, you can also simmer a solution of baking soda and water.

Clean Promptly

While it's tempting to dump cookware into the sink and call it a night, avoid doing so. Leaving dirty dishes and cookware in the sink invites smells to penetrate the air further. Instead, clean as you go, tidying up each used piece as you mix ingredients and loading up your dishwasher once you're done cooking. This way, you can prevent bad smells before they get a chance to develop. Be sure to use gentle household cleaners to clean spills off of countertops and grease splatters around the stove.
Person baking cookies

Bake Something Else

Sometimes the only thing you can do to get rid of unwanted smells is to overpower them. Mix up some batter with your favorite KitchenAid mixer and make a batch of cookies or a cake. Even some oatmeal for the next morning's breakfast can help take away bad smells. However, don't cook the pleasant-smelling food at the same time as the malodorous dish, as it can actually absorb some of those funky flavors.

Simmer Cinnamon

In the same vein of baked treats and desserts, you can incorporate sweet-smelling ingredients in other ways. Sweet fragrances, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, offer highly aromatic properties and evoke a cozy feeling throughout the home. This tactic works exceptionally well at removing fried food smells. To get rid of bad odors, take a few cinnamon sticks and simmer them in water for 30 minutes. It's as easy as that!
Pot with boiling lemons

Refresh with Citrus

Like cinnamon, you can also simmer sliced lemons in water to remove odors. But it doesn't stop at lemons—consider using other fruits and peels for a stove-top potpourri, such as oranges, grapefruits, apples or limes. If citrus is too strong, add some spices like cinnamon, cloves or bay leaves to balance the smell.

Vanquish with Vinegar

White vinegar is terrific at removing cooking smells, especially fishy odors. Leave out a small bowl of white vinegar before and after cooking to absorb the odors. After cooking, keep your container out for a few more hours, even overnight, if necessary, disposing of the liquid once done. You can also simmer a mixture of water and vinegar (white or apple cider) to speed up the deodorizing process. Mix one tablespoon of vinegar with one cup of water, simmering 20 to 30 minutes.

Wash Towels and Linens

Hand towels and dishcloths can absorb cooking odors. So can the clothes you wear during the cooking process. Grilling also causes the smoke smell to seep into your clothes. And this can happen from just an hour or two of cooking in the kitchen or entertaining outside. If you have linens and garments that have cooking smells, toss them in the laundry or wash them immediately.

Use Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal has many odor-absorbing properties. Charcoal briquettes work perfectly fine, but you can also find it in fancier, more aesthetically-pleasing carved shapes and reed diffusers. If you use basic briquettes, make sure they're all-natural and free of additives and strong flavors like mesquite.
Next time there's a strong kitchen smell, use one or several of these natural tips and tricks to neutralize the air.

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