How to Get Rid of the Terrible Kitchen Smell Taking Over Your House

chopping onions on cutting board

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Have you ever cooked a meal and then wanted to get rid of the terrible kitchen smell that it flooded throughout your house?

There are certain things we cook that give the kitchen a distinct smell. In fact, these smells usually waft clear through the house!

If it is a smell you like, it’s all good.

But I’m not talking about the comforting smell that carries you back in time to fond memories of walking into grandma’s house after she has been baking homemade cinnamon rolls all day!

I’m referring to a bad smell that puts your stomach in knots, and if you’re lucky it will be gone by the next day!

I have found some things we cook can leave a hint of the staunch smell several days or even a week later.

I personally cannot handle the smell of any kind of cooked fish.

I specifically recall a day I walked in the front door from work and I was overcome with the smell of cooked fish, courtesy of my son. I was not a happy mama!

The smell of some things is so unpleasant it is hard to stay inside the house.

For these cooking smells that are overwhelmingly unpleasant, one of the following hacks should do the trick so you can get your mind back on track instead of reverting to the smell again and again!

bowls of lemons, oranges, oatmeal and cinnamon sticks

Coffee anyone?

cup of coffee and coffee beans with cinnamon sticks

There are several ways coffee can come to the rescue as a kitchen odor-buster!

If you aren’t so overcome by the smell you can let the coffee do its job, sit a bowl of whole coffee beans in the kitchen.

It will neutralize the bad odor in the air.

You can also brew a fresh pot of coffee.

The smell of brewed coffee can be stronger than other smells so it is worth a try.

Also, if you are a coffee drinker the smell of fresh-brewed coffee sends a comforting feeling to our brain that can be stronger than the negative smell pulling our focus to it.

Turn on the exhaust fan

This is something so simple we often forget about it!

Considering your stove is not located on an island, it should have an exhaust fan vented to the outside of your home. As it pulls air into it and pushes it outside, the smell can start to subside.

If you have a patio door or you can open a kitchen window at the same time, the exhaust fan can work even more efficiently to pull the odor out of your kitchen.

If the odor is so strong it is wafting out of the kitchen into other areas of your home, this likely won’t be the best solution although it can help!

Bake something yummy

mom and daughter taking cookies out of the oven

This is an old trick that can be very effective if you bake something that has a strong and comforting smell.

Great ideas are a cinnamon apple crisp, oatmeal cookies, or raisin and cinnamon swirl bread.

Baked goods that have butter, sugar and cinnamon or nutmeg in the ingredient list tend to overpower other scents in the air.

Also, oatmeal is a known food to neutralize odors.

It is often used in the place of baking soda.

This is a great reason to include it as one of your cooking ingredients, ath0ugh baked goods without it can accomplish the same thing.

Get out the cinnamon sticks

cinnamon sticks and cloves wrapped in with a red tie

Speaking of cinnamon, this spice is useful for so many things, getting rid of odor one of them!

Add 3 or 4 cinnamon sticks to a pan of water on the stove and let them simmer for about a half-hour.

This will create a warm feel-good fragrance in your kitchen.

I love to do this on occasion even when I am not trying to get rid of a funky kitchen smell!

Mix up some homemade potpourri

fresh lemon honey ginger herbs

Another way to overcome a bad smell in the kitchen is to make your own liquid potpourri.

Combine a mixture of water, orange rind, mint, and sliced lemons and put them on the stove to simmer. The water will slowly cook down as the fragrance starts to develop.

Add more water as needed to keep the mixture a liquid.

Any kind of citrus peels mixed with cinnamon and cloves is going to create an inviting fragrance. Get creative and try different mixtures to see what you like best!

Clean while you cook

mother and daughter cooking together in the kitchen

This is obviously something you can’t do after the fact, but it is something to keep in mind for future meals that are known to have a distinctly unpleasant smell.

The longer you leave pots, pans, hand towels, cutting boards, etc. laying around that have the smell on them, the longer the smell will last.

Lemons are miracle-workers

lemons in a bunch with leaves

Lemons offer a natural fragrance that is clean and refreshing.

Have you noticed how many cleaners are on the market that are manufactured with the scent of lemon?

If you have ever cleaned your house with either these lemon-fragranced cleaners or natural lemon, anyone that walks into your home knows you have been cleaning. It leaves a distinctly ‘just cleaned’ smell.

The power of lemon can also work to downplay the funky smells from cooking.

Follow the recipes above or create your own using lemon as your main ingredient in a simmering pot on the stove!

lady mixing batter in bowl in the kitchen

Charcoal can neutralize odor

Activated charcoal has the properties to pull odor from the air.

There is a difference between charcoal and activated charcoal so be sure you are using the correct product.

It comes in fun shapes and sizes, but all you really need is blocks of it to sit on the cabinet to absorb nasty odors.

Top Amazon pick for activated charcoal blocks

Offset the smell with vinegar

vinegar and apple cider vinegar

Vinegar is commonly known to dispel sour smells.

For future kitchen ventures, leave some sitting out when you’re cooking.

For the feat of trying to get rid of odor, pour about 1/2 cup in several bowls and set them around the kitchen.

Leave them overnight and you should wake up to the smell being gone.

If you want to speed up the process, combine a mixture of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar with water and simmer on the stove for about 1/2 hour to 1 hour.

For the mixture add 1 Tablespoon of vinegar for every 1 cup of water.

Do the laundry

lady doing laundry turn on washer

If you aren’t a cigarette smoker, it is likely that the smell of cigarette smoke overwhelms you.

Have you ever went out and sat in a place where smokers are allowed, and when you got home that is all you could smell?

When I was younger and smoking was allowed in many more places than it is now, I could even smell it in my hair and I couldn’t sleep until I took a shower to wash the smell out.

It is no different with our clothes. Until you wash clothes that have been in a small area with the smoke, they are going to smell like smoke.

Distinct smells have a tendency to attach themself to the fabric. We think the smell is all over the house when it really is in our clothes so it goes where we go.

Try washing your clothes to see if this may be the case with the kitchen odor. It may have just settled in the fabric and can be easily removed when it is laundered.

Baking soda has a strong reputation of removing odor

baking soda in glass bowl with wooden spoon

Baking soda has been used for years to neutralize odor in various places, including leaving an open box in the refrigerator and freezer to keep from getting a strong whiff of onion or other unpleasant smells when you open the door.

You can keep it super simple and set around a couple of bowls of baking soda on the kitchen cabinets.

Or you can step up your game with a little extra effort and make your own baking soda air freshener.

I use a small slow cooker (commonly known as a crockpot).

Create a mixture of 3-4 Tablespoons of baking soda with enough water to make a thick liquid. Pour it in the slow cooker and leave the lid off, turn the cook setting on low, and let it do its work.

The warm baking soda will pull the odor out of the air until it is completely gone.

If you want to not only pull the odor out of the air but infuse the air with a nice fragrance, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the mixture.

You can also add your favorite spices to the mixture if you don’t have essential oils on hand or prefer to use natural spices.

Empty the trash can

lady taking the kitchen trash can outside to empty it

To get rid of the foul smell, anything associated with it must be removed from the kitchen first.

Empty the trash can to the outside dumpster to be sure nothing is left that could be keeping the smell alive and active.

Use an all-natural chef’s candle

Chef’s candles are made to neutralize unpleasant odors in the air and specifically in the kitchen.

They come in unscented and scented.

Many people don’t like to add an unnatural scent to their kitchen air, so in this case, a basic unscented odor neutralizing candle is best.

Candles can scare some people because of the open flame so while they are another option, keep in mind they are only one of many options!

Top Amazon pick for a chef’s candle

Have you ever cooked a meal that created a smell you couldn’t stand after the meal was eaten and the dishes were done?

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