smelly kitchen

How to Get Rid of Cooking Smells in Your House

After a night of fine dining, the last thing you want to come down to in the morning is the stench of the cooking you did the evening before!

Whether it be your best fishy cuisine, curry or your exquisite roasted leg of lamb, the stink can be quite overwhelming.

In fact, the odoriferous pong can be enough to put you off making the meal again. Yuck!

So, how do you get rid of the cooking smells in your house, so you don’t have to feel nauseous? Keep on reading to discover how you can neutralise unpleasant odours in your home.


1. Clear Away Waste Food

disposing leftover food

When you’re done eating your meal you should pack away or dispose of any leftover food.

You can either keep it and use it up the next day, or pop it in a food waste bag and take it to the food bin outside.

Don’t just leave the food sitting on the worktop because it’ll start to go off, and the smell will start creeping around your whole house in the meantime.


2. Wash the dishes

washing the dishes

A simple way to remove odours is to clean all plates, cutlery, utensils and chopping boards you used to prepare and eat the meal with.

These tools will be completely covered in juices, stinky spices and oils, so they need to be cleaned!

Don’t leave the washing up until the next day because you’ll have a right stink to manage. And the greasy dishes will also take more time to clean because the dirt will have hardened.


3. Wipe Down the Sink

wiping kitchen sink

After you’ve done the dishes, it’s worth cleaning the sink itself and any sink bowls you’ve used.

These surfaces are often smeared with food remains. You need to get rid of this muck, so you can remove the smell.

In addition to cleaning the sink and bowl with regular washing up liquid and warm water, you can also clean the drain and pipework with bicarbonate of soda.

Simply pop two spoonfuls of bicarbonate of soda down the plughole with some boiling water, and then stick two cups of white vinegar down the drain to make sure the pipework is cleared out.

The vinegar will help to neutralise bad odours that are coming up through the plug hole.


4. Wipe All Surfaces Clean in Your Kitchen

cleaning kitchen surfaces

When you’re done cooking your extra pungent meal, you should clean all the surfaces the meal/utensils have come into contact with.

Little splatterings can often go unnoticed for weeks, and they can be the main cause of your whiffy problem.

So, clean your stove top, wipe the oven clean, worktops, cabinets(!), wash the oven door, and wipe the microwave down.


5. Change the Filter on Your Kitchen Extractor Fan

extractor fan filter

If you’ve been cooking a particularly pungent meal, but your extractor fan hasn’t been taking out the odour, you need to clean the fan and replace the filter.

Once you’ve done this, you can pop the fan on and it should remove the nasty smells for you.


6. Boil a Lemon to Remove Cooking Smells from the House

boiling lemons

To remove aromas from your kitchen just cut a lemon into quarters, pop it in some water, bring the water to the boil, and then let the lemony water simmer on the stove.

As an extra step, you can add a spoonful of bicarbonate of soda to the water to neutralise the smell even more.


7. Leave a Bowl of Bicarbonate of Soda Out Overnight

bicarbonate of soda

Bicarbonate of soda is often used to neutralise pongy odours. So, if you’d like to try this method just fill a few shallow bowls up with two spoonfuls of bicarb each.

Then leave the bowls in different locations in your kitchen overnight. In the morning you should notice that foodie smell has gone.


8. Boil Some Vinegar

boiling vinegar

Vinegar can be used to remove some of the peskiest of odours.

To use vinegar to neutralise the cooking smells in your home, pour half a cup of vinegar into a saucepan, add a cup of water to the saucepan, and boil the mixture. Then let the hot mix sit on the cooker top for a few hours.

Once the mixture and the saucepan have gone cold, you can keep them on top of the stove/worktop, so the vinegar can continue to whittle away the cooking odours throughout the night.


9. Open Windows and the Back Door

open kitchen windows

A very easy way to remove cooking odours is to open the back door and the kitchen windows, so you can leave clean air into the space. It’s important that you allow plenty of fresh air into your abode.

Note: As you cook your pungent meal it is worth closing the interior doors in your home, so the smell doesn’t work its way into the other rooms as much.


10. Light Some Scented Candles

scented candles

If you’ve got a spare candle or two at home, pop them on to eradicate the stinky food smells from your house. Try to light a particularly smelly candle, something like cinnamon or lavender.

Or you could buy a Chef’s Candle that is designed to remove odours from your kitchen as you cook and after you’ve cooked. The candles can be bought in different scents, and you can also buy them in jars, tins and in tea light form.

If you don’t cook too many odorful meals, perhaps the tea light version would be better because you could use a single candle as and when you needed to. And the rest could be packed away for another time!


11. Create and Boil Potpourri


An effective way to draw out bad smells is to make your own potpourri, and boil it on the stove.

Try to use fruit peels, like those of apples and lemons, add some cinnamon sticks and rosemary too to make the potpourri extra smelly, but in a good way!

You can let the potpourri go cold, and then you can let it sit in your kitchen overnight, so it can keep on removing aromas for you.


12. Use Ground Coffee to Remove Food Smells

ground coffee on worktop

If you’ve got some leftover ground coffee use this to neutralise the bad aromas in your home.

Simply spread the ground coffee out onto a thin tray, and leave it to rest on the kitchen worktop overnight.


13. Cook or Bake Something that Smells Nice

baked dessert

If you’ve created a lavish dinner, then you need to create an exquisite dessert to go alongside it!

What’s better is the fact that you can create a dessert that’s extra smelly, so it can mask the less favourable stinks in your kitchen! Baked cookies, vanilla rich goodies, or even cinnamon churros will work a treat… yummy!


14. Use an Air Freshener

air freshener

As a backup option you could buy an off-the-shelf air freshener, and squirt this around your home to remove the cooking odours. Just pick something extra stinky (in the good way), so it does actually remove the pesky smells.


15. Remove Food Wrappers and Rubbish

trash bin

It’s worth cleaning any empty food wrappers and tins you’ve got left behind once you’ve started cooking your meal. And although this may seem like an extra task, doing this will remove any smelly juices from the packaging. And hopefully the packets won’t be too unpleasant when you add them to your rubbish bin.

On that note, if you’ve added lots of odourful packaging to your bin, it is best to take the rubbish bag out and pop it outside when you’re done preparing your meal.

The packaging, although you’ve cleaned it, may not be completely stink-free, so eventually it’ll make the bin smell.

When you mix your regular waste with this new whiffy waste, your nostrils will be in for one massive assault! Yuck!

Always take out the bag in your indoor food caddy if you’ve scraped leftover food into it. By morning the contents of the little bin will be humming.

You should also check and clean up any leaks that may be in your rubbish bin or caddy. If left to their own devices, these leaks can create a right stink!


16. Buy an Air Purifier

air purifier

If you’re going to be cooking a lot of smelly dishes, it may be worth investing in an air purifier that comes with a carbon filter. You could keep this air purifier in the kitchen and use it when you’re preparing smelly food.


17. Use Potatoes to Deodorise Your Home

potatoes and salt

Interestingly, if you cut a few spuds in half, pop them on a plate all around your kitchen, and cover them with salt, they’ll remove cooking smells from the room.

Note: You’ll likely have to try a combination of the suggestions above to remove the ghastly aroma from your home.


How to Cook Without Making Your Home Smell

cooking smell

If you want to keep your home as odour free as possible when you cook, try some of the methods below:

  • Use the extractor fan above your cooker.
  • Open plenty of windows and the back door.
  • Try leaving bicarbonate of soda/vinegar on the worktop as you cook, so it’ll absorb the smell.
  • Boil lemons as you cook to neutralise the odour.
  • Mop up any spills as soon as possible – don’t allow them to linger!
  • Boil a mini potpourri as you prepare your meal.
  • Leave ground coffee in bowls around your kitchen and home as you cook.
  • Shut doors, so the smell doesn’t permeate through the house.
  • Wash the dishes and utensils as you cook.
  • Keep an eye on your food, so it doesn’t burn.

Note: You’ll likely have to try a few of the suggestions above to remove a lot of the unpleasant aroma from your home.


What Absorbs Smells in a Room?

ground coffee and bicarbonate of soda

Here’s what you can use to absorb bad smells in your room:

  • Ground coffee
  • Bicarbonate of soda


Does Boiling Vinegar Remove Odours?

boiling vinegar to remove odour

Yes, boiling half a cup of vinegar in a cup of water can remove pesky odours from your home.

For extra unpleasant smells, you can leave the vinegar and water mixture on top of the stove overnight, so it has more time to cleanse the air.

(Do not leave the hob on, switch it off before you leave the saucepan alone for the night!)