Curry is a delicious and spicy Indian dish popular in the United Kingdom. However, the strong spices give curries a strong and pungent odour.
When you’re hungry, this smell makes you salivate, but when the smell lingers in your home, it’s not particularly pleasant.
Unfortunately, curry smells are stubborn and can stay for extremely long periods.
Are you fed up with your clothes, carpets, and cabinets stinking of curry? Here is a complete guide on how to get rid of curry smells from all types of surfaces in your home.
Delicious spicy food and fresh-smelling homes can coexist, and here’s how!
How to Get Rid of Curry Smell from Clothes
Chances are, your clothes have absorbed some of the curry odours as you’ve cooked. Take any clothes that smell of curry and put them in the washing machine.
The secret is doing this as quickly as possible, limiting the time the odour has to spread to other surfaces around your home. Then follow the below steps:
- Wash on a cold cycle: Add laundry detergent to the washing machine and run a cold wash cycle – heat extremes help to lift curry smells from fabric.
- Add vinegar or bicarbonate of soda: At the beginning of the rinse cycle, add 100 ml of white vinegar OR 8 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to the washing machine and let the cycle run.
- Smell & repeat if needed: Once the cycle has ended, take the clothing out of the washing machine and smell your clothes. If the curry smell persists, repeat the steps above. If you’re happy with the smell, move on to step four.
- Air dry outside: Hang your wet clothes out to dry on an outside washing line. Letting your clothes air outside helps any remaining odours disappear.
If your clothes are not suitable for machine washing (always check the label), let them soak in a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar for an hour.
Alternatively, put non-machine washable clothes in a ziplock bag with an open tub of bicarbonate of soda for several days. The bicarbonate of sodA will absorb the curry smell from your garments.
How to Get Curry Smell Out of the Carpet
After your clothes and your hands smell fresh, it’s time to tackle your carpets. Carpets are one of the more porous surfaces in your home and are more likely to absorb curry smells than smooth surfaces. To eliminate the curry smell, you need to use a carpet deodoriser.
You can purchase carpet cleaner from supermarkets or online. These carpet cleaners work deep into the fibres and lift any unpleasant odours, including curry.
You can also use a homemade carpet cleaner to eliminate stubborn smells. There are many DIY cleaners, but a good solution for removing curry smells uses only two household items: bicarbonate of soda and vinegar!
- Apply bicarbonate of soda: Sprinkle a little bicarbonate of soda (also known as baking soda) over your carpet and let it sit overnight. Bicarbonate of soda absorbs odour-causing molecules, helping to remove curry smells from the carpet fibres.
- Make a vinegar solution: In the morning, make a vinegar solution by putting 250 ml of white vinegar in a spray bottle and topping it up with warm water. Shake gently to combine.
- Spray carpets with vinegar solution: Take your vinegar solution and spray the mixture on your carpets on top of the baking soda. You don’t need to soak your carpet; a gentle spritz is enough. Let the solution sit until your carpets are completely dry.
- Hoover your carpets: Once dry, take your vacuum and hoover up the bicarbonate of soda. All curry smells should lift with it, leaving you with fresh, clean carpets!
To add a pleasant scent, combine a few drops of your favourite essential oils with the bicarbonate of soda before applying it to your carpets.
Also, we recommend doing a spot test before using this method throughout your home. This ensures your carpets are suitable and won’t become damaged through cleaning.
How to Get Curry Smell Out of Cabinets
Curry smells can sink into cabinets and other hard surfaces. Thankfully, these can easily be removed by wiping down all kitchen surfaces with an odour-neutralising solution.
Citrus cleaning agents work well. Alternatively, mix equal parts white vinegar and water and spray this on your surfaces.
If the smells are still lingering in your cabinets, open a tub of bicarbonate of soda and stand it in the back of your cupboards.
Close the door and let it sit there for around three days. During this time, the bicarbonate of soda absorbs the curry smell from the surfaces.
The longer you leave it, the more deeply embedded curry aromas will be lifted.
How to Remove Curry Smell from the Air
Of course, you must remove curry smells from the air in your home. If you skip this step, the stinky odour will soon make its way back into the surfaces you’ve just worked so hard to clean!
You can use the acidity of lemon to neutralise airborne odours by following two simple steps:
- Prepare your equipment: Take a large pot of water and place it on your stove. Next, take a whole lemon and cut it into wedges using a knife. Put the lemon wedges into the pot of water.
- Simmer the solution: Bring the lemon solution to a simmer, allowing the citrus fragrance to enter the air and travel around your home. Leave it simmering for a few hours, replenishing the water and lemons as needed.
Another great solution is to purchase an air purifier with a true HEPA filter. These units filter the air and absorb odours and other airborne molecules, including allergens, pet hair, and pollutants.
This helps to remove the curry smells in your home and prevent future stinking curry smells from settling into your carpets and furniture.
We also suggest using air fresheners to help keep your home smelling clean. These come in a wide variety; you might want hassle-free plug-in fragrances, essential oil diffusers, or a simple spray bottle containing a sweet-smelling scent. Find a smell and application method that suits you!
How to Get Rid of Curry Smell from Hands
After cooking a curry, your hands likely smell of all the spices you’ve used. Therefore, the first step to a fresh-smelling home is to remove the odour from yourself. This helps prevent the smell from spreading to other surfaces and means you won’t have the smell following you around.
Getting rid of the curry smell from your hands requires more than a quick wash with soap. Instead, you need to use lemon juice!
Take a fresh lemon, cut it in half, and rub this over your hands before rinsing it off with water.
Alternatively, mix lemon juice and water in equal parts and use this solution to wash your hands. The acid in the lemon juice neutralises the amines responsible for creating odours.
Here is a word of caution: when using lemon juice, be careful to avoid cuts on your hands and fingers. The acidity of lemon activates pain receptors in the open wounds on the fingers. Even tiny wounds start to sting, so avoid these cuts where possible.
Hannah is a freelance content writer with a passion for cleaning. She worked her way around Australia by cleaning hostels in exchange for free accommodation and used her cleaning skills to bag her a job as a chalet host for a luxury ski company in France.