Cooking dinner for your family is excellent, but you don’t want yourself and the entire house smelling like it! The strong odour of fish remains on the walls, your couch smells like the curry spices you experimented on last night, and everything else feels greasy. Worry not. There’s always a way to eliminate cooking smells and prevent them from sticking around.
Instant Deodorisers to Eliminate Cooking Smells
There’s no use making your kitchen look expensive and chic if it doesn’t smell like one. So, give these odour busters a go the next time you’re playing home cook.
1. Clean up right away
OK, this one is a giveaway, but I’m quite sure we’ve all been guilty of saying “the dishes can wait”. In commercial kitchens, the number one rule is CLAYGO: clean as you go. Wiping spills immediately when you make them or washing the dishes while your dinner is in the oven helps saves clean-up time and prevents cooking smells from lingering. So, multitask and tidy up when you can. Also, don’t forget to take out the trash and clean the sink.
2. Brew coffee
I like walking in and out of cafes, not only for the cuppa I’m about to enjoy but also for the aroma of freshly ground beans. So, try this technique the next time your kitchen smells funky: put ground coffee in small bowls then place them all over your benchtop. And if your friends are coming over, why not serve them brewed coffee instead? This strategy will get rid of kitchen odours and impress your guests with your coffee-making skills at the same time.
3. Bake cookies
The smell of butter, sugar and vanilla together in a hot oven is a quick-fix for a smelly kitchen, not to mention a quick solution for cookie cravings. You can try baking bread or cinnamon rolls, too. Make sure to try this method when you’re not using the oven for cooking lunch. This way, your chocolate chip cookies will not end up tasting like roasted chicken.
4. Simmer some baking soda
We know how baking soda can keep our fridges smelling fresh. And you can use it to eliminate cooking smells, too. Just like the coffee ground trick, fill small bowls with baking soda and place them in different corners of your kitchen to absorb unpleasant odours. For stronger cooking smells, however, a stovetop air freshener with baking soda is more potent. Try this by filling your crockpot, slow cooker or saucepan with water, stir in a few tablespoons of baking soda, then let the mixture simmer on low heat with the lid off. You can even add a few drops of essential oil to make your kitchen smell like mint or rosemary.
5. Use spice power
Whole spices are not only for cooking but also for getting rid of kitchen odours. You can boil your preferred spice in water to make your DIY potpourri, but my favourite would have to be the classic orange peel, cinnamon stick and clove combo. It cures my kitchen odour problem and leaves the entire house smelling like Christmas.
6. Try vinegar magic
White distilled vinegar is yet another tried-and-tested way to eliminate cooking smells. You can pour it in small bowls to absorb odours, or boil it with water in an uncovered saucepan for several minutes. The acidic vinegar steam easily attracts the odours in your kitchen as they are mainly alkaline.
Prevent Rather Than Eliminate Cooking Smells
While you can always eliminate cooking smells with these useful methods, prevention is still the best cure. So, do these simple suggestions before you start frying that fish!
Isolate and ventilate
Smoke and smell can easily cling to your cabinets, walls and towels if they are free to go anywhere in your home. So, before cooking, make sure to keep your bedroom doors and closets shut. Next, open up your kitchen windows and doors to let air circulate. If you have an exhaust or vent over your stove, turn it on while you’re cooking. Another method to prevent odours from staying in is to drive them away with a portable fan. Set up your fan somewhere where it can let the air out of the window.
Plugged in an air purifier
Investing in a portable air purifier is another solution to prevent a smelly kitchen. Aside from deodorising your kitchen and driving unpleasant smoke away, some air purifiers can also protect your home from bacteria, viruses or moulds.
Light a candle or use charcoal
Lighting herbal or citrus-scented candles can also prevent those pesky kitchen smells from sticking to your cabinets and walls. A cheaper alternative though is bowls or charcoal on your benchtop. You can opt for those attractive charcoal blocks or sticks available in the market, but regular charcoal should be sufficient, as long as it’s mesquite and additive-free.
Cook with a splatter screen
Finally, if you can find a splatter screen with a charcoal or carbon filter, it’s best to have one on hand. This ingenious kitchen tool will absorb smells and prevent spills from getting to your benchtop at the same time.