8 Ways to Get Rid of Cooking Smells

Fish, burnt food, broccoli, bacon — all leave lingering odors in your kitchen. Here's how to neutralize these unpleasant aromas. 

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This morning's sizzling bacon grease is this evening's lingering kitchen odor, and there's something less pleasing about the smell after the fact. If you're looking to neutralize hard-to-bust kitchen stink — such as fish or smoke — try some of these DIY solutions for getting rid of cooking smells in your kitchen.

person flipping bacon in a frying pan over gas stove
Getty Images/Rostislav Kuznetsov/EyeEm

1. Boil lemons.

Make a lemon steam to neutralize pungent odors. Simply cut a lemon in half, add it to a pot of boiling water, and let it simmer for ten minutes. Or if you have leftover lemon peels or bits from your cooking, you can boil those too! For even more odor elimination, sprinkle a tablespoon or so of baking soda in the water.

2. Leave a bowl of baking soda or vinegar out overnight.

If your dinner left you with stubborn smells, try leaving a bowl or two of baking soda or vinegar out on the counter overnight. You can also cook with one nearby to absorb the odor as it arises.

3. Open your windows and range hood.

This might seem obvious, but one of the best ways to get rid of odors is to waft them out of your home by opening windows and using the vent over your stove, if you have one. Be proactive and go ahead and turn on your vent and/or open some windows if you're going to be cooking smelly foods like fish or broccoli — ventilation is key!

4. Refresh your sink.

If your sink is the source, there are a number of ways to tackle the problem. Check out these seven ways to end kitchen sink stink.

5. Simmer a stovetop potpourri.

You can make your home smell inviting, even when you're cooking, without purchasing air fresheners, candles, or potpourri. Make your own stovetop potpourri using items from around your kitchen such as citrus peels, apple peels, cloves, cinnamon sticks, rosemary, etc. Add all your ingredients to a pot of water and simmer during and after cooking. Not only will the steam absorb unwanted odors, but it will help humidify the air on a dry winter's day.

6. Try a charcoal filter splatter screen.

If you're going to be frying up some bacon or fish, it's a good idea to invest in an odor-absorbing charcoal splatter screen ($20; amazon.com). Not only does this protect the stove and countertop from grease splatters, but the charcoal filter absorbs odor as you cook.

KitchenAid Gourmet Odor Absorbing Splatter Screen

Kitchenaid charcoal grease splatter filter over pan with salmon

7. Use coffee grounds.

Who doesn't already love the smell of coffee in the morning? Brewing a fresh pot or placing coffee grounds in shallow bowls around your kitchen can help absorb cooking smells.

8. Use a vinegar steam.

Similar to boiling lemons or making stovetop potpourri, vinegar steam is a great way to neutralize potent smells. Add half a cup of vinegar to one cup of water and simmer on the stove while you cook (or after) to absorb any smells in the air.


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