How to Get Rid of Smells in the Kitchen- Causes and Solutions

How to Get Rid of Smells in the Kitchen- Causes and Solutions

The wonderful smells that bring life to kitchens are the beautiful mix of sizzling spices and the enchanting dance of garlic and herbs. But occasionally, the cooking symphony loses its balance, leaving behind a melody of unpleasant smells. Whether it’s the lasting essence of fried garlic or the tenacity of a fiery curry, kitchen smells can seep into the air and into clothes, fabrics, and even our memories.

Don’t be scared, my fellow cooks and kitchen lovers! This detailed guide gives you all the information you need to get rid of with any cooking smells in your kitchen, so your haven of delicious food stays a haven of clean, energising air.

Smell Culprits and Kitchen Sources

Before we engage in a battle against the invading scents, let us first uncover the origin of their wicked operations. Among the offenders that commonly pollute our kitchens with odours are:

  • Ingredients that are spicy and smell good: Garlic, peppers, onions, and curry spices give our food a kick and a pleasant smell. These food offenders have a reputation for having very appealing smells. Their vital oils stick to surfaces and easily drift away as they evaporate.
  • Burning and charring: Releasing an acrid smoke, overheated oils and fats burn and char, infiltrating every nook and cranny.
  • Stale leftovers and unwashed surfaces: Leftovers, surfaces unwashed, and food debris harbouring odour-producing bacteria lead to that musky smell of an old kitchen.
  • Gas leaks: Although they are luckily uncommon, gas leaks have the potential to release a pronounced aroma that is reminiscent of sulphur. If you have any reason to believe that the gas is leaking, it is of the utmost importance that you immediately turn off the gas supply and get in touch with a qualified specialist for assistance.

Mastering the Art of Airflow

You might find the humble range hood and a strategically placed window in your kitchen. At first glance, they may seem unassuming, but when it comes to tackling those lingering cooking smells, they hold great power. Comprehending airflow and capitalising on it is critical for effectively regulating odours. By mastering this skill, you can transform your kitchen into a haven of fresh air, even when experimenting with the most aromatic culinary creations.

Understanding Airflow Dynamics

It’s important to understand what the problem is—the continuous presence of odour molecules—before we turn on our ventilation system. These smelly substances tend to stay around for a long time in still air, sticking to different surfaces and spreading scents around your kitchen. Our goal is to get rid of their influence by making sure that fresh air flows continuously. This will get rid of these kitchen smells quickly, before they can create a strong and unpleasant presence.

The Range Hood

Your range hood is the frontline commander in the battle against kitchen smells. Here’s how to ensure it operates at peak efficiency:

The Key Role of Position: In order to capture all of the smoke and fumes that are rising, you need to make sure that your range hood is positioned properly over your hob. A good rule of thumb is that the bottom of the hood should be between 24 and 30 inches above the surface that is being used for cooking.

Fan Power: It is important that the CFM (cubic feet per minute) rating of a range hood be proportional to the size and intensity of the activities that take place within the kitchen regarding food preparation. Generally speaking, a CFM value of 300–400 is recommended for a regular kitchen. However, a CFM rating of 600 or greater may be necessary for bigger kitchens or kitchens that contain gas appliances.

Fan speed is:  Adjust the speed of the fan to meet your requirements for cooking. It is acceptable to use low speeds for pots that are boiling or for moderate sautéing, but high speeds are ideal for grilling or stir-frying. It is important to keep in mind that the faster the fan is, the more effective it is at removing odours.

Don’t Be Shy: Turn it On Early! Don’t wait for the first whiff of garlic to activate your hood. Please turn it on before, during, and after cooking to ensure continuous air circulation and prevent odour build-up.

Open Windows – Nature’s Fresh Air Artillery:

As a natural protection against cooking smells, windows are your best friend. Here’s how to leverage their power:

Cross-Ventilation: Open the windows on opposing sides of the kitchen to let in a cool breeze. This generates a cross-current that successfully removes smells and brings in fresh air.

The timing is crucial:. Keep the windows open when cooking intensely, such as when searing meat or stir-frying with aromatic spices. Shut them when baking or simmering to keep heat contained and avoid drafts shortening cooking times.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Cold: Opening your windows and letting in some fresh air is perfectly acceptable even in the winter. Even if it doesn’t change the temperature much, opening the windows for a few minutes will significantly enhance the air quality in the kitchen.

Beyond the Basics: Advanced Airflow Tactics

For seasoned odour-battling chefs, here are some advanced airflow techniques:

  • Booster Fans: Consider installing booster fans near your cooktop or exhaust vents to provide an extra push of air circulation.
  • Downdraft Ventilation: If your stove is on an island or far from a wall, downdraft ventilation systems are an excellent way to eliminate smells from the stove itself.
  • Ceiling Fans: Even if they don’t directly target smoke and fumes, ceiling fans can help move air around the kitchen, spreading and masking smells.

Remember that constancy is essential. When you open your windows and ventilation system before and after cooking, you let in a steady flow of fresh air that keeps your kitchen from smelly. With some skill and careful airflow adjustment, you can turn your kitchen into a fragrant haven where the only smells that stay are those of your delicious cooking.

Natural Odour Absorbers at Your Fingertips

Many natural odour blockers in the world can eliminate these bad smells and keep your kitchen smelling clean. Let’s learn more about these great-smelling friends:

Basic Baking Soda: This one-use cooking item isn’t just for baking! Because it is porous, it is excellent at absorbing smells. Just put bowls of baking soda all over the kitchen, especially where the smell is coming from. For best results, change them every couple of days.

Advancing Acidic: Apple cider vinegar: Because it is acidic, it gets rid of strong smells. Leave a bowl of white vinegar on the counter or heat up a weaker solution. The steam not only takes in smells but also gives off a fresh, clean scent.

Coffee Grounds for the Stubborn Scents: Coffee grounds that have just been made are more than just a way to wake up in the morning. They’re great at getting rid of smells! You can put them in a bowl or a bag near the smell, like garlic or fish, and let them do their thing.

Citrus Peel Powerhouse: Citrus peels (orange, lemon, and grapefruit) serve a purpose beyond mere flavour enhancement. Simmering them in water releases their citrusy notes, effectively masking unpleasant odours. Additionally, it provides the kitchen with a pleasant aroma.

The Symphony of Spices: When it comes to the natural elimination of smells, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon sticks are some of the substances that are included in the Symphony of Spices. Through the process of simmering them together, it is possible to produce a potpourri that not only reduces bad odours but also produces a pleasant perfume.

Pleasant Smells to Hide the Bad

It’s not always enough to neutralise. Use the strength of lovely smells to get rid of smells that linger:

  • Let natural flowers simmer: Putting cinnamon sticks, cloves, and citrus peels in water will make the smell warm and welcoming.
  • Disperse essential oils: To add a touch of renewal, choose scents that wake you up, like peppermint, lemon, or eucalyptus.
  • Candles that smell like different things: For a soft, long-lasting smell, choose natural beeswax candles that have been scented with essential oils.

Deep Dives and Surface Skimming

To keep smells from building up, clean surfaces often, wash dishes quickly and throw away food scraps. Pay close attention to:

  • The cooker and the oven: Wipe up any spills or splatters after each use. Use the right cleaners to clean your oven regularly.
  • Removing trash: Use cold water and orange peels to clean out the drain and remove food particles.
  • Cans for trash: Line your trash cans with trash bags that eliminate smells, and clean them often with cleaning wipes.

Proactive Prevention: Ways to Make the Future Smell-Free

  • Put down simmer mats: Putting these carefully made pads under pots and pans will soak up spills and splatters, reducing the amount of burned-on residue that can give off smells later.
  • Boil water with lemon peels or vinegar in it before and after cooking: This proactive method gets rid of smells before they become a problem.
  • How to store herbs: Strong smells can’t get out of airtight packages and spread through your pantry.


It is with great confidence that you can handle any smell in the kitchen that tries to test your cooking skills after reading this guide. Remember that prevention is critical, but sometimes even the most experienced cooks have to deal with smells different from what they seem to be. Use natural smell-removing substances, airflow, and pleasant smells to keep your kitchen a place where you can breathe easily and enjoy your food. So, take a deep breath, cook without fear, and let your culinary products take centre stage without any smells getting in the way.


How can I get rid of the smell of smoke from food that has been burned?

When dealing with smoke, you need to be more aggressive:

  • For good airflow, open all the doors and windows.
  • To get rid of smoke residue, wipe down everything with a vinegar-water mix.
  • Put bowls of baking soda or activated charcoal in the area that needs help to get rid of any smoke residue that is still there.

I’m afraid of a gas leak. What must I do?

Leaky gas lines are hazardous. If you think there is a leak, act right away:

  • At the main valve, turn off the gas.
  • To let air flow through, open all the doors and windows.
  • Get everyone out of the building and call the gas company or emergency services immediately.

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