10 Ways to Clear Cooking Smells from Your Kitchen

With #NationalBaconDay coming up on December 30, it’s easy to think about all the wonderful things about the best breakfast meat. The crisp, crunchy texture, the savory taste, and the alluring aroma each contributes to the mouthwatering bacon experience.

But that alluring aroma you love so much can also be a bit annoying later on. Bacon is notorious for having a scent that hangs around long after cooking. Fortunately, it’s one of many odors that are easy to clear out if you have a few tricks up your sleeve. Check out the following guide to easy solutions to clear cooking smells our of your kitchen and home.

10 Ways to Clear Cooking Smells


Potatoes are another breakfast favorite. Slice them, dice them, and fry them and you’ve got some tasty hash browns to go with your bacon. In addition to the delicious flavor, however, potatoes also offer odor-absorbing properties that help keep your kitchen smelling clean and fresh.

To use this cooking smell solution, halve a potato and place it on a dish on your kitchen counter. Sprinkle a little salt over the exposed surface, and the potatoes will suck up those odors you’re ready to get rid of over the course of a few hours.

Soak Your Chopping Boards

One of the sneaky culprits when it comes to culinary odors is the cutting board. Tiny nicks and scratches become breeding grounds for bacteria once the juices from meats and vegetables seep in. Even if you scrub them in the sink or toss them in the dishwasher regularly, there could be bits of bacteria that are getting left behind. Eventually, the board will start to emit an odor, which can be transferred to your hands, your utensils, and your food.

To give your chopping boards a thorough cleaning, soak them overnight in a bath of hot water. Add a drop of bleach to sanitize the boards as they soak. This cleaning method should neutralize any odors.

Open Windows and Close Doors

If you need to air out your kitchen, try opening up the windows to let the air circulate more easily. If you have a fan, set it up, so it pushes air toward an open window. Don’t forget to turn on your exhaust fans as well. Close the doors to other rooms in your home for a while until the scent disappears.

Boil Citrus Peels or Cinnamon 

clear cooking smells

Want to neutralize odors and add a refreshing scent to your kitchen at the same time? Use a trick often employed by real estate agents when they’re hosting an open house and want the home to smell wonderful the moment buyers walk through the door. Simply plop a few citrus peels into a saucepan of water over low heat. Simmer for an hour or so to fill your home with a fresh, zesty scent.

Prevent an Oil Buildup on Appliances

Bacon grease may be jam-packed with flavor, but it’s also thick with strong odors that are hard to remove. When oils and grease from your cooking accumulate on your appliances, it can cause odors to hang around long after you’ve turned off the gas or electric range.

To really clear cooking smells, you’ll want to prevent an oil buildup on your kitchen appliances. Use strong cleaning agents with a fresh scent to cut through the oil on the stove, oven, microwave, and any countertops or appliances located near your cooking area.

Baking Soda

Bicarbonate of soda, better known as baking soda, is one of the most versatile products you can have in your home. In addition to being a great cleaning agent, skin exfoliant, and even insect bite reliever, baking soda works wonder for odor elimination. Just pour some baking soda into a bowl and leave it out on the kitchen counter or on a shelf in the fridge. It absorbs odors quickly and leaves behind no smell of its own, so it’s ideal for those who are sensitive to strong scents.

Invest in an Air Purifier

clear cooking smells

In addition to removing allergens from the air, a good air purifier will also help to reduce odors in your home. This machine works to minimize contaminants in the air so that fewer smells linger. Besides clearing cooking smells, your air purifier can also reduce smells from smoke, pets, mold, and other sources of unpleasant odors.

Clean the Garbage Disposal

Take a whiff in your sink near the garbage disposal. Is it possible that this kitchen contraption is contributing to the room’s smell? If so, it’s time to give it a thorough cleaning.

Begin by scrubbing the rubber baffle located at the drain opening and the sloped area at the top of the grinding chamber. Use a soapy kitchen sponge that’s slightly abrasive to remove built-up slime that accumulates in these areas. Be sure to take precautions, so the disposal is not accidentally turned on while you’re cleaning.

Next, fill the disposal chamber with ice cubes, and then pour a cup of vinegar on top. Run water into the sink and turn on the disposal. As the ice breaks up and vinegar sloshes around, it dislodges buildup in the chamber that could be creating a nasty smell inside the disposal.

Brew Some Coffee

clear cooking smells

Another handy real estate agent trick is to brew a fresh pot of coffee. It has a strong yet pleasant aroma that typically overpowers any stinky smells that may be lingering in the room. Add spices such as nutmeg or cinnamon to the coffee grounds for an even more powerful odor-eliminator (and an extra-tasty cup of joe).

Leave a Bowl of Vinegar on the Counter 

If you know you’ll be cooking something particularly smelly, leave a small bowl of vinegar on the counter near the stove. While the vinegar smell may not be the most pleasant on its own, it soaks up other odors and washes them away when you pour it down the drain later.

Whether you’re cooking bacon, fish, curry, or something else with a strong odor, there are plenty of ways to make sure the smell doesn’t become overpowering. Make your kitchen smell fresh and clean once again with these handy tips.

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