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How to Get Rid of Cooking Smells in Your House

How to Get Rid of Cooking Smells in Your House - Proline Range Hoods

The smells from cooking in your home can be overpowering and make it difficult to enjoy your favorite meal. They can linger in the air for hours, or even days.

We've all been there. You're cooking a delicious meal for your family or friends when suddenly you realize that the cooking smells are really strong and are going to linger. Whether it's garlic or onions, fish or meat - the things we love to eat can make our homes smell like them too!

At the end of the day, you want your home to be a nice place for everyone to relax and enjoy your delicious food, but the cooking smells just won’t go away.

Luckily, we have a few solutions for you. Here are 12 tips to get rid of those pesky cooking smells once and for all.

Turn on your range hood.

Under Cabinet Range Hood - How to Get Rid of Cooking Smells in Your House
PLJW 117

A professional range hood is the best way to remove pesky cooking smells from your kitchen. Not only can you turn it on at the push of a button, but the hood will offer much more efficient ventilation than opening windows.

Hoods mount directly above the stove top, the main source of smoke, contaminants, and odors. So, the vast majority of smells, grease, and cooking exhaust will be vented outside your home.

To remove cooking smells most efficiently, we recommend ducting your hood to the outside. A ductless range hood will neutralize some odors and contaminants, but not as much as ducted hoods.

Open windows and doors when cooking.

This is the easiest way to get rid of cooking smells in your kitchen. Anyone can do it! But it will be a hassle to open a bunch of windows and doors every time it gets smoky in your kitchen. That’s why we recommend a range hood, but opening doors can help too.

To improve ventilation, make sure to open windows before you start cooking. Then you can minimize the amount of smoke and odors that build as you cook.

For more ideas on improving your indoor air quality, check out 16 ways right here.

Related: Should I leave my air purifier on all the time?

Take out your trash.

It might seem obvious, but trash can have a pretty unbearable smell if it’s left out too long. Old food in your trash can have an intense odor that gets worse the longer it sits in your kitchen. Just take it out regularly and see if the smell improves.

Clean your stove, microwave, toaster oven, counters, and floors.

Before you spend a pretty penny on air fresheners and other deodorizing products, make sure to clean your kitchen thoroughly. This includes your stove, microwave, toaster oven, and other appliances. You’ll also want to wipe down your counters and floors.

Stuck food or spills will start to smell if left unattended, so it’s important to keep your kitchen squeaky clean.

If you are going to clean anything, start with the stove and the oven. That way you won’t have to worry about baked on stains or tough grease that prevents you from cooking comfortably.

In general, start with the appliances or areas of your kitchen that you use the most.

Ready to tackle even the toughest kitchen grease? Click here for our top degreaser recommendations.

Run and empty your dishwasher.

Open Dishwasher and PLJW 185
PLJW 185 Under Cabinet Hood

One appliance that often gets overlooked is your dishwasher. When you load your dishwasher, be sure to run it the same day it's loaded. This will make it much easier to manage the strong smells in your kitchen.

If left for too long, dishes in your dishwasher will 1) be much more difficult to clean and 2) start to smell up the whole kitchen.

The baked-on food will harden and start to get old and gross. You don’t want that! I like to run my dishwasher in the late evening and unload it in the morning. That way I can load dishes all day as I eat meals. Then at the end of the day, the dishwasher gets full and I can run it.

But do what works for you. If you use more dishes or cook quite often, you might need to run a couple of loads. To save space in your dishwasher, hand wash the big pans. Then you’ll be able to fit more in your dishwasher and in turn keep your kitchen smelling fresh.

Set a bowl of vinegar out on your stove overnight.

Now for a few DIY strategies. If the above techniques don’t work for you, place a bowl of white vinegar out on your stove overnight. About two cups work just fine.

If you just use a couple of cups, this will keep the vinegar smell down. After 24 hours most of your cooking smells and the vinegar should dissipate.

Leave a bowl of coffee grounds on your stovetop or counter overnight.

Another DIY solution is to use coffee grounds. Coffee grounds contain 2% nitrogen which helps neutralize cooking odors. All you need to do is leave a bowl of them out or a baking sheet with a thin layer of coffee grounds.

Let it sit out for an entire day and you should see results. Start with overnight and then keep them out if you still have some lingering food smells.

Simmer lemon and cinnamon sticks in water on your stove.

A third DIY solution is simmering lemon and cinnamon sticks in water. Lemons have a strong citrus odor that will neutralize just about any smell. Fill a saucepan or large pot with water and toss a few lemon slices in there.

Then bring the water to a boil and turn it back to low heat. Add cinnamon sticks to help neutralize the odors more effectively.

The longer you leave this DIY mixture on the stove, the more water you’ll want in the pot. You don’t want it to evaporate. That’s why a large pot like the ones you use to boil water for spaghetti is useful here.

Just the lemon peels would work, too. But you can just throw the entire lemon slices in there too.

Leave out a bowl of baking soda overnight.

By now you know that coffee grounds and vinegar do the trick when it comes to eliminating cooking odors. If you are looking for another alternative, give baking soda a shot. It naturally neutralizes the odors of any food in your home from strong bases to strong acids.

The best part is, instead of masking the smell, it absorbs the odors. So baking soda is incredibly effective at deodorizing your air.

Store and seal your food tightly.

Be sure to store and seal your food in airtight bags and containers. Leaving a bunch of food out can result in an unpleasant mixture of all kinds of smells. You don’t want these lingering in your kitchen.

Throw out old food.

None of these strategies will do you much good if you don’t eliminate the source of the pungent cooking odors. Often that can be old food. Keep in mind that it may not be in your fridge and freezer. You might also find moldy bread in your cabinets or pantry. This can be especially nasty if it comes into contact with moisture.

So if you’re struggling to keep cooking smells at bay, do a thorough check through all your cabinets, your fridge, and freezer. This way you can kill two birds with one stone: throw out old food and organize everything else too!

Invest in an air purifier.

If you still need to tackle pesky cooking odors by now, then try an air purifier.

You can find high-quality air purifiers today that feature activated carbon filters to eliminate strong cooking odors.

Click on this link to check out some of the best air purifiers on the market for cooking smells.

Make sure the air purifier has a carbon filter, though. If it doesn’t, it won’t be effective at removing cooking smells. Learn more about how air purifiers eliminate odor here.

Clean your sink and garbage disposal.

PLJW 109 in Large Kitchen with Granite Countertops
PLJW 109 Under Cabinet Hood

The sink and garbage disposal (see also 'How To Install A Garbage Disposal') is often one of the most neglected areas of your kitchen. Sure, you may clean the stove or microwave every week, or maybe sweep the floors. But not many people take the time to clean out the sink.

Every time you wash food off your dishes or rinse something in the sink, you’ll leave behind some food particles. This can smell pretty repulsive over time if you don’t clean your sink properly.

All you have to do is scrub the sink with dish soap and water and make sure all the food particles are down the drain.

If you use the garbage disposal often, food particles may slowly build up there too. You can toss a half lemon in your disposal and then run it for a quick clean.

If you don’t have a lemon, try baking soda and vinegar. Pour a half cup of baking soda in the disposal and then let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Then pour one cup of vinegar down the drain.

Wait for three to five minutes, then turn on some running water.

Make sure your fridge and freezer are set to the appropriate temperature.

Most people won’t have this issue, but it can happen! When my fridge stopped cooling, the side of the refrigerator door got incredibly hot. There was almost no temperature difference between the indoor air and the air inside the fridge.

If you suspect something’s wrong with your freezer, you may notice that food starts to melt or thaw.

According to the FDA, your fridge should be about 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Your freezer should be at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Again, you don’t need a thermometer for this. Just take out a few foods or liquids and determine if they feel warm or thawed.

If all else fails...

If all this doesn’t solve it you might have bigger problems. It could be leaky plumbing or mold or a dead mouse hiding somewhere...the list goes on. You might need a professional to inspect your home.

If you suspect plumbing is the problem, take a look at our plumbing inspection checklist so you know what to keep a close eye on for the future. This checklist will help prevent mold growth and keep leaks at bay.

How do you get the fried food smell out of your house?

Galley Kitchen with Under Cabinet Range Hood
PLJW 109

To get the fried food smell out of your house, invest in a high-powered range hood. We recommend at least 900 CFM to vent the strong odors and cooking exhaust from your kitchen. A range hood with variable speed is fantastic because you can save the highest speed for the worst smells and smoke.

You can also look for a hood with auto-shutoff which runs your hood for five minutes after you’re done cooking. This catches all the lingering smoke and odors that weren't captured while you were cooking.

If the range hood alone isn’t enough, try leaving out a bowl of baking soda or vinegar on your stovetop overnight. Baking soda and vinegar are both great at trapping cooking odors leaving your air smelling clean and fresh.

What is the best thing to absorb odors?

Vinegar, baking soda, and coffee grounds are effective natural deodorizers. Simply leave a bowl of any of these out overnight to absorb most if not all of your cooking odors. Set it in a central area like your kitchen island or on your stovetop. You can leave the bowl out for 24 hours if you’re dealing with intense cooking smells.

What can I boil to get rid of cooking smells?

Lemon slices and cinnamon sticks are two great foods to boil in water. They have strong smells that will neutralize the harsh cooking odors in your kitchen. You can also boil one part vinegar and one part water to eliminate cooking odors in a pinch.

Do air purifiers get rid of cooking smells?

Yes, quality air purifiers have carbon filters that neutralize odors and filter contaminants from your kitchen air. They are a great option to keep heavy grease, contaminants, and odors at bay. Click here to browse 12 of the best air purifiers for cooking odors on the market.

Thanks for reading! If you found any of our tips helpful, check out more of our home improvement articles below!

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How do you get the fried food smell out of your house?

To get the fried food smell out of your house, invest in a high-powered range hood. We recommend at least 900 CFM to vent the strong odors and cooking exhaust from your kitchen. A range hood with variable speed is fantastic because you can save the highest speed for the worst smells and smoke.

What is the best thing to absorb odors?

Vinegar, baking soda, and coffee grounds are effective natural deodorizers. Simply leave a bowl of any of these out overnight to absorb most if not all of your cooking odors. Set it in a central area like your kitchen island or on your stovetop. You can leave the bowl out for 24 hours if you’re dealing with intense cooking smells.

What can I boil to get rid of cooking smells?

Lemon slices and cinnamon sticks are two great foods to boil in water. They have strong smells that will neutralize the harsh cooking odors in your kitchen. You can also boil one part vinegar and one part water to eliminate cooking odors in a pinch.

Do air purifiers get rid of cooking smells?

Yes, quality air purifiers have carbon filters that neutralize odors and filter contaminants from your kitchen air. They are a great option to keep heavy grease, contaminants, and odors at bay. Click here to browse 12 of the best air purifiers for cooking odors on the market.
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