As great as home cooking is, it can often result in odours being left in the kitchen. The best-tasting foods turn out great, but in return, make the kitchen smell a lot less than fresh. Although you may know how to spring clean the kitchen like a pro, these smells will still occur while cooking, but when the smell lingers for hours and possibly days after, it can become off-putting. Fortunately, you don’t have to stop making your favourite foods. But you may have to alter your kitchen cleaning routine. This is why we have come up with some simple ways that you can try to get rid of these odours with items that you likely already have in the house.
Vinegar does wonders for household cleaning, and in this case, it can help get rid of any smell. If smells of fish stick to a pan or utensils used to cook, wash them with warm water and vinegar. You can use a mix of vinegar and lemon juice to wipe most surfaces that would have come into contact with the food you prepared, like all of the kitchen countertops and stovetops.
Vinegar neutralises airborne odours in the air; try placing a pot on the stove and filling it with a cup of water and 3 tablespoons of vinegar. Bring the liquid to a boil for a few minutes, or enough for the steam to waft through the kitchen. It should eradicate the odour.
You can read here if you would like to know how to clean your gas stove tops.
2. Create An Aromatic
Even though it’s a neutraliser, vinegar can often have a strong smell, so you may want to add something to make it more aromatic. You can create a more pleasing smell with cinnamon. Simply add a cup of water to a pot with 3 cups of vinegar and a handful of cinnamon sticks to simmer for a couple of hours. The vinegar will work to break up the strong-smelling odours and the cinnamon will give off a delightful scent.
If you use the same cooking pot that was used for cooking a strong-smelling meal, this technique will freshen the air and break down lingering oils and the smell of the pot. Vinegar can also be swapped out for other aromatics too.
Simmer 3 cups of water, a whole sliced lemon, and a cinnamon stick for half an hour. Alternatively, you can use powdered cinnamon, or even lime/orange slices. If you have fresh mint leaves on hand, they can work too.
For more tips about burnt pots, you may want to read how to clean a burnt pot here.
If you place a bowl of unbrewed coffee grounds out in the open kitchen, you can neutralise a curry odour. You can take this a step further by making a cup of coffee, which includes grinding the beans and brewing them. This should also work for smells like garlic and bacon too.
If the stench is coming from your oven, a little bit of vanilla will help. Simply place a cup of water in an ovenproof cup, add 3 to 4 drops of vanilla essence to it, and allow it to heat slowly in the oven. Within a few minutes, the oven will begin to smell clean again.
You will want to heat the oven to at least 148°C or a bit less.
5. Fresh Air
Although this step may be the most obvious one, it’s something we sometimes don’t think of when we start cooking. Unless the weather is bad, open your windows and kitchen doors before you begin preparing your favourite meal, especially if it produces a strong smell. This will circulate the air in the kitchen and let strong odours escape.
Sometimes you may not know beforehand that you should create circulation in the kitchen if you’re going to cook a strong-smelling meal, or even burnt food that was not anticipated. Get air circulating before heating the oil. Open up the windows with a fan pulling air to the windows, and close the other doors of your home if necessary.
Also, it’s best to clean up as soon as possible, especially getting rid of any oil once it’s cooled down. Throw away paper towels or smelly items in an outside bin if possible. Wipe down countertops, stovetops, the surrounding walls, and anything else that could have grease splatters. As soon as you’re done eating, put the leftovers in the fridge so that they aren’t left out to continue smelling up your kitchen.
If possible, start with freshening aroma techniques on the same night. Boil vinegar and water, citrus fruits, or spices to replace the foul smells.
And if you need help with kitchen clean-up, but your lifestyle doesn’t allow you the time, you can always book a professional kitchen clean with SweepSouth, so you can spend more time doing the things you love.