How To Eliminate Kitchen Odors

Kitchens can easily be smelly places. You have trash, old food, new food, and lots of hiding spots for build-up, all of which can make for a smelly kitchen. But your kitchen doesn't have to smell bad - instead it can smell fresh and clean. With a few good tips you will be on your way to a better smelling kitchen.

Step 1

Clean up. Even a clean kitchen could use a good once over and this is often the case if there are a few remaining odors. Use 1 cup lemon juice and 1 cup of water in a bowl or sprayer to clean the counters, the sinks, and the stove. This will add a great scent and help clean up any residue or bacteria that remain on these surfaces.

Step 2

Clean your drains. Whether you have a garbage disposal or just regular drains, smells often build up there. Pour a cup of baking soda down each drain and top off with one cup of lemon juice (this mix will cause fizzing). This will help clean the drain and refresh it removing odors.

Step 3

Clean the garbage can. The garbage can is a huge source of odors. Often the smelly trash goes out but the smell stays behind. This can be because the can is visibly dirty and has spills in it, or because the smells have "stuck" with the can. Use 1 cup baking soda in the can and scrub it clean in the bath tub for a sparkling new start to the trash can.

Step 4

Check around the stove and refrigerator. If you have a smell and can't seem to find out where or why, then check around the stove or refrigerator. Sometimes spills end up down the edge of the cupboards next to these appliances. Carefully pull them out and wash the sides of the cupboard and the appliance. Mop under them and make sure you get the wall. Use 1 cup of lemon juice to 1 cup of water, or 1/2 cup of vinegar to 2 cups of water, for a cleaning solution that is safe and effective.

Step 5

Clean the refrigerator out. The smells in the refrigerator build up and can cause a messy kitchen as well. Using one cup of baking soda to 2 cups of hot water (you can add a tablespoon of lemon juice for a good smelling refrigerator). Get rid of all old food products and wipe out the entirety of inside of the refrigerator.

Step 6

Air freshener. Sometimes the odor is from cooking and is actually in the air. This is a good opportunity for air freshener. You can use essential oils for fragrances of your choice. Some great options for aiding in absorption as well as covering up the smell include lemon, lemongrass, and tea tree oil. A few drops of the essential oils can be added to water and alcohol in a spray bottle.

Step 7

Make your own potpourri pot on the stove. You can fill a pan with water and add old fruit (apples, lemons, oranges, grapefruit) and boil it. To make a more complex fragrance add herbs or spices (cinnamon goes great with two apples and an orange), a little liquid fragrance, or a few drops of essential oils. This will make it smell like you are cooking something great without you actually cooking. You can throw everything out after a few hours and wash your pan.

Step 8

Bake. There is something very homey about baking. You don't have to be a great baker or have a ton of time on your hands in order to bake these days. Choose cookie dough that is premade or a frozen pie you pop in the oven. This will give you a great snack for the kids or a great dessert while making your kitchen smell fabulous. This is also great to do before company comes over (whether or not you serve the dessert to your company).

Kitchens are meant to smell good, but sometimes bad odors creep up on us. Whether you do the whole list or just the one thing that seems to be the problem to your odor, enjoy a better smelling kitchen today!


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Hi Danelle, as we work internationally, we live in different apartments in the course of the year and no.7 is always the first thing we do and keep doing especially when the place has not been lived in for some time. We always add cinnamon and the smell is great. Sometimes, we use incense and they are now sold in various smells.

By Mary Norton