There’s nothing like the smell of garlic and onions simmering on the stovetop as you prepare a delicious meal. That is, until the scent lingers for days and seems to permeate the entire house.
Several issues can cause foul odors in the kitchen. Here are some practical strategies for identifying and eliminating bad kitchen smells.
Schedule Regular Drain Cleanings
The drain is one of the most common culprits of unpleasant kitchen odors. Food remnants build up in the pipes and emit foul scents as they decompose. This issue is pervasive in older homes that still use garbage disposals.
Scheduling regular drain cleaning appointments can help you stay on top of bad smells from your sink. This service can also help prevent clogs and slow drains that could lead to costly issues later. If you don’t already use a drain protector insert to catch food and waste before it gets into your pipes, consider using one to prevent further issues.
Pull Out the Stove
If you’re struggling to find the source of the foul scent in your kitchen, consider pulling out your stove for a deep cleaning session. It’s common for spatters and bits of food to fall into the small space between the stove and counter. As these particles break down, they can create a strong smell.
Make a plan to pull out your stove and clean behind it seasonally. This simple chore will also help prevent pest infestations.
Defrost and Clean the Fridge and Freezer
Keeping your fridge and freezer free of food waste and build-up will also help prevent nasty smells in your kitchen. Create a deep cleaning and defrosting schedule. Consider deep cleaning your fridge once per season and defrosting your freezer at least once yearly.
If the ice in your freezer gets more than 1/4 inch thick, it’s time to defrost again.
Use Vinegar and Baking Soda
Vinegar and baking soda are some of the most effective, chemical-free cleaning products available. They’re both powerful odor eliminators and can keep your kitchen smelling fresh and clean.
If you’re cooking a particularly pungent meal, wipe down your counters with a mix of hot water and vinegar. Then, leave a bowl of baking soda on the counter to absorb excess odors. You can also use baking soda paste to scrub your sink and faucets, eliminating leftover food particles.
If you use sponges or dish cloths, rinse them with vinegar, wring them out, and put them in a warm place to dry. Replace your sponges often and wash dishcloths with warm water and bleach.
Use a Stove Simmer
Offset the smells in your kitchen by creating your own incense. A stovetop simmer is a mixture of water, citrus, and spices that eliminates unpleasant odors and replaces them with an alluring aroma. Lemon slices add a pleasant clean scent, while vanilla and cinnamon create a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
Keep your stovetop simmer on a backburner, turned on low. Add more water as it starts to evaporate to keep the scent fresh.
Freeze the Compost
Composting food scraps is a great way to reduce waste and nourish your garden. However, keeping food scraps— particularly during the summer months— can be unpleasant.
Use an airtight container (an old coffee tin works well) or a paper bag set inside a plastic bag and keep your food scraps in the freezer until they’re ready for proper disposal. This also helps prevent pest infestations in your garbage and compost bin.
These simple strategies and habits can help you eliminate bad kitchen smells for good. Take some time to find the primary source of the issue and use these suggestions to solve the problem.