Cleaning Guides

How to Get Rid of Cooking Smells

The kitchen is oftentimes the smelliest room in the entire house, and how can it not be? Baking, frying, boiling, steaming, grilling, and other cooking methods all leave their distinct smells, which can linger for days. And if you’ve combined some of them in one day, Heaven help you! Still, that’s no reason to stop cooking for yourself and your family.

If you:

  • Are tired of having to bathe and wash your clothes every time after you cook because the smell is that strong;
  • Have been on the hunt for a new home, and the last one you visited was still occupied and smelled very strongly of spices;
  • Have noticed that the more time passes, the more irritated you get with the after cook smell;

Then read on and learn how to get rid of cooking smells.

Table of Contents:

How to get rid of fish smell after cooking

Seafood leaves a strong, fishy smell not only on your hands but also in your kitchen. That’s why, even before you start to cook, you should close the kitchen door (so the smell doesn’t travel to other rooms) and open the kitchen window.

After cooking is complete, follow these instructions:

  • Throw out any rubbish containing fish bits.
  • Wipe any spills containing fish bits.
  • Wash the pan and utensils with water and white vinegar.
  • Fill a pot with 3 cups of water and 3 cups of white vinegar. 
  • Set the pot to boil for several minutes. It should absorb the stench.

You might also want to leave a bowl of white vinegar on your countertop overnight.

It’s important to know that your cooking method is greatly responsible for the fish stink afterwards. If you love to fry your fish, expect a smelly kitchen. Cooking fish in foil, on the other hand, produces less smelly results. You can also reduce the smell by soaking the fish in a solution of lemon and water before cooking.

How to get rid of curry smell in house after cooking

Curry is delicious, but its odour is so everlasting that it might make you think twice before cooking it again. Still, if you’ve just prepared curry, here is how to try and get rid of its strong smell:

  • Keep the window open at all times – both while cooking and while cleaning.
  • Rub your hands in lemon juice or white vinegar – coffee grounds can also work.
  • Throw your cooking clothes into the washing machine – do not place them in the laundry basket as the smell will spread to the other clothes. Any fabric that you’ve touched with hands smelly of curry needs to be laundered.
  • Check your carpets and furniture – they may have absorbed some of the smell. If that’s the case, sprinkle generous amounts of baking soda over them and leave it overnight. In the morning, vacuum the baking soda and throw out the bag.
  • Wipe down kitchen surfaces – fill a bucket of equal parts water and white vinegar and wipe down your table, counters, oven, hobs, cupboards, and anything else you have in your kitchen. If the floor smells of curry, wipe it as well. Rinse the rag frequently.
  • Make an air freshener – boil some water and put some flowers and leaves in it. Turn the heat down to a simmer and keep it like that for at least an hour.

How to remove burnt smell after cooking

Every once in a while, you may leave your meal in the oven for too long and burn it. While the ruined food is not something to lose sleep over, the leftover stench will haunt you for days. In this case:

  • Open all your kitchen windows wide open – also keep the vent fan working.
  • Throw out the burned food – if it’s edible, eat it. If not, toss it in the outside rubbish bin. If it stays in the rubbish bin inside, it will continue to emit a nasty burnt smell.
  • Clean the cookware – clean the item which the food got scorched in by filling it up with equal amounts of white vinegar and water and heating it up on the stovetop. Let it boil for a minute, then pour the solution down the drain and scrub the utensil until all the scorch is gone. For more information on how to clean a burned saucepan, check our dedicated post.
  • Clean the cooker or microwave where the meal got burned – wipe down the interior or exterior. Do this while the appliance is still warm, as it will be easier to remove all the spills.

How to get rid of onion smell after cooking

Everyone can tell when you’ve cooked with onions, as the smell is rather noticeable. Still, that’s no reason to ban the tasty vegetable from your kitchen. Instead, this is how to minimise the smell after using onions in cooking.

  • Baking soda at low heat – mix baking soda and water in a slow cooker and leave the top off. The solution will absorb the nasty smell.
  • Boil some cinnamon sticks – place several cinnamon sticks in a pot full of water. Place the pot on your hob and set it to a high temperature. Once the water starts boiling, the cinnamon sticks will emit a pleasant aroma which will disguise the onion smell. Know that this method doesn’t absorb smells, rather disguises them.
  • Place lemons in hot water – slice a few pieces of fresh lemon and place them in a pot full of boiling water. Reduce the heat to medium-low. The lemon acid will pull the odour out of the air. In fact, you can use this method with oranges and limes and still get the same fresh result.

Info: Before you even start to chop the onion, do this:

  • Mix white vinegar with a teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Place the plate with the solution next to your cutting board and start cutting. It will absorb the stench. You can then place it next to the pot in which you will be cooking, so it absorbs some more.

How to get rid of deep-fried smell after cooking

Fried food such as bacon and chips is unhealthy, but it’s so delicious. It also leaves a strong stench, but fortunately, there is a remedy for that as well.

  1. Open the kitchen window – also turn on the exhaust fan.
  2. Dispose of the oil – leave it to cool off and become solid. After that, scrape it off and place it in a non-breakable container with a resealable lid. Throw the container into the rubbish bin. Never pour the oil down the drain as it can clog it. Check this article on ways to dispose of cooking oil.
  3. Clean up the cookware – clean the pan that you fried your food in, along with all the silverware you used. Also, spray some degreaser on the stovetop and wipe it.
  4. Make a white vinegar and water solution – fill a cup with water and add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Pour the mixture into a pan, place it on the stove and set to boil. It should absorb the bad smell of fried grease.

Hire professionals

The more time passes, the more cooking smells get absorbed into furniture and carpentry and even the walls. If you’re tired of your smelly kitchen, then it’s high time you hired some professional cleaners to clean it from top to bottom. Fantastic Services can be the right choice. The technicians we work with are experienced and fully equipped to perform a one-time cleaning and regular visits, should you like. You don’t have to feel miserable in your kitchen any longer. Book your cleaners today!


  • Open your kitchen window wide before you start to cook.
  • Different methods of cooking will result in different amounts of smells.
  • Always clean the cookware after cooking and discard the oils and grease.
  • Baking soda and white vinegar abolish all kinds of bad smells.


Did you manage to get rid of the cooking smell with any one of the methods we shared? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Image Source: Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov

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