Your kitchen may look like a design-store showroom, but even the most gleaming space can’t disguise one simple fact: a well-used kitchen tends to produce certain odors. But don’t let kitchen stink get you down. It’s easy to control with some simple prevention and cleaning tips.
Savoring the smell of a meal being cooked is part of the sensual pleasure of enjoying food. But even the most delicious-smelling dinner becomes much less appealing when the odors linger long after the meal is finished. So whisk steam, vapor, smoke, and odors out of the kitchen with a quiet and efficient cooker hood.
An extractor fan vents to the outdoors; a recirculating fan filters the air through a charcoal filter and releases the purified air back into the kitchen. Your setup will depend on the construction of your house, but all hoods in the market are designed for use with either venting method.
Arguably the smelliest place in any kitchen, the garbage can is most effectively tamed by regular emptying. To keep the air fresh in the in-between time, try making a sachet by heaping a few spoons of baking soda onto a dryer sheet (a used one is fine) secured with a rubber band, and hang it from the back of the garbage can.
When garlic and onions leave an odor on hands that soap won’t remove, try this simple (and free!) trick: rub them on a stainless steel surface such as your sink or cooker hood. The stink-causing sulphur molecules will bind with the metal to leave fewer on your skin.
Spills and splatters can leave a microwave smelling less than fresh. To keep your afternoon tea from tasting like your lunch, try this odor-zapping tip: mix the juice of half a lemon with a cup of water in a glass measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high for 5 minutes (keep an eye on it), then let it sit inside the microwave for 5 more minutes. Remove the cup or bowl, and then wipe out the microwave with a soft cloth.
A too-full dish bubbling over and scorching on a hot oven floor releases an immediate and unmistakable stench. Act quickly to keep the smell from permeating your kitchen and beyond. Carefully remove the dish from the oven, turn on (or turn up) your cooker hood to vent the smoke, and then liberally apply salt to the spill to put an end to the smoking. Clean the oven as usual once it cools.
Garbage Disposal Gunk
A device whose sole purpose is grinding garbage into a paste fine enough to flush down a pipe is bound to build up some serious odors over time. Cleaning methods that have you simply grind ice or lemon peels in the disposal don’t address the source of the problem: the gunk stuck to the walls of the disposal. Working very carefully, scrub a paste of water and baking soda around the inside of the disposal with a long-handled brush. Flush with hot water, and then run the disposal for 10 seconds (with hot water still running) to spin off the last of the clinging debris.
Refrigerator cleaning is a task made much easier by prevention, so take the time once a week to thoroughly check your fridge for items like forgotten leftovers, molding cheese, and old produce. With your weekly maintenance check in place, your refrigerator shouldn’t require more than an occasional wipe-down of shelves and walls with diluted white vinegar.
Whether you’re an avid cook or simply using your refrigerator to store leftover takeout, it’s easy to have a fresh-smelling kitchen through regular cleaning and simple prevention.