How to Get Rid of Bad Kitchen Odors

Getting Rid of Kitchen Odors

All kitchens have odors. Some are good, some are bad. Here are some tips to help you get rid of the bad ones.

fresh smell kitchen

Smell Refrigerator

If your refrigerator or freezer is smelling bad, you can get rid of the odors by wiping the entire interior with vanilla extract on a cloth. You need to be sure and rub it in hard to get the scent out. Then, wipe it with a clean cloth. Or, if you prefer, you can use vinegar in the same way. Just be sure to wipe it off afterward.

smell refrigeratorIf you have a refrigerator that has been left closed when the power was off, it is easy to get rid of the bad smell. Just leave a dish of charcoal in the fridge for a few days. Every few days, change out and put new briquettes until the smell is gone.

Freezer odors are also easy to get rid of. Put a cup of coffee grounds inside and close the door. This should be left overnight. Repeat if the odor is not gone.

Oven Odor

cleaning ovenSometimes we all forget something in the oven and the smell will linger forever. Just sprinkle cinnamon in a shallow pan and place in a warm, not hot, oven. This should help your oven smell great, and your kitchen, too.

Vinegar is great for getting bad smells out. If your drain is not smelling good, pour some down and let it set in the pipe for a while. You can also simmer a cup of white vinegar on the stove to rid your kitchen of unpleasant cooking odors, such as onion or garlic.

Smell Microwave

microwave smell badA lingering odor in your microwave can make your entire kitchen smell bad. To get rid of most odors, wet a cloth in warm water and ring it out, then dip it in baking soda. Use this to lightly scrub the inside of your microwave. It will help immensely with bad odors. You can also place a cup of water with one tablespoon of lemon juice in the microwave. Heat on high for one minute. This will also help get out of the bad odors.

Smell Frying Pan

frying pan smellTo get the fishy smell out of your frying pan, fill the pan with water. Then add vinegar and heat to a boil. Let it boil about one minute. Afterward, wash and rinse as you usually would. You may need to repeat this procedure if the odor has been in the pan for a long time.

All kitchens have bad odors from time to time. The trick is knowing how to get rid of them and not let them linger. Hopefully, these tips will help you keep your kitchen smelling fresh.

Keep Your Kitchen Smelling Fresh

When your guests first walk into your home, you certainly do not want them to scrunch up their noses in horror at the scents that assail their noses. Honestly, you probably do not want those nasty smells to be in your home either, even if you are the only one at home. Your kitchen can be one of the main sources of noticeably foul smells in your home, especially since most kitchens are very near to the area where you entertain most of your guests. It is important to keep your kitchen clean and smelling fresh so you don’t gross out any guests that may stop by.

clean kitchen

Clean Kitchen

The first step in having a fresh-smelling kitchen is to have a clean kitchen. When your kitchen is clean, you cut way down on any smells that are being emitted from old food and dirty dishes. If your kitchen has an odd odor to it, start with cleaning to see if that helps to get rid of the foul odor.

  • Wash and put away any dirty dishes
  • Wipe down all of the countertops and stovetop
  • Clean out the microwave (if you have one)
  • Wash all dishtowels and cloths
  • Dust the baseboards, tops of cabinets, and wipe down the front of all cabinets
  • Sweep and mop the floor

After you have the kitchen gleaming, your kitchen will more than likely smell clean and fresh. Lighting a beautiful candle, or setting a candle on a candle warmer will also add a great smell to your kitchen. There is also a wide array of air fresheners that can help to keep your kitchen smelling amazing – even when it isn’t perfectly clean.

At times, even if you have an extremely clean kitchen, there still may be an odor that you can’t seem to pinpoint the exact location that it is coming from. Some of the main culprits can be the garbage disposal, trash can, refrigerator, or old food rotting in your cupboards.


Garbage disposals can have food particles stuck in the gears. Or in little pockets that don’t always get flushed out when you turn the water on. When the food just sits in the disposal for a while, it can start to rot, and let off horrific odors. Sometimes it is hard to tell where this odor is coming from, but if you lean in and sniff your drain if there is an odor…you will know. One of the best ways to combat this stench is to cut up a lemon, and grind it down your disposal (not all at once!) while you run hot water down with it. The hot water and lemon will help to release any food stuck down there. And the lemon also gives off a fresh, clean scent.

Trash Can

smell trash canTrash cans can also be a source of unwanted odors. Especially if we don’t change the trash every day. Think of all the different pieces of trash that get thrown in every day! There are many different kinds of food trash: eggshells, platters that frozen meat was on, rotten produce, and food scraps, just to name a few. Then you have all of the other trash that can cause a stench but isn’t food, such as containers that food used to be in or on, dirty napkins, and fast-food wrappers. It is a good idea to take out your trash every day, or at least every other day. And then wash your trash can out every couple of weeks to wash off any foods that might stuck on it.

Old Food

If you have old food sitting in your refrigerator, the smell can gradually make its way into your whole kitchen, especially when you open up your fridge door. It is easy to forget the food items we bought. And finally, the get shoved to the back of your refrigerator or spilled without anyone noticing. It is a good idea to go through your fridge every month or so to throw away rotten or expired food, and clean up any messes that may have occurred.

onion odorOnce, my kitchen had a very odd smell that I had a terrible time identifying. I couldn’t figure out where in the world it was coming from. But it was starting to stink up my whole house. I started opening and closing cupboards trying to figure out where in the world the horrific smell was coming from. And finally, I can locate the cupboard the smell was coming from and figure out what the smell was: a putrid, rotting onion. I was thoroughly grossed out! I had completely forgotten about the onion, and it had been up in my cupboard for who knows how long. The lesson in this story is, try to keep track of the products that you buy. Or keep it in the specially made green bags that help to keep food fresher longer.

Having a fresh-smelling kitchen is homey and inviting to your guests. Unlike a foul-smelling kitchen, it will not scare them away from your house and make them want to leave, but instead, help them to feel welcome and at home.

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