Seven ways to get rid of cooking smells in your home

How to chase away lingering fish odours and more


Closeup mid section of a chef cutting fishFew things smell better than a homecooked meal, but some foods - like fish and boiled eggs - don't always leave such a pleasant smell behind. If opening all the windows and doors doesn't do the trick, here are seven ways to combat unpleasant cooking smells.

See also: Four surprising uses for kitchen sponges

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1. Reed diffusers

Lighting a heavily fragranced candle in the kitchen can sometimes make matters worse. Instead, try keeping some scented reed diffusers around. Choose clean smells, like lemon, mint or pine, and place on a windowsill for a clear air smell.

2. Chopping boards
Wooden chopping boards are notoriously bad for absorbing cooking smells. If you soak them overnight, they can warp and crack. Consider switching to an odour-resistant polypropylene chopping board that you can put in the dishwasher.

3. White wine vinegar
White wine vinegar isn't just good for making salad dressings and cleaning windows, it also does a good job of eliminating nasty niffs. If you have a few hours before you're expecting guests, try putting a bowlful near the source of the smell. Hopefully, it will have neutralised the odour by the time your visitors arrive.

4. Fake and bake
Fish smells can linger for hours. If reed diffusers and white wine vinegar are not cutting it, fight back with a stronger, more pleasant smell. For example, you could boil some fresh cloves, or bake some cinnamon sticks, brown sugar and butter in the oven for 10 minutes to create a fresh cookie smell.

5. Lemon peel
Citrus fruits are great for combating smells in the kitchen - simply chop up a couple of lemons and simmer in a little water for 30 minutes to enjoy a clean, fresh aroma. Whenever you use a lemon or eat an orange, save the peels - that you can cut down on food wastage too.

6. Coffee beans
What could be more inviting than the smell of freshly-ground coffee? If you have people coming over, make a pot of fresh coffee to welcome them. Alternatively, place a handful of coffee beans in a dish or toast them in the stove, and they'll soon chase away any lingering cooking smells.

7. Sprinkle some salt
Stop food smells before they start by sprinkling salt on any food spills in your cooker. Apply it while the oven is hot and it will help make the cleaning process easier, as well as combating food odours.

Not food but something else causing a nasty niff? More ways to get rid of smells in your home