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Readers Respond: How Do You Eliminate Cooking Smells and Neutralize Food Odors?

Responses: 16


From the article: How to Remove Cooking Odors
Some foods, no matter how delicious, can leave unpleasant cooking odors throughout your home. Share your own tips and remedies for getting rid of cooking smells from onions, fish, garlic, cabbage, and other foods. Share Your Tips

De-stinking hands

Rub baby wipes or any type of wipes around your hands. REALLY WORKS!! Even if you put on too much perfume or cologne on, wipes will take it away! Also useable for strong food smells
—Guest lili

De-Stinking your hands

Just when washing my hands with soap and water, I roll a regular tablespoon around in my hands. For some reason, it removes the smell of both onions and garlic from my hands...
—Guest Patti Mic3


Put some vanilla essence mixed with water in the oven. Your home will smell like something delicious!
—Guest Afua

simmer AC vinegar

I've always been told to simmer a pan of AC vinegar beside something cooking with an unpleasant odor - - not that I can imagine much cooking that would be unpleasant smelling. There is comfort in familiar food smells.

Unscented candle

We don't have an exhaust fan, but I've found that burning an unscented candle when I cook things like bacon or sausage or odorous foods works well. I'm chemically sensitive and can't use scented stuff to eliminate the odors.

try a table fan

I keep the table fan near the window on a stool with window level, and when I switch it on it sucks the wind from inside the house and blows outside like an exhaust fan, and my house is clean of odours.
—Guest devi

Fresh air

I usually open all d windows and doors to let in fresh air, it helps a lot but it takes some time for the odour to go off.
—Guest Blessing clement

Fan, Open Door Lemon

We turn on a large fan, open windows and doors and use lemon in sink. We also try to wash any frying pan or pot used to fry fish or other strong smelling food ASAP. Above all, we like to keep the doors to kitchen closed while cooking.
—Guest Lisa.Tony.Sierra


I like to simmer a pot of water, cinnamon and cloves.
—Guest Jennifer Meier

Fry Outside

I hate the smell of deep-fat frying. When I can I cook outside or in the garage which is next to the kitche, It's great exercise as well as run back and forth between the two. Smells in the house ...open the windows, I dislike artificial air fresheners. When I had my new kitchen installed I went for the best extractor fan I could afford. Failing all that, I put up with it.

Lemons, cinnamon, coffee grounds

I rub surfaces with a cut lemon. After cooking fish I boil a little pot of water with a cinnamon stick and half a lemon in it. If my hands are garlicky I rub them with coffee grounds and rinse. Voila! Stink-free!

This may seem too simple but...

Turn on the whole house fan and open windows to get cross-ventilation going. I don't like spraying 'air cleaning' sprays around, although I will from time to time use FeBreeze.

Lemon works wonders!

I rub my cutting board with cut lemon to help remove odors of garlic, fish or other strong-smelling foods, and I'll also run lemon peel through my garbage disposal, which helps keep it from getting stinky.

Cider Vinegar

The bowl of vinegar works everytime for me. When the smells are neutralized, I pour the vinegar down the sink and don't run water for a while.

A Good Airing

I really haven't found any good ones, except for opening the doors and windows and hope for wind!


I'm afraid that, aside from using a deep fat fryer with a lid, I simply live with the odors - although in fact most of them aren't that bad.
—Guest kevin

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How Do You Eliminate Cooking Smells and Neutralize Food Odors?

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