How to Get Food Smells Out of Your House: 13 Smart Solutions

Cooked some stinky food? Don't let the odor linger. Use these smart solutions to get rid of cooking smells fast.

Published March 7, 2023

The smell of garlic sizzling in a pan, the aroma of dinner roasting in the oven. Absolute heaven. Unless, of course, the smell of your food lingers in the air. Don't fret about how to get food smell out of your house, so it doesn't overstay its welcome. With a few hacks, your food will be digesting, and the odor of meals past will soon be history.

Use Ventilation to Your Advantage

You have fans, doors, and windows on your side. Open your windows and outside doors while you're cooking to keep the fresh air flowing. Don't forget to turn on your fan to keep that air moving along, too.

Cooking Smells Don't Stand a Chance Against Simmer Pots

A simmer pot may sound fancy, but it's simple to whip up. Grab an orange or two, a few whole sticks of cinnamon, a tablespoon and a half of whole cloves, and a sprig of fresh rosemary if you have some on hand. Instead of oranges, you can always use lemons or apples.

Slice up your fruit and add to a medium to large pot, filling halfway to three quarters full with water. Bring to a simmer! Then add more water as you simmer along.

Boil a Lemon to Vanquish Food Smells

Snag a fresh lemon from your fridge or fruit basket for this hack. Bring a pot of water to boil in a small or medium saucepan. Add your lemon and allow the magic to work for around ten minutes. The food smells will be gone.

Fast Fact

Are they stubborn smells? Add a heaping tablespoon of baking soda to the water with the lemon.

Brew a Cup of Coffee & Put Coffee Grounds to Work ... Twice!

Coffee is an overpowering smell, and if you're someone who loves that smell of fresh brew, this will chase away any garlic and onion odors that have made your kitchen their new home. Don't toss those coffee grounds, either. Put those in a bowl and allow them to absorb the rest of the odors.

Go the Classic Route and Light a Scented Candle

Do you happen to own a dozen scented candles at any given moment, waiting for their time to shine because you have no self-control whenever you walk past them? Just me? Great.

Anyway, grab a scented candle and say goodbye to those food odors.

Plan Ahead With an Air Purifier

If you have a smaller space, an air purifier can help to dull those food odors before they even grab hold. Not all purifiers are made the same, but they'll do some of the lifting for you.

Clean Up Immediately

Clean as you go or clean up as soon as you're done eating to vanquish those lingering food smells. Pro tip: if you know you're not going to want to interrupt your tv watching marathon, fill your sink with soapy water and let those dishes soak. Even if they don't need it.

Bake Something to Banish Food Smells

Counter the smells of cooking with the aromas of baking. No, you don't need to make those chocolate chip cookies from scratch, but you can if you want. Some of us need to use those box recipes. And, better yet, you get to eat dessert after. It's like a reward!

Pour Out Some Vinegar

No, you won't be dumping vinegar onto your counters. But add some vinegar to a bowl before you start cooking. It'll work to absorb those food odors that otherwise hang on to every surface.

Chase Food Smells Away With Essential Oils

Grab your favorite essential oils and get to work fighting food odors. Add approximately ten drops of your favorite scent to a four-ounce spray bottle filled with water and 1 teaspoon of isopropyl alcohol or vodka. Shake well and spritz. Breathe easy.

Boil Vinegar While You Cook or After

Save a saucepan to help banish food smells. Well, with the help of boiling water and white vinegar. For every cup of water, add a quarter to half cup of vinegar. A word of warning - the vinegar will chase away the food smell, but vinegar can have a potent smell, too, although it dissipates quickly.

Keep Your Baking Soda at the Ready

Pull your baking soda out of the cabinet and make this your sous-chef for the day. Add some to a bowl or leave the box by your side as you cook.

Close Your Doors!

If your master bedroom happens to be near the kitchen, you don't want to crawl into bed later surrounded by smells of food. Or worse yet, wake up to them. Close those doors before you get cooking and keep those food smells contained to the kitchen.

Say Goodbye to Food Smells

Say goodbye to food smells tucking you in at night or following you around the house for the rest of the day. Corral those odors, say "so long!" with a scented candle or whip up a batch of cookies. All that matters is you'll no longer be reminded of the salmon and cauliflower you just ate.

How to Get Food Smells Out of Your House: 13 Smart Solutions