Ten Ways To Eliminate Odors From Your Kitchen

By Doherty • May 21st, 2011
Variety of cheeses on serving platter

Image via Wikipedia

1. The most basic way of all: open the window to let the fresh air in and the stale, bad-smelling air out. It’s surprising how few people try this very simple method.

2. Burnt food is one of the most common sources of bad smells in the kitchen. To prevent these smells, clean beneath the elements on your stove top frequently or as soon as they look dingy (this job is made much easier if you line the dish-type thing under the element with tinfoil). Also clean out any crumbs from inside your toaster – this is easily done by inverting your toaster over the sink and shaking the crumbs out. For goodness’ sake, unplug the toaster first. Both these methods will also reduce the risk of kitchen fires and will also make your elements and toaster more efficient. If you need to clean a bit more thoroughly under the stove-top elements, use a paste of baking soda and water, rubbing off with a damp cloth or scrubbing with a soft bristle brush like a toothbrush to get off any really stubborn bits.

3. Don’t have carpet in your kitchen, as the kitchen is a “wet area” where spills happen frequently. If a fixed carpet gets wet, it can take ages to dry out and this can cause rot and mould underneath if left too long. If you must have rugs down in the kitchen, make sure that you can clean and dry them easily, and don’t put them down near the kitchen sink. Don’t put them near the oven, either, as loose rugs can cause trips and falls, which are potentially more dangerous if boiling water and hot elements are involved.

4. Cover food that’s kept in the refrigerator, especially pungent stuff like cut onions and the more interesting types of cheese. If you don’t want to use lots of clingfilm (which isn’t the most environmentally friendly option), use airtight containers, or even invert one bowl over another. Reuse old yoghurt, margarine and ice cream containers for this purpose, but don’t hoard too many of these containers (an all-too-common trap).

5. Keep an uncovered saucer of baking soda inside the refrigerator. This will absorb other stray odours not kept away by Tip 4. Replace the baking soda periodically. Also clean your fridge with baking soda for extra smell-eliminating power.

6. Compost food scraps of all types rather than putting it in the rubbish bin. Not only does this cut down on waste, but if you empty the compost collection bin daily (a 4-litre ice cream tub or a retired salad bowl is a good size), the food scraps won’t start breaking down and stinking.

7. Clean lingering scraps out of wooden chopping boards by applying a paste of salt to the surface and scrubbing it hard.  Rinse out with warm or even boiling water (the latter kills bacteria trapped in the wood).

8. Wipe the inside of bread bins or wooden cupboards (or any other wooden food storage device) with a little vinegar. Place a sprig of rosemary or a few bay leaves inside once you have dried the container out to deter ants and silverfish.

9. Clean out the rubbish bin frequently, as even if you compost, the odd nasty will creep in and start stinking. Scrub out any bin, metal or plastic, with warm soapy water, and sprinkle baking soda down the bottom to absorb the worst.

10. Don’t keep cat litter trays in the kitchen. Not only does this smell (even with the best kitty litter); it is also very unhygienic. The laundry is a better place, or else the garage.  If you have a garden, this is where you cats can “go”. The same applies to feeding cats – do this in the laundry or garage or by the back doorstep rather than in the kitchen.

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