The aroma that comes while cooking can evoke a fragrant kitchen setting, but getting a whiff of pungent odors from yesterday’s meal really stinks. Here are tips from cleaning experts to eliminate kitchen odors easily and effectively.
TIDY UP YOUR REFRIGERATOR
Keep track of what’s inside your fridge, leftovers or produce can develop odors if they stay past their prime. “The next thing is to wipe up any spills or stains [with an all-purpose cleaner] when you see them as they can be odor-causing,” said cleaning expert Melissa Maker of Clean My Space. A box of baking soda helps crackdown on odors and should be changed out within a month or so.
CHECK FOR SPILLAGE
Food leaks and spills can creep into corners of refrigerator bins and stove crevices in shelves and cause odors. “If something does drip or spill, that's when you really need to make sure you go and you see where it's gone down,” said Carolyn Forte, home appliances and cleaning products director at the Good Housekeeping Institute.
ADD IN YOUR SCENTS
Vinegar can neutralize odors while cooking, and Maker suggests that when preparing anything that’s pungent, boil two cups of vinegar with equal parts. Or go more fragrant. “I love to boil some cinnamon sticks, citrus peels, or white vinegar and water in an open pot after a day of cooking or when there's a funky smell,” said Afoma Umesi, editor of Oh So Spotless. “Cinnamon is excellent if you like that warm, homey scent. But if you like just a clean smell, white vinegar will do.”
DEODORIZE YOUR DISHWASHER
It may clean dishes but lingering food particles can get stuck in the dishwasher’s cutlery basket or filter. Maker says to thoroughly check and poke out any debris in the basket plus clean the filter by inserting in a dishwasher cleaning tablet and run an empty hot-water cycle.
SECURE YOUR SPONGE
Boil smelly sponges in water for five minutes. “Not only does this get rid of bacteria and sanitizes the sponge, but it will also get rid of odors,” said Diana Rodriguez-Zaba, president of ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba. “Don't try to do this in a microwave as some sponges can burn."
GIVE TLC TO YOUR TRASH CAN
While staying on top of taking out the garbage, Maker suggests scrubbing the inside of the can with equal amounts of dish soap and baking soda. Let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes and then rinse it off with hot water and let dry. Alternatively, an enzyme-based cleaner can also remove odors.
DON’T IGNORE YOUR GARBAGE DISPOSAL
To de-stink your sink, Rodriguez-Zaba recommends running the garbage disposal weekly after pouring in a cup of ice with salt, then add several drops of orange or lemon essential oil. Maker suggests applying a garbage disposal scrub brush with some dish soap while Forte says to consider using disposal cleaners such as Affresh.