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Cooking can fill your kitchen with tantalizing aromas, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. However, some cooking odours tend to linger long after the meal is prepared, leaving behind unwanted smells that can permeate your home. Whether it’s the pungent scent of fish or the lingering smell of spices, these odours can be a nuisance. In this article, we will explore effective ways to remove lingering cooking odours and freshen the kitchen air, ensuring a pleasant and odour-free environment.

1. Understanding the Source of Cooking Odors

Before diving into solutions, it’s important to understand the source of cooking odours. When food is cooked, various volatile compounds are released into the air. These compounds can range from pleasant aromas to unpleasant smells. The intensity and longevity of the odour depend on factors such as the type of food, cooking method, and ventilation in your kitchen.

2. Proper Ventilation

One of the key strategies for removing cooking odours is to ensure proper ventilation in your kitchen. A well-ventilated space allows odours to dissipate quickly, reducing their lingering effects. Here are a few ways to improve ventilation:

  • Range Hood: Installing a range hood above your stovetop can effectively capture and exhaust cooking odours. Ensure the hood is appropriately sized for your cooking area and use it whenever you cook.
  • Open Windows: Opening windows during and after cooking allows fresh air to circulate and carry away the odours. Cross-ventilation can be especially helpful in eliminating persistent cooking smells.
  • Exhaust Fans: If your kitchen has an exhaust fan, make sure it is in good working condition. Turn it on while cooking and leave it running for a while after you finish to remove any residual odours.

3. Eliminating Odors with Natural Remedies

Nature provides us with a variety of ingredients that can help neutralize unpleasant odours. These natural remedies can be easily prepared and used to freshen the kitchen air. Here are a few effective options:

  • Citrus: Cut a lemon or orange into slices and simmer them in a pot of water on the stove. The citrus aroma will permeate the air, masking the cooking odours. Alternatively, you can use citrus peels or essential oils in a diffuser.
  • Vinegar: Place a bowl of white vinegar on the kitchen counter overnight. Vinegar is known for its ability to absorb odours. By morning, the vinegar will have absorbed the cooking smells, leaving your kitchen smelling fresh.
  • Baking Soda: Sprinkling baking soda on your kitchen surfaces, especially around areas prone to odours, can help absorb and eliminate unwanted smells.Allow it to sit for a few hours before wiping it off.
  • Coffee Grounds: Coffee grounds can act as natural odour absorbers. Place a bowl of fresh coffee grounds in your kitchen to help neutralize cooking odours.

4. Utilizing Air Purifiers

Air purifiers are valuable tools in improving indoor air quality and eliminating odours. These devices work by capturing and trapping particles, including cooking odours, in filters. Look for air purifiers specifically designed to target odours, and place them in your kitchen or nearby areas to effectively freshen the air.

5. Maintaining Cleanliness

Keeping your kitchen clean and free from lingering food particles can significantly reduce cooking odours. Regularly clean your stovetop, oven, microwave, and other cooking appliances to prevent the buildup of residual odours. Additionally, wash kitchen utensils, cutting boards, and dishes promptly to prevent any unpleasant smells from lingering.

6. Using Odor-Absorbing Products

Several commercially available products are specifically designed to eliminate cooking odours. These products often come in the form of sprays, gels, or candles and contain odour-absorbing ingredients. Choose products with natural or neutral scents that can neutralize cooking odours effectively.

7. Removing Lingering Smells from Fabrics

Sometimes, cooking odours can cling to fabrics, such as curtains, upholstery, or carpets, making it difficult to eliminate the smells. To freshen fabric-based items:

  • Fabric Refreshers: Use fabric refreshers or sprays specifically designed to eliminate odours from fabrics. Lightly mist curtains, upholstery, and carpets to neutralize the cooking smells.
  • Baking Soda: Sprinkle baking soda on fabric surfaces, leave it overnight, and vacuum it up the next day. Baking soda helps absorb odours from fabrics, leaving them fresh and odour-free.
  • Steam Cleaning: Consider using a steam cleaner to deep clean fabric surfaces, such as curtains or upholstery. Steam helps remove embedded odours, leaving your fabrics smelling fresh.


Q: Why do cooking odours linger in the kitchen?

A: Cooking odours can linger in the kitchen due to the release of volatile compounds during the cooking process. These compounds can become trapped in the air, on surfaces, and even in fabrics, causing the smells to persist.

Q: How can proper ventilation help in removing cooking odours?

A: Proper ventilation helps remove cooking odours by allowing fresh air to circulate and carry away the smells. This can be achieved through the use of range hoods, opening windows, or utilizing exhaust fans to ensure good airflow.

Q: Are there any natural remedies to eliminate cooking odours?

A: Yes, several natural remedies can help neutralize cooking odours. Some examples include simmering citrus slices or peels, using vinegar to absorb odours, sprinkling baking soda on surfaces, or utilizing coffee grounds as natural odour absorbers.

Q: Can air purifiers effectively eliminate cooking odours?

A: Yes, air purifiers designed to target odours can be highly effective in removing cooking smells from the air. These devices capture and trap particles, including cooking odours, in their filters, resulting in fresher and cleaner indoor air.

Q: How important is cleanliness in preventing lingering cooking odours?

A: Maintaining cleanliness in the kitchen is crucial for preventing lingering cooking odours. Regularly cleaning cooking appliances, utensils, and surfaces helps prevent the buildup of residual odours and keeps the kitchen smelling fresh.


Cooking should be a delightful experience that tantalizes your taste buds, not an olfactory challenge. By implementing proper ventilation, utilizing natural remedies, investing in air purifiers, maintaining cleanliness, using odour-absorbing products, and removing lingering smells from fabrics, you can effectively freshen the kitchen air and rid your home of unpleasant cooking odours. Remember, a clean and fresh-smelling kitchen not only enhances the overall cooking experience but also creates a pleasant environment for everyone to enjoy.