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Odor Busting Tips For The Kitchen

Updated on January 25, 2009
Stainless steel soap works wonders on garlic and onion smells, by _ES
Stainless steel soap works wonders on garlic and onion smells, by _ES

How do you get rid of that fishy smell from the kitchen sink? Is there any way to stop your hands from reeking of garlic and onions after you have chopped them? What about that smell in the fridge or freezer that seems to leak out every time you open the door? There are a few secret weapons to busting these odors that not too many people know about. These weapons are currently at everyone’s disposal and are all located in none other than the kitchen itself.

Get rid of the seafood stink with coffee

We all love seafood, but that fishy smell is one of the worst to eliminate after you have finished preparing the meal or washing the dishes. It can hang around your sink for days. One of the best things you can do if faced with this situation is to just take a break and have a cup of coffee! Percolated is good but Turkish coffee is best. I’m talking about that strong espresso coffee with the “mud” left in the bottom of the cup so thick you can stand a spoon in it! After you’ve enjoyed a shot of this, tip out any leftover brew all around the sink. Do this last after you have washed all other dishes – you want the coffee smell to linger in the sink for a while and not be washed down the drain. Allow five minutes before rinsing the sink to get rid of the fishy smell (longer depending on the intensity!)

Kitchen Odor Busters

Blomus Stainless Steel Soap
Blomus Stainless Steel Soap

Unlike normal soap, stainless steel soap bars remove the pungent odor of garlic and onion from your hands immediately.


Garlic & onion smell on your hands

A more common odor that originates in the kitchen and ends up on your hands is that of onion and garlic. This can occur on a daily basis when preparing meals. Who can deny that the aroma of these essential ingredients is heavenly as they cook, but their potent “raw essence” can remain on your fingertips for a long time afterwards. The trick lies in rubbing your fingertips or hands against your stainless steel kitchen sink. This kills the smell almost immediately. If it’s easier, use a spoon to achieve the same effect. In fact some companies who are on the ball have now begun selling stainless steel soaps for this very use! These are great, plus they last forever. 

Put a tea bag in the fridge/freezer

One nuisance smell can waft out of your fridge or freezer, depending on what has been stored in there and for how long. Sometimes the smell may be too much that this may require a major “complete clean out and re-sanitization” operation. However, for the moderate smells, a very quick and easy solution would be to place some tea bags in the fridge. They work very well to absorb a lot of the food smells. Black tea bags are recommended for maximum effectiveness.

Take out the trash

All things being equal, your trash can be the smelliest item in your kitchen. Plus it can attract flies and ants into the kitchen, potentially making food preparation there quite unhygenic. If it's more than a simple change of rubbish bags to empty the trash, then take the time out to actually wash the rubbish bin itself. Also, the earlier in the day you empty the rubbish in the bin, the less time it will spend decomposing in the midday heat and the better your kitchen will smell... well, it will "stink less".

Clean Your Fridge

Quite simply (and obviously) if your fridge really smells bad, you should clean it. I mean take everything out of it and wipe the shelves and door clean. You will be surprised what a difference that makes. After all, if you haven't done this for a while, there is no way that little tea bag is going to absorb it all.

More tips...

Always open the windows during the day to let fresh air flow through the kitchen.Use the exhaust fan will cooking. Also, you can get some nice scented candles that will keep the kitchen smelling nice (you only need to light them for a short period of time).


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    • weezyschannel profile image

      Lisa 6 years ago from Central USA

      nice..tea bags I got em! thanks

    • marcofratelli profile image

      marcofratelli 7 years ago from Australia

      Hey Cindy,

      Thanks for leaving a comment. I assume you mean that clean plates smell outdoorsy when taken outside and left in the sun (while still clean)?

      I can't say I've heard of that problem before to think of what it could be.

      Ideas anyone?

    • profile image

      Cindy Lowery 7 years ago

      I have a question.....our dishes take on a smelly outdoorsy odor when taken outside the the air????

      Goes away when washed....but smells stinky if out in the sun for awhile,they are stoneware....painted,microwave-oven safe safe

      Any ideas?

    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 9 years ago from London

      good tips. Another couple that might help - bicarbonate of soda left in a bowl or cup absorbs smells, as does a cotton wool ball soaked in vanilla essence.