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How To Kill Kitchen Smells

Written By John Richards on Sunday, July 8, 2012 | 11:40 PM


Hands Smell Like Fish?

Try Some Lemon

Whether you've handled fish in the kitchen or out on the water, here's a sure-handed way to get rid of that fishy odor: Cut a lemon in half and squeeze each half over your hands. Rub your hands together and rinse.
Add Some Sugar to Your Soap
If there's no lemon handy, pour a teaspoon of hand soap onto your palm. Add a tablespoon of sugar to the soap and rub the mixture thoroughly over your hands. Then rinse. The combination of soap and abrasion from the sugar will remove the odor. 

Touch Stainless Steel

Some chefs swear by stainless steel as a fish-smell remover. Rub your hands on your stainless steel sink or fixtures and then wash your hands as usual.

Kitchen Still Smells Like Last Night's Dinner?

Burn Toast

There's nothing wrong with a kitchen smelling like food. But if a food odour becomes unpleasant, food chemists say the fast solution is to burn some toast. That's right: Burn a slice of bread in the toaster. That will absorb the lingering odor. Just make sure the bread doesn't catch fire. Of course, now you have a kitchen that smells like burned toast, but this odour at least won't linger long. 

Simmer Some Orange Peels

For a food odour that appears to be fading, you can take less drastic action by creating a pleasant smell to overwhelm the unpleasant one. To do that, simmer some orange peels and cinnamon in water for a few minutes. Then turn off the flame and leave the open pot of warm, sweet-smelling water on the stove all day.

Stuck with a Stinky Fridge?

Start with Baking Soda, Coffee, or Charcoal

The first course of action is the obvious one: Quickly sniff out the malodorous culprit lurking in your fridge and get rid of it. To absorb lingering odors, baking soda really works. You may already keep an open box in your refrigerator to prevent bad smells. But to get rid of a smell that's already there, pour a cup of fresh baking soda onto a plate and leave it inside the fridge for a day. For stronger odors, fill a plate with dry unused coffee grounds and leave it in the fridge for several days. Freshly ground coffee beans work best. For sour odors, charcoal often works amazingly well. Just put several briquettes on a dish and let them soak up the odor for a few days. 

…If Those Don't Work? Steam with Hot Lemon Water and Clean

If none of the above gets the job done, you've probably got some combination of food, mold, mildew, and bacteria hiding in the refrigerator. You need to clean them away. First take all the food out and put it in a closed cooler with a bag of ice so you won't have to worry about it. Unplug the refrigerator. Squeeze a lemon into a cup of water, throw the peels in too, and heat the liquid on the stove. Pour this hot lemon water into a bowl, put the bowl in the fridge, close the door, and wait a few minutes. This will start cutting the odor but, more important, it will also loosen the food accumulations on the walls and shelves, making them easier to clean away.

Kitchen Filled with Smoke?

Get the Air Circulating

If you plan to eat in the kitchen and don't have time to wait-or if the smoke is working its way into the dining room where all your guests will soon assemble-it's time to spring into action.
Open all the kitchen doors and windows to get the air moving. Place a portable fan by a door or window that opens to the outdoors or that leads away from where the guests are or where you'll be eating. Face the fan so that it will blow out through a door or window. The room will be clear in a few minutes, or ten minutes max if you've really got a lot of smoke. 

Set Out a Bowl of Vinegar
If you have time, there's a very easy way to rid a room of smoke odor. Set out a shallow bowl of vinegar, which will absorb the smell as the smoke dissipates.

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