clear sky
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38 °
36 °
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28 °
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clear sky
34.4 ° C
36 °
32.8 °
56 %
0 %
38 °
36 °
28 °
28 °
24 °
Monday, July 15, 2024

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30 Tips for Keeping Your Kitchen Smelling Fresh

The kitchen is the heart of your home, a place where culinary dreams come to life, and yet, it’s also a breeding ground for not-so-pleasant odors. Fear not! With these 30 simple and effective tips, you can bid farewell to unwanted smells and keep your kitchen as fresh as a daisy.

1. Take Out the Trash Regularly

Trash can easily become the culprit behind lingering odors. Make sure to take out the trash daily, especially during warmer weather, to prevent any funky smells from taking over your kitchen. Consider using leak- and tear-proof bags to prevent any messy situations.

  • Prevention: Avoid letting liquids accumulate at the bottom of the trash can.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Double-bag particularly pungent trash to prevent leaks and odors.
    2. Sprinkle baking soda at the bottom of the trash can to absorb any potential odors.

2. Clean Spills and Crumbs Quickly

Act fast when it comes to spills and crumbs to avoid any potential stench. By promptly wiping up spills and cleaning crumbs, you prevent them from becoming breeding grounds for unwanted odors.

  • Prevention: Use kitchen mats to catch any spills or crumbs.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Employ a handheld vacuum for quick and efficient crumb cleanups.
    2. Use spill-proof containers to minimize accidents and potential odors.

3. Run the Dishwasher Frequently

The dishwasher can be a treasure trove for unpleasant smells if not managed properly. Make a habit of running the dishwasher daily or every other day to keep plates and cutlery fresh. Remember to scrape off any stuck-on food before loading them into the dishwasher for a more effective wash.

  • Prevention: Regularly check the dishwasher filter for any food particles.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Open the dishwasher door slightly after each use for better ventilation and drying.
    2. Consider using eco-friendly dishwashing detergents to minimize chemical odors.

4. Replace Old Sponges and Dishcloths

Damp and well-used sponges and dishcloths can quickly turn into odor magnets. Ensure you replace them weekly, or even more frequently if they start to look slimy or emit an unpleasant smell. Disinfecting them regularly can also prevent any potential bacteria buildup.

  • Prevention: Allow sponges to dry completely between uses to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Microwave damp sponges for a minute to kill bacteria and eliminate odors.
    2. Consider using microfiber cloths for a more durable and odor-resistant option.

5. Clean the Sink Drain

The kitchen sink drain can easily become a harbor for all sorts of unsavory smells if not properly taken care of. Regularly pour a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down the drain to prevent the accumulation of leftover grease and food particles. Using a sink strainer can also help in trapping solid waste and preventing clogs.

  • Prevention: Use a plunger regularly to prevent any buildup in the drain.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Run hot water down the drain after each use to flush away any debris.
    2. Use a natural enzyme-based drain cleaner monthly to prevent blockages and odors.

6. Freshen the Garbage Disposal

A funky garbage disposal can quickly turn your kitchen into an unpleasant space. Keep it fresh by grinding up lemon or orange peels, ice cubes, or baking soda. Regularly cleaning the splash guard and inspecting the drain line can also prevent any lingering odors from taking root.

  • Prevention: Freeze vinegar in ice cube trays for an easy disposal cleaner.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Avoid disposing of fibrous or starchy foods that can clog the disposal.
    2. Run cold water for a few seconds after using the disposal to flush out any debris.

7. Scrub Trash and Recycling Bins

Your trash and recycling bins can easily retain unpleasant smells if not properly maintained. Periodically clean both the indoor and outdoor bins with a mixture of hot water, baking soda, and vinegar. To ensure thorough cleanliness, use a solution of 2 tablespoons of bleach in 1 gallon of water for disinfection.

  • Prevention: Line your bins with newspaper to absorb any liquids.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Store outdoor bins in a shaded area to prevent the growth of bacteria.
    2. Consider using natural deodorizers like activated charcoal or coffee grounds to absorb odors.

8. Empty the Compost Frequently

Frequent emptying of your kitchen compost pail is essential to prevent the buildup of foul odors indoors. Sprinkling baking soda in the bottom of the pail can help in absorbing any potential smells. Additionally, rinsing the compost pails with vinegar water on a weekly basis can contribute to maintaining a fresh-smelling kitchen.

  • Prevention: Mix in shredded paper or leaves to balance out the compost.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Turn the compost regularly to aerate it and prevent odor build-up.
    2. Avoid adding dairy or meat products to your compost to minimize odors.

9. Clean Behind and Under Appliances

Crumbs and spills often find their way into the hidden spaces behind and under large appliances, contributing to undesirable odors. To prevent this, make it a monthly routine to pull appliances like the fridge and stove away from walls, and thoroughly sweep, mop, or vacuum behind and underneath them. For stubborn grime under the fridge, a reliable coil cleaner can come in handy.

  • Prevention: Use furniture gliders to easily move heavy appliances for cleaning.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Place a mat or rug beneath appliances to catch any spills or crumbs.
    2. Install removable panels for easy access to the areas under appliances.

10. Wash Dish Towels and Cloths

Kitchen towels and cleaning cloths are prone to harboring bacteria and unpleasant odors due to their daily use. It’s essential to wash them at least twice a week in hot water, incorporating borax and vinegar into the wash cycle for a thorough clean. Don’t hesitate to replace heavily stained or smelly towels to maintain a fresh kitchen ambiance.

  • Prevention: Air-dry your towels in the sun to naturally disinfect them.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Keep a small laundry bin in the kitchen for collecting dirty towels and cloths.
    2. Use color-coded towels for different cleaning tasks to prevent cross-contamination.

11. Clean Inside the Fridge

An overlooked spill or forgotten leftovers can swiftly turn your fridge into a source of undesirable smells. Regularly remove expired items and wipe up any spills immediately. Additionally, consider utilizing a baking soda paste for monthly shelf cleaning and placing an open box of baking soda inside the fridge to absorb any lingering odors.

  • Prevention: Regularly check your fridge for expired items and toss them out promptly.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Keep an inventory of your fridge contents to avoid forgetting about items that might go bad.
    2. Use airtight containers for storing leftovers to prevent odors from spreading.

12. Check Light Covers and Vents

Dust and grease tend to accumulate on range hood filters, light covers, and air vents, making them prone to trapping unpleasant cooking odors. Ensure you remove and wash these filters monthly and utilize the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner to routinely clean vents and light fixtures, keeping your kitchen smelling fresh and clean.

  • Prevention: Use a splatter guard when cooking to reduce the amount of grease that enters the air.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Soak range hood filters in hot, soapy water to loosen stubborn grease before washing.
    2. Use a damp microfiber cloth to clean light covers and vents for a streak-free finish.

13. Let Fresh Air In

Proper ventilation is key to preventing lingering odors in the kitchen. By turning on exhaust fans and opening kitchen windows during cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning, you facilitate the circulation of fresh air that helps in eliminating any persistent cooking odors and maintaining a pleasant ambiance.

  • Prevention: Avoid cooking with a dirty oven as burnt-on food can release unpleasant odors.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Use a dehumidifier in the kitchen to reduce excess moisture, preventing the growth of mold and mildew.
    2. Invest in an air purifier with a HEPA filter to effectively remove odors and airborne particles.

14. Use Exhaust Fans

Strong cooking odors can be easily managed by utilizing the overhead exhaust fan. Remember to run the fans for an additional 10-15 minutes after cooking to ensure that any lingering smells are effectively removed. Regularly cleaning the fan filters is also essential to maintain their efficiency.

  • Prevention: Keep the kitchen well-ventilated while cooking with strong-smelling ingredients.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Avoid using strong-smelling cleaning agents that can linger in the air.
    2. Keep the fan blades clean to prevent the accumulation of dust and grease.

15. Simmer Aromatics on the Stove

Infuse your kitchen with delightful scents that can overpower any lingering odors by simmering ingredients such as cinnamon sticks, fresh herbs like rosemary, sliced citrus fruits, or vanilla beans. Or, give this DIY Simmer Pots (Stovetop Potpourri) recipe a try. This simple yet effective trick can instantly uplift the ambiance of your kitchen, especially before hosting dinner guests.

  • Prevention: Use a splatter guard when frying to prevent odors from spreading.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Experiment with different aromatic combinations to create your unique kitchen scent.
    2. Add a few drops of essential oils to a simmering pot of water for a long-lasting fragrance.

16. Set Out Baking Soda

Baking soda works wonders in naturally absorbing odors without merely masking them. Placing shallow dishes of baking soda around the kitchen, inside the fridge, and freezer can help in maintaining a fresh-smelling environment. Regularly replace the baking soda every month for optimal odor absorption.

  • Prevention: Sprinkle baking soda in your shoes to prevent them from carrying odors into the kitchen.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Create DIY deodorizing pouches with baking soda and essential oils to place in kitchen drawers and cabinets.
    2. Sprinkle baking soda on carpets before vacuuming to eliminate any trapped odors.

17. Spritz Vinegar

Utilize the powerful properties of distilled white vinegar to effectively combat bacteria that cause unwanted odors. Mix 1 part vinegar with 2 parts water to create a natural cleaner that can be used on various kitchen surfaces such as cutting boards, countertops, sinks, appliances, and walls.

  • Prevention: Avoid leaving wet dishcloths or sponges on countertops, as they can develop musty odors.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Use vinegar as a natural fabric softener during laundry to remove any lingering odors from kitchen towels.
    2. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to vinegar for a more pleasant scent when cleaning.

18. Clean the Oven

Regularly cleaning the oven is crucial in preventing the buildup of burnt-on grease and food remnants, which can quickly lead to unpleasant odors. Consider deep cleaning the oven every 3-4 months using a commercial oven cleaner or a homemade paste of baking soda, salt, and water for a thorough scrub and wipe-out session.

  • Prevention: Place a baking sheet beneath food when baking to catch any spills and prevent them from burning on the oven floor.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Use oven liners or mats to catch spills and crumbs for easy cleanup.
    2. Apply a thin layer of cooking oil to the oven racks to prevent stubborn grease buildup.

19. Store Food in Airtight Containers

Containing strong-smelling foods such as onions, broccoli, and potatoes in airtight glass or plastic containers is essential to prevent the spreading of odors within your cupboards and fridge. By properly sealing these containers, you can significantly reduce the risk of unwelcome smells permeating throughout your kitchen space.

  • Prevention: Wrap pungent foods in multiple layers of plastic wrap before storing them in the fridge.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Label your airtight containers with the date to keep track of freshness.
    2. Use vacuum-sealed containers for storing pantry staples to extend their shelf life.

20. Empty the Fridge Drip Tray

The hidden fridge drip tray beneath the bottom crisper drawer can be a breeding ground for mold and unwanted odors if left unattended. Regularly pull out the tray every month or two, and discard any accumulated water and grime. Employ an antibacterial cleaner to thoroughly disinfect the drip tray and maintain a clean and odor-free refrigerator.

  • Prevention: Wipe up spills and leaks immediately to prevent them from seeping into the drip tray.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Place a small absorbent mat under the crisper drawer to catch any excess moisture and prevent it from reaching the drip tray.
    2. Use a mixture of white vinegar and water to disinfect the drip tray thoroughly.

21. Scrub Cutting Boards

Wooden and plastic cutting boards have a tendency to retain strong food odors, particularly from ingredients like garlic and onion. Employ a baking soda and water paste or a vinegar spray after each use to effectively disinfect and deodorize your cutting boards, ensuring a fresh kitchen environment every time.

  • Prevention: Use separate cutting boards for meats and produce to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Sanitize cutting boards in the dishwasher occasionally for a thorough clean and disinfection.
    2. Rub a slice of lemon over the cutting board to neutralize odors naturally.

22. Clean Kitchen Cabinets

Dust and food particles can accumulate over time within your kitchen cabinets and drawers, contributing to musty and undesirable odors. Consider removing all items from the cabinets and wiping down the empty surfaces with an antibacterial cleaner every 6 months or as needed to maintain a clean and fresh-smelling kitchen.

  • Prevention: Avoid storing food directly in cabinets without proper sealing or containment.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Install small sachets of activated charcoal inside cabinets to absorb excess moisture and odors.
    2. Use a handheld vacuum with a brush attachment to clean hard-to-reach corners and crevices in the cabinets.

23. Check the Garbage Disposal Splash Guard

The rubber splash guard around your garbage disposal can easily trap bits of rotting food, leading to persistent unpleasant smells. Make it a practice to remove and wash the splash guard periodically using soap and hot water to ensure that your kitchen remains free from any lingering garbage disposal odors.

  • Prevention: Run cold water for a few seconds after using the disposal to flush out any debris.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Sprinkle baking soda and a few drops of essential oil on the splash guard to eliminate odors and leave a refreshing scent.
    2. Scrub the splash guard with a toothbrush dipped in a mixture of baking soda and vinegar for a deep clean.

24. Freshen the Coffee Maker

Keep your coffee maker free from stale coffee smells and mineral deposits by running vinegar through the brewing cycle on a monthly basis. Follow this by running a few brewing cycles with water alone to ensure that your coffee always tastes and smells fresh, without any unwanted residue.

  • Prevention: Avoid leaving coffee grounds in the coffee maker for extended periods.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Add a pinch of salt to the water reservoir before running the cleaning cycle to help remove any coffee oil buildup.
    2. Wipe down the exterior of the coffee maker with a cloth soaked in soapy water to remove any coffee stains and spills.

25. Clean Behind the Stove

Accumulated grime behind the stove can often be the source of burning or rotting food odors. Ensure you pull the stove away from the wall every month and thoroughly clean the area behind it. Use an all-purpose cleaner on the floor and walls, and vacuum any dust bunnies that may have accumulated, to maintain a fresh and clean kitchen space.

  • Prevention: Use a splatter guard when frying to prevent odors from spreading.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Place a scented sachet or cotton balls soaked in essential oils behind the stove to add a pleasant fragrance to the area.
    2. Consider using a steam cleaner to effectively remove stubborn grease and grime from behind the stove.

26. Keep a Lid on the Trash Can

Prevent kitchen odors from spreading by using trash cans and bins that come equipped with tight-fitting lids. Consider removing the lids from outdoor trash cans only when necessary, and ensure that they remain sealed shut the rest of the time to contain any potential odors within.

  • Prevention: Double-bag particularly pungent trash to prevent leaks and odors.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Sprinkle a layer of cat litter at the bottom of the trash can to absorb any excess liquids and odors.
    2. Place a fabric softener sheet at the bottom of the trash can before inserting a new bag to add a pleasant scent.

27. Change Air Filters

Regularly replacing the air filters in your kitchen, particularly those in the vent over the stove and any whole-house ventilation systems, is essential in ensuring optimal air quality and reducing both kitchen odors and humidity. Make it a habit to replace these filters every 3-4 months to maintain a fresh and clean kitchen environment.

  • Prevention: Schedule regular maintenance checks for your ventilation system to ensure optimal performance.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Install a carbon filter in the ventilation system to trap and eliminate odors more effectively.
    2. Use an air quality monitor to keep track of the air quality in your kitchen and determine when the filters need changing.

28. Wash Out Recycling Bins

Rinsing glass, plastic, and metal food containers before placing them in recycling bins is a simple yet effective way to prevent any residue from causing unpleasant smells in your sorting area. Emptying the recycling bins daily and employing a weekly vinegar spray can further contribute to maintaining a fresh and odor-free kitchen space.

  • Prevention: Encourage family members to rinse containers before placing them in the recycling bin.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Line the bottom of the recycling bin with newspaper or paper towels to absorb any moisture and prevent odors from seeping in.
    2. Use a mixture of warm water and dish soap to clean the recycling bin thoroughly at least once a month.

29. Clean Out Fridge Door Seals

The rubber door seals of your fridge can easily trap food drips and crumbs, leading to the development of moldy and musty odors. Employ a baking soda paste scrub brush or an old toothbrush dipped in baking soda to thoroughly clean the door seals every month, ensuring that your fridge remains fresh and odor-free.

  • Prevention: Store liquids and sauces in spill-proof containers to prevent leaks.
  • Additional Tips:
    1. Rub a slice of lemon along the door seals to neutralize any odors and leave a fresh citrus scent.
    2. Use a toothpick or cotton swab dipped in vinegar to clean hard-to-reach crevices and corners of the door seals.


Your kitchen is the heart of your home, so let it beat with freshness and vibrancy. By incorporating these simple tips into your daily routine, you can ensure that your kitchen always smells as delightful as your latest culinary creation.

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