How to get rid of cooking smells in a small kitchen

How to get rid of cooking smells in a small kitchen

‘The best way to remove kitchen smells is to prevent them,’ says Sam Whigham, founder of cleaning company Wilton London. A few of the suggestions are simply good common sense, such as cleaning up your dishes as soon as possible and routinely wiping down surfaces and taking out your bins.

Ventilate during and after cooking

‘Windows are generally the best way to ventilate a small kitchen, especially if they can open wide,’ notes Steve. However, the alternative is an extractor fan. ‘This helps pull any smells, moisture and even grease from the air which makes a big difference.'

Clean your kitchen appliances more regularly

When was the last time that you gave your microwave a deep clean? Or checked to make sure that there weren’t any spills or out of date items in your fridge?

Our kitchen appliances go through a lot and when you consider how often they are used  – for example, your oven, microwave or even the best air fryer – smells can quickly build up if they aren’t cleaned regularly.

Wash any fabrics that the smells have clung to

‘Scent sticks to fabrics more than any other material, so wash any linen that has been exposed to strong scent. For example, the clothes you’re wearing, or any towels that have been used whilst cooking,’ declares Sam.

‘Tea towels can quickly build up smells as they tend to be used often. In addition, they can also be susceptible to bacteria growth. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to wash them every few days to keep them fresh and clean,’ says Sarah.

The best natural solutions to get rid of cooking smells

‘If you’ve been enjoying a strong-smelling dish, such as seafood or bacon, but you’re struggling to shake off the cooking scent, the good news is that there are a number of ways to disperse this odour using common household items you may already have in your cupboard,’ Adam remarks.

Baking soda

‘Baking soda isn't just your best friend in the kitchen when it comes to baking delicious treats - it's also a formidable odour eliminator’ reveals Olivia. ‘Simply fill a bowl with the baking soda, place it on your countertop and leave it to work wonders overnight. The bowl will absorb those lingering smells and odours floating around your kitchen, leaving you with a fragrance-free sanctuary come morning,’ she adds. You can even sprinkle some baking soda at the bottom of your bin, before you replace the bin bag, or place an open box or container of it in your fridge to keep pungent smells at bay.


‘Citrusy top notes work quickly to mask unwanted scent,’ Sam asserts. ‘You can also make use of waste in your kitchen to mask nasty smells. Simmer a pot of water with any left-over citrus peels.’ This method is also ‘stronger and more environmentally friendly than store-bought sprays and aerosols,’ according to Steve.


‘Fun fact, coffee beans are used to neutralise your sense of smell when testing scents, like a palate cleanser for your sense of smell,’ Sam says. And because of this, this strong and neutralising can really help to get rid of any unpleasant cooking smells.


Vinegar also works and can be used in a similar way, as it is another natural odour absorber.

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