How to Remove Odor

Removing Odor

Often, the first thing to inspire our tastebuds is not what we see or what we taste, it is what we smell. But food does not always deliver mouth-watering aroma. Think fish, garlic, or anything charred. Whatever the offender, odors can permeate your hands, your equipment, you kitchen, and your entire home. Here's how to minimize and eliminate odors.

Yourself : Cooking is a hands-on task, so your hands absorb the odor of whatever you are working with. A little soap and hot water will remedy this most of the time. For more stubborn odors, rub your hands with vinegar or lemon juice (make sure that you have no cuts on your hands or they will sting). Then, wash with soap and hot water. Repeat if necessary. To remove garlic odors from your hands or fingers, rub them in the bowl of a stainless steel spoon (or any other stainless steel utensil) under running water. Follow by washing your hands with soap.

Your Equipment : When working with strong-smelling foods, use glass or stainless steel bowls. Avoid using plastic, which is more porous and thus more absorbent. To get rid of odors in plastic containers, ball up a piece of newspaper and seal it inside the container for a few days. When it comes to pots and pans, submerge them in hot, soapy water as soon as they are cool enough to go into the sink. Immediate soaking helps prevent odors, particularly strong ones, such as fish odors, from becoming embedded in the pan. If the odor is still present after washing, scrub with a paste of baking soda and water. As with pans, countertops and cutting boards should be cleaned immediately; but if time passes, these surfaces also respond well to lemon juice or a paste of baking soda and water.

The Fridge : If your refrigerator smells, the first step is to identify the source of the odor and throw it out. To help prevent future odors, clean out the fridge at least once a week. You can also use the old trick of storing an open box of baking soda in the fridge. Change the box every 4 months to maintain effectiveness. Here are a few other odor eaters that work well in the refrigerator: coffee grounds, charcoal, or a cotton ball soaked with vanilla extract. Take your pick.

The Room : When a kitchen or an entire home picks up an insistent odor, open a window or turn on the exhaust fan to freshen the air. Then, you can either absorb the odors or cover them up. To absorb them, set out a baking sheet scattered with baking soda (the more surface area the baking soda has, the more odor it can absorb). To replace the foul odors with pleasant aromas, bake an apple or a few orange peels. Or bake a pie plate sprinkled with cinnamon. Burn a scented candle. Or toast coffee beans in a small, dry skillet over medium heat.

The Drain : Often, it happens that whatever stinks up your kitchen ends up down the drain. Then, it's the sink that stinks. If you have a garbage disposal, throw a lemon in it. If not, pour 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup salt down the drain; follow it up with 1 to 2 quarts of boiling water to flush out the smells. To clean the sink basin itself, dampen a paper towel with bleach and thoroughly wipe it out.

More Cooking Guide

Visitors Currently Online: 8