How To Get Rid Of Cooking Smells In Small Apartment

How To Get Rid Of Cooking Smells In Small Apartment? is a participant in the Amazon Associate program and will earn from qualifying purchases.

Did you like yesterday’s dinner?

The whole kitchen smelled really great while the fish was broiling or the curry was being cooked, didn’t it?

As much as we all LOVE the smell of delicious food on the dinner table, when the odor still lingers the next morning, it feels pretty awful!

Part of the issue may fall on your apartment which is small and doesn’t contain an exhaust fan to remove the smelly air. And it’s even a bigger bummer if your apartment is old as smell tends to stick to walls and cabinets in that case.

The other part of the issue may actually be your fault since there are some necessary precautions you MUST take before you cook something that delicious!

Want to know how to get rid of cooking smells in small apartment?

Here are some simple and inexpensive ways you can try so that you don’t have to fall asleep while the bedsheet smells like the spicy curry you just made!

Why Does Cooking Odors Linger In Small Apartment?

Before we begin, let’s give you some ideas on why the cooking odors seem to linger in a small apartment.

Open Rooms

Open Rooms

Suppose, you are cooking your favorite lamb roast on a Sunday evening.

If you don’t close the bedroom door and the closet door before preparing for that roast, chances are, the smell of the spice will linger everywhere!

Fabrics tend to absorb grease and odor faster than any other material. For this reason, when the smell of your cooking reaches your bedroom or closet, the odor stays there for a very long time.

Poor Ventilation

Poor Ventilation

If you are cooking indoors, then you must ensure there is proper ventilation around your house to get the bad smell out.

Having closed windows in the kitchen forces the food odor to stay put in one place. Kitchens that don’t have a stove range or hood usually suffer from a foul smell while cooking.

Turning an exhaust fan or even a regular fan on during food preparation helps a lot in driving the smell away.

Dirty Kitchen

Unclean Kitchen

If your kitchen space is dirty and there are always greasy pots and pans piled up on the sink, then the smell is bound to spread.

Splatters on the stovetop, pan full of fried oil, stray dishes are the reason why your house may always smell like there’s something rotten inside. In addition, the chopping board you use may also carry a funny stench if you don’t clean it properly after every time you use it.

Things You Need To Do To Get Rid Of Cooking Smells Form Your Small Apartment

Before Cooking

Before Cooking

Precaution is better than cure.

With that theory in mind, here are some rules you should follow before cooking to get rid of lingering smells in your kitchen.

Ventilate Your Kitchen

Odors only occur when you let it stay inside your house!

So, before you start working, try ventilating your kitchen as much as possible.

Ventilation can be done in many ways. If you have a vent/kitchen hood on top of your stove, utilize it. Even just opening up the window helps keep the fresh air circulating and let the air out of the kitchen. You can also turn on the electric fan to keep the air flowing freely across the room.

Isolate The Unit

Before you start working in the kitchen, first, you need to set up the environment properly.

Isolating the kitchen unit from the rest of the apartment is a good way to stop the cooking odors from going where you don’t want them. If your kitchen has a separate door, then you should close it while cooking. If there’s not any separate door for the kitchen, close your bedroom and closet door instead.

Use An Air Purifier

Does the smell of garlic seem to never go away from your apartment?

Let an air purifier help you out!

For smelly food items like fish, curry and garlic, the smell keeps persisting even when you are done preparing your food. In cases like these, you should invest in a good-quality kitchen odor removal device that can keep the smell to a minimum.

We recommend using an activated carbon filter to absorb all the funky smell of your kitchen. It’s usually paired with a true HEPA filter for keeping the indoor air clean.

Keep A Splatter Screen In Hand

Even if you are cooking something that doesn’t spread that much odor, it still might smell at some point if the splatter that you made isn’t wiped clean.

Before you start cooking, we recommend having a splatter screen ready on your hand so that you can use it to absorb odors easily. If the screen comes with an activated carbon filter, then you are even one step ahead of the game already as it absorbs odor much faster!

Light Up A Candle Before You Start Working

Candles have the ability to neutralize other strong smells quite easily.

If you light up a candle in your kitchen before you start cooking, then it can control all other powerful odors.

Fresh Wave Odor Neutralizing Candle, for instance, can help you get rid of other funky smell. However, if you like to mask the smell with something better, then using a lightly-scented citrus candle is the best option for you.

While Cooking

While Cooking

Forgot to take the steps before starting to prepare your dinner?

No worries! You can still cook delicious food and get the food smell out of your house by following any of these steps!

Boil Cinnamon

Is the smell spreading to the bedroom already?

While you are cooking, free up one of the stoves and put a small pot over it. Pour some water into the pot, drop a few sticks of cinnamon and wait for 5 minutes for it to boil. Once it’s boiled, the food odor will be replaced by a gentle cinnamon aroma all over the house.

Boil Citrus Peel

Preparing a lemonade for the guests?

Or perhaps are you cooking with lemon for today’s dinner?

Whatever the case may be, if you have a lemon at hand, be sure to peel some of the skin before juicing the lemons.

The citrus peels are excellent at removing bad odors from your house! Put the peels in a saucepan and let it simmer in the water for an hour or so. You will have a natural deodorant for your house free of cost!

Simmer White Vinegar

White vinegar is an excellent component for removing any sort of cooking smells.

To use this ingredient, put a small pan on the stove and pour one cup of white vinegar in it. Once it starts simmering for 15 minutes, the bad smell will get neutralized in no time at all.

After You Finish Cooking

After You Finish Cooking

All done with the cooking process?

Time to sort everything out and go to bed?

Before you leave, try any one of the following steps to make sure your house doesn’t suffer through any stench the next day.

Clean Up Immediately

Leaving dirty bags out in the open and dishes on the sinks are only going to make your whole house smell like trash.

Once your meal is ready, instead of piling up all the dishes try putting them into the dishwasher as soon as possible. Wipe down all the stoves and countertops and rinse off the splattered kitchen tiles as well.

Make sure to put all the garbage in the bin and take the trash out to decrease all sorts of foul smell inside your house.

Leave A Bowl Overnight

After taking all the precautionary measures, if there’s still some hint of cooking odor left then a bowl of vinegar might be the trick you are looking for!

The process is quite simple.

Take a saucepan full of water and mix vinegar in it in a 1:1 ratio. Start boiling the water and let it simmer for a few minutes before turning the stove off.

Leave the bowl of vinegar solution on the countertop for the rest of the night. The smell of vinegar will neutralize the bad smell and make your house smell nice and fresh in the morning.

Diffuse Oils

Want to fight off the bad smell with a better smell?

Diffuse oil is the way to go then!

Diffusing fragrant oils help restore the scent of your surrounding by cleaning up the air from a bad smell. Lavender oil, for instance, is a popular choice for fighting off a bad odor.

Pour some drops of essential oils on used tea bags and hang it in a corner of your house. The wonderful smell will fill up the rest of the house and make it smell fresh and odor-free.

Soak The Chopping Board

The chopping board is a great source of spreading smell.

They carry the scents of fruits, vegetables, fish and meat you chop on it. If you are just leaving your chopping board with just a few scrubs, chances are, it’s going to stink the next day!

To solve this problem, take a big pot, fill it with water, mix a little amount of bleach in it and leave the chopping board there for the whole night. Give it a few scrubs on the chopping board in the morning and it will be completely smell-free for sure!

Make Use Of Coffee Ground

Is any coffee lover reading this article right now?

We have good news for you guys!

Along with waking you up in the morning with a sip of your favorite drink, coffee comes with the ability to banish any lingering smell in the kitchen.

All you have to do is to fill up a small bowl with the leftover coffee ground and leave it on the kitchen countertop overnight. The smell of ground coffee helps to make your air smell fresh again.

Some Common Odor Issues And Their Fixes

Certain ingredients like fish, meat and some particular cooking style may have a powerful aroma.

Here, in this section of our article, we have tried to bring up the most common issues and their fixes for these types of situations.

1. How To Remove The Smell Of Frying?

When you are things in your home, the greasy smell of the food items is probably going to linger for a long time.

To remove the smell, you need to follow the steps mentioned down below:

  • Take a saucer/cup and place an orange inside the container that’s cut into 2 pieces.
  • Insert a piece of clove into the pulp of the orange and leave it near the stove to work as an odor-neutralizing scent.
  • If the smell still doesn’t go away, pull out the stove/oven and check to see if there’s any grease stuck between two components. Wipe out all traces of oil and the smell should disappear after a while.

2. How To Remove The Smell Of Fat And Meat Odors?

Meats taste delicious!

But the smell? Not so much, to be honest!

Let’s find out what you have to do to remove the smell of fat and meat odor from your kitchen:

  • Take a small container and mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 4-5 tablespoons of vinegar into it.
  • Cut a thin slice of lemon and drop it into the vinegar-soda mixture.
  • Pour this mixture on the utensils that were used to cook the meat and the smell will vanish for sure.

3. How To Remove Fishy Smell From Your Apartment?

There are very few things in the world that are as bad as the fishy smell that lingers after the meal is prepared!

To get rid of the awful stench, follow the steps down below:

  • Once you get your desired portion all sorted out, wrap the leftover fishes tightly and refrigerate as soon as possible.
  • If the odor still lingers, cut up several lemons and place them inside a saucepan with water.
  • Allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes.
  • You can also throw some lemon peels into the pot for added strength.
  • Turn off the stove and let it leave on the kitchen countertop overnight.


There is nothing more pleasant than the smell of delicious homemade food being cooked in the kitchen made with love and dedication.

However, when you have long finished your meal and the smell still lingers, it stops being so delicious and after a while, it becomes downright uncomfortable!

Now that you know how to get rid of cooking smells in small apartment, hopefully, you will be able to avoid musty food odors quite easily from today. Just remember to clean as much as you can as soon as you can and the smells won’t stick around to bother you anymore.

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