Neutralize kitchen odors: Create a healthy indoor climate with simple means and regularity

Küche mit dampfenden Töpfen

Are you looking for effective methods to remove odors from the holy of holies, your kitchen? You are not alone. The kitchen is the heart of the house, but unfortunately it is also often the source of stubborn odors. Whether you want to neutralize the stench of fried fish, spicy spices or garlic: There are numerous strategies to breathe new life into your kitchen. The following article will tell you what these are, how best to implement them and what causes bad kitchen odors.

What causes kitchen smells?

Before you start neutralizing, it is important to identify the cause of the kitchen smell . Food remains often accumulate in sinks, drains and garbage cans and cause unpleasant smells . But sources of odor can also be hidden on work surfaces, in microwaves and ovens . In order to eliminate the triggers as quickly as possible, the following tips on the causes could be of great help.

  • Cooking and frying: When cooking, especially when frying, baking or grilling, fats and oils are heated, which release odors. Certain foods such as fish, onions and garlic can leave behind particularly intense odors.
  • Lingering food residue: Food residue left on countertops, appliances or in the kitchen sink can rot, causing unpleasant odors.
  • Garbage and compost: Garbage bins in the kitchen, especially if they contain organic waste such as food scraps, are sources of unpleasant odors.
  • Clogged drains: Food scraps, grease and other deposits that accumulate in the drain pipe cause bad smells over time.
  • Inadequate ventilation: Without proper ventilation, kitchen odors can linger and spread throughout the house.
  • Refrigerator and freezer: Unpackaged foods or expired products can create odors in the refrigerator that are released every time it is opened.
  • Rarely used or poorly maintained appliances: In and under kitchen appliances that are not cleaned regularly, food residue and dirt can accumulate, which over time begin to smell.
  • Dishwasher: Old food residue and limescale deposits in the dishwasher can also contribute to odors if they are not cleaned regularly.

To effectively neutralize kitchen odors , it is important to identify their causes and combat them specifically. Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential. But how do you remove odors like these?

Remove kitchen smell: daily routines

An open kitchen is particularly susceptible to odors spreading throughout the living space. To neutralize kitchen odors, it is recommended to establish a daily cleaning routine, which should look like this:

  • Clean work surfaces: Wipe down work surfaces after every cooking session. Use a mixture of vinegar and water . This household remedy kills germs naturally and helps you neutralize odors.
  • Clean the drain: To remove odors and prevent blockages, you can pour a mixture of baking soda and vinegar into the drain . It is best to leave it overnight and then rinse with hot water.
Drain into which water drains
Image source: Pixabay
  • Dispose of garbage regularly: Kitchen waste rots in the garbage can. If it is not disposed of regularly, it starts to stink and creates an unhealthy indoor climate.

If you implement the measures mentioned above, the most common causes can be nipped in the bud before they result in a nuisance smell. But what other options are there to avoid unpleasant kitchen smells?

Neutralize kitchen smells: natural solutions

Neutralizing kitchen odors is an important part of kitchen hygiene . Natural methods can be of great help here and are popular with many people. Most of the remedies are environmentally friendly, inexpensive and easy to use. What's more, we already have most of the home remedies at home and can start combating odors right away. Just try out the following tips and then enjoy the pleasant atmosphere of a clean and odor-free kitchen . Here are some effective natural methods that you shouldn't miss out on:

  • Vinegar: Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that neutralizes odors. To absorb odors, you can place a bowl of white vinegar in the kitchen or mix a splash of the home remedy with water and use the solution to wipe down surfaces .
  • Baking powder: The leavening agent is an excellent odor absorber. For optimal results, you can pour baking powder into a bowl and place it in the refrigerator or garbage can . This all-rounder is also suitable as a cleaning agent for various surfaces.
  • Coffee grounds: Fresh or used coffee grounds are also known for their absorbent properties. Prepared in a bowl, you can place the pick-me-up in the kitchen and let it neutralize the odor.
  • Citrus fruits: Spread orange or lemon peels around the kitchen. They give off a wonderfully fresh scent . You can also boil the peels of citrus fruits to neutralize kitchen odors.
  • Herbs and spices: Boiling or simmering spices such as cinnamon sticks, cloves or fresh herbs can help mask unpleasant odors with pleasant aromas. Unfortunately, this method only offers a short-term effect and is only effective if used after the actual odor control.
  • Activated carbon: Activated carbon filters can effectively absorb odors and are often part of commercial air purifiers.
  • Green plants: Certain plants, such as geraniums and eucalyptus, can also help improve air quality and naturally neutralize odors. They are also a beautiful eye-catcher and will visually spice up your kitchen.
  • Air-purifying plants: Some plants, such as the spider plant studied by NASA, can purify the air of pollutants and thus contribute to a fresher scent.
  • Ventilation: One of the simplest and most effective methods is to regularly ventilate the kitchen. Cooking smells are immediately removed, fresh air is let in and the room climate is balanced.
  • Essential oils: A few drops of an essential oil such as lavender, rosemary, lemon or peppermint can be used in a diffuser or mixed with water in a spray bottle to freshen the air.

The methods discussed are particularly beneficial because they do not contain any harmful chemicals and often have a relaxing effect.

Odour control with technical aids

In addition to natural methods, there are also technical measures that can help to effectively neutralize and control kitchen odors. Here are some of the most effective solutions:

  • Extractor hoods: These units are mounted directly above the cooker and extract odors, smoke and steam. They filter the air through grease filters and often carbon filters to neutralize odors before the air is either returned to the kitchen or vented outside.

Kitchen, extractor hood, stove

Image source: Pixabay

  • Air purifiers: Air purifiers use various filters, such as HEPA filters and activated carbon filters, to remove odor particles from the air. Some models are specifically designed for the kitchen and can efficiently filter odors.
  • Ionizers: These devices purify the air by releasing charged negative ions into the environment, which attach to odor particles and cause them to sink to the ground where they can be more easily wiped up.
  • Ozone generators: Ozone is a powerful oxidizer and can neutralize odors. However, these devices should be used with caution and according to the manufacturer's instructions, as ozone can be harmful to health in high concentrations .
  • Ultraviolet (UV) light systems: Some air purifiers incorporate UV light to kill bacteria and viruses, which can also help control odors.
  • Odor-proof trash can: Technologically advanced trash cans may have odor filters and sealed lids that help keep odors inside the container.
  • Drain cleaning systems: There are special cleaning systems for the kitchen sink that ensure that drains remain free of food residue and odors are reduced.

Emma Grün Tip: When choosing technology, you should always choose a model that is suitable for your personal needs and the size of the room. It is also important to carry out regular maintenance to ensure the effectiveness of the devices. In addition to the measures mentioned, which are also used for prevention, the following tips can help you prevent unpleasant smells in your kitchen.

How can you prevent unpleasant smells in the kitchen?

To prevent bad smells in the kitchen, it is crucial to practice a combination of good hygiene, regular appliance maintenance and the use of appropriate kitchen appliances . Here are some preventative measures:

Regular ventilation

Make sure that the window is open during and after cooking or use suitable ventilation systems to promote air circulation and remove odor particles.

Use extractor hoods

Always switch on the extractor hood when you are cooking. This will immediately remove the odors and steam and minimize unpleasant kitchen smells.

Cleaning kitchen surfaces

After preparing food, all work surfaces, hotplates and appliances must be cleaned with suitable cleaning products.

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Disposal of food waste

Food waste must be disposed of immediately in sealable containers or, even better, in a compost bin outside the home.

Empty garbage regularly

Kitchen garbage should be emptied daily, especially if it contains food scraps.

Drain cleaning

Clean your drain regularly with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to remove buildup that can cause odors.

Cleaning kitchen appliances

Perform regular deep cleaning of kitchen appliances such as your ceramic hob , refrigerator, dishwasher and oven.

Refrigerator management

Regularly check and dispose of expired food and practice proper storage.

Orange with mold

Image source: Pixabay

Use of odor absorbers

Place natural odor absorbers such as baking soda or activated charcoal in the refrigerator and in your cupboards. They absorb the bad smells and ensure an optimal indoor climate. However, make sure to replace them at regular intervals.

Maintenance of equipment

Make sure all kitchen appliances are maintained according to the manufacturer's instructions. This will prevent food residue from accumulating, causing unpleasant odors and attracting pests.

Regular air supply

Get yourself some houseplants that will improve the air quality in your own four walls and ensure a constant air exchange in a natural way.

Cooking with lids

To limit odors and prevent the spread of odor molecules, we recommend using a lid when cooking food.

Use sustainable, odorless cleaning products

Choose cleaning products that are specifically designed to neutralize odors rather than just masking them.

You've probably already noticed that many preventative measures can also be used to eliminate odors. If used regularly, you can not only reduce existing kitchen odors, but also prevent new ones from forming. Regularity and attention to kitchen hygiene are the key to an odor-free kitchen.


Maintaining a fresh and odor-free kitchen is entirely possible with the right methods and habits. To combat unwanted kitchen odors, natural absorbers such as vinegar, baking soda and coffee grounds are valuable as they can neutralize bad smells.

Technical aids such as extractor hoods and air purifiers also play an important role by effectively removing odor particles from the air. At the same time, fresh scents of citrus fruits and herbs provide a pleasant aroma in the kitchen air.

To prevent odors, it is essential to ensure good ventilation and practice cleaning routines that keep surfaces, equipment and drains free of odor-causing residues. Prudent waste management, including prompt disposal of food scraps and regular emptying of trash cans, also helps prevent odors.

Properly storing food in the refrigerator is also crucial to prevent bad smells from developing. By following these practices, the kitchen can become a welcoming space where cooking and eating always remains a joy.

FAQ: Questions & Answers

What are the most common causes of kitchen smells?

The most common causes of kitchen odors are often food residue left on work surfaces, fats released into the air during cooking, unventilated rooms and stale food particles in appliances such as the refrigerator or dishwasher.

How can I neutralize kitchen odors instantly?

To quickly neutralize kitchen odors, you can put out a bowl of white vinegar or baking soda to absorb odors. Boiling lemon peels or lighting a candle can also help eliminate odors.

How often should I change my kitchen sponge to avoid odors?

Kitchen sponges should be replaced regularly as they can be a breeding ground for bacteria. It is recommended to change them or clean them thoroughly at least once a week.

What role does ventilation play in preventing kitchen odors?

Good ventilation is crucial to minimising kitchen odours. It helps to remove cooking fumes, steam and odour particles and to supply fresh air.

Are odor absorbers such as baking soda or activated carbon effective?

Activated charcoal and baking soda are excellent natural absorbers that don't just mask the smell. They capture bad smells and neutralize them.


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