Remove Odors and Freshen Up Your Kitchen This Spring

Remove Odors and Freshen Up Your Kitchen This Spring

If you have strange odors coming from your kitchen, it could be more than just the garbage can.


Sometimes, scenarios in our kitchens can play out like a horror movie: There’s a strange odor coming from somewhere. You determine that it’s coming from the pantry, and open the door slowly. You don’t know what it was, but you know that it resembles some sort of alien life form, growing in a dark, forgotten corner of your kitchen. And it smells horrible.

With luck, you can throw it away, and be done with it. But if you’re one who needs a little more than luck, here are some ideas to get rid of (or find) odors in the kitchen and get things back to normal.

The Sink
Even if you scrape all the solid food off plates into the trash and wash dishes immediately, sinks are still prone to giving off some stenches every once in a while. Try some of these tricks to help fix the problem:

  • Pour a sink cleaner/de-clogging agent down the drain and follow the package’s recommended steps.
  • Pour lemon juice (or shredding pieces of lemon in a garbage disposal if you have one) down the drain.
  • Pour about a cup of baking soda down the drain, let it sit and then add one cup of vinegar. If you remember science class “volcanoes,” this concoction will bubble up, but if plug the drain, it will actually dislodge any debris stuck down the sink. Wait about a half hour then pour boiling water down the drain to rinse it all out.

The Pantry
Most people wouldn’t think of keeping perishable items in a pantry but there are things often kept in the pantry that will go bad. When the pantry is the source of an odor, keep a few things in mind:

  • Ensure that none of your canned items have been punctured or opened.
  • Keep an eye on vegetables and other things that have expiration dates. Environmental conditions could make spoilage happen faster.
  • Clean out and monitor the expiration dates of items regularly.
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The Fridge
While having a well-stocked fridge makes everyone in the house happy, it also increases the chance of pushing items to the back of the fridge where it often will stay well past its expiration date. Some watch-outs:

  • Be cautious about takeout foods or leftovers — these are neither airtight nor have definite “shelf lives.”
  • For general upkeep, stash a box of open baking soda inside the fridge to absorb natural smells.
  • Make sure there are no spills on the shelves or in the doors.
  • Date all storage containers if you plan on keeping food for longer than overnight.
  • Make sure all bags or containers (for marinades, meats, etc.) are properly sealed

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The Kitchen as a Whole
Your kitchen will obviously be exposed to a lot of smells. If simply opening the windows doesn’t do the trick, you might want to try:

  • Leave a bowl of white vinegar out. This will absorb odors in the air.
  • Wash the walls.
  • Clean the inside of your oven.
  • Make sure there isn’t a grease spill or general kitchen debris left behind.
  • Take out the garbage.

If, after everything, you still can’t pinpoint the source of the smell, it could be something more serious. Rotting wood or mold could both cause stenches in the kitchen — all things potentially dangerous and should be taken care of promptly.

If you’re looking to give the spring scents a boost, citrus and mint are both smells associated with refreshment and, after being shut in for months because of the cold, what could be better?

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