Apartment Cleaning: 6 Tips to Eliminate Odors After Cooking

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Cooking will fill your kitchen with delicious smells, but those pleasant aromas can quickly turn to odors if you don’t take proper steps to clean after you’re finished. Eliminate odors after cooking by following these tips:

1. Store Leftovers Properly

As soon as you’re finished cooking and eating, gather all leftovers, place them in tightly sealed containers or plastic wrapping and put them away. Leaving food sitting out allows smells to linger, and improperly stored leftovers can create unwanted odors. Prevent this from happening by storing food effectively and in a timely fashion. Don’t leave food sitting out for more than a couple of hours. Also be certain to put away any cooking ingredients you’ve used. Don’t leave ingredients like sauces, seasonings and cooking oil open and out. Seal all ingredients and put them back where they belong.

2. Clean Cooking Dishes Promptly

You’re not done after wrapping your leftovers and putting them away. If you don’t want your kitchen (or entire apartment) to smell, wash all dirty dishes immediately. Make sure you rinse off all food and wash it down the drain. If you have a garbage disposal, use it after washing your dishes. Leaving pieces of food in your sink or down your drain is guaranteed to create a foul odor in your kitchen. If you don’t have a garbage disposal, scrape all of the food off of your plate and into the trash before rinsing. Even if you don’t have time to wash the dishes completely, rinse them off at the very least. Leaving pots full of food on the stove or in the sink will create unwanted odors (and also attract unwanted bugs).

3. Take the Trash Out Regularly

Depending on what you cooked, especially in the case of raw meat, you’ll want to take the trash out the evening you cooked or the very next morning. It won’t take long for food in the trash to smell. Remove it from your apartment as soon as possible. Most kitchen odors come from the trash can.

4. Let Air Circulate

While you’re scrubbing the dishes or taking out the trash, turn on the overhead stove fan and crack open a window or two. Air circulation with help move the odors out of the room, and opening a window or switching on the fan is one of the easiest things you can do.

5. Tidy Up

Washing your dishes after cooking is a given, but also be sure to clean the stove and counter tops, too. Keep your kitchen stocked with plenty of dish rags, sponges and cleaning products (like 409). Wipe down all surface areas, paying special attention to find any food that may have spilled over. A clean kitchen is typically an odorless kitchen.

6. Keep Air Spray Handy

If you fail to take one of these precautions after cooking and your kitchen ends up with a bad odor, mask it temporarily with some air spray. Just be sure to take the right steps to rid of the cause of the odor.

In short, keep a tidy kitchen and you’ll never have to worry about odors after cooking!


Rachael Weiner: I’m a communications professional for a non-profit, which financially necessitates my status as an apartment dweller. Constantly “on-the-go,” I’ve resided in five different apartments across the United States over the past five years. Roommate issues, budgeting, organizing and handling problem neighbors are my specialty.

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