How to get rid of food odors


Each one of us, at some point, has smelled like a walking Indian meal. Although I cook and eat Indian food every day, I don’t enjoy the smell wafting with me long after the leftovers are consumed.

The key to not smell like curry is to eliminate the odors in the house. I have tried everything. From keeping the doors and windows open, closing the bedroom and closet doors while cooking, spraying Fabreeze all over the house, cleaning the kitchen after cooking, burning incense or candles and reed diffusers. Well, some worked, but most did not. If you have also tried these tricks with no luck, this is the article for you. It comes from an Indian food lover who has tried every trick in the book to enjoy a guilt free plate of Indian food at the end of each day.

  1. Clothing: Put a pair of clothes aside just for cooking and change out of them once you finish cooking. Sleeping or lounging in them will transfer the odors to the furniture and beds.
  2. Baking soda: Keep a couple spoonfuls open (out of reach of children and Fido!) around the house and closets. It is an inexpensive and effective way to absorb odors.
  3. White vinegar: We all know the magic powers of this cleaning and cooking essential. Leave a bowlful of white vinegar out on the counter overnight and wake up to an odor free home. Better yet, store the vinegar in spray bottles and spritz the walls after a lot of cooking or deep frying. It’s a natural deodorizer. It smells foul at first but odors dissipate as it evaporates.Extra tip: Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for that extra zing.
  4. Coffee beans: Leave out a bowl of coffee beans which absorb odors. Who doesn’t like to wake up and smell the coffee, anyway? A bowl of charcoal or cedar chips absorb  odors too and leave a natural scent.
  5. Spices: Make home deodorizers by sticking some cloves in an unpeeled orange, then tying it with a ribbon to hang in the kitchen. It smells very good. A great DIY rainy day project for kids. Throw cinnamon sticks along with cloves in a pot of boiling water. Let it simmer for a while. Works wonders.
  6. Odor Eliminating Scented Beads: Leave them open on top of the refrigerator or on top of the stove (be careful though). They last long and are effective in eliminating food odors.
  7. Herbs: Place some herbs (like, herbs de Provence) on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven at 325 for about 20 minutes. Leave the oven door open for the smell to navigate through your house.
  8. Vanilla extract: Put 2 caps of vanilla extract in a cup and place it in the oven at 300F for an hour for a great smelling home sweet home. For vanilla scent lovers, this one’s a keeper.
  9. Downy’s Unstoppables: Dissolve them in hot water in the kitchen sink if you have a large kitchen. Stir it up and let the aroma work its magic.
  10. Camphor: De-stink your house while blessing it at the same time. Do the aarthiand walk all around the house while doing it. Mind your smoke detectors. The house smells divine. Quite literally!
  11. Mouthwash: Saturate cotton balls with mouthwash (yes you read it right) and let sit in a dish overnight. Perfect for smelly restrooms. What better than waking up to a minty fresh smell?
  12. Humidifier: Definitely the most effective and also the most expensive odor eliminator. It serves another purpose of protecting skin from the dry air of the heaters (if you live in colder areas). So definitely worth the moolah. Make sure they are cleaned and descaled often to prevent lung infections.
  13. Ozone generators and air purifiers: They are worth the penny in larger homes. Air purifiers claim to eliminate odor but in reality they only purify the air. Ozone generators on the other hand eliminate odors by attacking odors at their source. Unfortunately the ozone they release can cause serious health consequences according to the EPA.
  14. Bake cookies: Okay, don’t curse me for this yummy tip. It has pretty bad repercussions if not exercised with caution and within reasonable limits. But, seriously. Only food can fight food with vigor. Bake to off-set all the  ginger garlic overdose.


DSC00479Deepthi Mundra is a travel and adventure junkie. She has travelled and worked on four continents. A dentist by profession and a Cross Fit enthusiast, she’s constantly planning her next travel adventure. She lives in Milwaukee with her husband and a seven year-old daughter, with another one on the way.


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