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For those with a passion for culinary creation, the kitchen is a constant space of potential. From baking to cooking and the many food-based experiments in between, the kitchen endures a wide variety of flavors, spices and sauces. Although these combinations often lead to a delicious dish for many to enjoy, they can also leave the kitchen smelling less than desirable.
A room in the home where friends and family tend to gather in the name of meals, the kitchen is the last place anyone wants to deal with is masking unpleasant smells. Whether they originate from the oven, disposal, dishwasher or refrigerator, there’s nothing worse than a beautifully cooked meal overpowered by unsavory scents. Here are a few brilliant ways of banishing those frustrating kitchen smells for good.
1. Shine the sink
The kitchen sink has a tough job, so it’s no wonder that all that food and washing eventually take a toll when it comes to smell. It’s not uncommon for kitchen sink drains or basins to begin to give off an unpleasant aroma over time. To keep bad odors at bay, regularly wipe down the basin with a white vinegar and baking soda mix. This same solution can be run down the drain and followed up with a hot water rinse for a sparkling, long-lasting and sweet-smelling shine.
2. Food disposal solutions
Food disposals are convenient for dealing with pesky leftovers after a delicious meal. Often a first stop for plates before hitting the dishwasher, food disposals are notorious for collecting small chunks of food that lead to bad smells in the kitchen. To kick these odors once and for all, keep a few lemons on hand and send some small pieces down the disposal. Run the disposal and let the natural smell of lemon become the new kitchen scent standard.
3. Avoid oven odors
Whether the chef of the house is an expert when it comes to turkey, lasagna baked goods or the many delicious options in between, the oven works hard to keep up with the culinary genius. Burnt cheese particles, grease and grime are naturally left behind in this kitchen appliance but also lead to lingering odor issues. When it comes to keeping ovens clean and scent-free, try an all-over water spray followed by a light sprinkling of baking soda. Leave this mixture overnight and wipe it away with a sponge and spot of dish detergent in the morning for a good as new look and smell to match.
4. Derail dishwasher smells
The favorite counterparts to food disposals, dishwashers also face the difficult task of whisking away food, grime and grease in a matter of minutes. In time, a buildup of food and particles will ultimately end up showing itself it the form of an unsavory aroma. Easy to detect with every opening of the dishwasher door, there’s an easy solution to keeping this type of smell gone for good. Simply alternate washing dishes with running a preventative cleaning cycle. A cup of white vinegar in the detergent section does the trick with a hot cycle leading to pristine results. As an added tip, regularly hand-wash the utensil rack to make sure anything stuck in the small, hard-to-reach slots is removed.
5. Eliminate ice maker scents
That ice maker that quickly moves between cubes and crushed is a kitchen-based luxury that many people love. However, these convenient machines also tend to take on the odor of whatever lies behind the freezer doors. To ensure a glass of fresh-smelling ice is always on hand, keep an open box of baking soda in the freezer at all times. Working as an odor-absorbent, baking soda quickly gets rid of freezer odors that seep into ice makers and only needs to be changed out approximately every three months to maintain freshness.
6. Make the microwave like new
Movie nights at home are fun, but those TV dinners or popcorn bags gone wrong can leave a foul smell coming from the microwave. To counter pesky microwave odors, heat a small bowl filled with 4 tablespoons of white vinegar for approximately six minutes and allow it to sit in the microwave for an hour. Once the vinegar is removed, simply wipe down the microwave and enjoy the fresh, new appliance scent.
7. Reinforce the refrigerator
Charged with the very large responsibility of holding a household worth of food and maintaining its integrity, the refrigerator is naturally prone to bad smells with a constant combination of food products within its doors. As foods reach a variety of expiration dates, it can be hard to keep track of what needs to be disposed of first. Instead of trying to keep up, kep a bowl of ground coffee beans in the bottom door of the refrigerator. Coffee contains odor-absorbing properties and will keep the fridge smelling fresh even when it’s time to get rid of a few malodorous items.
8. Clean up the cabinets
As much effort is put into keeping dishes clean and dry, there’s always a chance that a damp plate sneaks its way into a kitchen cupboard. Over time, this extra moisture can potentially lead to a musty smell. When it comes to scents that permeate the kitchen, there’s no reason preferred smells can’t be part of the solution. Try soaking a few cotton balls in a favorite perfume or cologne, and once they’re dry, place them in the corners of kitchen cabinets away from dishes. It’s a sure way to get rid of musty scents behind closed cabinet doors and will deliver a breath of a favorite aroma every time you reach for a plate.
9. Take trash cans to a cleaner level
Trash buildup is a natural part of life, but that doesn’t mean a trash can in the kitchen has to set the standard for aromas in this culinary oasis. Even though an open can under the kitchen sink is convenient for disposal, it can also be a quick way to letting unpleasant smells permeate the home. Instead, try keeping the trash in a bin enclosure. Available in all sizes, shapes and fun colors, an enclosure is a kitchen decor accent that also works to keep bad smells contained, which is exactly where they belong.
10. Soap up the faucet head
Most of the time, sink drains or food disposals are the primary culprits when it comes to bad kitchen smells, however, the head of the sink faucet can be just as guilty. With the accumulation of bacteria and minerals, it’s very possible that a dirty faucet head could result in aroma issues. To avoid this scenario, regularly dip the faucet head into a mixture of ½ cup of white vinegar and ½ cup of water. Soak for a few minutes and wipe away grime to ensure a fresh and sweet-smelling water flow.
11. Say good-bye to smelly dish towels
Dish towels are a quick fix to wet hands that happen while work is being done in the kitchen, but it doesn’t take long for a musty smell to make its way through the cloth. To keep dish cloth odors away, invest in a set of microfiber hand towels that dry faster than ordinary cloth, meaning a slower buildup of bacteria and a better smell overall.
12. Put freshness into the pantry
Dryer sheets serve a specific purpose when it comes to laundry, but they can also be used to freshen up kitchen spaces that tend to remain closed off most of the time. Pantries hold a variety of food items but may not air out as often as necessary to keep a musty smell at bay. For a long-lasting and fresh pantry scent, keep a few dryer sheets in the corners.
13. Keep the coffee pot in top-notch shape
It may be a plastic smell from just coming out of the box or it might be an accumulation of use over time, but coffee pots tend to hang onto scents longer than other things in the kitchen. Well-loved and perfect for providing that caffeine fix, a bad-smelling coffee pot is enough to ruin anyone’s morning. To ensure a fresh scent and even fresher cup of joe each day, rinse out the coffee pot with a little white vinegar in the evenings and keep half the pot filled with water and two lemon wedges until its next use. Covering the pot with plastic wrap at night makes for an extra delicious lemon scent when it comes time to brew the next day.
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