How to Get Rid of Cooking Smells in Small Apartment – Fresh Home Hacks

Understanding Cooking Smells

For anyone living in a small apartment, cooking smells can quickly become overwhelming and unpleasant. Understanding where these odors come from and how to effectively eliminate them is crucial for maintaining a fresh and inviting living space.

The Science behind Cooking Smells

When you cook, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are released into the air. These compounds are the primary cause of cooking odors. The process of cooking causes fats and oils to break down, releasing molecules that can linger in your apartment long after the meal is over.

Common Culprits of Lingering Cooking Odors

Some of the most common sources of cooking smells include frying, grilling, and sautéing, as well as strong-smelling ingredients such as garlic and onions. These odors can permeate fabrics, upholstery, and even paint, causing them to linger for days.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ventilation is key: Ensure proper ventilation by opening windows and using exhaust fans while cooking to help remove cooking odors from your small apartment.
  • Use natural deodorizers: Utilize natural odor absorbers like baking soda, white vinegar, and coffee grounds to neutralize lingering cooking smells in your living space.
  • Clean regularly: Keep your apartment clean by washing dishes promptly, wiping down surfaces, and deep-cleaning your kitchen area to prevent cooking odors from lingering.

Prevention Methods

If you live in a small apartment, you know how easily cooking smells can permeate the entire space. However, there are several prevention methods you can implement to keep your apartment smelling fresh and clean. By being proactive, you can minimize the impact of cooking odors and enjoy a pleasant living environment.

Proper Ventilation Techniques

When cooking in a small apartment, proper ventilation is key to preventing cooking smells from lingering. If possible, open windows and turn on exhaust fans while cooking to allow fresh air to flow through your space and carry the cooking odors out. It’s also a good idea to use a range hood or vented microwave to help capture and remove cooking odors and smoke. Proper ventilation not only helps maintain a pleasant living environment but also ensures the air in your apartment remains fresh and healthy.

Controlling Cooking Odors While Cooking

While cooking, it’s important to take proactive steps to control cooking odors and prevent them from spreading throughout your apartment. One effective method is to cover the pots and pans as you cook to help contain the odors. Additionally, using a splatter guard when frying or sautéing can help minimize the release of cooking odors. By taking these simple steps, you can significantly reduce the impact of cooking smells in your small apartment and maintain a fresh living space.

Natural Remedies for Eliminating Cooking Smells

Now that you understand the importance of addressing cooking smells in your small apartment, let’s dive into some natural remedies that can help eliminate those odors. These remedies are not only effective but also safe for you and your living environment.

Using Citrus Fruits to Freshen the Air

One effective way to freshen the air in your apartment is by using citrus fruits. You can simply cut a lemon or orange into wedges and place them in a bowl of water. The natural oils in the citrus fruits will release a refreshing scent into the air, effectively masking any cooking odors. You can also boil the peels of citrus fruits in water on the stove to release their aromatic properties into the air.

Harnessing the Power of Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar are two powerful natural agents that can help eliminate cooking smells in your apartment. You can place an open container of baking soda in your kitchen to absorb odors, or sprinkle it directly onto carpets or upholstery before vacuuming. Additionally, you can mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle and use it to clean surfaces in your kitchen to get rid of lingering odors. The strong deodorizing properties of both baking soda and vinegar make them excellent natural remedies for eliminating cooking smells.

Additional Tips for Getting Rid of Cooking Odors

Despite your best efforts, sometimes cooking odors can linger in your small apartment. To combat this, there are several additional steps you can take to keep your living space smelling fresh and clean.

  • Use natural odor absorbers: Place bowls of vinegar, baking soda, or activated charcoal in problem areas to help absorb and neutralize cooking odors.
  • Ventilate your apartment: Open windows and use fans to help circulate air and push cooking odors out of your living space.
  • Simmer spices or herbs: On the stove, simmer water with essential oils or fragrant herbs like rosemary and cinnamon to help mask lingering cooking odors.

Perceiving a fresh-smelling apartment isn’t just about eliminating cooking odors, it’s also about creating a welcoming and inviting atmosphere for yourself and your guests.

Utilizing Air Purifiers and Deodorizers

To further combat cooking odors in your small apartment, consider investing in an air purifier or deodorizer. These devices can help to filter out cooking odors and other airborne particles, leaving your living space smelling clean and fresh.

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Kitchen Regularly

Regular cleaning and maintenance of your kitchen can go a long way in preventing cooking odors from lingering in your small apartment. Be sure to clean up spills and remove trash promptly, as well as wipe down surfaces and clean your kitchen appliances to prevent odors from building up.


Q: What are common cooking smells in a small apartment?

A: Common cooking smells in a small apartment include lingering odors from frying, strong spices, and seafood. These smells can quickly permeate the entire space and become unpleasant.

Q: How can I get rid of cooking smells in a small apartment?

A: To get rid of cooking smells in a small apartment, you can try simmering a pot of water with vinegar and citrus peels to neutralize odors, using an air purifier or opening windows to ventilate the space, and keeping bowls of baking soda around to absorb odors.

Q: What are natural ways to combat cooking smells in a small apartment?

A: Natural ways to combat cooking smells in a small apartment include simmering a pot of water with cinnamon and cloves to add a pleasant aroma, using essential oil diffusers to freshen the air, and keeping houseplants that naturally absorb odors, such as lavender or eucalyptus.

Q: Should I use commercial air fresheners to eliminate cooking smells in a small apartment?

A: It is best to avoid using commercial air fresheners to eliminate cooking smells in a small apartment, as they often contain harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances that can be harmful to your health. Instead, opt for natural air freshening methods mentioned earlier.

Q: How can I prevent cooking smells from lingering in my small apartment?

A: To prevent cooking smells from lingering in your small apartment, try using a splatter screen while cooking to minimize the release of odors, cleaning up spills and messes promptly, and regularly cleaning your kitchen appliances, such as the oven, microwave, and stovetop, to prevent the buildup of odors. Additionally, consider investing in a good quality exhaust fan to remove cooking odors at the source.

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