Tips for Getting Rid of Cooking Odors in Small Apartment

Here are some creative ways that make light work of removing odors.

Updated July 22, 2023

If you live in a small apartment, cooking can be tough. It's hard to get the smells out of your kitchen, and it's difficult not to have them linger onto your clothes or furniture. This blog post will go over some tips that might help you eliminate cooking odors from your home.

Open your windows

Open your windows. This is a commonly overlooked start for getting rid of kitchen odors, but it's one that works best! Opening the window can help bring fresh air into the room and allow smells from cooking or other activities in the apartment to dissipate more quickly than if you didn't open them at all.

Turn on an exhaust fan

Cooking can produce some pretty strong smells, so make sure you turn on the exhaust fan if there is already one available inside the apartment. Exhaust fans work by circulating air throughout different parts of the room, which helps minimize lingering food smells while also getting rid of other unpleasant ones like smoke from burning incense or candles.

Add baking soda when boiling vegetables or pasta sauce

Baking soda is often recommended for a variety of baking tasks, but it also has the ability to help remove odors in your kitchen too! Add one tablespoon of baking powder when boiling pasta sauce or vegetables, and this should eliminate any smells that linger even after they're done cooking.

Consider using fragrance

You can also try using these things to make your kitchen smell better and fresher after cooking has been done and the odors have already gotten into the air too.

The use of scented candles, potpourri, or even spray fresheners may be helpful to get rid of smells that are lingering and replace them with ones that you find more pleasant than what was there before!

Boil any herbs or spices

Another helpful suggestion for getting rid of cooking smells in the kitchen is to boil some herbs or spices before adding them to your meal so that those strong flavors cover up any odors left behind by what you're making.

Shut some doors

Closing off rooms from one another with a door can help further minimize lingering cooking scents and make it easier on yourself as well when trying to find where they might be coming from. Be sure not to neglect this task, though, because it may also allow other more unpleasant things like noise pollution or cold air into the room without someone being aware of what's happening outside beforehand!

Cook outdoors when possible

If it's at all possible to do so, try cooking outdoors! Cooking out of doors is a great way to not only get rid of any odors that might linger from your meal but also offers many other benefits too. Cooking on the grill instead of indoors (especially in summer months) helps minimize heat and humidity inside the home, making for a more comfortable environment in general. Additionally, you'll be cooking with natural sunlight, which carries the dual bonus of being a great way to save on your electric bill (although that one might not always apply) and promote healthier eating habits. Some research has shown exposure to sunshine alone can help lower cholesterol levels. The more you can get outdoors, the better!

Tips for Getting Rid of Cooking Odors in Small Apartment

Light a candle or incense

Candles and incense are great for helping to eliminate cooking smells in the kitchen because they work by removing particles from the air that would otherwise linger after other methods have expired their usefulness. This means when you light up some candles or use an incense stick, it will help remove any lingering scents left behind by your food while also making the room smell nice!

Leave out a bowl of vinegar

Keep a bowl of vinegar around to help remove odors too! If you don't have many other options for getting rid of cooking smells, then one suggestion that might work well is to keep a small dish or bowl containing some white vinegar close by in order to absorb any lingering scents from the air and make them more manageable than they were before on your own.

Go with non-stick cookware

Use baking pans with non-stick surfaces when possible. This will reduce odors after cooking as it removes fat, protein, and sugar from sticking onto the pan's surface like traditional metal ones would, which can cause everything else cooked afterward to smell bad too because these food particles are still there even if out of sight!

Use an air purifier/sanitizer

Use an air purifier or a dehumidifier to help remove or at least minimize cooking odors. Either of these two items may be helpful in removing some odor problems that might exist and are worth looking into if you're not sure what else there is for getting rid of any unpleasant smells after cooking!

Try an air sanitizer of some kind to help alleviate cooking odors. In order to keep your kitchen smelling fresh and clean as it should with all the bacteria killed off, then using a product like this might be worth looking into!

Use a charcoal filter splatter screen

One item you can put a charcoal filter screen over is the stove-top. This product may help control cooking odors by trapping them before they have an opportunity to escape and get into the air through either smoke or steam!

Throw fruit in your garbage disposal

This will help to remove any leftover odors from the garbage disposal and might also do something else in return-like make your apartment smell a little bit better overall! For example, you may use lemon slices to remove any odors from the disposal depending on what you have going on at the time that needs to get cleaned up.

Clean the odor source and get it out

Always make sure your garbage cans are emptied out regularly and often! This is a good habit for many reasons, but one of them includes being able to keep cooking smells away as this will help keep garbage from building up and making everything seem that much worse than it already is.

Try airborne plants

Try airborne plants like ferns for cooking areas where it is hard to keep windows open when preparing food indoors. This can work quite nicely at getting rid of bad smells by releasing oxygen into the air and taking other things out, such as carbon dioxide, while also helping dilute.


I hope these tips have helped you and your family! Remember to keep the windows open while cooking, use baking soda in a bowl of water as an air freshener, and don't forget that Febreeze has odour eliminators. Let us know what other questions or concerns you might have about small apartments with smelly kitchens by contacting our team at We love brainstorming!

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About the author 

Cindy Bruce

Cindy Bruce is a passionate artisan bread baker. She has a love for cooking and all the different appliances that go along with it. Cindy's dream is to travel the world, sampling new tastes and foods from each country she visits.

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