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Our favourite natural ways to get rid of funky kitchen smells

It's not pretty, but it happens to the best of us. Whether it's a stinky sink or funky-smelling fridge, Team Cleanipedia has your back with these brilliant all-natural ways to banish those dodgy kitchen smells.


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The kitchen is a hive of activity, and whether you’re cooking delicious eggs for breakfast, a family Sunday roast or a quick cheese and onion sandwich, food residue is an inevitable part of cleaning up. Unfortunately, that can leave some, er, interesting kitchen smells – but we’ve got the solutions to get your kitchen scent clean and fresh again.

Banish kitchen sink smells

Got a whiffy kitchen sink? Unfortunately, unpleasant smells similar to rotten eggs or sewage are common, but there are a few simple steps you can take:

  • Firstly, try just plain old water. Boil some in the kettle and pour it down the plughole. You’ll be surprised how often this is all that’s needed to clean away stinky stuff in the pipes.
  • Still getting a pong? Next, it’s time to bust out the vinegar and baking soda. Pour 150g of baking soda down the plughole followed by 250ml of vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction will cause it all to bubble up. Leave for a couple of minutes before following up with some very hot water, either from the kettle or straight from the tap.
  • If necessary, you could also repeat the above method – but this time also using 150g of coarse salt first for extra cleaning power, before adding the baking soda and vinegar.
  • Don’t forget to keep the rest of the sink clean as well. You can use your own homemade kitchen spray – just use one part water to one part white vinegar, plus a couple of drops of the essential oils of your choice.

You should now have a cleaner, odour-free kitchen sink. If you want an extra-fresh smell, you could replace the vinegar with fresh lemon juice for that citrusy aroma and the same result (though you’ll be doing a lot of juicing). While you’re at it, why not add a couple of drops of essential oils added to your concoction? Tea tree, peppermint and eucalyptus are our favourites.

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Get your fridge fresh

Want to know how to get rid of that bad smell in your fridge? If you’ve not been keeping on top of leftover food or just haven’t cleaned it for a while, those whiffs when you open the fridge door can be pretty unpleasant. But have no fear: there are a few ways you can get rid of fridge smells naturally.

  • Don’t underestimate the power of coffee – and we’re not talking about your morning caffeine hit. To help eliminate stubborn smells, put a bowl of dry coffee grounds at the bottom of the fridge. If you’re not a fan of coffee aromas, you can use dry oats, baking soda or activated charcoal for the same effect.
  • If you prefer sweeter smells, soak cotton wool balls in vanilla extract and leave them inside the fridge.
  • The smell of citrus more your thing? Halve a lemon, put it face down in a bowl for a few days and it will act as a great fridge odour absorber. For extra citrus power, orange peel does a great job.
  • Stay on top of the cleaning. As well as giving your fridge a regular clean, fresh food spills should be wiped up immediately. Never use bleach inside the fridge, and follow our essential fridge cleaning tips.
  • Store your food properly by using airtight containers, which are much more reliable than using cling film (and better for the environment).
fruits and vegetables organized in the fridge

How to stop your bin smelling

Even when you think you’ve banished dirt and smells to the bin, you’ve still got that particularly funky kitchen bin whiff to contend with. Here are some simple tips you can follow to prevent l’eau de rotting food:

  • If you’re binning any leftover food or cooking residues, put the bin bag into your outdoor wheelie bin as soon as possible. You don’t need to be a scientist to know that scraps of chicken or fish left at room temperature aren’t going to smell great by next morning.
  • Make sure your bin lid is shut properly after you put waste in it.
  • Clean your kitchen bin regularly. You can use antibacterial products like Cif Antibacterial Multi-Purpose Spray or your own DIY spray – either the same as mentioned in our kitchen sink cleaning tips, or by making up two litres of water, 125ml of vinegar and 40g of baking soda.
  • Here’s a great tip for keeping your bin smelling great: line the bottom of the bin with newspaper to soak up any leaks from the bin liner, then sprinkle with baking soda to neutralise smells.

If your dishwasher is also smelling a little musty, we’ve already got your back with our top smelly dishwasher cleaning tips. Need to get rid of any whiffs beyond the kitchen? We’ve got great advice for banishing smells all around the home.

Originally published