Kitchen Odor No More

1. Combat cooking fumes.
Try this to erase the scent of yesterday’s broiled fish: In a saucepan, mix 3 tablespoons of white vinegar and 1 cup of water, and boil for several minutes. Vinegar is acidic and odors are alkaline, so the former will neutralize the latter.

2. Treat the trash.
Without regular attention, garbage stench can take over your kitchen. As soon as you get a whiff, empty the can and use a wet paper towel to wipe away any debris stuck inside. Spray the inside and out with a disinfectant spray like Lysol, and let it dry. Do this about once a week, and you may be able to skip a deeper cleaning for good.

3. Freshen appliances.
If you’ve quit hand-rinsing items before loading them into the dishwasher, kudos for saving water. The downside: Food bits in the machine can lead to funky smells. Clean the filter (below the bottom rack) by whisking out any particles with a paper towel. Then run a “rinse only” or “quick rinse” cycle with the machine empty to wash away debris; afterward, leave the door a bit ajar to air it out.

For the fridge and freezer, toss past-prime leftovers and other likely offenders, and dump old ice cubes, which hold odors, in the sink. Clean obvious spills with a sudsy sponge; then rinse. Pour a thin (1/4-inch) layer of fresh baking soda into a few small, shallow dishes. Cover with plastic wrap and punch holes so air can circulate, and place the dishes on shelves to keep the fridge fresh for up to three months.

4. De-stink the sink.
The culprit here is residual food scraps in the garbage disposer or pipes. First, clean the disposer blades by grinding up that ice from the freezer. Thoroughly rinse the rubber gasket, if you have one — it’s a magnet for debris (flip it and get the underside, too). Finally, even if you don’t have a disposer, pour in 1/2 cup baking soda while running warm tap water.

5. Fight stink before it starts. Spinkle salt on fresh oven spills to make them easier to wipe up, and keep lingering odors to a minimum. Dishwasher Magic and Disposer Care can freshen stinky spots (or mix one-part vinegar with one-part ice cubes and send them down the disposal). And we also like to tuck a woodsy-scent satchet, like the Fresh Wave Pearl Pack, in the trash can. The blend of plant extracts fights odors for weeks.

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