How To Get Rid Of Cooking Smells In Small Apartment

Small apartments have all sorts of benefits to offer when it comes to a living space.

Not only can you turn it into a cozy home that is able to suit your individual needs and style preferences-which can be much easier to do when you have a smaller space-, but they are also a cheaper option should you be strapped for cash but yearning for a chance to live independently.

That being said, small apartments can have their pitfalls in places too. One particularly common problem that can occur in small apartments is lingering smells, such as cooking smells.

Whilst cooking smells can be pleasant- especially if you are an excellent cook!- the enjoyable nature of them can very quickly dissipate as it turns stale and starts to linger.

What is worse is that since every room is very close to one another in a small apartment, the smells can spread and leave cooking aromas hanging around in places where you really don’t want food smells!

With this in mind, we are going to be taking a look at the ways that you can go about eliminating cooking smells within your small apartment. We will start with some easy to implement and common cures for lingering cooking smells, and progress through more elaborate and powerful methods to get rid rid of these odors when the simple stuff is not cutting it.

Let’s get started!

The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only.  It is not legal advice.  You should seek the advice of a qualified legal professional before making any decisions relating to the topics covered by this article.

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Wash The Dishes ASAP

It’s always tempting to leave the dishes hanging around for a bit, especially if you’ve had a particularly tiring day.

However, in a small apartment, you need to get your dirty dishes and cooking equipment cleaned as soon as possible in order to get rid of smells before they start to build up.

Dishwashing soaps are designed to not only get dishes squeaky clean, but also to neutralize smells from leftover food residue, so you must make sure that you use them properly.

Getting rid of dirty dishes immediately means that you get rid of the food odor at the source, which is sure to make a positive impact when it comes to lingering cooking smells.

Remember The Importance Of Ventilation

Woman Pouring Cooked Food

This is arguably the most important point to remember when it comes to getting rid of cooking smells in a small apartment.

By maximizing the ventilation, the air in your home can flow much more freely, smells can be released, and fresh air can enter your home.

This fresh air is able to dilute smells that hang around too.

Windows are the best way to achieve proper ventilation, so keep them open as you cook and for a little while after you have finished to make sure that the smells have every chance possible to escape and that fresh air can come in.

If the weather is bad or cold, don’t open the windows quite as much. Even a bit of micro ventilation can be effective when it comes to ridding your apartment of cooking smells.

You might find that you don’t have many windows if your apartment is particularly small, but make sure that you open anything that you can to get rid of those smells.

If you want to get rid of the smells sooner rather than later, one effective method to get them out quickly is to point a desk fan or a standing fan towards the window.

This will make the air leave your apartment faster, leading to smells dissipating sooner. There are other ways that you can ventilate your apartment too.

Some apartments have ventilation fans that are built in and these can be very useful when it comes to removing cooking smells, even if the fan itself is in a different area such as the bathroom.

Keep Doors Closed

Smells just love to spread around and get into every nook and cranny, and this is the case even more so in small apartments, as they don’t have very far to travel.

To avoid smells getting into areas such as the bedroom or the bathroom, make sure to shut the doors.

Cooking smells can last even longer if they are able to spread and become absorbed into fabrics, such as bedding or clothes in the bedroom or towels and bath mats in the bathroom.

Close the doors to these areas before you start cooking to avoid the smells of your food hanging around whilst you are trying to sleep or when you’re in the shower!

If you live in a small apartment that is open plan, then it might be a bit more difficult to keep your living area clear of smells, especially if you have a kitchen diner without any doors leading to the living room.

If your kitchen is contained in your apartment, shut the door to stop the smells from spreading quite so quickly.

However, there is one exception to this rule. As we mentioned before, some apartments have ventilators that can be found in places such as the bathroom.

If this is the case with you, closing the door of the bathroom will be more of a hindrance as it will mean that the ventilation system will not be able to do its job as effectively.

In this situation, keep the bathroom door open, so the ventilator can maintain air flow and reduce lingering smells.

Carbon Filtered Air Purifiers

These kinds of air purifiers are known for their ability to get rid of odors in the air, so they can be a great choice for ridding your apartment of cooking smells.

You won’t need to invest in a huge, expensive one either, thanks to your small living space.

Make sure it definitely has a carbon filter, though, as some other kinds of air purifiers aren’t effective when it comes to getting rid of smells.

Deep Clean Your Cooking Area (Especially Remove Oils)

If the above mentioned methods don’t work and smells continue to linger, make sure your cooking area, including your range, the hood above your range, and walls behind your range all are cleaned very well. In particular, you want to remove any oils that have built up around those areas because they can capture odors for a long time.

If needed, you can paint over any walls with a product like Kilz, which seals in strong odors like food and smoke.

Use an Ozone Generator to Blast Away any Stubborn Odors

The last thing you can do if all else fails is to invest in an ozone generator – now this is different from an air purifier and is much more powerful.

Ozone generators apply an electrical charge to the air that passes through it. This splits apart some normal oxygen atoms into unstable single atoms, which bond with other oxygen molecules to form ozone.

Once the ozone is produced it reacts with a pollutant, bacteria, virus, or mold, and breaks it down into less complex (and typically less harmful) molecules through a process called oxidation. Ozonation destroys odors, and disinfects air, water, and other materials. Source

I own one and use it to remove tough odors like smoke from dwellings and cars. You need to careful, though, because you (and your pets, etc.) cannot be in the dwelling while it is operating and you need to give ample time for the ozone to dissipate before the unit is safe for habitation.

Like I said, it’s a last resort, but can work quite well. Again, carefully follow the instructions for use for the device!

Final Thoughts

So there you have it – some great ways that you can avoid lingering cooking smells when living in a small apartment!

If you follow these tips, you should be able to keep your apartment smelling fresh even after cooking.