Picture this: You’re upstairs, lost in a book or deep into a Zoom meeting, when suddenly, the scent of tonight’s fish dinner invades your sanctuary. It’s like your kitchen has developed wanderlust, sending its aromatic ambassadors to every corner of your home.
If you’ve ever wondered how to reinforce your room walls to stop smells, you’re in the right place. We’re about to explore foolproof ways to keep your upstairs a food-smell-free zone. Trust us; your nostrils will thank you.
Remove Odors in the Kitchen
True, with so many different things, prevention is better than cure. The prevention here is stopping these smells before they have a chance to leave the kitchen. What causes these cooking smells is when these odors cannot escape.
As the smell is carried on steam and smoke, it is forced to linger, and this allows smells to begin spreading around the home and upstairs. Having a way to allow the smells of steam and smoke to escape right away is essential to control these odors.
Having a suitable quality range hood above the cooking area will always help as these appliances will actively draw up the smoke, steam, and with it, the smells caused by preparing gastronomic foods. Using a range hood accompanied by opening doors and windows will significantly reduce food smells from going upstairs.
Air extractor fans work actively to remove these unwanted smells and are a must when looking to stay in control of odors. Another method to allow these smells to escape is to open a window in the kitchen if you are able to.
This will encourage the exchange of fresh air with the air inside containing the smell and when used in conjunction with an air extractor, will keep you in control of those lingering odors.
Stop the Spread of Food Smells
Anyone with experience in cooking at home knows that certain foods will smell more than others. Garlic and strong spices, smoked meats, greasy foods, and deep frying will all produce an aroma that will linger and spread.
Be proactive! If you are going to be cooking or preparing food that you know will produce an odor, then go around your home and close interior doors, especially the kitchen door if you have one.
The more closed doors, the more barriers to stopping these food smells from spreading around the home and upstairs.
Used with open windows and air extraction, this will significantly reduce any odor from spreading where you don’t want it.
Types of Foods and Oils That Can Cause Lingering Smells
A variety of foods possess a stronger aroma that will travel throughout your house and permeate walls and furniture.
|Food Item||Odor Rating (1-10)||Notes|
|Fish||10||Especially strong with oily fish like mackerel.|
|Garlic||9||The smell can linger for hours.|
|Onions||8||Strong but often considered pleasant.|
|Cabbage||8||Can smell sulfurous.|
|Broccoli||7||Similar to cabbage but slightly less intense.|
|Curry||7||Spices can be very aromatic.|
|Blue Cheese||6||Quite pungent, especially when melted.|
|Kimchi||6||Fermented foods often have strong odors.|
|Bacon||5||Smells good to some, but the scent lingers.|
|Boiled Eggs||5||The sulfur smell can be quite strong.|
Stop Oil From Burning to Reduce Smells
The type of oil you use can be vital in preventing smoke in your house.
There are oils that have a lower smoke point when cooking. So when they’re heated at a higher temperature, They will burn and cause smoke to fill your home.
When cooking at high temperatures, avoid using oils like olive oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, or other types of unrefined oils. These oils have a smoke point of 400°F (204°C) and below and burn more quickly.
You can decrease the chance of smoke in your home by using oils with a higher smoke point like Sunflower oil, Safflower oil, or avocado oil. These oils have a smoke point of 450°F (232°C) and more. You can also cook some food without using any oil at all as discussed in this article here.
Check out this article if you want to learn more about oils and their smoke points.
Create Airflow in Your Home
Using the airflow technique can dramatically reduce the smell of food from climbing and reaching upstairs and other parts of your house.
Creating an airflow channel could be achieved by opening two airflow entry points. This can be an exterior door and a window, two windows, two exterior doors, or any other type of large opening leading outside.
To achieve proper airflow, make sure these openings reside on opposite sides of the house and run in a direct path.
For example, you can open the front door and then open a window opposite the end of your home. This might be down the hallway. Just make sure it’s in line with the front door, if possible.
You can also use a window fan blowing out words to extract air that’s coming in from the open door. This will really help assist airflow throughout your house.
Whenever I did any frying or heavy cooking when I lived in an apartment, I would use this method.
It always quickly extracted the lingering smoke and left my apartment smelling fresh.
If I didn’t do this, the food smell would be trapped in my apartment till the next day. I would even smell it in my clothes and my furniture for several days after.
Replace Unpleasant Odors With Pleasant Scents
A great habit of getting into is the habit of cleaning up as you are cooking and immediately after cooking, as things don’t require constant attention, then clean surfaces, preparation areas, and any pots, pans, and utensils that have been used so far.
This will not only help you when it comes to cleaning up after your cooking but will also enable you to stay ahead of unpleasant, lingering smells.
When washing pots and pans, clean the kitchen, floors, and walls nearby with a pleasantly scented detergent designed specifically for the kitchen.
These detergents often come with enzymes designed specifically for breaking down grease but also breaking down the airborne particles that cause these cooking smells to linger around the home.
After an effective clean with purpose-produced detergents, you will want to promote a pleasant scent to pass through the house. This can be achieved by adding lemon peel, orange peel, a cinnamon stick, some rosemary leaves, etc.
Find a scent that really appeals to you and add these ingredients to a pan and bring to a boil. When doing this, open your windows to create a good amount of circulation around your home, open the doors back up to allow this scented air to circulate, and any cooking smells will be quickly dissipated and replaced by these much more pleasant scents.
Other odors to consider are roasting coffee and, of course, the ever-popular scented candles.
Eliminate Lingering Kitchen Smells
When looking to keep smells from spreading from the kitchen, around your home, and upstairs, eliminating the smells inside the kitchen is essential. So how is it best to do this?
Odors and pungent scents are caused by the particles becoming an aerosol in the form of fine particles, smoke, and steam. But also these smells can be attributed to the scent-causing chemicals lingering around your kitchen.
Removing these can seem daunting, especially if you have already deep cleaned everything and cannot eliminate those smells from spreading around the house. Sometimes the scent of grease lingers, and it feels like there’s nothing you can do.
By using a mixture of white vinegar and either coffee grounds or baking soda and leaving it out overnight will absorb the smell of grease.
Boiling lemon juice and water will not only help to clean grease traps in the above stove extractor fans but will provide a light citrus scent around your home.
Cleaning these often forgotten traps will dramatically reduce the amount of odor being released by your kitchen.
Quick Ways to Deal With Kitchen Smells?
As with many things in life, there are always shortcuts. Some of these shortcuts are great to use in a sudden event if you need to clean the smell out of a house when you have company coming over, and you forget to carry out the previous steps.
These include scent deodorizers designed to eliminate smells from rooms, heavily scented cleaning sprays and detergents, and the personal favorite of many, baking cakes is a great way of removing the smell of grease or certain overpowering cooking scents.