How To Get Rid of Burnt Cookie Smells

How To Get Rid of Burnt Cookie Smells

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Every year, my husband and I throw a cookie party over the holidays. It's actually a long-standing family tradition — my sister and I used to do it together, when we lived at home, and now do it separately in our own homes. Typically, I take off the day before the big event and spend hours baking (my sister prefers to do her baking in batches and freeze the cookies). And you'd think that after throwing this party for more than 15 years, I'd have the baking down, but the truth is that every year I burn at least one batch of cookies.

I guess that's why I write about cleaning, not baking? Luckily, I've figured out the best steps to clear the air after a burned batch.

What you'll need
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

While freshly baked cookies smell amazing, burnt ones smell terrible, and the smell can really permeate every corner of your home. Fortunately, my years of subpar baking have taught me an important skill: how to get rid of burnt cookie smells.

How To Get Rid of Burnt Cookie Smells

What You Need

  • Vent fan or stand-alone fan
  • Dish soap
  • Scrubby sponge
  • Surface cleaner & cloth
  • Pot
  • Vinegar, lemon, apple cider or wine, oranges, cinnamon, and/or cloves
  • Febreze, baking soda, or other odor eliminator for fabrics


  1. Set up a fan: Get some air circulating! Open the windows, turn on the vent fan, and bring in a fan to get the smoky air out and fresh air in. Open the oven to let the smoky air escape.
  2. Toss the burnt cookies: Throw the burnt cookies into the garbage, and take the garbage out. All those burnt cookies will continue to add to the burnt cookie smell as long as they're in your kitchen!
  3. Wash your cookie sheet: Clean your cookie sheet with your regular dish soap and scrubby sponge to remove any remaining burnt bits.
  4. Wipe down your counters: Spray your countertops with your preferred surface cleaner and wipe them down to remove any burnt particles that may have settled. (They're there, even though you can't see them!) Give the area around the oven (the cabinets and burners) a swipe, too.
  5. Make a quick DIY air freshener: Boil something that smells good to start replacing the scent that's wafting in your kitchen. The easiest thing is to pour some vinegar into water and boil that, but it's slightly more pleasant to slice up lemons and boil them in water to get citrusy steam circulating (leave it boiling for about half an hour). If you're feeling extra-festive, consider it an excuse to start mulling some apple cider or wine with oranges, cinnamon, and cloves to drink later.
  6. Freshen up upholstery: If the smell has spread to other rooms, tackle your fabric surfaces, as they're most likely to absorb odors. Spray on an odor eliminator like Febreze or sprinkle baking soda onto surfaces, let it sit for half an hour, and then vacuum it up.
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