According to the French, You Only Need One Thing to Keep Kitchen Odors at Bay

published Aug 5, 2022
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If there’s one essential item everyone should keep in their kitchen, it’s vinegar. This acidic ingredient makes for delicious salad dressings, pickles, and slaws, but, as many would know, it’s not just a cooking staple. Vinegar is also a fantastic kitchen cleaner. There are so many ways to use good ol’ white vinegar, and one of our favorites is to banish bad odors.

Babs, the internet’s favorite surrogate mom and grandma, recently shared her go-to, French grandma-inspired hack for staving off cooking smells in the kitchen. If you cook something smelly — Babs referenced fish as an example — simply place a bowl of distilled white vinegar in the offending area. The acid will eventually neutralize the odor, so your kitchen will smell fresh and clean once again.

Still noticing a gross scent the next day? Don’t worry — Babs has you covered with that, too. Whip up your own natural potpourri by boiling some lemon slices in water on your stovetop. The acid will cut right through the lingering smells, and your home might even smell like a citrus grove. 

Now, another important step toward a good-smelling kitchen is being mindful of your trash. If you cook something stinky like fish, be sure to either throw away the remnants in your outside garbage, or keep your garbage smell-free with absorbent baking soda or charcoal.