What to Do About Those Lingering Cooking Odors?

Professional Interior and Luxury bedding designer Jennifer Adams are back to answer your questions and provide some helpful advice! Today, Jennifer responds to a reader’s question about tips and strategies for how to neutralize those cooking odors that seem to linger:

Perpetual Scent of Old Bacon, Anyone?

First of all, thanks very much for reaching out to me! Your question is a good one – what to do with that essence of bacon that continues to hang around your living space? Some people might think the smell of your home is quite heavenly since bacon is so incredibly popular among many Americans! On the other hand, the smell of cooked pork fat would not be appealing to a vegetarian like yourself, or to any other vegetarians who might happen to visit your home. A house that always smells like old bacon can even be a turn-off for people who do eat meat.

Kudos on having a Son Who Wants to Cook!

I commend you for being so supportive of your son’s goal to learn his way around the kitchen, and it’s great that he’s so ambitious about wanting to do more cooking for himself. I also hope he’ll set aside the bacon and do some cooking for you once in a while, too! Oh, and about those greasy pans – you might buy him a set of high-quality non-stick pans to cook meat in, and then reserve the rest for your vegetarian-only dishes. Better still, maybe you could buy yourself a new set, and give Zac your old ones!

More About Dealing with Greasy Pans

If you’re not ready to pull the trigger on purchasing a separate set of cookware for Zac (or if you don’t have the space to store a second set), not to worry. Even bacon grease can be cleaned out of your old pans with the right technique. All grease, butter, and oil should be removed from pans and thrown away; don’t ever pour it down the sink. Let the pan soak in some soapy water, and then wash according to the pan’s cleaning directions from the manufacturer.

The Vent Hood Is Your Friend

Insist that Zac uses the vent hood every time he cooks, even if the fan is noisy. One of the best ways to prevent bacon and other strong cooking scents from taking hold in your home is to vent whatever’s cooking as it’s being cooked. For that matter, you really should make a habit of using the vent hood whenever you’re cooking, too, especially if your heat source is natural gas. Upgrading the vent hood and ensuring that it vents outside would be a worthwhile investment, not just for removing strong scents, but for safety purposes as well.

Tips for Dealing with Those Scents That Like to Linger

No matter how good your vent hood, some cooking scents (like bacon) are still bound to make their way around your living space. In most cases, your house should eventually air out on its own. Another smart measure is to have your son thoroughly clean the kitchen – including the vent hood, walls, cabinetry, and floor – regularly.

If that old bacon smell is still lingering, a good strategy for removing odors is to have your carpets, draperies, and upholstered furniture professionally cleaned every so often. What to do between professional cleanings? If you can’t completely remove those lingering odors as often as you’d like, at the very least, you can introduce a pleasant scent to help mask them. One simple thing you can try is to let a cinnamon stick or two simmer in a pot on the stove for a few hours. Adding a few drops of vanilla extract to the pot makes the scent even richer. Alternatively, an essential oil diffuser can be a wonderful asset!

A Few Final Thoughts

Be aware that bedding and other linens can retain odors, too, so make sure you’re washing/cleaning these items regularly. I’d love to hear about other scent-neutralizing tips that work for you, too! And when you’re ready to replace your old bedding with some fresh bedding that perfectly balances style, softness, and comfort, look no further than the Luxury Bedding Collections from Jennifer Adams!

Written by Jennifer Adams

With a passion for design and comfort that stems over two decades, Jennifer Adams’ goals are to redefine soft, provide you with the ultimate sleep experience with luxury bedding, and really help your home feel like a cozy, personal sanctuary. At Home by Jennifer Adams, we want you to love coming home.

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