Does your home smell like burnt food? Don’t worry, I have you covered. I work from a small home with low ventilation. Whenever I overcook or burn my food, it leaves an intense burnt smell in my home.
I experimented around for quite a while with ways to stop this burnt smell. The article below is a step-by-step guide on how to remove a burnt food smell from home. In short, white vinegar or lemon slices boiled in water are your knights in shining armor when it comes to removing foul odors.
The tips below are based on my experiments and hopefully, they will inspire you whenever you find yourself in the same situation.
Step 1: Controlling The Smoke
The first step is about getting control or hold of the situation rather than worrying about the foul odor or the burnt smell. Your first and major concern should be identifying the source of the smoke and the smell. If the smoke is coming from food in a pan on the stove or from the oven, then immediately turn off the heat source.
If a flame is coming out of the pan, it’s best to immediately grab the lid and place it over the pan. Without oxygen, the flame will die soon. If you don’t have a lid available, use a plate. Once you have established that no more flames are coming out, you can carefully remove the pan from the burner. Use oven mitts to protect your hands and let the pan cool down.
Step 2: Open Your Windows
Let the smoky air escape from your home by opening all the windows and doors, so the burnt smell and smoke have a way of escaping your home. Switching on ceiling fans and exhaust fans will also help out massively.
Inhaling smokey air is not suitable for your health and it can cause severe damage to your lungs. To avoid getting dizzy from the smoke, you may cover your mouth with a cloth to block the inhaling of the smoke.
Step 3: Remove The Burnt Food Or Pan
Now, once there is less smoke in your home, you can remove the source of the smell. When the pan has cooled down, you can throw the burnt food away in a trash can. If the pan is still in decent condition, you may keep it for further use. If it is warped, there is no other option than to throw it away along with the burnt food.
If your pan is still in good condition, and after you’ve removed the burnt food, you can soak the pan in hot water that contains a little bit of soap or detergent. Adding vinegar and boiling water will soften up the burnt food sticking to the pan. Now, let it soak for about 10 minutes. After that, you can easily clean or scrub away all the remaining food and stains from the pan. Read more on How To Clean A Burnt Pan.
Baking soda is also highly effective in cleaning burnt spots. As baking soda has an abrasive and soft texture, it can efficiently clean the pan and let it shine again. Here are some excellent articles on how to clean pans:
- How To Clean Copper Pans
- How To Clean Aluminum Pans
- How To Clean A Frying Pan
- How To Clean All-Clad Cookware
Step 4: Removing The Smell
After removing all the sources that caused the burnt smell in the first place, it is time to remove the burnt smell from your home. Using artificial fragrances or air fresheners will help only a bit. The synthetic fragrance from these products can get mixed with the burning smell to make your situation worse. Therefore it’s better to tackle the smoky and burnt smell with a more powerful antidote. The only things you need are natural ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, or lemon.
First, add some white vinegar to a pan of boiling water and let it simmer for a while. This vapor will act as an absorber that absorbs all the foul odor. You can even add some natural herbs or spices to this water to spread a fresh and refreshing fragrance. To fasten up the bad odor-absorbing process, you can also place some coffee grounds in an open container on your countertop. This substance will also absorb the burnt smell from your home.
For removing the smokey smell from your curtains and draperies, you will have to remove them and then dip them in water for washing. Add some white vinegar to your regular washing detergent to remove and absorb the smell from these items.
To clean carpets and upholstery, spread some baking soda on your carpet and let it rest for a few hours. Or even better, let it rest overnight. After this, you can use a vacuum cleaner to remove the baking soda from your carpet.
Step 5: Washing The Surfaces
You’ll have to thoroughly wash and clean all the surfaces inside your home, otherwise, they will continue to have a burnt smell. Why is this? Particles of smoke are thick and greasy, they always stick to all kinds of surfaces. In order to get rid of these particles, you will actively have to give them an opportunity to stick to something else (in this case a water particle on a damp cloth).
You can wash surfaces in your kitchen such as the countertop, stove, cabinet doors, refrigerator, and dishwasher, with the help of an all-surface cleaner. See it as a nice opportunity to give your kitchen a deep clean. If you don’t have a surface cleaner, you can also use a mixture of white vinegar, a bit of soap, and water. Use a damp cloth to remove the majority of the smoke particles.
If the burning smell persists, you can boil some lemongrass or lemon slices in a pan of water to spread a refreshing fragrance all over your home. Repeat this process in the days after if the smell remains. Lemon slices and lemongrass are naturally fragrant substances that will not cause any harm to your body or lungs, and many people also find their fragrance to be calming and soothing.
Hopefully, this article on how to remove a burnt food smell from your home will be of help. The good thing is, the things you need can easily be found around the house or in your supermarket. If you like my suggestions, leave a comment and do share them with others!