A ‘deodorizer’ in your pantry

You do not need to buy air fresheners or other stuff to get rid of lingering smells in your kitchen, especially if they are not so pleasant.

Chiana Dickson, writing for “Homes & Gardens”, says you can use something that is already in your pantry – white vinegar.

“In a quest to make a home smell nice, vinegar can be used to neutralize even the toughest of bad odors and make way for fresher home fragrances – and you don’t even have to clean your kitchen with it for it to work,” she says.

A small bowl of vinegar next to the stove helps neutralize bad cooking odors as they arise – and before they have the chance to hang around.

Dickson quotes Saskia Gregson-Williams, cookbook author and founder of Naturally Sass: “Leave a bowl of vinegar out overnight. In the morning, the vinegar will have absorbed all the unsavory smells and your kitchen will be as fresh as a daisy.”

The simple explanation why this works is because white vinegar is made of acetic acid, which neutralizes alkaline scents or bad odors.

“If you are wanting to tackle bad smells as you cook to prevent them from permeating your kitchen surfaces, then leaving a bowl of vinegar directly next to your stove as you cook can help to mitigate some of the strongest smells as they arise. When using this method, you may have to change the vinegar out every few days to maintain its effectiveness . . .,” Dickson says.

For some harder to get rid of smells, such as from burnt food, Gregson-Williams suggests, “Give your kitchen a steamy makeover by boiling a pot of water mixed with equal parts vinegar. The steam will lift away any pesky cooking smells that have been hanging around.”

Just make sure the evaporated acid from the vinegar does not burn your eyes and throat.

Or fill a spray bottle with two cups of water and one to two teaspoons of vinegar and spritz it around the kitchen. Why add water? Gregson-Williams says, “While you can spray undiluted vinegar around the kitchen for particularly potent smells, this may just replace one scent with the pungent essence of vinegar, so adding some water (or even an essential oil) can make it a little less potent.”

The good news is this will also help clean a kitchen at the same time but make sure to check first which things you can clean with vinegar to prevent causing any damage to paintwork or surfaces.

“Remember to also keep any windows and external doors open to allow fresh air to circulate and dissipate any odors, especially when cooking pungent foods,” Gregson-Williams adds.

It also helps to wipe down surfaces such as doors, tables, and walls with vinegar to help remove the smell more quickly.

Useful hack

You may not need to buy a bigger ziploc bag when you need it. Just combine two!

When you need a bigger ziploc bag but you only have smaller ones, flip one of the ziploc bags inside out then combine two bags and interlock their locking strips, as simple as that.

So double the size of your ziploc bags just by turning one of them inside out.

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