Food aromas are appealing when they’re cooking on the stove, but rapidly turn into unappealing when they procrastinate to the next day and outside. Many homeowners struggle with stubborn scents in their kitchen cabinets. A couple of methods — ranging in scope from minor to significant — help reach the root of disagreeable scents to get a cleaner home.
Vinegar is a family cleaning cure-all. In addition to cleaning and disinfecting, it’s deodorizing properties. Fill a shallow bowl with olive or white vinegar and set it at the foul-smelling cabinet. The odor should be gone by morning. If the odor of vinegar doesn’t attract you, mix at a fragrant essential oil like tea tree, orange or peppermint. Each of them has added antibacterial agents. Charcoal is another solution; when put in a kitchen cupboard, a lump of charcoal is exceptional at odor absorption. Silica gel, a naturally occurring mineral, which is effective at fighting musty smells, particularly during moist weather. Catch a few packets in your cabinets and allow them to absorb bacteria.
A Stronger Approach
Sometimes fundamental organic solutions are not enough to eliminate bad odors. When smelly cabinets don’t react to gentler solutions, consider mixing a solution of 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol into 1 pint of mineral oil. Wipe down the insides and outsides of cabinets and drawers to banish the scent almost instantly. This not just wipes away bad scents but seals the wood to prevent new scents from forming. Contrary to paint, this gentler solution preserves cabinets while providing additional protection.
When trying to clean a surface or cleared a room of scents, homeowners should start with the gentlest options and progressively move to stronger treatments if initial efforts prove ineffective. If smells persist, it is likely mold or mildew has penetrated the wood and it’s time to switch into a more potent way: bleach. Using a spray bottle or bucket and rag, thoroughly saturate the cabinets, reaching into every corner and crack. Let it soak for at least 15 minutes, then use a sponge to wipe the surface. Be sure to wear gloves and old clothing when working with bleach since it can cause permanent stains. If the odor of bleach gets overpowering, a couple drops of essential oil tempers the smell.
Maintaining a Fresh Scent
Some scents stick around because homeowners treat the impact of the smell as opposed to the source. While air fresheners disguise unpleasant scents, they don’t do anything to counteract the reason for the odor. Damp sprays only mask the problem, while products which deodorize and disinfect reach the origin of the scent.