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How to Get the Smell of Frying Out of Your Kitchen

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If you fried latkes or sufganiyot last night, chances are you are in the same position as our Product Manager Michael Hoffman:

Almost twenty-four hours later, your kitchen still smells like frying oil. And maybe your bedroom, living room, and clothes smell, too! (Looking forward to making dinner tonight, aren't you?)

Even though Hanukkah lasts eight nights, the frying smell doesn't have to.

Were these curly fries worth the lingering smell? (Yes!)
Were these curly fries worth the lingering smell? (Yes!) Photo by James Ransom

Here are our tips for eliminating that deep-fried odor:

  1. Ventilate before you start. Open windows and turn on fans to direct air outwards or, if it's summer (or you're lucky enough to have air conditioning), power it up. The same goes for those of you with ranges with hood ventilation.
  2. Close the doors to nearby rooms so that the smell doesn't seep into the bedroom, living room, and bathroom, slowly but surely taking over your entire life.
  3. Clean up immediately. It's tempting to eat the hard-earned latkes right away. Yes, sneak a few for yourself, but then start cleaning (or employ a helper!) A.S.A.P. Once you've disposed of the oil, clean the pots, pans and appliaces and wipe down the stovetop, counters, and nearby walls (!) with kitchen degreaser.
  4. Boil a vinegar and water solution. Bring 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Some people add bay leaves, fresh rosemary, vanilla extract, lemon halves or peels, or cinnamon sticks to cut down the vinegar-smell (and add a pleasant natural odor). We have a whole list of other ideas for seasonal-smelling air fresheners.
  5. Leave bowls of vinegar, baking soda, or coffee grounds on your counter overnight to absorb the odors. (Cat litter would probably work too, but might smell even worse than the frying oil.)
  6. Bake cookies! What's the best way to get rid of a deep-fry smell? Overpower it with the smell of freshly baked cookies.
Deep-frying is an excuse to bake more cookies!
Deep-frying is an excuse to bake more cookies! Photo by James Ransom

How do you get rid of that oil smell? Let us know in the comments!