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How can I prevent my clothes from smelling like the fragrant and delicious food Food52 is helping me cook?

Kind of an embarrassing question, but one I'm sure others could benefit from getting answered as well. I love to cook- particularly stir fry with plenty of garlic and onions. As captain obvious, I noticed that the clothes I was cooking in would inevitably carry the aroma of onions and garlic for days after- so I'm very careful now to only wear clothing that I don't plan on wearing out whilst cooking. However, I'm finding that everything smells now, even clothes kept in a different room with the door closed. My coat, my work clothing, my pajamas...any ideas? Open a window? Exhaust fan maybe? Just accept that I smell like food?

asked by Girlfromipanema almost 2 years ago
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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 2 years ago

Sounds like you need a good exhaust fan. But there are worse ways to smell.

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added almost 2 years ago

A full front apron might also help.

F3fdbabe d72e 44f9 919d eecf03b7e10e  liza skitchenlogo
added almost 2 years ago

I live in a studio apartment and also have this problem. I turn the exhaust fan on when I cook anything that is smelly and also leave the window open (even when it's terribly cold out). I also keep Febreeze handy as it tends to help get the odors out of fabrics when used immediately.

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added almost 2 years ago

Thanks- it's not even a studio (1 bedroom) but the smells still get through. I'm loathe to open the window right now because it's so cold, but looks like that may be best. Thanks!

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Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

If you often eat a lot of garlic and onions, the aroma partly be coming through your body, which would help explain why you're smelling them even when your cooking clothes are kept in a separate room with the door closed. Those foods break down into compounds that are eliminated through the pores of skin (sweat), breath and urine. There are others such as broccoli and brussels sprouts.

I love marinated mushrooms and once treated myself to half a jar marinated in garlic, vinegar, oil, herbs. For the next two days, my family ran into other rooms when I was around. :-)

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Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

typo: "... the aroma may partly be coming through your body..."

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added almost 2 years ago

Oh my gosh, thank you Pegeen, that may be it. I need to invest in some good perfume!

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dinner at ten

dinner at ten is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

Try wedging a small box fan in your partly open kitchen window, oriented so that it pulls air from the kitchen to the outside. This is both very efficient at sucking cooking fumes out of the kitchen and I think chills your kitchen less than just leaving the window open. Certainly also use any exhaust fan that's built in over your stove as well.

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added almost 2 years ago

Make sure your exhaust fan stays clean, too - turning it on won't help if it's clogged with grease. I usually soak the screen of mine in a baking soda solution once a month or so.

120fa86a 7a24 4cc0 8ee1 a8d1ab14c725  me in munich with fish
added almost 2 years ago

I have the same problem and have come to accept the fact that I just smell like yummy food. For very smelly things, we turn on the exhaust fan, open a window, and have a fan set up in the kitchen to blow the aromas towards the window, but the smells are still noticeable. Last weekend, I unrolled my yoga mat at the studio and the smell of braised mutton hit me in the face. It made me hungry :)

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Maedl

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added almost 2 years ago

I'd rather smell like food than like Febreeze or perfume.

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added almost 2 years ago

The yoga mat comment is hilarious, and so true! I only go to the steam room at the gym when it's empty because I. sweat. garlic.

120fa86a 7a24 4cc0 8ee1 a8d1ab14c725  me in munich with fish
added almost 2 years ago

Haha! Yes, Erin. So much garlic. No regrets, though. A girl's gotta eat!

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added almost 2 years ago

Cook naked and seal off your closet better!

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QueenSashy

QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

Well, here is the thing... As much as I agree with all of you guys, there is no better feeling than when you cook a great dinner, and then take a shower and then feeling all fresh and new, jump into a fresh set of clothes. And eat your nice dinner. I do not mind when the apartment smells, but I do mind the clothes. You can keep a set of clean t-shirts in a ziploc bag in the closet, and they will be "uncontaminated". Problem solved :)

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added almost 2 years ago

Especially work clothes- maybe a garment bag. Thanks queen

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added almost 2 years ago

This is an issue for me too! One way I have found to help mitigate the vague garlic, onion, dirty hippie smell is to glove up when handling/chopping garlic or onions. I purchase nitrile gloves from Costco. It has helped tremendously. I tried every remedy for getting garlic/onion smell out of my skin, and this has proven the best solution. It doesn't keep the smell out of my clothes completely, but the oils not absorbing into my ski has been very effective.

Good luck!

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Maedl

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added almost 2 years ago

If the problem is garlic or onion smell on your skin, you can rub lemon juice--or the used lemon shells--on your hands. However, this is not a good idea if you have cuts (including paper cuts).

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Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added almost 2 years ago

Using gloves to create a barrier helps keep the smell from seeping into your hands. But if you're life me and scarfing down garlic bread, or pasta sauces and lots of other dishes with garlic and onions, there's still the issue of breathing and sweating the stuff out. :-) Does anyone know of a vitamin or maybe a juice combination that helps minimize the compounds that create the odor?

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 2 years ago

Pegreen, I find eating fresh parsley stems helps a ton. There's something about the chlorophyll that neutralizes the alliums. It may be a wives tale, but I think it helps.

F3fdbabe d72e 44f9 919d eecf03b7e10e  liza skitchenlogo
added almost 2 years ago

In response to the question about reducing the odor from your sweat - unfortunately, the only thing you can do is drink a lot of water and hope it works. There is no magic juice or supplement.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 2 years ago

I so get this. I love the smell of food cooking, but I don't like it when it absorbs into my clothes. I live in an apt that has the worst exhaust fan ever. In fact, it seems fake. It makes fan noise, but it seems to remove nothing. My apt is actually quite large, but the.kitchen is closed off and tiny.

My solutions are to open the window in the dining room attached to the kitchen. I have set a fan pointing out next to the window. I think it helps. My best solution is that because I have electrical outlets out on my deck, I can do all of my slow cooker meals outside. I convert most braises, soups and stews, and stocks to a slow cooker method. I also use my gas grill as an oven. These all also work great in the summer when it's so hot I can't bear to turn my stove on. Last but not least, I tend to not cook in my cutest clothes. I tend to wear what I wear when I am cleaning or gardening.

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added almost 2 years ago

Return to the past! Women used to put a hair covering over their hair to preserve their style and keep the smells out - they would also wear a house dress or an apron and then change after their "chores". After cooking - a short, 3 minute airing is usually enough to take care of the heavy smells and freshen a room and won't make things too cold in winter when only done once or twice a day. Or you can always light an infuser with your favorite herbal/spiced scent if you wanted something other than the food smell.