Living in a small apartment comes with many perks. You have a neat, cosy little space all to yourself, and it probably doesn’t cost as much as a larger place would.
Still, you have to be mindful of the things that could jeopardize the comfort that you enjoy in that little slice of personal space that you call your own.
One thing that can make your small apartment uncomfortable is cooking smells.
Living in a smaller apartment, cooking smells don't have very far to travel. It's almost like they're locked up in a chamber.
Your kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom are all within footsteps of each other, leaving the aroma of your dinner to linger around for hours after you finished cooking.
So, in this article, we’re going to take a look at a few easy ways that you can use to minimize and get rid of cooking smells in your small apartment. Soon, you’ll be able to enjoy cooking great meals in your apartment without having to deal with lingering smells.
Ventilation Is Key
The first and arguably most important thing to do to tackle cooking smells in a small apartment is to maximize ventilation. You must let air flow freely so that smells can flow out while fresh air flows in.
While most smells exit the apartment, the fresh air that comes in will help by diluting any smells that might linger within the apartment.
The easiest way to do this is to open your apartment windows, especially when you’re cooking and a little bit after when you’re done, as well. You can make this even more effective by pointing a standing or desk fan out the window, forcing air out at a quicker rate.
But what if the temperatures outside are too cold? Well, opening that window just a tiny bit will also provide your apartment with micro ventilation. It’ll still help reduce smells, even if only at a slower rate.
Still, don’t forget that your apartment may have ventilation fans as well, such as in the bathroom. Being in a small apartment, those fans will also help remove cooking smells from the nearby kitchen.
Shut Any Doors
Suppose you live in something like a one-bedroom apartment. If that’s the case, then you’ll definitely want to shut the bedroom door whenever you’re cooking in the kitchen area.
You see, cooking smells linger the longest when they get absorbed into fabrics like bed sheets, towels, clothes, and much more. By shutting your door, you’ll at least keep those smells contained in the kitchen and living areas.
The exception here will be if you’re relying on the ventilation fan in your bathroom during winter to keep air flowing. In that case, opening your bathroom door might help ventilate your small apartment.
Wash Up As Soon As You’re Done
Like most people, you might procrastinate on washing your pots, pans, and dishes after you’re done cooking a meal. All of that’s completely understandable, so don’t beat yourself up about it. Still, you should know that it also contributes to the cooking smells that fill up your apartment.
To get rid of cooking smells before they become a problem, you should wash your pots and pans as soon as you’re done cooking. That also includes cleaning your plates when you’re done eating.
Here’s why that’s crucial: dishwashing soaps will neutralise any cooking smells coming from those pots, pans, and plates. So, you’ll be eliminating those smells right at the source and leaving those surfaces smelling minty fresh!
Take Out The Trash As Soon As Possible
Another point where cooking smells will build up is in your kitchen trash. For starters, you should use a trash bin with a cover and a tight seal. That will at least keep any smells contained before you tie up the bag and take it out.
But remember: your kitchen trash is also where you dump all of your food waste. That’s why it’s a significant source of cooking smells.
The longer you let that waste stay there, the more intense the smell will become. Ideally, you should remove kitchen trash bags at least once every two days.
Here’s a bonus tip: don’t delay taking out the trash just because the bags aren’t full. You see, no matter how little the contents of that trash bag, the smells inside will continue to grow stronger with every passing moment. So, taking them out to the trash bins outside will remove the problem from your small apartment entirely.
Deodorize And Wash Your Fabrics
Remember: cooking smells linger when they find their way into your fabrics. While some of that may be unavoidable, you can get rid of cooking smells in your small apartment by deodorizing those fabrics.
These days, you can find plenty of brands that produce deodorizing sprays for fabrics at your local supermarket. Keep a bottle or two around so you can spray things like your cushions and pillows to remove any smells that may have gotten trapped.
Of course, spraying your fabrics won’t be as effective as washing them entirely. If you’re facing some exceptionally stubborn smells in your cushion covers and curtains, you may have to throw them in the wash.
Your laundry detergent will do a thorough job of removing any and all smells trapped inside the fabric.
Invest In An Air Purifier
If you love to cook and you know that cooking smells will be a long-term problem, then you might want to invest in some equipment to deal with them. A good example of this would be to buy an air purifier.
Living in a small apartment, you won’t have to buy the biggest air purifier that’s available. Smaller spaces means that a smaller (and more affordable) air purifier would be enough to help you with what you need.
Here’s the thing: air purifiers are fantastic for removing dust and other nasty things in the air, but not all of them are effective for removing cooking smells in particular. For those, you’ll want to find an air purifier that also uses a carbon filter, which makes it much better at removing cooking smells and odors.
If an air purifier isn’t an option, you can go ‘old school’ by using charcoal briquettes instead. Charcoal is well-known for its ability to absorb odors and unpleasant smells. So, you could buy some of it and place it in an open container in your kitchen.
Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not buying charcoal that already has any lighter fluid added to it, like those they sell for barbecuing or camping. Instead, you’ll need to ask for plain ol’ charcoal.
Suppose you feel lost and can’t tell the difference. Just let the store know that you want to use charcoal to deodorize your apartment, and they should be able to point you to the right stuff.
Be Mindful Of Recipes
Here’s another way of getting rid of certain cooking smells: by preventing them at the source.
You see, some recipes will naturally produce more smells than others, especially those that rely on more aromatic ingredients.
Now, we’re not saying that you should only cook bland meals in your small apartment’s kitchen. The idea here is to be more mindful of it so that you have a sense of which types of meals will cause more smells.
That way, you can prepare by using the other tips on this list proactively, like opening the window, switching on the fan, and so on.