vegetables cooking in pan

Many times you will not even know this is a potential problem as your nose becomes desensitized to many of the strong smells associated with cooking (especially with curry). If you are going to be selling your home sometime in the next 6 months to a year, and you enjoy your spices, start making these changes now to prevent everyone who crosses your threshold from complaining that your home has a “funny smell.”

Close all of the doors to all of the rooms you can while you are cooking. Close all your closet doors too. Have jackets, etc. hanging out on a coatrack? Put them away in a closet behind a door. Fabrics pick up smells quickly. Anything you can do to alleviate fabrics picking up smells will be helpful. Once you are done cooking and eating, open all the windows and give the house a chance to air out, it may take a couple of hours of fresh air to neutralize the odors. Turn your furnace down or your air conditioner up while you are cooking too, otherwise you are just filling the very rooms you already closed off with the smell of your curry stew.

Run your vent fan over the stove while you are cooking if the range hood is vented all the way to the outside. If it is only vented into the attic (and many are), it will do more harm than good to run the vent fan.

Some more tips and tricks:

  • Wash your pans and prep dishes as you go rather than let them sit around. Is your recipe too time consuming for immediate washing? At least fill the pans with some liquid dish soap and hot water to start diluting the smells.
  • Put 1 or 2 sticks of cinnamon in a pot of water and boil them while you are cooking.
  • Coffee beans out on a countertop or table are said to be a good odor-trapper.
  • Have a small crock pot? Set it on low with a cup or two of water and a few tablespoons of baking soda. Leave the cover off. This should do a decent job of neutralizing odors. Add a little lemon juice or a few slices of lemon if you want too but keep an eye on it; if it cooks dry, you might have a much worse smell on your hands!
  • “Tindra” brand candles from IKEA are said to be wonderful when it comes to odors. I would try the bigger ones over the tea light size.
  • A lot of people are using scented waxes, aromatherapy, etc. Know that a little is fine, more than a little is suspicious so temper yourself. You do not need room freshener in every room.
  • For immediate great smells: warm, fresh cookies will cover up a lot of odors. Chocolate brownies are even more pungent.

If you are unsure if your home has smells from cooking, pets, daily living, etc., bring in a trusted confidant and ask them. A good Realtor will tell you right away too if they notice anything.

Don’t Try To Sell a Smelly House