From citrus to vinegar, great ways to remove stubborn kitchen odours

Cooking a meal can be a messy affair – not to mention the smells you leave behind. But unfortunately, many of them can cling to your appliances, and even the garbage disposal, long after you’ve cleaned up.

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However, there are some natural remedies to help deodorise everything from cutting boards to waste and even microwaves, leaving them smelling fresh and clean. From lemons to vinegar and even salt, you can find most of the ingredients in your kitchen cupboards – so why not give it a go? Here are the great ways to beat those stubborn kitchen and waste odours:

Cutting boards

Everything from garlic to onions and other vegetables have a nasty habit of leaving a strong smell behind after you’ve chopped them up on a cutting board – whether you clean it thoroughly or not. You may spend ages scrubbing at both plastic and wood boards, to no avail.

Simply sprinkle some salt on to a damp board and leave it for a few minutes to soak in and absorb moisture. Slowly begin rubbing the salt into the board with a damp cloth shortly after.

The movement and the sharp edges of the salt work to rub away at leftover moisture which causes the strong smell. Rinse the board off after and it should be scent-free!


Cleaning the inside of a microwave is not a job you’re likely to want to prioritise. It can be difficult to get into all those hard-to-reach corners, and feel like you’ve actually done what you need to.

But a natural remedy can come to the rescue. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda into a cup of warm water and soak a cloth in it before wiping away inside. The baking soda works to break up stubborn odours inside. Then, for a fresher smell, simply mix some lemon juice into a large bowl of water and heat for a few minutes. After removing the bowl, wipe it down and the citrus smell should be faintly there still.


Combatting an odour from the garbage bins can be a losing battle – so it’s key to empty them regularly. To help stem the smell however, sprinkle some Borax or baking soda into the bottom before adding a new bag, and it will help to absorb excess moisture and odours in-between changes.

Fridges and freezers

Emptying the fridge and freezer is possibly the worst job you’ll face in the kitchen – but sadly, it’s necessary now and again. So to prevent odours building up in future, it’s worth trying to absorb them early.

Pour either ground coffee, vanilla extract, or activated charcoal into an open bowl and place it in the fridge overnight. It will work by absorbing excess moisture and bad smells, before removing it the next day.

And tips for cleaning and removing the odour from kitchen disposals:

Ice and salt

The mixture of ice and salt can be a powerful weapon when it comes to cleaning your disposal pipes out. Pour some crushed ice in with the rock salt. The jagged edges of the ice help sharpen the blades and remove stubborn food debris, while the salt disinfects inside.

Citrus fruits

You may chuck fruit peels down the disposal anyway – but it turns out, they’re actually helping to beat the stink. Pouring lemon, orange, lime or any other citrus peel or fruit down there allows the acid to disinfect the blades and disposal walls. Meanwhile, it leaves behind a fresher, citrus smell.

Baking soda and vinegar

Bicarbonate of soda is a natural deodoriser, and great almost everywhere in the house – and that doesn’t stop at the kitchen disposal. Pour about half a cup down and flush it through with water. It will pick up leftover moisture and break away at debris inside, causing the strong smells.

For a better clean, follow the baking soda with some vinegar. The two will have a strong chemical reaction inside and break away stuck-on food. Allow it to do its magic for around 10 minutes before washing it away with warm water.


While it’s not necessarily the most natural remedy, it’s something you may find round your house if you’re out of all other ingredients. Pour some in and allow it to flush away the stronger smells in the pipe walls.

Have you tried any of these natural remedies? Did you have any luck?