Charlie Glahe WIN Broomfield

Banish cooking odors from your home before you sell


While you may have enjoyed a nice tuna casserole for dinner last night, potential home buyers may not be as fond of your meal's smell.

When selling a house, there are several things that can deter interested parties, including poor curb appeal, a less-than-desirable home appraisal and an ineffective open house. Like these issues, bad smells can make potential buyers lose interest.

In addition to odors resulting from pets, plumbing and mold, your home can develop a funk from the foods you cook. Not only does the smell linger in your kitchen, but it can also spread to your entire house. Typically, selling agents advise that you don't prepare any pungent dishes around the time people are viewing your home, but sometimes you can't keep yourself from snacking on a limburger sandwich. If your cravings for stinky cheese or other malodorous cuisine get the best of you, follow these tips to remove bad cooking smells:

Ventilate your kitchen
The first step to removing cooking odors is to follow an old cliche: better out than in. Ventilation will prevent smells from settling. After being trapped in your house, they can become imbedded in fabrics and the paint or wallpaper.

When cooking, turn on the vent over your stove. This device is there to suck all the smells out of the kitchen, so put it to use while you're frying fish and for some time after you're done. Also, don't forget to clean the filter every once in a while to remove old grease and smells that become trapped in it. If you don't have a vent or want additional air flow, open the windows. You can also point a fan out the windows to push the smelly air outside.

Clean while you cook
There are some nights when you're excited to test out a new recipe you found in a cookbook or saw on the cooking show network. Typically, this means there will be a large number of pots, pans and utensils put to use while you work through the steps. You can also expect some spills and other messes.

After slaving over the stove, it can be tempting to delay cleaning until the next day. However, doing so can allow smells from all the dirty dishes to settle in the kitchen. Rather than leaving everything to soak for the evening, clean while you're cooking.

Deodorize with absorbent food items
When it comes to bad smells, your gut instinct may be to grab an air freshener or light a fragrant candle. Depending on the strength of your cooking odors, this solution may be a good way to overpower the bad smells. However, there are times when the pleasing and offensive aromas blend to make a more displeasing scent.

Instead of combating one smell with another, use absorbent foods to soak up the odor. Baking soda is commonly used, and you can also put a bowl of vinegar or coffee grounds on the counter while you cook and after you're done.

Get a home inspection for stubborn odors
If your house has a bad smell that won't go away, this may be a sign of a more extensive issue. To determine the source of the scent and devise a plan for getting rid of it, order a property inspection. An expert will examine your home and note anything that should be addressed. An inspection is particularly helpful if the smell is due to mold, for instance, which can present setbacks in your home sale endeavor.