We were away for a few days last weekend, and when we came home we were greeted at the kitchen door by a most unpleasant smell. While this isn’t fun at the best of times, tired, cold, hungry and covered in mud is definitely a lot less fun.
We’d taken the bin out before we went away, so I knew it wasn’t that, but in a compact kitchen, it can be tough to find the source of offence.
Here are three easy ways to keep your kitchen odour free:
1) Keep it small
It being your rubbish bin, your compost pot, or your vegetable bowl. Obviously a large bin is going to keep rotting stuff in your kitchen for longer, so having a small bin forces you to take it out more often. This prevents the gross breakdown of food stuff too, so you’re less likely to have leaky juices gathering in the bottom of your bin too.
If you do food recycling, this is another area a small box inside is a much better idea. It can then be emptied into a larger bin outside on a regular basis.
If you have a small-ish vegetable drawer or bowl, you use up what’s in it much more regularly than if you have a big bowl, meaning there’s less chance of something lurking at the bottom, unseen, growing fur.
You are talking about your kitchen here, so you don’t want to cover germs with chemical cleaners.
Rather use bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), lemon juice and vinegar as regular cleaners in your kitchen. They don’t just mask the smell, they absorb it or cut through it, leaving everything clean, germ free and scent free (well, the lemon might leave a lemony, fresh aroma, but the rest dissipates really quickly.)
A box of baking soda in the fridge will absorb remnant smells (i.e. it won’t remove a rotten smell while the rotten thing is still in the fridge, but once out, it will absorb the smell that would otherwise linger a while).
Boiling vinegar on the stove will cut through the smell of curry. While the curry would draw into the wood in your kitchen, the vinegar won’t.
Everything needs cleaning from time to time, whether it’s a cheapy wooden bread box or a Brabantia brushed steel bin, a frost free freezer or a top of the range cooker.
3) Do the occasional deep clean
You can scrub your counters and floors, and have appliances and accessories full of every type of cleaning cocktail imaginable, but sometimes you just have to put your washing machine and dishwasher through cleaning cycles (use vinegar) and clean out the cutlery drawers. Sometimes you just have to wipe out the fridge, Flylady the sink, give the bin a shower, and spray some essential oil in the room.
And sometimes, you just have to look under the counter, to where one of your kids dropped and left an apple a week ago, and hope to goodness you’ll someday forget the feeling of it disintegrating in your hand as you grope around on all fours trying to locate the sweet stench of rot! Gross.