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By: Jennifer Gervens
Posted on: Mar 8, 2017

Sources of Odor in the Kitchen

This blog was contributed by Jennifer Gervens. Jennifer is the author and owner of

Chances are, you've walked into your house before and realized that something Instead of having to walk around like a bloodhound trying to sniff out where the smell is coming from, let me save you some time. The kitchen is most likely the culprit of the mystery odor. Keep reading to discover the most common kitchen odors, and how to get rid of them.

Kitchen Smell #1: The Garbage

The first and most obvious place to look when you're smelling something funky is the garbage. A lot of the time kitchen smells just come from nasty garbage cans. Once you've taken the trash out, check whether to see if the bag has leaked, or if foods and liquids have collected in the bottom of the can to create the smell. If there's only a little bit of junk, then a wet paper towel and basic surface cleaner should do the trick; but if the can is really disgusting, then you may need to either rinse it down in the shower or hose it off outside. Let it air-dry to get rid of all the moisture before you put a new bag in, and then you should be good to go.

Kitchen Smell #2: The Disposal

If your garbage can isn't what is making the smell, then you might want to check your garbage disposal. If you notice that your sink smells a bit funny, then that's probably the source. To de-stink your sink, turn the disposal on, run the water, and throw some ice cubes down. This will knock out any food pieces, and also sharpen the blades as a bonus. Then keep the water and disposal running, and pour lemon juice or vinegar down to kill any bacteria. Make sure to be very careful when you clean out your garbage disposal - the blades can still cut your hands even when they're not moving.

Kitchen Smell #3: Rotting Food

If you have a mysterious smell in your kitchen that's not the garbage or garbage disposal, then the next place you should probably look is the back of the fridge, your cupboards, and pantry. Hubs and I once searched for a faint but nauseating mystery smell for a whole week. The culprit? A rotting potato. I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say we were shocked at how much stink one little old potato could cause throughout the half the house.

Kitchen Smell #4: The Dishwasher

If you don't rinse off your dishes before loading the washer - or even sometimes when you do - little bits of food can get stuck in the machine and create a funky smell. Clean the filter (which is underneath the racks) by getting out any loose bits of food with a paper towel. The run a quick rinse cycle with the machine empty to wash out anything else, and afterward leave the door open to air out.

Kitchen Smell #5: Water

Believe it or not, old water can create just as much of a stink as old food. Make sure you wring out your sponges and dish cloths to stop mold from growing, and replace them at least every other week.

If you're smelling a wet and musty smell, then you might have a water leak somewhere. Check the pipes underneath the sink and anywhere else for dripping or pools of water, and look for discolored spots on the walls or ceiling for signs of a hidden leakage. If the musty smell does in fact lead to a dripping pipe, it's time to turn to Danco and find the right replacement part!

Odors in the kitchen can come from all sorts of places, but these five are usually the most common.

A great way to avoid odor problems in the kitchen before they start, is to purchase products for your kitchen that feature antimicrobial product protection, which helps inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

Dishes draining near the sink can be a breeding ground for odor-causing mold and mildew, but the Rubbermaid sink mat featuring Microban® product protection helps keep the mat cleaner for longer to avoid that damp smell.

Do you keep your lunch bag in the kitchen? Soft-sided lunch bags are great for on-the-go dining, but they can also harbor odors, if not cleaned properly. Keep you go-to bag cleaner and fresher by purchasing a bag from California Innovations, featuring Microban antimicrobial product protection.

If you keep your mop in the kitchen or cupboard, you may notice that the mop head can harbor unusual odors. Mops by Quickie featuring Microban protection help stave off the growth of bacteria that causes those unpleasant smells, making it easier for you to keep you cleaning products cleaner.

Cutting boards and mats can also be a source of bacteria-growth and odor. We often don’t clean them properly, leaving bits of food on the surface. Cutting boards by Neoflam and cutting mats by Conimar can help you manage this issue before it causes a problem in your kitchen.