How to Get That Stinky Fish Smell Out of Your Kitchen

You want to eat fish because it's good for you, but when your salmon piccata leaves behind a stench, it's not so appetizing.

Even if you love fish, actually cooking it in your kitchen can be a commitment. Long after it’s been eaten, the smell lingers. It can be enough to put even the most devoted fish eater off cooking it regularly. Luckily, expert cooks from around the Internet have figured out how you can cook your fish without leaving behind a stench that lingers for days.

Fresh fish smells

First off, know that truly fresh fish really shouldn’t have much of an odour at all. So if you unwrap a package of fish and take a step back from the smell that greets you, toss it. But, admittedly, even the freshest fish can get a bit of stink going in your house once it’s cooked.

Methods for cooking the fish

A lot of the smell from cooking fish is because of the cooking method that you use. Frying can cause a massive odour problem, but other techniques, like cooking fish in foil or paper, can put a lid on the problem before it starts. Cleaning experts recommend neutralizing the odour before cooking by soaking fish in milk or a solution of lemon and water. (Here are the mistakes to avoid when cooking fish.)

How to get rid of the fish smell

If it’s too late and your home is beginning to smell like the parking lot of a seafood joint, then Good Housekeeping suggests mixing together vinegar and water and letting it boil for several minutes. You can also add cinnamon sticks or lavender oils for a more pleasantly scented atmosphere.

Prep your home ahead of time by shutting any inside doors to keep the smell from spreading throughout the house and into bedrooms, but open up kitchen windows and doors to allow the smell to ventilate. And be sure to wipe any spills and toss any trash containing fish bits as soon as possible to help prevent any lingering odours. When all else fails, bake up some cookies for dessert and the resulting sweet scent will make everyone forget about any fishy smells.


Next, learn how to get rid of odours with these 20+ items in your pantry.

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Originally Published on Reader's Digest