27 Gross Smells You Can Neutralize Using Items in Your Pantry

Dealing with a smelly pet or can't stand the smell of fresh paint? Look no further than your kitchen to keep these annoying odors at bay.

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Fishy hands

iStock/Dimitrios Stefanidis

If you’re about to cook fish but are worried about the scent lingering on your hands afterward, halve a lemon and rub your hands with the cut ends before handling fish. If the smell persists after you’ve finished cooking, scrub wet hands with baking soda and rinse with warm water. Here's how to clean your house with a lemon instead of chemicals.

Garbage can


Keep your garbage can smelling fresh by sprinkling baking soda in the bottom each time you change out the bag. Baking soda is one of the most effective natural deodorizers out there, and will prevent the area from smelling. Here are more brilliant uses for baking soda around your house.

Fried fish

iStock/Ashok Rodrigues

To prevent the smell of fried fish from permeating your kitchen days after cooking, add a dollop of peanut butter to the oil before frying.

Failing fridge


There are many different ways to keep your fridge smelling fresh: Place a wide, shallow bowl of coffee grounds in your fridge or freezer, leaving it overnight to absorb odors. Other great odor absorbers are tea bags; placing three to four around your fridge on a regular basis will prevent strange smells from occurring in the first place. If you don’t happen to have any tea bags handy, peel a raw potato and slice it in half, placing the two halves on different shelves in your fridge. Once the cut sides turn black, slice them away and pop them back in the fridge for continued use. If your smelly fridge needs a deep cleanse, empty it out and wipe the interior with undiluted tomato juice, then rinse with warm water. This remedy will also work on an odorous cooler.

Smell of grease in the kitchen


Put a bowl of white vinegar out in your kitchen next time you fry something using grease. The grease will collect on the surface of the bowl and prevent an unsavory stench from emanating through your kitchen.

New paint smell

iStock/Daniel R. Burch

Although it may be exciting to be adding a fresh coat of paint to your walls, the accompanying odor can detract from the fun. Mix 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract into a gallon of paint to make the sharp smell slightly sweeter.

Recycled food container

iStock/Lee Rogers

If you’re re-using an old food container that was previously occupied by something that left an odd smell behind, squirt a bit of yellow mustard in the bottom and fill the container halfway with warm water. Swish the mixture around gently, let it sit for fifteen minutes, and wash. These are food containers you've been using all wrong.

Skunky-smelling car


Your pet may have managed to outrun that pesky skunk but it still spent the evening lurking underneath your car. Dissolve 1 cup of dried mustard into 3 gallons of water and splash the solution over your vehicle’s tires and undercarriage.

Musty dishwasher


To rid your dishwasher of that musty and dank smell, throw one cup of baking soda in the bottom of the washer and run it on the rinse cycle. Should the smell persist, sprinkle a few more tablespoons in the bottom to sit in between loads, but don’t feel the need to rinse the washer again before the next load. Prevent weird smells from accumulating in the first place by adding ½ cup of lemon juice to the detergent receptacle each time you use the machine. Here's how you might be loading your dishwasher wrong without realizing it.

Smelly sneakers

iStock/Elena Schweitzer

Stop smelly sneakers from stinking up your whole house by crumbling a couple of sage leaves inside each shoe just before you put them on. Sage carries a light fragrance while killing bacteria, and you can just shake the flakes out each night and replace them the next day.

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