Getting rid of burnt smell from the house is something everyone has faced at some time or the other. Let us look at a few ways to tackle this problem for a fresh-smelling home.
The first step you should take to remove the burnt smell is to throw away the burnt item. Open all the doors and windows. Turn on the fan. If the smoke alarm has gone off, swing a wet towel below the alarm in circular motion. This will disperse the smell around the room and stop the incessant shrill ringing. To minimize the offensive odor, you can spray air freshener or light a scented candle or an incense stick, but these will only mask the odor temporarily. But to get rid of the bad smell, you need to resort to more stringent measures. Try some of the methods listed below.
Ways to Get Rid of Burnt Smell
These tips are tried and tested ways of removing the burnt smell and freshening up the air in your home. While doing all this, it is advisable to switch off your air conditioning system for some time. Natural air can drive away the smell a lot faster and help circulate clean air all around the house.
Spices: Put 15-20 cloves in a quart of water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for at least half an hour. This will get rid of the smell. The cloves can be reused and your kitchen smells clean without the use of harmful chemicals. Alternatively, you can use cinnamon instead of cloves.
White Vinegar: Boil a quart of water with two cups of white vinegar. This helps absorb burnt smell. If you have leftover bread, sprinkle some vinegar on the slices and leave it in different places around the kitchen.
Lemon: Boil thinly cut lemon slices in water and let it simmer for a few minutes till the citrus aroma drives away the odor.
Coffee: Ground coffee beans are an excellent deodorizer. Leaving the beans overnight in the microwave after wiping it clean can also help in diffusing the smell. Or boil the beans in water and let the mixture sit inside.
Vanilla: Cotton balls dipped in vanilla extract can be left all over the affected rooms to absorb the odor.
Onions: Immerse halved onions in a bowl of water and keep several such bowls scattered all over the room. It helps to absorb the smell.
Charcoal: This is an excellent odor absorber. Place it in bowls and set them all over the affected area. The nasty odor will gradually diminish.
Walls and Tiles
● Wipe down all walls and tiles using a paste of baking soda. You can also clean with chlorine bleach before applying the baking soda, but be careful and use it only if you are sure it will not harm the surface.
● Use degreaser to clean the counter tops and all burnt surfaces.
● Clean the windows too using glass and window cleaners.
Furnishing and Upholstery
Even though you may get rid of the burnt smell, the furniture and upholstery in your house may not smell so good after having absorbed all that odor. A temporary solution would be to spray fabric freshener over your upholstery. To get rid of it completely, you need to take stronger action.
● All that is washable and removable (sofa covers, curtains, drapes) can be washed using detergent or upholstery shampoo.
● For leather, add a cup of white vinegar to water and wipe all surfaces in a gentle motion. You can use very mild soap solution for cleaning leather. Use distilled water to rinse it off. Buff with a clean soft cloth. Treat with a leather conditioner after you have cleaned it. Never use harsh detergents or ammonia-based cleaners on leather. Follow manufacturer’s instructions on care and cleaning for leather and upholstery. If the item cannot be cleaned or washed with the above method, fresh air may do the trick. Hang it or place it outdoors for several days, exposed to the breeze. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight for fear of fading. Have patience, because this method may take several days.
● To clean the carpets, sprinkle baking soda liberally over the entire carpet. Keep it overnight. Vacuum the next day. Repeat this process if necessary. Clean the carpet using carpet shampoo. Then fill several bowls with white vinegar or vanilla extract and leave them overnight to get rid of the burnt smell. Carpets are porous and they absorb odors which are tough to get rid of. It may be difficult to get rid of carpet odors entirely. If this does not work, you may want to call in professional carpet cleaners who can effectively rid the carpet of stubborn burnt odors.
Microwave and Oven
● If you have burnt food in the microwave, scrub the appliance thoroughly with a mixture of vinegar and water. Keep an open carton of baking soda inside the microwave and let it sit for over a day. The odor will vanish leaving behind a clean smell. Or, after cleaning the microwave with water and vinegar, heat freshly squeezed lemon juice in it. Let it remain for 24 hours. Unplug the microwave before you begin cleaning.
● To rid the oven of the burnt odor, preheat the oven to 200 ºF. Put a cup of household ammonia inside and allow it to stand overnight. The next morning allow the vapors to escape and wipe the insides with a wet towel. (Note: Ammonia vapors can be toxic, do not inhale them and keep children away.)
The methods listed above are effective, but they may not entirely eliminate the odors immediately. Burnt smell can be stubborn and it could be a while before your house smells clean again. It takes time for the smell to completely vanish from the house, so be patient, and before long, you will have a fresh, pleasant-smelling home.