How to freshen up a smelly oven to get rid of odors

Oven door opening
Oven door opening (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’re always in the kitchen cooking delicious meals, then you’ll need to know how to freshen up a smelly oven. 

It’s not uncommon for our ovens to develop bad smells and odors over time, especially if you use it daily. Bad smells are usually caused by a build-up of grease, oil spills or charred food remains that may have dropped off from your baking trays. And while you should also know how to clean your oven often, lingering smells can often be unpleasant, especially if you have guests around!

The good news is, you can easily get rid of bad smells with a few common household items. Best of all, this will save you the hassle and money of buying more cleaning products to clutter your cupboards. So, whether it’s burnt food or fishy seafood, here’s how to freshen up a smelly oven to get rid of odors.

You can also check out I used a smart oven to host a dinner party - here's how it went if you want to upgrade, or if you're after a new gas range, check out the best gas ranges here.

How to freshen up a smelly oven using baking soda and vinegar

What you'll need

Baking soda

Distilled white vinegar

Lemons or orange peelings

Vanilla extract

Steel wool sponge

Scented candle

1. First, sprinkle a cup of baking soda into the bottom of the oven to clean your oven. Then, fill a spray bottle with two cups of white vinegar to create a non-toxic, cleaning solution.

2. Next, spray the white vinegar onto the baking soda to create a paste. Spread the paste on the sides of the oven and let the solution sit for 20 minutes. Then, scrub the oven with the steel wool sponge to thoroughly clean before wiping down with a clean cloth.  

Baking soda and vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar (Image credit: Shutterstock)

4. Pour white vinegar into an oven-safe bowl and place on the lowest rack in the oven. Heat the oven on a low setting or about 200-degrees, and leave the water to boil for about one hour. Alternatively, if you have a self-clean mode, you can use this setting. The vinegar will evaporate and absorb all the bad smells from your oven.  

Setting oven temperature

Setting oven temperature (Image credit: Shutterstock)

How to freshen up a smelly oven using fresh lemon and water

1. Lemons and oranges are a great  way to naturally freshen a smelly oven. First, fill an oven-proof bowl with an inch of water. 

2. Next, slice two or three lemons in half and place the slices in the bowl. You can do this same process with oranges, but just use the orange peel rather than fruit. 

Lemon slices in bowl

Lemon slices in bowl (Image credit: Shutterstock)

3. Preheat the oven to 120-degrees F and place the bowl on the rack to boil for about an hour. This should naturally detox the air and remove any bad smells

How to freshen up a smelly oven using vanilla extract and water

1. First, fill an oven-proof bowl with an inch of water before adding one teaspoon of vanilla extract to it. 

2. Next up, place the dish in the oven and heat for over an hour on a setting of 350-degrees F. This will leave your oven smelling fresh and fragrant. 

Vanilla extract in bowl

Vanilla extract in bowl (Image credit: Shutterstock)

How to get rid of cooking smells

If you don't want the smell of fried foods or cooking oil to linger around the house, here are some tricks you can do to get rid of cooking smells in the home. 

1. Leave a small bowl or jug of vinegar out on your kitchen counter overnight. Similarly, you can open a box of baking soda and leave it out overnight. These will help to absorb lingering smells.


Vinegar (Image credit: Future)

2. Light a scented candle or incense sticks during cooking. Scents such as citrus or spice will help to eliminate strong cooking odors. Plus, your home will smell lovely and fragrant.

3. While it may seem noisy, cook with the extractor fan on to help remove strong smells. Especially if you’re frying foods on your stove top. 

Candles on a tray

Candles on a tray (Image credit: Shutterstock)
Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!