How To Get Rid Of Fishy Smell After Cooking

Whether you have a great exhaust hood or kitchen window exhaust fan often doesn’t matter with fish. Fans definitely help but the odor can linger for hours. The best way how to get rid of that lingering fishy smell typically involves boiling something fragrant. Things like cloves or cinnamon will work wonders for overpowering those lingering fish smells before friends arrive. Continue reading to learn about other methods for how to get rid of that stubborn fish odor before your guests come over.


If you’re in less of a hurry, leaving a bowl of vinegar out can help cut through foul fishy smells and other lingering odors from cooking. It may take letting it sit overnight to work particularly well.

Baking Soda

Another trick is to leave out a bowl of baking soda can help absorb offending odors. Like vinegar, this likely isn’t going to be an instant fix but should work over several hours or overnight.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds can really help deal with the fishy smell left over from cooking a particularly fishy meal. Also not as fast a solution as simply overpowering the smell with cinnamon or a similar scent but the grounds left in a bowl can help absorb the odor and provide a more neutral solution than just covering the smell up.

Do air purifiers help with odor?

They can but finding one that will do the job well can be difficult. A quality HEPA air purifier that also has activated carbon may be able to handle the job well. If this is a route that is more appealing to you to explore you’ll need to do your homework and research which air purifiers are best at eliminating odors.

Do Onions get rid of smells?

Yes! Onions are a great solution. They can help cover up a smell as well as absorb odors. Cut an onion into quarters and leave out to both cover up smells as well as absorb smells.

Charcoal Briquettes

If you happen to have some charcoal briquettes handy they’re a great and unique option for dealing with fishy smell. The briquettes have a great scent that can help cover the odor without being overpowering and the briquette will also help absorb the stench.

Scented Candles

A pleasant scented candle might be a good option. It won’t get rid of fishy smell but it will cover it up. This may be enough to deal with the problem. You’ll want to make sure you pick a scent that won’t clash with your meal however and it shouldn’t be something that is too overpowering.

Is Lysol spray toxic?

Lysol is one way of covering up foul odors but it may not be the most safe option. The active ingredient in Lysol is very toxic to fish so keep it away from your aquarium. It is also mildly toxic to mammals so keep it away from your pets and yourself.

What about Fabreeze or plugin air fresheners?

These products have different active ingredients but generally aren’t the safest solutions. They will cover up the smells but they could cause other problems. Also, the smell of the Fabreeze or plugin air freshener might be less than ideal during or after a meal.

Other Resources:

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Wrapping Up:

Getting Rid of the Smell After Cooking Seafood

We’ve covered a lot of ways for getting rid of the smell of fish and seafood after cooking but which one is best. You mileage may vary but in our opinion a multi pronged approach is the best solution. Vinegar is great but you’ll likely want to try the boiling cinnamon and cloves technique in combination with it. Try some of the various suggestions we’ve given you and let us know which you found to work best.

Also, don’t forget to clean thoroughly before jumping to dealing with the smell. You’ll want to wipe up well anywhere there was fish residue and be sure and get the trash taken out. You need to eliminate the source before dealing with the smell.

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