How To Get Rid Of Burnt Popcorn Smell In The Kitchen

We’ve all been there: you’re enjoying a movie night, and in your haste to make some delicious microwave popcorn, you accidentally burn it. The result? An unpleasant burnt popcorn smell that lingers in your kitchen and possibly your entire house. The good news is that there are several methods to help you eliminate the foul odor and get your kitchen smelling fresh again. In this blog post, we’ll cover a range of solutions using household items you likely already have on hand. So let’s dive in!

how to get rid of burnt popcorn smell in the kitchen

1. First Line of Defense: Fresh Air and Fans

The first step to tackle burnt odors is to let fresh air into your kitchen. Open your windows and doors to allow air circulation and to dispel unpleasant smells. Next, use portable electric fans to help speed up the process. Aim the fans towards the open windows to push the lingering smell of burnt popcorn out of your home.

Don’t forget to turn on your range fans and exhaust fan or cooker extractor fan to help remove the smoke smell and stale air accumulation from your kitchen. These fans are designed to improve air quality and get rid of pungent odors.

2. Clean the Inside of Your Microwave

The burnt popcorn smell may linger inside of your microwave, so it’s essential to clean it thoroughly. First, remove any burnt items or food particles from the microwave, and then clean the yellow butter stains on the interior of the microwave with a damp cloth and soapy water.

Cleaning Burnt Residue on the Glass Tray

To clean the burnt residue on your glass microwave tray, fill a sink or basin with warm water and add a few drops of dish soap. Soak the glass tray for a few minutes, and then use a sponge or cloth to scrub away the burnt food. Rinse the tray and let it dry before placing it back in the microwave.

Tackle the Burn Site

If the burnt popcorn smell has permeated the area around your microwave, clean the burn site using a solution of warm water and dish soap. This will help remove any residue or burnt food particles that might be causing the lingering smell.

cleaning microwave after burnt popcorn

Alternative Microwave Cleaning Solutions

If the burnt popcorn odor persists even after using vinegar or lemon water, try some of these alternative solutions for lingering odors.

  • Mix a gallon of warm water with a cup of acetone-free nail polish remover. Dip a sponge or cloth into the solution and carefully wipe the interior of the microwave. This can help remove any stubborn burnt residue and odors.
  • Place a few cotton balls soaked in vanilla extract inside a closed microwave for a few hours. The vanilla scent will help mask the burnt smell and leave your microwave smelling pleasant.

3. Use White Vinegar as an Effective Odor Neutralizer

To eliminate the burnt popcorn odor from your microwave, mix equal cups of water and white vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl. Place the bowl inside the microwave and heat it for a few minutes until the vinegar water starts to steam. Carefully remove the bowl, and then use a paper towel to wipe down the inside of the microwave. The vinegar smell will dissipate quickly, taking the burnt smell along with it.

4. Lemon Water: A Fresh Solution

Another great way to neutralize burnt odors is to use lemon water. Fill a microwave-safe bowl with a cup of water and add lemon slices or lemon juice. Microwave the mixture for a few minutes to create steam, then carefully remove the bowl and wipe the inside of the microwave with a damp cloth. The fresh lemon scent will replace the lingering burnt smell and reduce strong odors. 

lemon water to neutralise odors in kitchen

Lemon Halves and Salt

Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle some salt on the cut surface. Place the lemon halves on a microwave-safe plate and microwave them for a minute or two. The lemon and salt combination will help neutralize the burnt popcorn smell and leave a fresh lemon scent in its place.

5. Baking Soda, Coffee Grounds, and Apple Cider Vinegar

Place small bowls of baking soda, coffee grounds, or apple cider vinegar around your kitchen to help absorb the burnt smell from the surrounding air. These substances are natural odor neutralizers and can effectively eliminate unpleasant odors.

6. Use Essential Oils, Scented Candles, or Air Fresheners

Once you’ve addressed the source of the smell, you can use essential oils, a scented candle, or air freshener to further improve the overall scent of your kitchen. Choose your favorite fragrant spices or scents to make your kitchen smell inviting once again. A few drops of your favorite essential oil mixed with water in a spray bottle is handy to keep on hand to freshen up your kitchen after cooking. 

using essential oils and water to clear burnt popcorn smell

Preventing Future Burnt Popcorn Mishaps

To avoid dealing with burnt popcorn smell in the future, make sure to follow the cooking instructions on the bag of popcorn and keep a close eye on the microwave while it’s cooking. Also, consider using an air purifier to help remove unpleasant smells and improve the air quality in your kitchen.


Refresh Your Garbage Pail

Sometimes, the burnt popcorn smell can linger in your garbage pail even after you’ve thrown away the bag of popcorn. To tackle this issue, sprinkle some baking soda at the bottom of the pail and let it sit for a few hours. The baking soda will absorb the bad smell, and you can simply dispose of it when you take out the trash next time.

Freshen Up Your Kitchen With Jasmine Rice

Jasmine rice is known for its pleasant, fragrant aroma. Fill a small bowl with jasmine rice and place it in your kitchen to help absorb the burnt popcorn smell from the air. This is a simple yet effective method to make your kitchen smell fresh again.

Absorbent Bread Trick

Place a few slices of white bread in a shallow dish and pour white vinegar over them. Put the dish in your microwave, close the door, and let it sit overnight. The bread will absorb the burnt odors, and you can simply throw the bread away the next day. Remember to wipe down the interior of the microwave with a damp cloth to remove any lingering vinegar smell.

With all these methods, the best way to get rid of burnt popcorn smell in the kitchen will depend on your preferences. Try a few of our suggestions, and you are going to find the one that works perfectly for you. 

Dealing with burnt popcorn smell in the kitchen can be a frustrating experience, but with these tried-and-tested methods, you can effectively neutralize the foul odor and restore your kitchen’s pleasant atmosphere.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so be vigilant the next time you prepare microwave popcorn to avoid another smelly mishap. With these tips, you’ll be well-equipped to handle any burnt popcorn odor and keep your kitchen smelling fresh and inviting.


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