How Do I Stop My Clothes from Smelling Like Food in My Apartment?

Whether you visited a restaurant or were cooking yourself, clothes smelling like food is common in such cases. The smell can be uncomfortable since it usually lingers in clothes for a few days. 

Luckily, there is a way to remove the smells and prevent this from happening. This guide will discuss these tips in detail.

How to Get Food Smells Out from Clothes

Sometimes cooking good food can have its drawbacks. One of these is the fact that your clothes might radiate the same smell as your dish.

Cooking food in a small space like an apartment can lead the smells to linger everywhere around the property.

Hence, if you have a stack of clothes in your room or closet, they could potentially start smelling like food.

You might even find these smells lingering in all of your clothes long after you have cooked. Additionally, other residents in the apartment likely also end up with their clothes smelling like food.

Not only that, but the smell might also linger in your apartment. All of this can make cooking an annoying task.

Having your clothes and apartment smell like garlic, eggs, spices, or herbs is quite unpleasant. Nobody wants to smell like last night’s meal when they go to work or school.

If you are experiencing this regularly, then there are several things you can do to prevent it from happening.

Here is everything you can do to stop your clothes and apartment from smelling like food. If your clothes always exhibit the smell of the food you eat, you should do all of the following:

Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is an excellent ingredient to use since it can pull unwanted odors out. Place a cup of baking soda in water for clothes that need to be washed.

Then, pour this solution into a bucket and let the clothes soak for four hours. Then wash the clothes as you usually would.

You can still use baking soda if you have clothes that you would typically not launder. Simply place a cup of baking soda in a zippered bag with the dress. 

Let the sealed bag sit together with the baking soda for a couple of days. This will pull out the undesirable smells from the clothes.

Put Your Clothes in the Freezer

This might sound like an odd trick, but it works really well. The extremely cold temperature in the freezer will kill any bacteria in the garments.

This would also get rid of the smells from the clothes. This trick works great for thicker garments, such as sweaters and jeans.

Simply put the clothes in a Ziploc bag and place it in the freezer. Keep it overnight, and this will get rid of the smell.

Hang Them Outside

The easiest trick to get the smell out of your clothes is hanging them outside. This is only suitable if the weather is windy and sunny.

The fresh air and sunlight will definitely remove any smell from your clothes. Hence, you should keep your clothes in the sun from morning until evening.

Put the Clothes through a Steamer

Just like the cold, heat can also remove any odors from the clothes. This trick works better with thinner clothes rather than jeans and sweaters.

Hence, use a steamer on your lightweight clothes to kill the bacteria and remove bad odors. 

How to Prevent Clothes Smelling Like Food in the Future

Now that you know about the removal methods, it’s time to learn about the prevention techniques. You can do many things to prevent your clothes from smelling when you are cooking.

Cooking in a small space, such as an apartment, can leave your clothes with this odor. Not only would the clothes you are wearing smell like food, but also the clothes in your closet.

This is why it is important to follow these simple preventive techniques:

Block Odors by Closing All Doors

When you are cooking, you should consider closing all the closet and bedroom doors. This will prevent the smell from traveling to the rest of the rooms.

This way, the odor will not reach your clothes. You could also go one step further and put towels underneath the doors.

Even the tiniest bit of odor will not be able to travel in this case. Be sure to place the towels outside of the bedroom and closet doors.

If you put the towels on the inside, this trick would not be as effective.

Increase Ventilation in the Kitchen by Switching Fans and Exhaust On

You can remove the food odors from the kitchen by switching all the fans and exhaust on. When the odor does not stay in the air, it will not get absorbed in your clothes. 

Additionally, make sure to use the fan on the highest setting. You should also keep it on for at least an hour after cooking.

This way, any lingering smells that stay in your room will be removed. 

Regularly Clean the Kitchen Exhaust Hood

When you have a clogged kitchen exhaust, it won’t be effective in removing odors. This is because the exhaust would not be working at its most efficient level.

The clogged hood significantly reduces airflow. This might also be the reason why you notice odors in your clothes.

Hence, regularly clean the kitchen exhaust hood and remove any gunk or buildup.

Open Windows

The best way to remove and counteract odor is through fresh air. Hence, you should open your windows before, during, and after cooking.

The windows in the kitchen should also be opened to let the air out. You should also keep the windows open for at least an hour after cooking.

Opening the windows will also help the kitchen exhaust fan to suck more air out. Hence, the food smells would likely be removed quickly when you keep exhaust and windows open.

Prevent Odors from Traveling By Switching your AC Off

Make sure that you switch off your air conditioner before cooking. This is because the AC will suck the air from the kitchen and blow it into your house.

Hence, the air with the food odor will travel throughout your apartment via the air ducts. Whenever you cook, switch the AC off and switch the fan on.

Spray Air Fresheners

This is the easiest and simplest way to get rid of odors in the house. Be sure to use ‘odor eliminating’ air fresheners because they keep the atmosphere clean and fresh.

Additionally, ensure that you don’t spray too many air fresheners. Too many of these particles can be harmful to your lungs. 

Boil Coffee Grounds after Cooking

Did you know that coffee grounds are a known neutralizer of odors? 

They have a natural ability to dispel odors and prevent them from absorbing in your clothes. Hence, carry the boiled coffee grounds throughout your apartment to dispel the unappealing odor.

Additionally, you could also leave it in your closet to help neutralize the smell.

Change Before Cooking

If you experience food smells in your clothes each time you cook, consider changing. Have a designated cooking outfit, or layer up your clothes with a hat and apron. 

This way, all of your other clothes will be protected from smelling like food. You would also be able to cook freely without having to worry about spills on your outfit.

You can have a few of these dedicated cooking outfits that you can change in and out of.

Avoid Cooking Garlic, Onion, and Curries

Cooking and eating garlic, onion, and curries is a big reason behind food smells in clothes. These tend to have pungent smells that linger in the air long after cooking.

Moreover, when you consume these ingredients, they are transmitted out of your body through sweat. Hence, the sweat might be causing your clothes to smell like food.

Invest in an Air Filter

If you live in a small apartment where smells travel fast and excessively, you should invest in an air filter. This will significantly reduce the odors in the air.

They would also drastically improve the air quality in the atmosphere. Hence, they would certainly be worth the investment.

Keep Your Expensive Clothes in Sealed Bags

If you have expensive clothes that you cannot wash frequently, consider this tip. You should also do this for clothes that you don’t want to risk ruining.

Hence, put them in a zipped bag and the cupboard before you start cooking. This will protect the clothes from any odors.

Final Words

Food smells in your clothes are no surprise when you cook regularly. It can become irksome and often embarrassing if you are meeting someone.

Luckily, you can easily remove these odors from your clothes by washing, freezing, or steaming them. You can also consider following the aforementioned preventative techniques to reduce these smells.

You can prevent this issue by increasing ventilation throughout the kitchen and closing all the doors. You should also consider wearing dedicated cooking clothes.

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