How to get rid of burnt popcorn smell in microwave

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how to get rid of burnt popcorn smell in microwave
how to get rid of burnt popcorn smell in microwave

There’s nothing quite as disappointing as the tantalizing aroma of freshly popped popcorn turning into an overpowering burnt odor that lingers in your microwave. The smell can be persistent and even spread to other areas of your kitchen, making it crucial to address the issue promptly. In this article, we will explore practical and effective methods to help you get rid of the burnt popcorn smell in your microwave, allowing you to enjoy popcorn without any unwanted after-effects.

How to get rid of burnt popcorn smell in microwave

1. Ventilation is Key

When dealing with a burnt popcorn smell, the first step is to ensure proper ventilation in your kitchen. Open windows and turn on any fans or exhaust systems available. By allowing fresh air to circulate, you will help dissipate the odor and prevent it from settling in your home. Ventilation is an essential initial step to tackle any unwanted smell.

2. Deep Cleaning

Cleaning your microwave thoroughly is crucial to eliminate the burnt popcorn smell. Follow these steps to get your microwave back to its fresh, odorless state:

  • a. Remove any loose debris: Start by removing any remaining popcorn kernels or burnt pieces from the microwave. Carefully wipe down the interior with a damp cloth or sponge.
  • b. Create a cleaning solution: Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl. The vinegar’s acidic properties help neutralize odors and break down stubborn stains.
  • c. Steam cleaning: Place the bowl of vinegar and water mixture in the microwave and heat it on high for 5 minutes. The steam generated will loosen any stuck-on residue, making it easier to wipe away. Allow the mixture to sit for a few more minutes to further deodorize the microwave.
  • d. Wipe down the interior: Carefully remove the bowl, as it will be hot, and use a clean cloth or sponge to wipe down the interior surfaces. Pay extra attention to areas with visible stains or odor. For tougher stains, dip the cloth in the vinegar and water mixture and scrub gently.
  • e. Remove the turntable: If your microwave has a removable turntable, take it out and wash it separately using warm, soapy water. Rinse it thoroughly and let it dry before placing it back in the microwave.
  • f. Clean the exterior: Don’t forget to clean the exterior of your microwave as well. Use a mild cleaner or a mixture of water and dish soap to wipe away any grease or residue. Dry it thoroughly to prevent any moisture from causing odors.

3. Odor-Absorbing Solutions

If the burnt popcorn smell persists even after cleaning, you can try the following methods to absorb the odor:

  • a. Baking soda: Place an open container filled with baking soda inside the microwave and leave it overnight. Baking soda is known for its odor-absorbing properties and can help neutralize the burnt smell effectively.
  • b. Coffee grounds: Similar to baking soda, coffee grounds can help absorb unpleasant odors. Fill a microwave-safe bowl with used coffee grounds and place it in the microwave overnight. The coffee aroma will overpower the burnt popcorn smell.
  • c. Activated charcoal: Activated charcoal is another effective odor absorber. Place a few pieces of activated charcoal in a microwave-safe bowl and leave it inside the microwave for a day or two. The charcoal will absorb the odor particles, leaving your microwave smelling fresh.

4. Natural Deodorizers

Nature offers some excellent deodorizing options that can help eliminate unwanted smells from your microwave:

  • a. Lemon or citrus solution: Squeeze the juice of one lemon or mix citrus essential oil with water in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat the solution for a few minutes until it produces steam. The citrusy fragrance will help neutralize the burnt popcorn smell.
  • b. Vanilla extract: Add a few drops of vanilla extract to a microwave-safe bowl of water and heat it for a minute or two. The sweet aroma of vanilla will help mask the burnt odor.
  • c. Vinegar and water: If the smell persists, try wiping down the interior of the microwave with a mixture of vinegar and water. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer and can help eliminate unpleasant odors.

5. Prevention is Better than Cure

To avoid dealing with the stubborn burnt popcorn smell in the future, consider the following preventive measures:

  • a. Use the correct popping time: Follow the instructions on the popcorn package carefully and adjust the popping time accordingly. Overcooking popcorn increases the chances of it burning and causing strong odors.
  • b. Cover the popcorn: Place a microwave-safe cover or a microwave-safe plate on top of the popcorn bag to prevent it from overheating and burning. This simple step can make a significant difference.
  • c. Monitor the cooking process: Stay close to the microwave while the popcorn is popping to ensure it doesn’t get burned. Listen for the popping to slow down, and stop the microwave immediately to prevent further cooking.

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Getting rid of the burnt popcorn smell in your microwave is essential to maintain a fresh and pleasant kitchen environment. By following the methods outlined in this article, from thorough cleaning to utilizing odor-absorbing solutions and natural deodorizers, you can eliminate the unpleasant odor and prevent it from returning. Remember, prevention is key, so exercise caution and follow the recommended popcorn cooking guidelines to avoid burnt popcorn mishaps in the future.


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