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Eliminate Fishy Odors with This Common Pantry Ingredient

The secret to getting rid of that lingering fried fish smell is hiding in your pantry.

Published Dec. 19, 2022.

Cooking fish at home instead of ordering it at a restaurant can be economical and surprisingly simple. Fried fish especially is a great option to make at home because you’re able to eat it when it’s at its hot and crispy finest.

We’ve got endless tips about how to prepare your at-home frying station for the most ease and least mess, but whether it’s Cod and Potato Cakes or crispy fish sandwiches, it’s nearly impossible to avoid lingering odors of oil and fish.

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There’s no need to let this prevent you from making crispy fish at home, because there’s an easy and cheap fix—no fancy cleaning products or scented candles required. If you have vinegar in your cabinet, you’ve already got everything you need. 

Here’s how to get your kitchen smelling fresh again.

First, get your hands on some cheap vinegar. It can be distilled white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or any type you have around, but don’t waste anything fancy for this purpose.

In a small saucepan, mix half a cup of vinegar with a cup of water, and let it simmer on low to medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes. The acetic acid in the vinegar will quickly work to neutralize the odors in your kitchen. 

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You may ask, won’t my kitchen just smell like vinegar now? And the answer is yes, while it’s simmering and for a few minutes after, your kitchen will smell like vinegar. But that scent will quickly dissipate.

If you still want to offset the scent of vinegar you can add aromatics such as lemon peel, star anise, cloves, or cinnamon sticks to the concoction on your stovetop. 

And it’s not just for fish—this trick will also work for other stubborn odors, such as sulfurous roasted brussels sprouts.

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