11 Easy Solutions to Eliminate Fish Odor in the House After Cooking

Try these quick fixes to get rid of fishy odor fast and make your home smell fresh again.

Published March 8, 2023

Fish is a healthy and delicious dinner, but sometimes the catch of the day (or at least its odor) can overstay its welcome. If your house smells like fish for days after cooking, you aren't alone. It's just one of those smells that likes to hang around. No worries, though. You can get rid or fish smells easily with some simple DIY solutions.

These home remedies for fishy odors, from baking soda to citrus peels, will have your house smelling fresh again in no time. Add in a few tips for preventing the fish smell in the first place, and your Friday fish fry will never linger into Saturday morning again.

Get Rid Fish Odor With Vinegar


There's no doubt about it; vinegar is pretty useful stuff. But did you know you can use it to blast away fish odors? It's really easy too. Just add a quarter cup of white vinegar to two cups of water and boil it in a pan on your stove. The acid smell will neutralize the fish scent and leave everything nice and fresh again.

Quick Tip

If you can avoid the fish smell in the first place, that's the biggest win. Before you begin, choose fish that's super fresh. Then opt for baking instead of frying if you want to avoid the smell.

Get Some Air Flowing


If it's super hot or cold outside, no one wants to open a window. Still, getting rid of a fish odor is way easier with a little airflow. Start by cracking the window in your kitchen or dining room and turning on the vent fan over your stove. If you need to, you can always bring in a plug-in fan to really get things moving. You'll be surprised how quickly this works to clear out the fishy smell.

Embrace Essential Oils


Have some essential oils handy? They can be a quick way to eliminate fish odors. You can put a few drops in a pot of boiling water on the stove, or add some to a diffuser if you have one. Lavender is a good bet, and so is citrus.

Boil Citrus Peels to Get Rid of Fish Smells


Citrus has some serious superpowers (anyone who has ground up a lemon in a stinky garbage disposal knows what we're talking about). Peel and orange, lemon, or lime and boil the peels in a pot of water on your stove. The citrus will chase off that fish smell in no time.

Make a Fish-Blasting Spice Potpourri


Trust us; potpourri isn't just for grandmas. Toss some cinnamons sticks, whole cloves, ginger root, and any other pleasant-smelling spice you have into a pot of boiling water. Leave it on the stove for 20 minutes, and the fish smell will fade away. Turns out, grandma knew a thing or two.

Clean Up Right Away


If you've just had a dinner party or are coming off of a long day (or, let's be honest, a long week), the last thing you want to do is the dishes. But...those dishes have fish on them. Enlist the help of anyone who's handy and clean up as quickly as you can. The sooner the dishes are clean and the fish scraps are out of the house, the faster things will go back to smelling way better.

Quick Tip

Don't forget to clean the countertop and stove right away, too. A little white vinegar and water will help get rid of fish smells on surfaces.

Use Baking Soda to Get Fish Smells Out of Fabrics


If someone actually fished and brought their stinky clothing in the house, we are so sorry. Don't despair, though. When it comes to home remedies for fishy odors, baking soda is actually pretty awesome. Soak the offending items in a sink filled with warm water and 3/4 cup of baking soda to neutralize the odors. This works for the kitchen textile casualties of your fish dinner too (we're looking at you, aprons and dish towels).

Brew Coffee and Leave the Grounds Out Overnight


First off, coffee is great after a dinner (fish or otherwise), so it's never the wrong choice to brew up a pot of decaf to enjoy in the evening. The smell of brewing coffee will help get rid of the fish odor, but that's not the end of the awesomeness of this solution. After you're done brewing, spread the used coffee grounds on a cookie sheet and leave them on your counter overnight. You can toss them in the morning when you wake up to the smell of coffee and not the smell of fish.

Break Out That Scented Candle


Candles are made to smell great, and when you have a fishy odor, a pretty candle smells even more amazing. Choose a favorite that you happen to have around and burn it in the kitchen right by where you cooked the fish. It will help neutralize the scent and make everything better.

Bake Up Some Dessert


Not that you need an excuse to make something delicious for dessert, but we're actually giving you the perfect reason right now. Cooking something else pushes out the fish scent and replaces it with yumminess instead. Go for a baked dessert like pie, cookies, or cake so the scent has a chance to spread through your kitchen. Hello, brownies. Goodbye, fish.

Take Out the Trash


Don't do all that cleanup work and forget about your kitchen trash. If you've used disposable plates or napkins, tossed fishy packaging in the bin, or otherwise put any fishy smelling debris in your kitchen trash, then take it out right away so it doesn't linger in your kitchen.

Get Rid of Fish Smells With What You Have Handy


You don't need expensive cleaning products or fancy sprays to banish the fish odor once and for all. Just use baking soda, vinegar, spices, and other handy items to make your home smell amazing again.

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11 Easy Solutions to Eliminate Fish Odor in the House After Cooking