How to Get Rid of Burnt Popcorn Smell Quickly

Burning your popcorn is just a bummer. But your nose doesn't have to suffer with these quick popcorn odor-removing hacks.

Published June 9, 2023

Popcorn is a classic snack choice, especially for a movie night. But a burnt popcorn smell in your home is less than appetizing during your feature film. Don't let the smell of burning popcorn overshadow your evening. Instead, try these quick hacks for getting rid of burnt popcorn smell so your home smells fresh and clean.

Remove the Burnt Popcorn ASAP

If you want to avoid the smell of burnt popcorn traveling through your entire home, you need to dispose of the culprit right away. Once the popcorn is cool enough to toss, place it in a disposable bag and throw it away. Take your trash out of the house as well. The last thing you want is the overwhelming smell of burnt popcorn every time you lift the lid on your trash bin.

Turn on Your Exhaust Fan

Your kitchen's exhaust fan will help trap and remove some of the strong odors coming from your microwave. Turn the fan it on its highest settings as soon as you realize the popcorn is burnt. Let the fan run while you're cleaning the mess and deodorizing your microwave.

Grab a Few Dryer Sheets

This hack is only a temporary fix, but it will help absorb some of the burnt popcorn odor while you're trying other methods. Grab a few dryer sheets and tape them over the vent of your microwave. Leave them there until you can get around to cleaning the microwave. Just be sure to remove them if you need to use the microwave - though, we suggest giving it a proper cleaning before using it again.

Open Your Windows

One of the quickest ways to release unpleasant odors in your home is to get fresh air circulating. Open your windows, especially those in the kitchen, to create a cross breeze that will pull out the stinky popcorn smell and usher in the fresh smells from outside.

Microwave Some Lemon Water

Okay, it's time to tackle that smelly microwave. A small microwave-safe bowl of water and a lemon are a great starting point for ridding your kitchen of that unpleasant burnt odor. Slice your lemon and place the slices in the bowl of water, giving them each a twist so the juices release before dropping them in. Microwave for up to three minutes, then leave the bowl in the microwave for an additional five minutes. The steamy lemon water will loosen some of the grime from your microwave and help cover the popcorn smell.

Deodorize With Baking Soda

The lemon water is great for starting the cleaning process in your microwave, but you really need to deodorize in order to fully absorb the smells. Baking soda is excellent for deodorizing! Take a few tablespoons of baking soda and mix them with water in a bowl. Microwave that bowl for up to five minutes, then leave it in your microwave for up to an hour. The longer it's in there, the more odors the baking soda will absorb.

Clean With Vinegar

Vinegar might not have the best smell in the world, but it sure beats the smell of burnt popcorn. Spray a vinegar-based cleaning solution (3 parts water to 1 part vinegar) in your microwave and on the surfaces in your kitchen. Rinse and wipe to lift the odor and leave your microwave and surfaces clean and sparkling.

Cover the Smell With Candles & Essential Oils

If you're really in a pinch and just need to cover that stinky burnt popcorn smell, reach for your favorite scented candles and essential oils. Burn the candles and diffuse the essential oils in your kitchen if possible. Choose scents that are fresh but powerful enough to overpower the burnt popcorn smell. Lemon, orange, eucalyptus, mint, and lavender are all pleasant and refreshing smells that might distract your nose from the popcorn stench.

Swap Out Your Kitchen Towels

The smell of burnt popcorn seems to latch on to everything, especially textiles. Grab all the tea towels, dish towels, and other textiles in your kitchen and toss them in the laundry. Add clean ones once you feel confident the smell is under control.

Brew Some Coffee

Sometimes fighting fire with fire actually works. Here, you're fighting the strong odor of burnt popcorn with the strong scent of freshly brewed coffee. Brew a fresh pot of strong coffee in your kitchen to combat the smell of popcorn - just make sure the coffee doesn't burn as well.

Start a Simmer Pot

Simmer pots are a lovely and natural way to add pleasant smells to your kitchen and home. If you choose the right scents, you just might banish that stinky popcorn smell for good. Simmer your pot with water and some of your favorite natural scent sources. Try vanilla extract, slices of citrus fruit, cinnamon sticks, fresh thyme, or bay leaves.

Tell Burnt Popcorn to Pop Off

Try any variation of these burnt popcorn odor hacks to get your kitchen smelling fresh after a popping fiasco. Cleaning and deodorizing are your main goals here. Once you've done that, it might take time for the smell to entirely dissipate. In the meantime, you can pop some popcorn that actually smells good.

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How to Get Rid of Burnt Popcorn Smell Quickly