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Some great friends of ours cooked us an amazing meal in our home three nights ago. The meal included gourmet french fries cooked in a home use deep fryer. While the fries were outstanding the lingering smell three days later is not. The trash is long gone as is the deep fryer, but the smell still remains. We have throughly cleaned the countertop and surrounding area. Additionally, we have been lighting scented candles in and around the kitchen since the morning after the meal to no avail. The smell is definitely less, but upon leaving and returning home the scent hits you when you walk in the door.

How do I eliminate the lingering smell of fried food? My wife and I have never used an indoor deep fryer is this just part of the deal of home frying?

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Use the fryer outside! – TFD Dec 31 '12 at 22:48
@TFD hindsight is always twenty-twenty. :) – ahsteele Jan 1 '13 at 0:58
Try various oils, I found that the smell left is eg far worse with generic vegetable oil than peanut oil... – rackandboneman Jan 13 at 10:45
+1 for peanut oil. Since it had such a high smoke point it doesn't leave an oily residue on every surface in the home. – Escoce Mar 15 at 14:47
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Was the deep fryer below anything? Cabinet, Vent Hood? Those areas could be probably be cleaned to help.

This happens to me in my house when I fry up bacon. The only solution is fresh air and ventilation. I open a couple of windows, get a nice cross-breeze and it should dissipate over a couple of hours.

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+1 Ventilation is the key. Micro-droplets of oil get deposited everywhere from deep frying, so unless you're willing to scrub the ceilings and walls of the entire kitchen, the only solution is ventilating. – Carey Gregory Jan 1 '13 at 0:42
@CareyGregory tomorrow when it is a bit warmer will be opening up the windows. – ahsteele Jan 1 '13 at 0:59

I use an IONIC air cleaner in my small kitchen. This completely cleans the air long before any cross ventilation. Originally I bought it for a bedroom, but in my new apartment (without airconditioner), I found it absolutely indispensable in the kitchen.

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Maybe look into an odor neutralizing spray. There's a brand called Ozium that you can get online or at a tobacco shop. It works really well and gets most smells out. A couple years ago, a roommate of mine got a fryer for the holidays and went rampant with it and left my kitchen/apartment in the same condition. He went out, got a can of this Ozium product, and within a few minutes of spraying it around the kitchen the odor was gone.

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I had the same problem, googled and found these solutions:

Dab a little vanilla extract on light bulbs when they are off. Once turned on the heat will cause the smell of vanilla to spread in the house and get rid of the smell of fried food..

Or you may try boiling citrus peels or boil cloves (whole/ground). Air fresheners also work.

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We'd really prefer things that you know will work - have you tried all these things? It sounds like they'll mostly cover up the smell until it fades, and it'll fade a lot faster if you just ventilate well like Jacob's answer suggests. – Jefromi Mar 22 '13 at 12:16

Boil cinnamon sticks in water or tea

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You might want to expand on your answer. Give a little evidence/thory or a more complete method. – Doug Dec 1 '14 at 7:22

One quick and easy way to get rid of most smells is to actually just use a spray bottle on it's finest setting so it just mists the water out. Then it's up to you if you have some essential oils that you could mix in the water. Then you just spray the whole room pointing up in the air, the finer the mist the better, the water vapor or droplets will capture those smelly food/oil particles and drop them to the ground. Now all you have to do is vacuum and shampoo your rugs but the air is nice and fresh.

But prevention is the first thing to do. Like another poster put, cook outside. But if you can't then at least close all doors surrounding your kitchen/dining area, so you don't get those smells in the rest of the house. Then turn on that vent/hood and make sure that the vent screen is clean and oil free. If it can't get through that screen it's not going to be sucked up. I also like to open one window/door across from the vent/hood just a crack to allow for cross-ventilation in the kitchen. This really seems to help the vent work better.

Splatter guards also help. And watching the actual temp of what you are cooking. Oil/foods that get too hot it will smoke.

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