Smoke Odor in Microwave and Apartment

Updated on October 21, 2009
R.B. asks from Auburn, WA
8 answers

A bag of popcorn burnt in the microwave the other day, this time sending smoke into the kitchen, bringing the neighbors over to make sure all was okay. I have burnt fragranced candles, done the cup with lemon juice in the microwave--warming it up, letting it sit in there--did open the door fully, my bedroom window fully, blew smoke out the front door with a fan when it happened, but the smoke smell remains. Does anyone know a way to get rid of that? My granddaughters will be spending Thursday with me and I would like to have the smell gone as quickly as possible. Thanks to all you awesome Moms for all your advice you so freely give.

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answers from Portland on

Here's a trick we've used over and over. I learned it from a friend who was a housekeeper for a hotel. Put out a plate of fresh coffee grounds and leave it overnight. You could put some in the microwave too and let them sit. Somehow, the grounds absorb odors. It's a great trick! I've done it with lots of different types of coffee, and they all worked the same, so now I keep a little can of cheap coffee here just for that! It helps really well with strong cooking smells- fish, garlic, bacon, etc. The stuff that smells great when it's cooking, but not so great the next day!

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answers from Eugene on

Dear R.

Take some alcohol place it in a piece of corning ware or a small metal pot you don't use much. One cup should do. Half a cup of bi-carbornate of soda.
Light the alcohol and let it burn in a safe place until the fire is out.
This removes all smells and all negative energy.

Wash the inside of the microwave with baking soda and vineager.

That should do it.

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answers from Seattle on

Wash with diluted vinegar, or put a opened box of arm and hammer soda in the microwave.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

wow.. there are so many smart people with great ideas.. I would not have even known some they have replied.

... my suggestion was only to help mask the odor until it disipated on it's own.

I like to boil a few cinnamon sticks + nutmeg or other warm spices, sometimes with vanilla, on the stove top.

This time of the year it's easy because it's Hot Apple cider season >^.^<

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I had the same problem, only with fish. Use White Distilled Vinegar in hot water and wash all surfaces. Anything that can be thrown into the washer should also be washed. If you have a carpet cleaner instead of the cleanser for it use the vinegar.
My house smelled better before I was done with the kitchen and living room! Plus it's cheap, just labor intensive.
Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Smoke odors are tough, because the stinky stuff coats every surface in the room. The smell will dissipate gradually, but the fastest approach is to actually wash everything washable: walls and ceilings, fabrics, blinds and windows. Baking soda in water or vinegar in water both do a great job without leaving lingering or toxic odors of their own. Baking soda sprinkled on carpets, then vacuumed 20-30 minutes later, might help. Steam cleaning upholstery might help, too.

There are enzyme-based sprays that break down organically-based odors like burnt food. These are generally safe. Here's a great resource for non-toxic cleaners:

I've also heard that leaving a few bowls of vinegar around the room can help. I've never found this to be helpful, but know people who swear by it.

Fragranced products like candles or room "fresheners" do no more than overwhelm your sense of smell with another scent temporarily, and many scented products have toxic ingredients. Someday those ingredients will become illegal, but presently they are not even required to be disclosed by the manufacturers.

Be careful to read the instructions on ANY product you use. An acquaintance was recently hospitalized for serious injury to her lungs from using large amounts of a cleaner with "green" ingredients in an unventilated room. She may never breathe normally again.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Febreeze your furniture, carpet and curtains. We used Febreeze to get a funky odor out of our new place when we moved it by just spraying the carpets. It worked great!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Unfortunately, the smell is going to remain in your microwave for a while. The smoke traveled through your microwave and it's VERY hard to remove. The more you use your microwave, the more the exhaust will kick out the smell and the faster it will be removed. We had a housesitter friend burn a bag of popcorn in the same fashion and we tried everything. Eventually, the smell went away.

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