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6 Proven Ways to Remove Burnt Popcorn Smell from Your Home

burnt popcorn in the microwave oven

You wouldn’t imagine that burnt popcorn would be such a huge deal. However, if you’ve ever overcooked popcorn in your microwave, you know how terrible this smell can be. The odor of burnt popcorn is awful, and it has some amazing staying power. Therefore, you may be stuck with it for days unless you do something to combat it.

Several concoctions can help minimize the burnt popcorn odor in your home (and other odors, too). You’ll probably want to try a few of these methods, as none of them are silver bullets.

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Ways to Remove Burnt Popcorn Smell from Home

1. Remove the Popcorn ASAP

several burned popcorn on white background
Image By: andreyalpha, Shutterstock

The longer the popcorn stays in your house, the smellier it will get. While most people dump the ruined popcorn into the trashcan, this isn’t the best solution. Trashcans are not airtight, and the smell will continue permeating your home.

Therefore, you should seal the bag of popcorn up in a resealable bag. Then, throw the bag in a trashcan or dumpster outside your home. If your trash is already getting full, you can throw it in there and immediately take the trash out.

The idea is that you don’t want the popcorn to remain in your home.

2. Clean the Microwave

Cleaning a microwave oven with water and lemon
Image Credit: Marian Weyo, Shutterstock

Now that the popcorn is dealt with, you must deal with the microwave. The microwave can hold onto the burnt popcorn smell, releasing it into your home for days. So, even if you clean the air in your home, the microwave will make it smell like burnt popcorn again.

Luckily, there are a few ways you can do this. If you have a lemon or an orange, you can use it to deodorize your microwave. Get a glass of water and squeeze the citrus fruit juice into the cup. Mix it up well and put it in the microwave. Next, turn the microwave on for about three minutes. Once it is done, let the glass sit in the microwave for about 10 minutes. The water will evaporate and then condensate along the inside of the microwave.

Now, everything should be loose on the inside and you can wipe your microwave clean pretty easily.

You can also try baking soda. Simply add baking soda to water, mixing until it forms a paste. Cook this paste for about 5 minutes and then leave it in the microwave for as long as possible. Overnight works best, but we recommend aiming for at least an hour.

Vinegar is also great at removing smells. However, you then have to live with the smell of vinegar (though it usually goes away faster than the smell of burnt popcorn). We recommend using this as a last resort.

To use vinegar, microwave a bowl of vinegar and water for about 3 minutes. Allow it to sit in the microwave for at least an hour. Then, remove it and wipe down the inside of the microwave. Now, your microwave should smell like vinegar. The smell should dissipate within 24 hours, leaving it smelling clean.

3. Ventilation

woman standing by window and opening curtains
Image By: Monkey Business Images, Shutterstock

Now that more burnt popcorn smell isn’t being re-added into your home, you can start removing the smell from the air. You can do these next steps while removing the smell from your microwave (though you may have to do them again after your microwave is clean).

First, increase the ventilation in your home as much as possible. Open your windows and allow your home to air out. Use fans if you have them. Usually, this method won’t work by itself, but the other methods below won’t work if you don’t have proper ventilation.

4. Vinegar

vinegar and cleaning supplies on the table
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Vinegar is great at removing all scents. Therefore, it is also a great option for removing bad scents from your home. This method is extremely easy. All you have to do is leave the vinegar in a bowl where the smell is the worst. The vinegar will get to work removing the odor from the air. Once the burnt popcorn is no longer detected, you can pour out the vinegar.

You may need multiple bowls in separate rooms if the smell has spread far. It depends on the layout of your home. If there isn’t much airflow between a stinky room and the kitchen, you should put another bowl into that room. Vinegar works great, but it doesn’t have a huge range.

5. Baking Soda

baking soda in wooden bowl with wooden spoon near a glass of water
Image Credit: al1962, Shutterstock

You may also sit out some baking soda to remove odors. Put some baking soda in a bowl and put it in the smelly rooms. Alternatively, you can also sprinkle it on the carpet, leave it for a minute, and then vacuum it up. It will suck up the smell very quickly and works similarly to vinegar.

However, this method takes a bit longer to work than vinegar and it works best if you leave it overnight.

6. Clean the Carpet and Upholstery

A Person Vacuuming a Carpet
Image Credit: Liliana Drew, Pexels

Anything soft and porous can hold onto odors, releasing them constantly back into the room. To eliminate this issue, you may need to thoroughly clean the carpet and anything else soft that you have lying around. Couches and curtains are prime suspects.

How you should clean these items varies on what they are. Sometimes, it may be worth having a professional do a thorough cleanup, especially if you haven’t had your home deep-cleaned in a while.

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Removing the smell of burnt popcorn from your home can be difficult. However, if you have vinegar and baking soda lying around, the job shouldn’t be too difficult. Both of these substances are great at removing odors. Therefore, they’re extremely helpful at removing any burnt popcorn smell.

With that said, the important part of removing the smell is eliminating it in any appliance that may be releasing the smell into your home. Microwaves are obvious contenders. If you burnt the popcorn in your microwave, the smell will remain until you clean your microwave thoroughly. (Vinegar and baking soda can help with this, too.)

Other times, you may need to clean your carpet or curtains. These porous items can suck up odors and then continuously release them into your home.

Featured Image Credit: DeymosHR, Shutterstock


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