How to Get Rid of Smelly Cupboards | Here Are the Solutions

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You must have the experience of opening your kitchen cabinets or cupboards and facing a terrible smell. That musty, old odor of your older kitchen cupboards will hit your nostrils in a very bad way. It is unbearable and can damage your prestige in front of the guests, and is capable of giving you a serious headache.

The older cupboard isn’t always the principal reason to produce this kind of musty odor. Not cleaning it regularly and properly can be the main reason for some cases. To keep the environment of your house clean, healthy, and bad-smell-free, you should learn the ways how to get rid of smelly cupboards.


Why does My Cabinet Stinks?

Everyone will get annoyed with the bad smell, and the annoying situation gets even worse when this smell doesn’t want to leave. The bad odors in the area where you prepare food will spoil the whole mood, and environment of the house. The unpleasant odors and smells can outbreak because of many reasons.

The common reason for these unbearable smells is older cupboards with irregular cleaning and clearing. These stinky smells grow even more with the falling of different ingredients. You must clear the kitchen cupboards and cabinets if this happens. Otherwise, they will produce nasty and unbearable smells. Excessive moisture inside the cupboards is another reason for producing these stinky smells.

The grease from the stovetop is also responsible for this horrifying situation. The water-exposed area of the cupboards will increase the moisture, which will be the reason for mold and mildew. And these two things will bring unbearable smells and make the whole environment unhealthy.

Many kitchen ingredients like oil, salt, and turmeric can fall on the surface of the cupboard. If you do not clean regularly, these will deposit in there and make the whole place oily and stinky with an unbearable smell. A few cabinets and cupboards will be affected because of the falling and depositing of these kitchen ingredients.

These are the main reasons if your kitchen cabinet or the cupboards start stinking horrifically.

Read next: Why does my house smell like fish

How to Get Rid of Smelly Cupboards | Step by Step

You must always follow the proper way of cleaning your kitchen cabinets or cupboards. To do it well, you should follow the step-by-step process, and those processes are:

Step 01: Inspecting the Cupboards and Find the Smelly One

You can’t blame all the cupboards in your kitchen in this situation. For that, you will need to follow that smell until its base, and you will find the culprit cupboard that is producing the stinky smell. When you will find that exact one, you won’t need to go through the hassle of cleaning all the cupboards.

The process of cleaning will become a whole lot easier because of this.

Step 02: Emptying The Cupboard or Cabinet

After knowing the location of the smelly cupboard or cabinet, the first thing you should do is to empty that whole place. You must take all the ingredients out of that cabinet. The glasses, dishes, and bowls should also be cleared from that place. Even you should take out all the cabinet liners, and organize bins to make sure there is nothing left in the cupboard.

After emptying the cupboard, you will get to know the exact reason for that unbearable smell.

Step 03: Letting the Air and Light in

After completing the clearing process, make sure the cabinet is getting proper air circulation. When this smelly place will get the touch of air, some amount of that bad odor will vanish away. At the same time, the cupboard will get enough light, which will make sure you are having clear vision inside that cupboard while cleaning.

Step 04: Cleaning The Cupboard

At first, you will have to wash the full cupboard with warm water and wipe all the water out with a fresh piece of cloth. You should wash the materials, jars, and boxes inside to make sure no stinky odor is coming from there. You will find many solutions in the market for cleaning the cupboards and eliminating smells.

Apply any of the solutions on the full surface of the cabinet, and make sure no corner of it is left. After applying it, wait for about fifteen to twenty minutes to let the solution sit on the cupboard.

Then, wash the full cupboard with warm water and drain out all the water left with a small cloth. The cabinet will get its older and shiny look back with no irritating smells left.

Step 05: Putting Something Pleasant in The Cabinet

You can put something that smells well against the stinky odors. Many people keep coffee beans or essential oils to fight against these horrific and irritating smells of the kitchen cabinets. There are some products available in the market, which come with the capability of deodorizing the full cupboard and ensuring a healthy environment.

Read next: How to get burnt food smell out of the house

What are the Natural Remedies to Remove Bad Smell in Cupboards?

Some natural remedies that you will find in your house or outside can be a deal-breaker for removing bad smells in cupboards. Some of those natural remedies are:


Vinegar is one of those rare natural remedies that will be useful for you under all conditions. You can use it for eliminating the smells of your kitchen cupboard. Take a fresh bowl of medium warm water first, and then pour the white vinegar in there.

Mix these two properly to produce a useful solution, and apply the solution in the cupboard to eliminate all the bad smells. Most probably, within a day or two, the stinky odors will be completely gone.


You can also take help from the charcoal to get rid of the nasty smells of the kitchen cupboards or cabinets. After washing the kitchen cupboard with warm water and draining out all the water, put a piece of charcoal in the cabinet. It has the capability of absorbing and eliminating all the stinky smells within a day or so.

Silica Gel

Silica Gel is another useful thing that can eliminate the bad smells from your kitchen cupboards and cabinets. It is better for using against the musty smells and in the damp weather. When you put a packet or two of silica gel in there, the residing bacteria causing the smell problems will be gone from the cupboard.

Baking Soda

You can use another natural remedy to get rid of the smelly cupboards, and that is baking soda. Take a bucket full of water and put some baking soda in there to make a proper solution. Spread that solution over the surface of the cupboards, and then scrub the whole place with a scrubber.

After that, drain out all the waters, and most possibly there will be no other nasty odors left in the cupboard.


You won’t have probably heard before that oats can take out the bad smell of your kitchen cabinet. If there is any odor left in the cupboard after cleaning, keep a bowl of oats in there. Make sure you are putting the fresh and clean oats in a bowl for eliminating the irritating smells.

Then the oats will draw all the bad smells, and within a day or two, these will absorb all the nasty odors from there.

Lemon Juice

Lemon Juice odor is one of those natural fresheners that keeps the human mind fresh and active. You can use it to take out the bad odor of the kitchen cabinets or cupboards. After washing the cupboards or the kitchen cabinets, take some of the lemon juice into a bowl and put it in there.

The pleasant odor of this lemon juice will fill the kitchen cabinet with freshness, along with taking out the bad smell in cupboards.

Coffee Grounds

Many people use it to prevent the bad odors of their houses, and you can use it for your kitchen cabinets of yours. After washing the full place, put the un-brewed coffee grounds in there. It will absorb all the stinky smells and spread the freshness of the coffee smell in every corner of the cabinet.


You have thought the least for spices to be a cabinet odor absorber. With the strong spicy odor of the spices, it will absorb all the nasty smells from the kitchen cabinet. Thus, you will get rid of the smelly nature of your kitchen cabinets or cupboards.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best thing to absorb odor?

To absorb the odor of your kitchen cabinet, you can use many home remedies. But the fresh or leftover coffee grounds will do better to absorb all the nasty odors.

Does apple cider vinegar get rid of odors?

Apple cider vinegar is a useful option for getting rid of the nasty odors of the kitchen cupboards. It will absorb all the stinky and irritating smells from the cabinet along with killing the bacteria inside.


A smelly and stinky kitchen cabinet or cupboard is harmful to the environment of your house. It destroys all the good vibes by producing irritating smells. So, proper cleaning is necessary to keep your house safe from this curse. You can clean those areas of your kitchen with basic knowledge of how to get rid of smelly cupboards.

When your kitchen will smell well, it will enhance the freshness of the whole environment of your house. The fresh smells will keep your energy high to do any work, along with keeping your head high in front of the guests and others.

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