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How to Get Rid of Curry Smell

As beloved and tasty as curry is, it can often leave a lasting and unpleasant odor long after it’s been consumed. If not treated properly, a lingering smell could work its way into carpets, upholstery, drapery, walls, ceilings, and kitchen surfaces. 

Here’s everything you need to know about professional curry odor removal for homes and apartments, including the best products and methods to use, and a few tips on preventing lingering odors before they have a chance to settle.

Why Does Curry Odor Linger for So Long? 

The spices used in most curry recipes contain fat-soluble oils which break down as they’re cooked, creating a pungent smell. And because these spices are often cooked in oils, the odors vaporize and disperse through the entire kitchen and may even leech into the surrounding rooms of a home or apartment. 

Over time, repeated cooking can cause a buildup of curry odor on any nearby kitchen surface. Residue can adhere to the interior of kitchen vent hoods, on kitchen cabinets and even on the surface of walls and ceilings. 

Some kitchen exhaust hoods lack ventilation, which leads to even more built-up residue and cooking vapors inside. Further still, some kitchen exhausts vent directly into the attic of a home, which means professional cleaners would have to treat the attic in addition to the kitchen to eradicate the lingering aroma as best as possible.

Why Stubborn Curry Smells Need to be Professionally Removed 

Because curry odor causes such a stubborn smell, it requires professional attention more often than not. Odors that have been allowed to settle and build up on kitchen surfaces, drapery, upholstered furniture, and carpets are extremely difficult to treat without the proper equipment and products. 

In severe cases of lingering curry that’s left behind a bad smell, any fabric that has absorbed the cooking odor may need to be removed and replaced entirely for better odor-removal results.

How to Get Rid of Curry Smell 

With the above information in mind, professional odor removal provides the best chance for getting rid of the curry smell in a home or apartment. In most cases, deodorizing, cleaning, and repainting will be required. Painting over the curry odor without completing the former steps first will not solve the issue, as the bad smell will vaporize through latex paints and continue to linger. 

Basic Method: 

  1. Using a pump-up sprayer, spray (do not fog) Unsmoke Double-O diluted at 3-5 ounces per gallon of water directly onto affected surfaces, including walls, ceilings, kitchen cabinet exteriors, appliances and vent hoods (interior and exterior). 
  2. Clean the structure using UnSmoke DeGrease-All with 3 ounces of Unsmoke Double-O added to each gallon. Use 0000 steel wool to clean the exterior of kitchen cabinets and remove grease and soil buildup. 
  3. Place Unsmoke C.O.C. crystals (citrus scent) on paper plates around the area. Use two large handfuls per room. If preferred, you can use the 8-ounce Fresh Wave IAQ gel. Note: Do NOT apply C.O.C. crystals to a hardwood floor, as they can cause damage. 
  4. Use Unsmoke Thermo 55 Citrus to thermal fog the room at a rate of 1/2-1 ounce per thousand cubic feet. 
  5. If needed, OdorX Space Spray Citrus/Lemon can be used to deodorize the exterior of kitchen cabinets in severe cases. 
  6. Seal walls with Bin pigmented shellac with two ounces of Unsmoke Space Spray Citrus added to it. 
  7. Re-paint the structure with the desired coating. 

Citrus-scented cleaners and deodorizers work well to neutralize curry odor, as the acidity present in lemon counteracts the vaporized cooking oils. So, when you can, reach for citrus-based cleaners and lemon essential oil to improve results.

How to Prevent Curry Odors From Lingering 

For those who are cooking curry often, there are a few best practices that may help lingering odors from sticking around. When cooking curry, try to: 

  • Open all nearby windows to allow plenty of fresh air inside. 
  • Close doors to other parts of the home or apartment to prevent the odor from being absorbed by fabrics in other rooms. 
  • After cooking, promptly clean all kitchen surfaces with hot water and soap to remove grease. 

Equipment and Products to Help Remove Curry Odor 

A combination of deodorizers, vaporizers, and degreasers will help to reduce lingering odor caused by cooking oil and spices when preparing curry. For the best results, try these products: 

Jon-Don has all the products and equipment you need for odor control and elimination all under one roof. For help in finding the right products for the odor removal challenge, contact one of our experts at 800-556-6366. 

Looking for in-depth training? Consider taking the IICRC Odor Control Technician (OCT) seminar. This one-day class will teach you the principles of deodorization along with the chemicals, equipment, and procedures used to permanently remove odors. You’ll be able to tackle odors of all types, from curry to urine to paint and smoke. For upcoming classes and schedules, visit our course page

Looking for something else? Visit our online training and education page for more upcoming classes on a variety of topics. 

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