How to Get Rid of the Smell of Fish in the House: Simple and Effective Solutions

Are you exasperated with the enduring fish odor in your house?

Whether you cooked a delicious seafood dinner or just brought home some fresh fish from the market, the odor can be overwhelming and unpleasant.

But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to get rid of that fishy smell and leave your home smelling fresh and clean again.

In this article, I will share some effective tips and tricks for eliminating fish odor from your home.

From natural ingredients to proper cleaning methods, we will cover everything you need to know to get rid of that pesky smell.

So, let’s dive in and say goodbye to fish odor for good.

Key Takeaways

  • Use natural ingredients like lemon, vinegar, and herbs to combat fish smell.
  • Proper cleaning methods like wiping down surfaces and ventilating your home can help prevent fish odor.
  • Special tips like using coffee grounds or baking soda can help eliminate persistent fish smell.

Understanding the Issue of Fish Smell

Fish smell is caused by a combination of compounds, including trimethylamine oxide (TMAO) and dimethylamine (DMA).

When fish is cooked or left out for too long, these compounds break down and release a strong odor.

It’s important to note that not all fish have the same odor.

Some fish, like salmon and mackerel, have a stronger smell than others, like tilapia and cod.

The strength of the odor can be affected by how the fish is prepared and cooked.

The smell of fish can also be more noticeable in certain areas of the house, like the kitchen or near air vents.

This is due to the way air circulates and carries the odor throughout the house.

Preventing Fish Odor During Cooking

Choosing the right cooking method can make a big difference. Frying and roasting fish tend to release more odor than poaching or baking.

If you want to minimize the odor, consider poaching or baking the fish instead.

Another way to prevent the odor is to use foil or parchment paper when cooking. This will help contain the smell and make cleanup easier.

Fresh fish tends to have a milder odor than older fish. So, try to use fresh fish whenever possible.

Using oil can also help reduce the odor. Adding oil to the pan or baking dish before cooking can help trap the odor.

Lastly, proper ventilation is key. Make sure to turn on your kitchen fan or open a window while cooking fish.

This will help circulate the air and prevent the odor from lingering in your home.

Using Natural Ingredients to Combat Fish Smell


Simply mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray the affected areas.

You can also boil a small amount of vinegar on the stove to help neutralize the smell.


Cut a lemon in half and rub it on your hands or surfaces that have come into contact with fish.

You can also boil lemon slices in water on the stove to freshen up the air.


Simmer cinnamon sticks in water on the stove to freshen up the air.

You can also sprinkle cinnamon powder on surfaces that have come into contact with fish.


Boil orange peels in water on the stove to freshen up the air.

You can also rub orange peels on your hands or surfaces that have come into contact with fish.

Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda on surfaces that have come into contact with fish and let it sit for a few hours before wiping it off.

You can also place an open box of baking soda in the affected area to help absorb the smell.

Effective Cleaning Methods

When it comes to getting rid of the smell of fish in the house, effective cleaning methods are crucial. Here are some tips that have worked for me:

  • Wipe down all surfaces that came into contact with the fish using a damp dish towel and soap. Hot water can help break down the oils and make the cleaning more effective.
  • Wash all dishes and utensils used to prepare and serve the fish with hot water and soap. If you have a dishwasher, use it to ensure that everything is thoroughly cleaned.
  • If there are any fish remnants left on the stovetop or oven, use baking paper to wipe them away. This will help to absorb the smell.
  • After cleaning, use a fresh dish towel to dry all surfaces. This will help to prevent any lingering moisture that can cause odors.
  • If the smell persists, try simmering a pot of water with lemon slices and cinnamon sticks. The citrusy scent of the lemon will help to mask the fishy smell.

Proper Storage and Disposal of Fish


If you have any leftover fish, make sure to store it in an airtight container and refrigerate it immediately.

Leftover fish can start to smell quickly if left out at room temperature.

Raw fish

If you have raw fish, make sure to store it in the coldest part of your refrigerator.

Raw fish should be used within two days of purchase, so make sure to cook it or freeze it before it goes bad.


If you are using milk to cook your fish, make sure to use fresh milk and refrigerate any leftovers immediately.

Spoiled milk can add to the fishy smell in your house.

Fish waste

If you are cleaning fish, make sure to dispose of the waste properly.

You can put fish waste in a garbage bag or use a garbage disposal if you have one.

Make sure to dispose of the waste as soon as possible to prevent any lingering smells.

Garbage disposal

If you have a garbage disposal, make sure to run it regularly with cold water to prevent any buildup of food particles.

You can also use ice cubes or citrus peels to freshen it up.


If you are throwing away fish or fish waste, make sure to use a trash bag that is strong and won’t leak.

Double bagging can also help prevent any leaks or smells.

Using Aromatics and Scented Products

How do you get fish smell out of your house fast?

Scented candles

Lighting a scented candle can help mask the fish smell and provide a pleasant aroma.

Look for candles with scents like eucalyptus, lavender, or citrus, which are known for their ability to neutralize odors.

Oil diffuser

An oil diffuser is another option for adding pleasant scents to your home.

Essential oils like peppermint, lemon, or tea tree oil can help eliminate fish odor and freshen up the air.


Potpourri is a mixture of dried flowers, herbs, and spices that can be used to add a pleasant scent to your home.

Look for potpourri blends that include herbs like rosemary or thyme, which can help neutralize odors.

Baking cookies or pie

Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked cookies or pie.

Not only will it make your home smell great, but it will also provide a distraction from the fish smell.

Ventilation and Air Purification

Proper ventilation can help to remove the odor from the air, while air purification can help to eliminate the odor-causing molecules from the air.

One of the easiest ways to ventilate your home is by opening windows and doors.

This allows fresh air to flow through your home and replace the stale air that may be causing the fish smell.

If you’re cooking fish, try to do it near an open window or door to help circulate the air.

Another option is to use fans to help circulate the air. Place a fan near an open window or door to pull fresh air into your home.

You can also use a fan to create a cross-breeze, which will help to move the air around and remove the fish smell.

If you’re dealing with a particularly strong fish smell, you may want to consider using an air purifier.

An air purifier can help to remove the odor-causing molecules from the air, leaving your home smelling fresh and clean.

Look for an air purifier with a HEPA filter, which can capture even the smallest particles and eliminate odors.

In addition to using an air purifier, you can also improve the air flow in your home.

Make sure that your air vents are not blocked and that your HVAC system is working properly.

This will help to circulate the air and remove the fish smell from your home.

Special Tips for Removing Fish Smell from Hands

Soap and Water

Be sure to use warm water and scrub your hands thoroughly with soap for at least 20 seconds.

Lemon Juice

Simply cut a lemon in half and rub it over your hands, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies.


Apply a small amount of toothpaste to your hands and rub them together for a few minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

Baking Soda

Mix a small amount of baking soda with water to create a paste, then rub it onto your hands and rinse off with warm water.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I remove the smell of fish from my house?

One of the most effective methods is to boil a pot of water with some lemon slices, cinnamon sticks, and fresh mint.

This will help neutralize the fishy smell and leave your home smelling fresh and clean.

Another option is to use an air purifier or a deodorizing spray specifically designed to eliminate odors.

How long does the fish smell last in my house?

It will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of fish you cooked, how long it was cooked for, and how well-ventilated your home is.

Generally, the smell should dissipate within a few hours to a day or two.

However, if the odor persists for longer than that, you may need to take additional steps to eliminate it.

What are some effective ways to get rid of the fishy smell in my apartment?

In addition to boiling a pot of water with lemon slices and other ingredients, there are several other methods you can try to get rid of the fishy smell in your apartment.

One option is to place bowls of white vinegar around your home, as vinegar is a natural odor absorber.

You can also try sprinkling baking soda on your carpets and furniture, letting it sit for a few hours, and then vacuuming it up.

How do I get rid of the fish smell from my hands?

One option is to rub your hands with lemon juice or vinegar, which can help neutralize the odor.

You can also try washing your hands with a mixture of baking soda and water or using a specialized odor-eliminating soap.

How can I eliminate the fish smell from my fridge?

Remove any spoiled or old food from your fridge and give it a thorough cleaning with a mixture of water and baking soda.

You can also place an open box of baking soda in your fridge to absorb any lingering odors.

Why does my house smell like fish and how can I fix it?

If your home consistently smells like fish, it could be a sign of a larger problem, such as mold or mildew growth.

In this case, it’s important to identify the source of the odor and take steps to eliminate it.

This may involve hiring a professional to inspect your home and make any necessary repairs or adjustments.

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