Can An Air Purifier Remove The Cooking Smell?

Do not let burnt food smell ruin your day. For those that stay in a small apartment with an open kitchen, it must have crossed your mind whether an air purifier can remove the lingering cooking smell. Wonder no more as we will explore every possibility of how to use an air purifier for kitchen smells. We will also throw in the best air purifier you should get for a kitchen. Let's begin.
Short answer
Air purifiers can remove cooking odor in the kitchen.


Do Air Purifiers Remove The Cooking Odor?

Yes, an air purifier can remove cooking odor as long as it comes with an activated carbon filter. Activated carbon filters are made of small pieces of carbon in either granular or powdered block form to trap gaseous pollutants. The chemical adsorption material in the carbon filter neutralizes all kinds of food smells and smoke coming from frying, grilling, boiling, and pan-searing. Air purifiers can also contain rotten egg smells, fishy odor, burnt food, dirty pots, and dishes before spreading around the home. However, not all air purifiers would do the job. When you are hunting an air purifier for a kitchen, make sure it has the following attribute:

  • A solid activated carbon filter – that is capable of removing smokes, odors, and chemical fumes, including VOCs, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, chlorine, and nitrogen dioxide. Never settle with a thin carbon sheet that is attached with a pre-filter. Brands like IQAir, Alen, Rabbit Air, and Blueair is good place to start.
  • A True HEPA filter – A must-have filtration in any kitchen air purifier. A True HEPA filter traps 99.97% of odor-causing airborne contaminants in the air as small as 0.3 microns, including pet dander, mold, pollen, mildew, bacteria, and viruses. The perfect complement to a carbon filter.
  • Strong airflow delivery rate and high smoke CADR – Ideally, the air purifier should have at least 200 cubic feet per minute. Without an abundance of airflow, an air purifier will not have the capacity to pull air into its filtration and distribute clean air out.
  • Suggested room size – Measure your kitchen size and ensure the air purifier purifying coverage matches that at 2 air changes per hour. It is always better to go big than go small.
  • Variable fan speeds and auto mode (optional) – Most air purifiers have a standard 3 fan speeds (Low, Med, High). Do not settle for less. You can run an air purifier at the highest speed during and after cooking. Revert to low fan speed when all kitchen smells are gone. The energy-saving auto mode automatically adjusts to a higher fan speed when an increased concentration level of airborne pollutants or smoke is detected via the sensor. You can leave an air purifier on all-day even when nobody is in the kitchen.
  • The perfect size – Most kitchen has limited space; make sure there’s enough room to fit in the device. If you intend to place an air purifier on an island table or marble top, go with a smaller tabletop model. A tower air purifier would do well if you intend to place it on the floor.
  • Warranty – The longer the warranty period, the better peace of mind you will have. Never go with an air purifier that does not come with an official warranty.
  • No ozone – Never use an ozone generator that diffuses ozone into the kitchen. The ozone gas will react with other smoke particles creating toxic fumes that are harmful to our health. If the air purifier comes with an optional or UV-light function, switch it off during cooking.

What Else Can I Do To Remove Cooking Smells?

An air purifier is excellent for a kitchen, but it is not the only means to get rid of cooking smells. Here are some pro tips on how to keep your kitchen fresh and clean.

  • Invest in a powerful kitchen hood or exhaust fan – It is an essential home appliance to remove cooking smells quickly. More so than an air purifier.
  • Open windows and doors – It will circulate fresh air in, and air out odors. A poorly ventilated kitchen has lingering contaminants and odors with no chance of escaping.
  • Wash all dirty dishes and pots – By hand or dishwasher. Do it after your meal instead of leaving them pilling up until the next day. The accumulated smell can be nauseating, especially on heavy dishes.
  • The good ol’ vinegar and baking soda – A safe and natural way to remove the cooking smell that will not go away. Apply a generous amount on the stubborn liquid substances for a couple of minutes and scrub them off with a damp cloth.
  • Maintain an ideal humidity level (30%-50%) – You can do so with a dehumidifier to keep excess moisture down so it will not mix up with the gaseous pollutants.
  • Mask it with pleasant, aroma spices – A quick and temporary solution to mask away from the unpleasant cooking smell. From essential oil, French Lavender indoor plants to the scent of freshly brewed coffee. Air freshener is the last draw when nothing else works.

Will An Air Purifier Help With Grease?

An air purifier will not remove grease as it is not airborne. It will only help contain the unpleasant smell coming out of it. Consider an If you have a kitchen that is often oily from heavy cooking and frying, wash the greasy part with soap and water. Rinse and repeat until it is spotless. Disinfectant, baking soda, and distilled white vinegar will break down stubborn grease. Apply on the excess grease and let it soak for a couple of minutes before wiping the dirty bits off. Avoid using bleach and other toxic chemicals that can be dangerous when inhaled.

Can HEPA Filters Remove Kitchen Odors?

A HEPA filter can only remove non-smoke particles causing odors such as germs, mold, and pet dander. You will need an activated carbon filter to remove smoke and odors. Both filters complement each other; that’s why you will see a good air purifier comes with the pair.

What Is The Best Air Purifier For Kitchen Odors?

If you want to remove cooking smells fast but have limited space to do so, consider getting a LEVOIT Core 300, Medify Air MA-15, Tredy TD-1500, or Bissell MYair 2780A. Every one of these air purifiers comes with a decent activated carbon filter and purifying coverage. With the compact size, you can easily find space to put the air cleaner in a kitchen. If you can afford a larger air purifier for the kitchen, consider buying Levoit LV-PUR131, Winix 5500-2, or Dyson Pure Cool TP01. It offers greater smoke and odor filtration, wider coverage, plus tons of supporting features like timer, AQI, auto mode, fan. Feel free to learn more about each air purifier via our best kitchen air purifier page.

Final Thoughts

Air purifiers do work in the kitchen by distributing odor-free fresh air. It draws in lingering cooking smells that would otherwise spoil your mood, overlap the food's aroma, turn off guests, and ruin your precious furniture. There are also other air filtration and ventilation systems to deal with cooking odors as such:





Max Fernandez

A loving father and a dedicated reviewer for airfuji.com with more than 1000 air purifiers under his belt. Max Fernandez is also one of the million patients currently suffering from asthma. Feel free to nudge him if you have any questions.
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