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How To Get Burnt Popcorn Smell Out of Microwave

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If you’ve ever made popcorn in the microwave only to have it come out burnt and smelling terrible, you’re not alone. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to get rid of the burnt popcorn smell from your microwave.

burnt popcorn smell microwave featured image.

Opening the microwave only to find a smoking bag of popcorn is the last thing anyone wants. But who hasn’t done it?

We’re so used to the movies or having popcorn at home that we get confident and think ‘I can do this!’ And then, with the introductory fizzle, you realize too late that you probably can’t. Now, you’re faced with the dilemma of how to get popcorn smell out of the microwave.

When you’re cooking popcorn in the microwave, sometimes it can go wrong. Distractions, a new brand of popcorn, or even that pesky “popcorn” button can leave you with burnt results. And when it does, the smell of burnt popcorn can be incredibly difficult to get rid of.

In fact, many people find that no matter what they do, the smell just lingers and lingers. But don’t fret — help is here! In this article, you will learn how to get rid of burnt popcorn smell in microwave. 

What causes the smell of burnt popcorn?

As popcorn heats, a compound called 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline gives off a toasted smell. This same compound can be found in other foods like white bread and jasmine rice.

It’s the chemical 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline that gives popcorn its wonderful, freshly popped aroma. However, cooking popcorn too long can produce a horrible stench due to the presence of too much 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline.

How long does the smell of burnt popcorn linger?

The smell of burnt popcorn can linger for days to weeks afterwards. This odor is very unpleasant, so you should remove it as soon as possible.

The smell of burnt popcorn is hard to get rid of once it has permeated your oven or your exhaust mechanism. Also, because popcorn is rich in starch and fiber, a burning bowl of this snack will emit an odor that may be hard to dispel.

In short, how long the smell would linger depends on how much popcorn you had and how burnt the kernels were. It is important that you know how to get burnt popcorn smell out of a microwave as soon as possible.

popcorn bag in microwave.

What should you do if your popcorn burns?

Popcorn is a great snack, but if it’s burnt, it can make your whole house reek. Plus, it’s not good for the microwave! If you get a burnt microwave popcorn smell in your home, don’t panic. Instead, go through these steps to try and remove the odor.

  1. Remove the popcorn immediately. The first thing you should do is remove the popcorn from your microwave and wipe away any burnt pieces from the interior.
  2. Let the air out. Next, open a window and leave the room for at least 30 minutes. This will allow the smell to dissipate outside rather than through your home. If you have a fan, use it to blow air out of the room.
  3. Remove the odor from the microwave. When you burn popcorn in a microwave, the odor lingers on and is absorbed by the internal components. Don’t worry! You don’t have to replace your microwave. We’ll show you how to get burnt popcorn smell out of your microwave.

How to get popcorn smell out of microwave

Unfortunately, you can’t just unplug the microwave and forget about the burnt popcorn smell. Knowing how to get burnt popcorn smell out of a microwave requires a few extra steps. It may seem like it’s stuck on there for good, but the tips below will help you chase that foul odor out without calling for professional help.

Vinegar and water

Does your microwave still give off a burnt popcorn aroma? Try the vinegar method. Vinegar is a proven deodorizer for smells like burnt popcorn. It neutralizes odors by creating acidity in the area where smells are present.

  1. Make the vinegar solution. Pour half a cup of vinegar into an empty microwaveable bowl and add an equal measure of water. Mix it all together.
  2. Microwave the solution. Place the bowl of vinegar solution in the microwave and cook it on high for 3 minutes. Then, let it sit for about an hour in the microwave.
  3. Wipe clean. After you remove your solution, wipe away the excess moisture inside your microwave with a sponge or paper towel.

Citrus juice

If you want to know how to get burnt popcorn smell out of a microwave, there are a few different solutions you can try. Citrus juice is one of them. This will help loosen food particles and stains on the inside of your microwave.

  1. Create lemon water. To remove the burnt popcorn smell from your microwave, fill a bowl with water and squeeze the juice from two lemons halves into it. Then, drop in the lemon halves.
  2. Microwave the lemon water. Put the lemon water in the microwave and set it on high for 3 minutes. Afterward, keep the microwave door closed for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Clean the inside. Open the door after 5 minutes and wipe down the appliance’s interiors with a clean sponge or paper towel.

If you don’t have lemon, you can peel two oranges and use them as a replacement. 

Baking soda and water

If your microwave starts smelling like something’s been burnt, here’s a quick trick that will get rid of the odor. Baking soda is one of the most effective odor neutralizer, so it should be able to get rid of any lingering popcorn smells.

  1. Make a baking soda mixture. To make your own deodorizer, just mix together 1/2 cup of soda with 1/2 cup of water in a shallow bowl. The mixture needs to be thick but still liquid.
  2. Microwave the mixture. Set the microwave on high for five minutes, then leave the bowl with baking soda inside the microwave for an hour or so. The soda will absorb any odors. 
  3. Clean the inside of the microwave. After using the mixture, make sure to wipe down the inside of the microwave.

You could also simply sprinkle baking soda on a damp rag and wipe down the inside of your microwave.

burnt popcorn smell microwave.

Water and dish soap

Odors like burnt popcorn can smell stronger when trapped in grease and oil. Since dish soap is designed to break down oils, it’s a great tool to have when wonding how to get popcorn smell out of the microwave. Just mix with water!

  1. Make a soapy water solution. Fill a bowl with water, add two or three drops of dish soap, and stir.
  2. Simply microwave the soapy water. Put the bowl in the microwave and microwave it for about two minutes. The steam will help to loosen the burnt popcorn smell.
  3. Dissipate the smell. Once you’re finished microwaving, open the door and let the steam escape. The smell should fade away in a few minutes.

Natural deodorizers

If you’re still noticing a bad smell and need additional methods for how to get burnt popcorn smell out of the microwave, try this overnight-soaking method to get rid of any lingering odors.

  1. Place the deodorizer inside the microwave. Before you go to bed, put an open box of baking soda or 1 cup of activated charcoal or dried coffee grounds in an open container in your microwave oven. Ask other members of the family not to use the microwave until after you’ve removed the deodorizer.
  2. Remove the natural deodorizer. Let the baking soda, activated charcoal, or coffee grounds sit in the microwave overnight to absorb odors, then dispose of it in the morning. 

Using a commercial product

If you have ever burnt popcorn in the microwave, then you know the distinct smell that it leaves behind. This unpleasant odor can be difficult to remove, but with a little effort, it is possible.

One solution is to use a commercial product specifically designed to eliminate odors. These products work by breaking down the molecules that cause the smell.

However, a natural product such as vinegar or baking soda is preferred. Both of these ingredients are effective at removing smells and are safe to use around food. 

FAQs on how to get popcorn smell out of microwave

If you don’t see your question answered below, don’t be afraid to let us know in the comments!

How to prevent the smell of burnt popcorn from coming back?

The smell of burnt popcorn appears to keep coming back because it already penetrated the insides of the microwave. To dissipate the smell, try one or two of the methods outlined above like a vinegar and water solution, citrus juice, baking soda and water mixture, soapy water, and overnight natural deodorizers like activated charcoal and coffee grounds.

What is the best way to clean microwave?

If you are wondering how to get burnt popcorn smell out of the microwave, the answer is simple: natural ingredients. Vinegar, water, citrus juices, baking soda, and natural deodorizers are all terrific odor neutralizers. And best of all, they’re safe to use — especially since microwaves are used to cook the food you eat.

Should you use a mixture of water and vinegar to clean a microwave?

A mixture of water and vinegar is a good choice to clean a microwave. It’s natural, safe, and most of all, simple and easy. Check the guideline above on how to use water and vinegar for your microwave cleaning. 

unpopped popcorn bag in microwave.

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