How to Get Rid of the Burnt Popcorn Smell from your Home and Microwave?

Remove Burnt Popcorn Smell from Home and Microwave

How about enjoying a movie night with some freshly popped popcorn coming straight from the microwave? While making popcorn at home is easy and fun, the lingering smell of burnt popcorn from the microwave can frustrate anyone if it stays longer. The burning smell that comes out of the microwave after the popcorn is popped too much can be inconvenient for people living inside the house or visiting you.

The burnt smell of food can linger, stay around the kitchen for a long, and gradually spread throughout the house. While you are busy watching your favorite Netflix shows and have completely forgotten about the popcorn you put inside the microwave to pop, the burnt odors will take over the inside, making it extremely unpleasant to breathe near the microwave. The pungent smell of burnt popcorn is difficult to resist and should be eliminated immediately to keep your house and microwave odor-free.

Tips to Remove the Unpleasant Smell of Burnt PopcornUnpleasant Smell of Burnt Popcorn

The smell of burnt popcorn stays inside the house for many days, but it does not mean that you cannot control it on time. The compound 2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline present in the popcorn is the primary cause of the lingering smell that comes out if the popcorns are overcooked. Unluckily, your popcorn is burnt, and now you can do nothing but control the unpleasant burning odor inside the microwave so it might not spread inside the house.

Here are a few useful tips you may follow to control the nasty smell of burnt popcorn inside your microwave and kitchen so you don’t have to suffer through the worst consequences of this unfortunate mishap.


We all know that vinegar possesses excellent qualities of removing all kinds of nasty smells, and it works better even inside your microwave, where you have just burnt your popcorn. Vinegar neutralizes the burning smell of popcorn and leaves your microwave with a fresh and clean look. Mix one cup of water with one cup of white distilled vinegar and put the mixture in a safe bowl to put inside the oven. Microwave the bowl for 2 to 3 minutes and keep the door closed for a while. With the help of a sponge and scrubber, clean the microwave from the inside.


Coffee is another effective household item that can be used to control the burnt popcorn smell inside the oven. The nitrogen components involved in the coffee have exceptional odor-neutralizing properties and control the unwanted smells from the surroundings. Take some freshly ground coffee in a microwave-safe bowl and mix a half cup of water in it. Microwave the bowl for 2 to 3 minutes and let the bowl rest inside the microwave for some time. Take out the bowl and completely clean the microwave from the inside with the help of a sponge. Coffee absorbs the unpleasant burning odor of popcorn and replaces it with the fresh, aromatic smell of coffee beans.

Baking Soda

Talking about this easily available product in your kitchen, baking soda is a phenomenal deodorizer that kills all the bacteria and unpleasant smells from the kitchen and microwave. Take a bowl of water, mix one tablespoon of baking soda, and prepare a thick mixture. Microwave the bowl for 5 to 6 minutes and let the door remain closed for almost an hour. Baking soda absorbs the unpleasant odor of burnt popcorn from the microwave.

Tips to Prevent the Smell of Burnt Popcorn from Staying for LongTips to Prevent the Smell of Burnt Popcorn from Staying for Long

As we know that the smell of any burnt food item slowly spreads throughout the house, and even if the smell is gone, the furniture, carpet, and upholstery absorb many of these foul smells. It is extremely important to eliminate these unpleasant smells from staying around for a long as it may frustrate the visitors and the house members.

  • Use air fresheners more frequently so the surroundings may smell nice.
  • Try to remove all the popcorn stock from the kitchen, as it can be the primary source of the bad smell lingering around.
  • If your body has started smelling like burnt popcorn, take a shower and change your clothes.
  • Air circulation is extremely important to get rid of all kinds of smells so it is important to keep the space ventilated by opening the kitchen windows, ensuring that there is proper air circulation.
  • Light a scented candle, especially when a burning smell comes from it.
  • Clean your microwave more often so that if any smell of burnt residues of popcorn is left, they will be removed through repeated cleaning.
  • Interestingly, you can also mask the foul smell of burnt popcorn from the microwave by cooking other food in it. The smell of other food items will dominate the burning smell of popcorn.
  • Try popcorn-making machines, as they instantly pop your popcorn without any danger of burning it.
  • If the smell spreads throughout the house, you may place the essential oil diffuser around that replaces the unpleasant odors with their relaxing scents.

Bottom Line

The smell of burning popcorn is awful and is enough to spoil your movie night at home. Additionally, it might persist for several weeks, frustrating you and the visitors coming over. You can, however, get rid of the smell by treating your microwave, kitchen, and entire house with the help of useful methods. Try any of these methods, and you will be surprised by how fast the lingering smell of overcooked popcorn is gone.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the reason behind the unpleasant smell of burnt popcorn?

Popcorn contains a compound known as 2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline, which is responsible for burnt popcorn’s extremely unpleasant smell.

How long does the smell of burnt popcorn take to go away on its own?

The lingering smell of burnt popcorn stays around the house for weeks, but if treated properly on time, the smell may be controlled before spreading around.

Is the smell of burnt popcorn harmful to health?

The smell of burnt popcorn lingering from the microwave means that there are still some burnt remains left behind, which may cause potential health risks the next time you microwave any food item.

Does vinegar neutralize the unpleasant odors?

Vinegar is popularly used to neutralize unpleasant burning odors such as burnt popcorn. Not only does it neutralize the foul odors, but it also neutralizes the bacteria from the surroundings. Take a gallon of water and mix in it a few tablespoons of white vinegar, and with the help of a clean paper towel, apply this solution to the spots where any unpleasant smell is coming from.

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