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I moved into an apartment. This apartment smells of curry. I was told the previous tenant cooked with it regularly. I would like to know how I can get rid of this smell. The landlord has repainted the apartment, cleaned the carpets but the smell is still here. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I was told by a real estate agent that it's actually the smell from frying food and essential oils lingering in the kitchen and it's not possible to remove it. Perhaps if you think of it in terms of grease molecules instead of curry, you will find a new approach to solving the problem.
I had rented my condo and the tenants cooked with curry. After 13 months the cabinets were saturated with cooking grease and I could not rent the unit as the smell would drive prospective tenants away. I finally used turpentine to break down the grease from all surfaces in the kitchen, appliances, hardwood floors, everything. Then we had the place painted with Kilz and then final paint. This helped considerably, but the smell was still there and the unit unrentable. The final step was to have a company come in. They applied some type of microbial solution to all the walls and floor and appliances. Then ran an ozone generator for 5 days. We then aired out the unit for a day. It has been a month now and the unit smells brand new. The entire process cost almost $2300 between paint, cleansers and the ozone treatment.The microwave had to be replaced as you could not get into the workings of the unit to clear the grease. But the smell is gone. Companies that do fire restorations will be familiar with treating curry smells in homes. Its expensive to get rid of, but if you don't do the cleaning and painting, ozone alone will not work, you need to remove the source. Ozone is the final process that makes it all come together.
When I have bad smells from cooking that linger (like onion & garlic or deer meat or liver) I take a sauce pan, put a quart of water in it, add a cup of apple cider vinegae, a couple of tablespoon full of cinnamon and 6 whole cloves of 1/2 teaspoon full of ground cloves. Put on stove and simmer for several hours, watch that pan does not go dry. The vinegar & cinnamon are natural deodorants.
Utilizing a spray bottle with a one to one ratio of water and a live microbial agent, available at True Value or most hardware stores spray the entire residence celling, walls, cabinets, draws, glass, hoods, as well as penetrating the carpet. Be careful to test for color fastness and be careful of electrical outlets, ect. Open the windows and let air dry. Also, replace the heaters air filter with a washable filter.
You may need to repeat this process several times and continue with a maintenance spray once a week to keep the microbes active. This will break down the grease that traps the odors. It is less drastic then stripping the residence to the floor boards.
A professional grade ozone machine is the only proven way to get rid of the smell of curry. The machine creates ozone (O3), which is an instable molecule that quickly breaks down into oxygen (O2). The breaking down process is actually a chemical reaction that naturally neutralizes odors.
The same thing happens during a lightning storm under the right circumstances--this is the fresh smell that you may have experienced outside after a bad storm. It is not safe to be in a room while a real ozone machine is running, but the ozone quickly breaks down and you can enter again.
But if your problem is from current neighbors who cook with curry, the smell WILL come back every time they cook. Please note that apartments, houses, condos etc. are not built to be air-tight, so some smells will transfer. This is not the fault of any landlord or property owner, and the only solution is to live in a building that does not allow anyone to cook with curry (which is impossible) or to move to a single-family house. If you can't move into a house, learn to live with the smell.
You don't have to pay all that money to clean your apartment. What you need to do is find the place in the kitchen where the grease from the frying is collected. If it was over a long period of time it may just look like the colour of the cabinets but I can promise it's grease build up. It is very hard to see, usually there are little shiny yellow spots of grease on and around the stove area. The smelly compounds are contained in the grease. You need to clean the stove, fans and cupboards around the stove with a degreaser. Don't forget the ceiling.
Since it is old grease you will probably need to scrub very hard. If the surfaces can take it you could use a cleaner like Comet, otherwise you will have to scrub very hard. I can't advise you to use the scratchy Comet cleaner because I don't know what your cabinets are like - that has to be your judgment. We make curry at least once a week and after the grease is removed so is the smell.
The cleaners that came into the apartment did not do a very good job if the grease is remaining. And if the smell is still there so is the grease. If the smell can't be removed after cleaning the grease then it has permeated other surfaces in the home and will have to be removed by other means (i.e.: some of the more expensive options listed above).
Try putting containers of vinegar around the apartment.
wash kitchen walls & cabinets with TSP a cleaner for walls it worked for cigerrete stains and smell...and it
does not cost much. I put it on mop and zoomed thru cleaning of walls. and spray lysol into Vents around. put large containers of vinegar like a flat
dish and it will absorb odors. burn incense of your liking to linger around if nothing else works. good luck.
Incense does wonders on removing odors. I don't know about the ones that are probably there forever, but eventually, if you burn enough incense, you will smell that and not the curry.
I am sorry to tell you, there is no way to remove it. I had tried everything they suggested. These will only work for a day or two, but then the curry comes back. I had the same problem, the soltuion was to move. The problem is that the spice is within an oil that is within the walls and doors and cielling.
Let me tell you ... I learned my lesson.
Demand that the manager fix it or you will move.
You need to replace the carpets and prime all the walls and subflooring. Wash down all the surfaces in the kitchen to dissolve the grease particles. We also tunerd on an ozone machine in our condo for a week. The place has to be uninhabited while the ozone machine is on.
Wash walls & floor & cupboards with warm water, dish soap.
I have been there already; I have gone to the end of the internet for a solution and could not find one. . . until now. Let me tell you my story. I moved into a condo that had cooking odors from spices and oils. I cleaned, I changed carpets, I painted, I bough all kind of devices such as air cleaners, ozone generators and ion generators. Nothing helped, the odor never went away. I decided it was time to call professionals, 3 different companies came over to test the quality of the air and gave me their suggestion to the problem. This costs me a fortune and their suggestions was more expensive then their tests. One company told me that the air is so bad I must move out, the only way to fix my problem was to break all the walls and ceiling, clean them and rebuild them. An extreme solution that was unacceptable to me. So I called another company, they offered me to buy a UV lamp and install it in my ducts. This special device with UV supposes to kill everything in the air. They guaranteed their device would work, so I got it installed. The device did not work, and the company refused to refund me. They all ran their own air quality tests, the they all got different results. At the end, I came to conclusion that companies that offer air quality tests, make tons on money just based on fear. If they have a product to offer they will scare you death so you will buy it. I was getting desperate, and came to conclusion that the odor cannot be removed not even by a nuke. A friend of mine called me one day and told me he knows someone that deals with odors. I called him. He told me that there is a new company that is specializing in removing odors without breaking anything. I was already frustrated, so when I called the company I was a bit rude and said that I am not paying a penny until the odor is removed for 30 days. They accepted the challenge and came to my condo. They had 2 huge machines with them,they were ozone generators. I protested and said that I have tried ozone generator before and it did not work. They explained me that the ozone generators machine offered to the public and simply not effective due to their low output. They explained that the ozone generators machines they have emit extremely large quantity of ozone that would break any type of carbon based organism or compound. Later I did a lot of reading about Ozone to understand how it works. Justgoogle it to find out the details. Anyways, they told me I have to leave the condo while they ran the machines. The machines pumps ozone everywhere - not only in the living area but also between the walls and within the ceiling and also in the kitchen exhaust. They have these special tubes coming out of the machine that you can inject anywhere you want. I left my condo while they ran the treatment because it is unsafe to breathe pure ozone. After 3 hours I came backand the condo smelled completely like ozone. I could not smell the odor anymore. They told me the ozone will break into oxygen very quickly and after that the condo would be odor free. They wanted no money; they asked that I will call them after a month. It has been one week now and there is no odor. I believe they have actually solved the problem I have been trying to solve for over 2 years. The treatment is called "Ozone Shock Treatment", however there are a lot of different ways to do it. I did not mention any company names here so you will know my motives are not to sell or promote. I am just telling you the truth, nothing worked except the shock treatment. Don't aste your money on air tests and devices. I recommend you do this shock treatment and take it from there. Save yourself the pain I have been going over. I know were you coming from and I hope this little story helps.
We just moved into our apartment and the smell of curry is pretty strong. I have wiped down the cabinets and surfaces. All of the appliances are new except the microwave which is over the stove. I am pretty sure (hoping) that getting a new microwave will help fix our odors. The carpets and walls have been painted and it is really just the kitchen area that smells. I am also going to try the boiling technique. Any other suggestions?
I have a solution, move out... so you won't smell it. We smell it at work all day and it's extremely potent. Sometimes I have to go outside for air.
What my family does whenever we move into a new home is burn sage, and let it burn until it ashes. Continue doing that periodically and your house will start smelling completely normal and fresher.
When they were building Paradise Island in the Bahamas they housed workers from India in an older hotel where they lived for the duration of construction. When construction was finished and the construction workers went home the owners of the building found that it was impossible to get rid of the smell of curry. The final solution was to implode the building and start all over again. Interesting. I had one tenant for a month in my apartment last July and I still smell the curry she cooked with nine months later.
We have removed curry from several apartments. It is a very hard smell to remove as the oils cling to every surface in the kitchen and usually get in the duct work. Use a micro agent along with OdorSweep and you can remove the smells in 6-8 hours for around $400-500. Just google odorsweep.
Boil about three cups of white vinegar (may add some water) on stove and let steam disperse into the air. Don't stand too close. Wipe down everything (cabinets, stove, countertops, floor) with white vinegar. If you feel it's in the carpet, sprinkle baking soda on carpet, let sit at least 20 minutes or overnight, then vacuum. You must vacuum to get the smell out of carpet.
I Just bought a house from a chinese lady. My neighbour is an Indian and she is very friendly.
I didn't know she likes to cook potent curry till I moved in. Every morning when I wake up, I open the window to nice greenery and sunshine, and when I take a deep breath, I smell nothing but potent oily curry smell. I spend like 50k renovating my new house and now I having second thoughts about staying there. Help! How can I prevent the curry smell from my neighbour from drifting over?
I stay in a HDB flat, side by side with my Indian neighbour, who stays at the corner.
I feel like partitioning the window with an extended wood separator between hers and my kitchen window.. you think it will help?
I cant get rid of smell it smell ever so bad. I go sleep and still smell it then dream about curry. I think it serious problem. I did everything in the kitchen and it smell worse. omg I wanna cry. I cant afford to move, since I'm ever so poor . Please if you smell of curry do house swap with me you can get familiar smelling house for free=]
I am a landlord and have had some tenants with this same exact problem with the smell of curry in the kitchen and they have come to me to fix it. I have washed down the entire kitchen with ammonia, a natural grease cutter which has worked well to clean all of the oil off but it still smells, and have done a second wash of 409.
I have not tried the vinegar approach yet but plan on ding that and I am planing on panting the walls. I see that someone has had a cleaning service and has commented on how they used some sort of balls and it smells new. Does any one know about that and has anyone actually had any luck with the vinegar?
I don't know how long the previous tenants were in my apartment, but I found that a full bottle of extra strength Febreze over about a week did the trick pretty well. It doesn't seem to be working as well on burnt food smell though.
Wow- I'm just trying to get rid of the smell from last night's dinner. Holy Cow -- I'm not cooking with this stuff again. No matter how good it might be. I bet some of these people have PTS just thinking of eating Indian. I suppose we have to leave the occasional curry meal for dining out.
I sometimes cook curry myself and I have been trying this technique for a while.. this will not eliminate the odor but reduces it significantly. Since the smell is generated from vapor, I figured vapor will kill it. I put a couple of cups of water in a pan and spray some cologne or perfume in it and boil the water until the pan dries out .. I have also tried cinnamon, clove but the most effective is cologne ... also good quality insents will cover the smell but still not as effective as the cologne technique .. Good Luck
I am moving to a new place next weekend and found out when I picked up the keys last Sunday that the curry smell I noticed when I first saw the place was NOT (as I then assumed) because the tenants just finished lunch. The place still reeked of curry so bad I thought I was going to vomit. I wanted to die! How could I possibly live there? I had already signed the contract!
I went out and purchased two strong spray deodorizers and a plug-in carbon filter just to make the air breathable while I took some room measurements, but half a can of Lysol spray cleared the air for about 3 minutes. Then I had to repeat and eventually evacuate the premises. What could I do?
My fear turned to sheer terror when I read this & other web posts w/equally disturbing comments about how hard is to get rid of the curry smell. I did some research on ozone generators and, in a panic, bought one right away.
In the meantime, I hired a great maid I know and her friend and the three of us spent a whole day scrubbing the kitchen and washing ALL the walls. It was very true that the problem was the cooking oil/grease: the cabinets, walls & the range were all sticky as a post-it note. Someone had supposedly "cleaned" the place already, but not to any standard of habitability. The carpet looked like the coat of a feral dog and was full of stains.
Well, I'm happy to report that curry smell can be conquered with lots of grease, elbow grease! We worked fastidiously at removing the grease and grime from all surfaces and after most of the grease was gone, the smell was mostly gone too.
However, to reach this stage, I had to:
a) Had the carpet cleaned again by a good, strong method (I used Chem Dry)
b) Wash all the walls with a strong TSP solution
c) Move the range out and clean the sides and back (mine was disgusting! Dripping w/grease everywhere!). Be careful: if the gas duct is short, don't pull on it! You could create a gas leak and blow the place up later. You may need to disconnect the gas line of course shutting off the gas supply first. If you've never done this before, call someone to help you: is very important to make sure is sealed tight afterward or you may end up with a small but lethal gas leak.
d) Move the fridge out and clean behind it.
e) The cabinets were an infinite supply of grease: we used about 1/2 gallon of 409 cleaner, made about 10 passes with sponges, scrubbers, you name it! A super-strong TSP solution helped a lot, but it irritates skin & eyes on contact, so wearing protection is a must.
f) Last step: I had a professional company come and put apart the range-hood after I opened the cover and found a pool of smelly dark grease and the hood's fans smothered w/the same gunk. I didn't want to put the whole thing apart without knowing what I was doing. I was there when they cleaned that up and I was glad I didn't have to touch that black, stinky, opaque, nasty slime covering everything. It was just-gross. But after three more hours of two people working at it, it was finally quite clean.
After all this steps were taken; three days & about $1,000 later, I can say the smell is 99% gone. Yeay! Today they are painting. We'll see if that takes the other 1% out. Now at least is good enough for me to move in. Sunday I could smell the curry from the garage and I was not moving into that place.
And the ozone generator? In my frenzy, I had actually forgotten all about it until it was delivered today! It is still in the box. If the lingering curry/grease smell survived a day of painting and venting the house, the ozone generator will be unpacked and put to the test. I'll post the results here. Thanks everyone for the great tips!
I can imagine that is it overwhelming! I am not being unsympathetic, but maybe until you get rid of the smell, this might be a little bit of comfort.
Since curry powder contains tumeric, you are breathing in one of the most powerful anticancer and anti-inflammatory elements known to mankind. Drug companies are rushing to find a synthetic copy of tumeric (cucumin) to sell. When the Dow carcinogenic chemical spill occurred a couple of decades ago, they expected tremendous numbers of cancer cases. Surprise! The tumeric in the curry protected the people. I take it in pill form. It's also a powerful anti-dementia herb, and Studies are being done re breast cancer right now.
I probably wouldn't care for the smell, and I love curry. But not every day. ;) Ozone purifiers are not recommended for use while you are inside the room by the EPA and Canada, etc. They have been linked to causing or making lung problems worse.
No one has mentioned the legal position of people making overpowering and lingering smells in apartment buildings. Is there something in the lease/contract which prohibits contamination of premises; it might come under 'nuisance' neighbours. Perhaps, when taking on a tenant, one could specify some restrictions. I know that my contract says that the apartment must be kept aired at all times. However, the cooking smells mentioned are impossible to remove. Any agents or managing agents or landlords have any answers/suggestions?
Being a painting contractor, we run into a lot of homes, rentals with cooking, pet and tobacco smoke odor problems. Painting the inside walls will not remove the odors as they are impregnated in the drywall, carpet, upholstery and drapes making the home harder to sell, or rent looks good smells badly. If you have to repaint, the inside walls add the Ionic Paint Additive, one treatment will continue to remain effective for 8-12 years.
I have similar situation. Shall I paint first or ozone first?
Who is the company that ran the ozone?
I have just recently moved into a 2nd and 3rd floor apartment. My neighbors below cook with curry every day (twice a day) and the curry scent is so powerful in my apartment, it makes my roommate and I sick. The aroma is so strong in my sleeping room that my eyes burn from the odor. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to rid our apartment of the smell?
Katie from Columbus OH
HI! Try one of the plug in air purifiers. Febreeze makes one that removes odors. It's small and inexpensive and doesn't "cover" up anything, it removes it from the air. Works wonders on my dog bed smell.
Simmer a small pot 50/50 mix of vinegar & water. If you could get them to do that as they cook you would never smell the odor. Works for fish and other high odor foods also.
The solution is to buy yourself a HIGH QUALITY Ozone Type of Air Purifier, (or ask your landlord to have your neighbors buy one for you!). If you run one of these on a low speed when you are home & on the highest setting when you are away, the smell will eventually disappear (& stay away) from your home, your clothes, your draperies & furnishings.
You are probably also smelling like curry when you or your partner goes into the workplace. This in no laughing matter, as I once lived with someone who made a lot of fried food & when I was at work one time I overheard a colleague of mine saying "have you noticed how she smells like stale fried food" (VERY embarrassing!) Well, I'm a vegetarian & have been for nearly 30 years, so I knew it was from my roommate's fried food... I had made the mistake of leaving my sweater & work-coat hanging on the back of a kitchen chair, so the smells absorbed into the fabrics... Ever since then, I've realized that we smell like our houses, so I'll sometimes spray myself with Febreeze right before I leave my house to meet with a client or go to work.
* The Vinegar & Water solution will also help. Vinegar can work wonders! But an ozone machine will REALLY do the trick. The professionals brought an industrial Ozone machine to our home the day after we had a home fire & that ozone machine worked miracles! ALL of the smoke-smell was gone from the WHOLE house in only 2 days time! AMAZING You need to use care though as the stronger "Industrial Ozone Generators" shouldn't be used with people in the home, but the smaller "Ozone Air Cleaners" are safe to use. We ran the huge industrial machine when we were NOT at home or (since it was a very large home) when we were on a different floor with all the doors shut. Just Google "Ozone Generators" or "Ozone Air Purifiers"...
One more thing, maybe you should think about moving to another apartment in the same complex, or better yet, it would be best if THEY moved to an apartment where they'd bother no one. Maybe the top apartment would be best for them? Maybe in the summer, when they can open their windows, it'll get better for you? Who knows, maybe the landlord can make 'opening their windows when they cook' a stipulation of their lease? (because they are disturbing others) I bet they are unaware that they're causing other peoples grief. They probably don't even have a clue, so tread lightly at first. Maybe ask them to PLEASE open a window when cooking because it burns your eyes (& if you have kids tell them the curry also burns "your kids eyes" too.)
I don't know if all stoves are required to have a vent fan, but every place I've ever rented or owned has had one. I suggest asking the neighbors if they are using the vent fan. If not, ask them to please do so. If they are already using that fan, maybe the landlord could install a more effective one. If there is no fan, find out if the landlord would be willing to install one. Good luck. I absolutely love the smell and taste of curry, but I would not like smelling it day after day or smelling it when I don't get to partake of the food. It's a strong smell that sticks with one's clothes. If your family is smelling like curry when you go to work or any of the places you go, you might want to mention to the landlord that it is affecting your work situation (if it is).
Instead of confronting your neighbor with the problem, which will ultimately end up in a fight. Contact your landlord and explain the problem and let him/her deal with the other renter.
I wouldn't think you can do anything about the smell coming in your apartment. The landlord has to handle it for you. Maybe he/she doesn't even know those tenants are doing that. I'm sure they don't want to stop their way of cooking but you have to be able to have the right not to smell and breath something so strong. The landlord has to get them to stop, perhaps ask them to leave or if he does nothing to help you, then perhaps you need to move. It sounds like it's become pretty intolerable for you. Good luck!
I really don't have advice (you have some good ideas already) Just wanted to commiserate. I live in a second floor apartment in a block of 10 apartments. Eight out of the ten are occupied by Indian families (This is NOT a racial slur on people from India) However, the smell of curry/spices is with me day and night.. and first thing in the morning I feel my tummy heave at the smell of breakfast curry! I haven't mentioned it to the agent. After all they are (presumably) paying their rent regularly as I am, and I can't imagine an agent/owner would evict people just on the smell of their cooking.
i also have air purifiers that really help out the smell situations. they are just air cleaners, i cant stand glade and all that smelly stuff.
i have heard from several friends that when they lived in apartments there were many forieners that cooked with different kinds of spices etc. i would suggest strongly speaking with the manager. i think if you try moving you will probably end up with the same situation.
It was a horrible mistake as the dog hair is everywhere and the house is now flea infested and I am allergic to fleas. I know how to handle that, lots of money spent on the cats and still can't get that problem under control (until the dog is gone in another week).
However, they were cooking with curry, lots of it. And the house reeks now and especially the spare bedroom which is connected to their furnace/AC system. I have no idea as to the smell in their unit as I only go in once a week to thoroughly clean. However the one bedroom has an absolutely horrendous smell and I have a fan in the window full time and still the smell will not go away.
I have wedding gowns and bridesmaid gowns stored in that room as it was the safest place to store them, not anymore. How do I get rid of the smell? It has only been there for two weeks, but it is driving me nuts and I am worried about what will happen when the new guests arrive two days after this group leaves.
By Judy A. from Paris, Ontario
Wash everything down, including the walls, with 50/50 percent of distilled vinegar and water and also leave out a few bowls of vinegar. Vinegar absorbs scents. I also use curry and a lot of assorted other spices and the only thing that smells like those spices is the drawer I keep them in.
They may have been burning insense. Just make sure they leave when they are supposed to.
Oh and I make curry all the time and it does not smell beyond the meal when it is served.
Yikes ~ that's one heck of a situation! It's such a shame that your kind heart & generosity have culminated in this way. I'd try the vinegar remedy above since I've had good luck with it removing tough odors in the past.
Maybe you should also ask them to pay for the flea removal & extra cleaning costs before they leave. Good luck!
PS ~ Keep us posted as to what works, and if they were decent enough to pony up for the misery they've inflicted on your business.
How do you get rid of the curry smell in an apartment?
By Marla N from Waterloo, IA
How do I get rid of curry smells?