I have a housewifery question...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by ThreeShadows, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Some parent in the Land Of difficult children might know the answer.

    During the height of the blizzard yesterday, easy child had a blond moment. She put one of those Asian noodle dishes in the microwave and forgot to add the water! Fire in the micro, noodles turned to charcoal and entire house reeks with odor worse than burned popcorn. The inside of microwave is putrid smelling and yellow stained. We opened the kitchen door but the stench is everywhere.

    Any suggestions for purging the odor from both the micro and the whole house?

    Oh, and by the way, the difference between a difficult child and a easy child? The easy child is contrite, takes responsibility, apologizes, cleans up the mess she created, and cleans 3 litter boxes without complaint to make up for her mistake. The difficult child...I don't even want to evoke those memories!
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I've never had that problem but I know someone who did. This is what I remember (and I hope I remember right, lol). First she washed it down with liquid detergent mixed with water. Then she used finger nail polish to clean off interior stains. Lastly (and this is suppose to be the trick) she
    put fresh coffee grounds in a cup and filled it halfway with water. She put the coffee cup either onto or inside, I think, a microwave tolerant bowl to catch the overspill and set the timer for two minutes. The cup boiled over so it was tricky removing it. The good news was that her microwave had only a faint aroma of coffee at the end of the process. I think they do make a microwave cleaner for odors but..once again..I don't know, just think so. Good luck. DDD

    Personally I think I might use lemon juice first and see if that worked.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    OK this HAS happened to us. Jett made a cheese sandwich in ours. Bread was frozen so he cooked it for 6 MINUTES.

    This is what we did:

    1. Boil a cup of white vinegar in the microwave.
    2. Wipe out as much stuff as you can, IMMEDIATELY, using the hot vinegar.
    3. Nail polish remover may melt the plastic; if you do use this, use NON ACETONE.
    4. Cook 1 spoon of coffee grounds in a mug of water (in a bowl as DDD said) for 7 minutes.
    5. Wipe out with now-room-temp vinegar (again).
    6. Leave door open overnight.

    ... 7. Cook another cup of coffee. (by the way - do NOT drink this stuff!)

    ... Wait a few days... If it's still bad... Cook orange juice. Better than lemon for this.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Wow. The things we learn on here area amazing.

    Me..........I'd toss the microwave and just go buy a new one. No fuss. No mess. But then I buy the cheaper ones anyway. lol
  5. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    LOL! I will not drink it because I'm not a difficult child!!!

    Thank you, DDD and Step.

    Now does any one know how to de-stink the whole house?
  6. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I've had this happen as well...

    I was drying a bra in the microwave, forgot it had metal underwire, and it caught on fire.

    Step's method with the vinegar, coffee, vinegar etc. will clean the microwave.

    As far as de-smellifying the rest of the house, try this:

    Fill a large pot with water.
    Add a few drops of vanilla extract and a couple of cinnamon sticks
    Gently heat the water and let it simmer for a couple of hours -- refill the water and add more vanilla extract if too much evaporates.

  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Umm... We used pet vacuum powder and vacuumed... The house reeked but not so bad...
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A dish of vinegar in each room can work. It's supposed to only take a day, but it can take longer.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 has "inherited" SIL2's car which SIL2's chain-smoking mother was driving around for ages. easy child 2/difficult child 2 is VERY fussy about smells, and used my advice about vinegar - she got a plastic takeaway food container and put in some vinegar and tissue paper to help soak up and disperse the vinegar. She kept this in the car (blu-taked to the dashboard) for a month or so. An occasional drop of lavender oil, ti-tree oil and/or eucalyptus oil worked wonders on slowly replacing the stale cigarette smells. She also cleaned down every possible surface because there was also residual ash.

    Another option for the house - burn a scented candle or incense. In each room. And open the doors and windows (if the place is not too cold) to let it ventilate.

    Put a few drops of essential oil (something astringent like citrus, lavender, eucalyptus, pine, not something perfum-ey like rose or jasmine) on the vacuum cleaner air filter. Or the dust bag. Then as you use the vacuum cleaner, it also deodorises the house.

    If you MUST use something perfum-ey like rose, then use it with the astringent notes. Rose and lavender work well. Jasmine and orange is lovely. Jasmine and lime - fabulous. And very effective.

    I wouldn't use vanilla, it's too sweet. Use it to finish on, perhaps, but to kill the smell to begin with - I don't think it will work.

    Also, carb soda is good for deodorising.

    Do you have any bath bombs in the house? Look up a bath bomb recipe and make some bath bombs. Just making them (aim for jasmine and lime if you can) can deodorise the house. Maybe give this job to easy child - partly in atonement, and partly as a more pleasant task to go on with, a sort of semi-reward for caring about what she did and being up-front about it.

    Another option - bake a cake. Or bake potatoes. My favourite baked potato recipe - get GOOD spuds in their skins. Scrub them clean. Prick the skins a little. Rub them with salt (use wet hands) and place them on a flat metal baking sheet. Bake in a moderate oven (or slightly hotter) until they smell done. The salt forms a white crust and the skin thickens to a crisp shell, with the potato inside cooked to perfection. Eat them split with butter or sour cream, with any filling or none.

    But the smell of potatoes baking can do wonders for a house in need of smell rejuvenation.

  9. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Wow Marg, I wish I had known about the vinegar trick back in 1972! Not -yet- H and I bought our first car together in Paris. The seller was a Tunisian fish-fry cook who worked in my father's favorite neighborhood restaurant. I can't tell you how that colored our trip through France....
  10. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I think I posted this same question a while back because mom never got the hang of microwaves. Burned popcorn until it flamed out the back.

    Someone recommended one of the cleaning anything sites. Unfortunately I don't remember which one it is.
    I'd be careful to check what can be mixed and or heated in a microwave.
    I think the recommendation I got was heating vinegar in the microwave. It worked pretty well after we washed it down with baking soda in water.

    Anyhow, do a search on Ask.com or some other site that is similar.
  11. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Missy burned popcorn once and also put a metal coffee cup in my old microwave. I say old microwave, because after the metal coffee cup, said old microwave kicked the bucket.

    The vinegar thing sounds good for the microwave.

    The thing that I use to get rid of burnt popcorn smells is just lighting a candle or two. I have a few Yankee Candles that I light and after several hours, the smell is usually gone. I find that if I light a candle while cooking strong smells, the odor doesn't find it's way into my second floor shower (yeah, I hate taking showers when my bathroom smells like caramelized onions).

    Baking soda will help with carpet odors. I usually use Arm & Hammer Carpet stuff that vacuums up. I leave it on for a few hours and then vacuum. But if the perfumes bother you or the kids, you might just use plain old baking soda.
  12. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I'm another one who would probably buy a new microwave, but mine is ancient and that would give me a good excuse to replace it. I just get the cheap, little ones since I only cook for one most of the time.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    On the topic ov vinegar in the microwave - it is VERY strong, it really does penetrate.

    A recipe I make occasionally to the protests of the house (at the cooking, not the eating!) is Bearnaise sauce, made in the microwave. The recipe I use has been adapted for the microwave (and works brilliantly). The first stage involves chopping up fresh tarragon and a little onion, then steeping it in a good vinegar (I use cider vinegar in which I have already steeped bunches of tarragon) and reducing it to half its volume.

    The smell in the kitchen - strong of tarragon, but the sharpness of vinegar. I love it. The kids hated it. husband insists that it taints the microwave oven.

    I reduce the vinegar, then if I've made more than I need, I store it in the fridge. So it IS usable.

    So if you need to deodorise your microwave oven (or the rest of the house) try making concentrated tarragon vinegar using those instructions. If you haven't got any previously steeped vinegar, that's OK. It still works.

    As the rest rest of the recipe - you make a basic hollandaise sauce but using tarragon vinegar instead of lemon juice. Doing it in the microwave - you melt the butter (I use a glass jug, I heat it until the butter is bubbling) and you pour the hot butter into a large jug which has the previously-whisked COLD tarragon vinegar and eggs. YOu whisk as you add the butter, it will partly cook the egg. Then you finish it off in a bain-marie you improvise with a larger container of hot water in which you sit the jug containing the mixture. Don't get water in the mixture or it will 'split'. I sit the whole lot onto a large plate so I can lift it in and out without risk of spillage or larger plastic container deforming and dropping the scalding lot over me. Then microwave on medium for about ten minutes, stopping every two minutes to stir it.

    It is a lot easier than it sounds, and it takes only about 15 minutes, tops (including boiling down the vinegar) and tastes wonderful. Excess - it sets firm, we roll it into a log and freeze it. If we cook a steak or something, we cut off a small disc from the frozen round and let the heat of the steak melt it out back to a sauce.

    For difficult child 1's wedding, I made about 5 litres of the stuff!

    You can imagine how the house smelt! But no hint of burnt anything.

  14. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    I was wondering Marg would get to the Béarnaise Sauce!

    It DOES taste wonderful. It takes the microwave about a week to clear but I have an unusually discriminating sense of smell. We joke that I can tell the difference between grades of clear glass by smell alone; upwind!
  15. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I could send husband to you for a week. Feed him beans and you won't ever think about the odor again. Even if you burn popcorn.:tongue:
  16. maxeygirls

    maxeygirls New Member

    I love this little solution http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/11/crockpot-as-air-freshener-odor.html
    For the microwave I always microwaved a dish of water and vinegar on the warm setting for a bit. My ex boyfriend's mom caught grape nuts on fire in the microwave once and that worked quite well. Smells funky in the kitchen for a bit due to the vinegar but its better than burned whatever-that-was-supposed-to-be.
  17. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member


    Son did EXACTLY the same thing about a year ago. It was simply awful and the smell! Ugh! What works the best will be the hardest to endure: Time. I did all of the vinegar cures, but I don't think it helped much. The odor is THAT powerful.

    However, it did give me a great excuse to get a new microwave!

    Ours was old and we had been talking about it anyway.
  18. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    You dry your bra in the microwave?
  19. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Not anymore...
  20. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I once heard if you put some Lemon Joy dish washing soap in a dish it will absorb any smoke smell you have in your home. I heard after a fire this is the way to get the smoke odors out.