When you walk into your kitchen, you catch a whiff of something terrible. You decide to take out the garbage, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Fight the urge to grab a can of air freshener and spray it around the entire room, because you need to deal with the root cause of that stomach-churning odor.

Refrigerator

If the inside of the appliance smells rotten, you need to take an afternoon to scrub it clean.

The first step to cleaning a refrigerator is to grab coolers from your garage and fill the bottoms with ice or cold gel packs so that you can keep your food chilled. Unplug the appliance. Empty the shelves, taking the time to determine if any food item has gone bad.

Wipe every surface with a combination of warm water and dish soap and then dry it with a cloth. Put all of the food back where it belongs. When you’re done, tuck an open box of baking soda onto a shelf to soak up any odors.

Sink

Months-worth of food scraps are stuck in the drain and starting to waft up into the kitchen. The best way to clean drains is to pour a combo of white vinegar and baking soda down the opening. Ten minutes later, pour a whole kettle full of boiled water down there.

If the odor doesn’t go away, you could be dealing with sewer back-up. A natural sink drain cleaner can’t fix sewer back-up — you will need to call an expert plumber for help. You can hire an experienced plumbing company when you see the signs of back-up and want to get it repaired properly.

stove, oven, bed bottle

Oven

After letting grease splash and drip over the oven walls, it smells like a terrible combination of meals. You never wanted to know what fish, roast beef, and the lasagna smelled like together.

The only way to deal with bad oven odor is to take out the wire racks and give them a good scrub, and then clean the rest of the interior. Wipe down residue off the sides. If your appliance has a self-cleaning option, you should use it. If not, you will have to tackle the job with a chemical oven cleaner and manual labor.

Microwave

Maybe your cooking style mostly relies on heating frozen dinners or bags of popcorn instead of preparing pot-roasts or casseroles.

The easiest way to clean a microwave is to put a cup of water and a few tablespoons of white vinegar into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the bowl uncovered for several minutes, so the window gets nice and steamy. After waiting for the water to cool, take a sponge or cloth and wipe the interior.

Avoid covering up odors with air fresheners. It’s not a real solution, and if anything, it’s ineffective as the smell gets stronger over time. Find the root cause of the odor and clean it up right away. Soon enough, you can walk through your kitchen without having to plug your nose.