How to remove a fish smell

Updated February 21, 2017

Fish is an excellent source of Omega-3-fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals and most people enjoy eating some form of fish. But few people enjoy the odour that accompanies eating it. If you have ever cooked fish, you know that the odour can linger in your house, pots and pans, clothes, and hands well after you have finished eating it. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help get rid of any lingering "fishy" odour.

Open your windows to allow for fresh air ventilation. Run a fan to increase the air circulation in the affected area.

Marinate your fish in white vinegar for 30 minutes before cooking it. In addition to imparting it with a nice flavour, the vinegar breaks down the fishy smell.

Place 8 to 10 mint leaves in the pan when cooking the fish. This helps mask the smell of the fish.

Hang a wet towel in your kitchen while cooking the fish. Some people believe that a wet towel can absorb the smell, leaving the rest of the house odour-free.

Wash pots and pans with 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda to 1 quart of water.

Wash your clothes with bleach or some type of scented washing detergent, such as NappiSan or Simple Green.

Use lemon-scented soap or detergent to wash your hands. Be sure to use a nail brush to clean under your fingernails as well.


If you are preparing fish, and it has a strong foul odour (not just a fishy smell), it might not be fit for consumption.

Things You'll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Mint leaves
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon-scented soap
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About the Author

Thomas King is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law where he served as managing editor of the "Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law." He currently lives in Aberdeen, Washington where he writes and practices law.