It's hard to believe the same chemical responsible for the odour of paper mills, refinery and petrochemical manufacturing is also responsible for the aroma of cabbage, brussels sprouts, garlic, onions, shellfish and beer. The culprit is dimethyl sulphide, also known as DMS. Dimethyl sulphide has many synonyms, including dimethyl disulfide. Many methods to remove the cabbage-like odour from private residences have been attempted, but only a few select methods work well.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- Aluminium foil
- Lemon peels (optional)
- Orange peels (optional)
- Vanilla (optional)
- Cinnamon sticks (optional)
- Lemon juice (optional)
- Lemon-scented soap
- Lemon-scented candle
- Lemon-scented air freshener
- Small bowl
- Baking soda
- Tea tree oil
Wrap buttered cabbage slices or brussels sprouts in aluminium foil with 2 tbsp water in the bottom and bake it in the oven. This will contain the smell until it's time to consume the food and prevent the smell from permeating your home. Boil or cook cabbage or sprouts only until tender, if you must use the hob, because it's overcooking that causes the unpleasant odour. Brew a potpourri using your choices of lemon peels, orange peels, vanilla or cinnamon sticks in a shallow pan of water on the stove to remove the odour.
Use lemon to counteract the scent of garlic or onion. Mix a solution of one part lemon juice to three parts water to rinse your hands in, or wash your hands with lemon-scented soap. Light a lemon-scented candle or spray lemon-scented air freshener. Eat a sprig or more of fresh parsley to remove the smell of garlic or onion from your breath.
Rinse a towel with water and wring it out in the kitchen sink. Hang the towel close to where you will cook fish to absorb the smell. Use vinegar as an alternative solution. When cooking cabbage, broccoli or fish, Heloise of Good Housekeeping advises to "Set out a small bowl of household vinegar on the counter next to the stove to absorb smells."
Keep the lid off your brew pot when boiling, which will help keep your lager flavour on the tame side. This, however, certainly won't keep the odour from permeating the room. Boil the brew outside and shut the doors and windows of your home to keep the smell out. Remove the smell of beer spills from fabric and carpeting by rubbing in baking soda or a few drops of full-strength tea tree oil on a dampened cloth.
Tips and warnings
- Dimethyl sulphide is used as an odorant in natural gas. It is there for your safety, to alert you by smell, so you are able to detect if there is a natural gas leak, which could be fatal. Therefore, this is one instance of dimethyl sulphide use that should never be removed.
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