Apartment with Dogs and Broccoli. Pls Help.
September 17, 2021 8:02 AM   Subscribe

I just moved into a one-bedroom apartment with two dogs (about 20 lbs each). I tend to steam broccoli (and cauliflower) a lot on the stove, usually twice a day, and this is what the apartment smells like every time I enter it. The kitchen does not have a window. In fact, there is no window near the kitchen. Can you help?

Artificial spray air fresheners can be bad for dogs. Incense and some candle scents might also be an irritant for dogs. Do you have dogs and/or do a lot of steamed veg but have a nice-smelling apartment? Hopefully with natural products? How do ya?
posted by Glinn to Home & Garden (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We got an air purifyer for just keeping the general smells + dogginess smells (we have 4, varying sizes) at a decreased level. It wasn't cheap - about $200 CAD. (Westinghouse 1701)

It runs 24/7 - although it does a 30m shutoff every 8-hours.

But it works well - we do have to change the removable filter every 4-months.
posted by rozcakj at 8:08 AM on September 17, 2021 [6 favorites]

Open the windows elsewhere in the property so a draft goes through, and open the door to the kitchen and put the extractor on while you’re cooking
posted by The Last Sockpuppet at 8:20 AM on September 17, 2021 [5 favorites]

Is there a window anywhere in the apartment? If so, I'd go for an outward-facing fan set in that window, turned on when you start cooking and then left on for an hour or two after - to pull the air through the apartment and out. Pick a window that would be the most "direct" path from the kitchen - for instance, if your apartment has a straight shot from the kitchen to your bedroom window, put it there, instead of in the window that would be like around the corner or something.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:22 AM on September 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Also, there is likely some kind of exhaust above your stove. Put that on while you're cooking as well.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:22 AM on September 17, 2021 [4 favorites]

2nding the suggestion to open other available windows both whilst you're cooking and at other times
posted by koahiatamadl at 8:23 AM on September 17, 2021

Dump the steam water immediately after cooking is finished, and then run that down the sink with cold water until it's well and good moved through your pipes.

Give the doggies a little bit of cauliflower, it's my pup's favorite treat.
posted by phunniemee at 8:28 AM on September 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

Seconding outward-facing window fans elsewhere in the apartment. I've also found some relief from smells using white vinegar, either a bowl of it set out (sometimes in front of a fan) or when I'm more desperate, sprayed into the air (mix of water and vinegar.) It's usually more greasy, less vegetal smells I'm trying to get rid of, though.
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:31 AM on September 17, 2021

2nding good air filters. I use Winix for the most part.
posted by Candleman at 9:19 AM on September 17, 2021

I would try Ozium. Its most well known use is to mask pot odors, but it is used in hospitals, restaurants, etc. Non toxic.
posted by AugustWest at 9:49 AM on September 17, 2021

Response by poster: It's a galley style kitchen, next to a door on a shared hallway. The stove is tragically around a corner from the nearest thing I can open, a sliding glass door on the other side of the living room (but I will try it with a fan). The bedroom window is on the same wall as the sliding glass door, and around additional corners. Several other suggestions I can try though, thank you.

(Yes the dogs get veg twice a day with their meals, part of the reason I cook so much of it!)
posted by Glinn at 10:08 AM on September 17, 2021

Most places require the kitchen to have an exhaust fan or otherwise be vented to the outside. If yours does, running the fan especially with windows open in other parts of the house should really help. (If it doesn't you might search for your city or state to see if it required although what you do with that information would depend on your relationship with your landlord.)
posted by metahawk at 10:15 AM on September 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

I would lean in, just start making curries every other day or so. Indian, Japanese, Chinese, etc. They are all good and can be made as healthy or decadent as you like, and will certainly leave your house smelling like curry, not broccoli or dog etc.

Broccoli smells good imo, but part of why it can smell bad if overcooked/old etc is the sulfurous compounds. I wonder if wiping down your counter with dilute bleach water once a day would help neutralize the sulfur scents. (Chlorine bleach is one of the methods for removing sulfur smell from well water).
posted by SaltySalticid at 10:19 AM on September 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

+2 to a freestanding HEPA filter. We (cat, dog, 2 humans, no exhaust fan over our stove) run 3 of them and they help a lot.
posted by joycehealy at 10:53 AM on September 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Follow-up after your follow-up -

The "straight shot from the kitchen" I was referring to doesn't necessarily mean a "straight shot from your STOVE." I just meant try not to have it so the air doesn't have to turn corners.

Lemme try to explain. Your layout sounds like mine; mine is a galley kitchen in a hallway leading to a living room, with my bedroom just beyond that. So you walk in the front door and walk straight ahead, down a hallway where the kitchen is the wall on your right. At the end of the hallway you have my living room to your right (it's more like, the room widens out on your right to make the living room), and there is a window in there but on the right-hand wall; but if you kept walking straight ahead instead of turning right, you come to the door to my bedroom, and if you open my bedroom door the first thing you'd see directly ahead of you is a window on the opposite wall.

The stove doesn't face either of these windows. But if I were deciding which window to use, I'd use my bedroom window, because the air only has to get pulled in a straight line sideways, from the kitchen past the living room and into my bedroom, and then straight out the window.

So for your case:

The stove is tragically around a corner from the nearest thing I can open, a sliding glass door on the other side of the living room (but I will try it with a fan).

If I understand you correctly, you have to turn one corner away from the stove, but then you can walk straight ahead to get to the sliding door, right? If that's the case, that should still work.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:02 AM on September 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Carbon filters absorb smells. Big thing for grow ops, so lets of cheap options available (even on amazon).
posted by flimflam at 7:37 PM on September 17, 2021

If you have a microwave, you can use that to steam broccoli. It would help contain the smell.
posted by obol at 7:25 PM on September 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

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