Do Air Purifiers Get Rid Of Cooking Smells? – How Effective Are They?

Who doesn’t love when the smell of a recently baked cake hits you as you enter the kitchen? Monsters!

While the smell of a freshly cooked meal is certainly something everyone enjoys, you don’t want a kitchen that smells like the stir-fried rice you made last night.

How do you remove that smell? You can clean it, but it might be enough. So, a common question is- do air purifiers get rid of cooking smells?

The answer is- YES! An air purifier can keep your kitchen and additionally your house fresh as long as it’s the right purifier. Not all air purifiers can get rid of odors such as cooking smells, pet odors, musty smells, etc.

In this post, we’re going to discuss in detail how air purifiers work to remove the smell from your house and what exactly makes an air purifier capable of it.

How Does an Air Purifier Work?

If you look at the inside of an air purifier, you’ll find one or multiple filters, and a fan used to suck in the air. It’s fairly simple, and the process is not complex either.

The air passes through the filter, and all the contaminants and allergens get trapped in the filter mesh. And the clean air is allowed to go back into circulation. That is how all air purifiers work.

But what about the odorants? How do you rid the air from them?

You may have already experienced that the usual air purifiers aren’t effective against odor and smoke. Why is it? Well, you’re about to find out.

Does Air Purifier Remove Cooking Smells?

Air purifiers can be a great tool to get rid of cooking odors from your house, especially in the kitchen area. But keeping the area clean is a prerequisite for the purifier to work properly.

So, why do the usual air filters don’t work well against odorants?

It’s because of the popular HEPA filter. This filter isn’t equipped with the right technology to catch odor particles. As a result, no matter how powerful the purifier you use, it won’t work.

To get rid of the smell, you need to have an activated carbon filter inside the purifier.

If you’re not acquainted with it, the explanation about these two filters and their effectiveness will clear any confusion you have.

What Is a HEPA Filter?

A HEPA filter is the short form of a High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filter. It’s a mechanical air filter.

According to EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), this filter can theoretically remove 99.97% of airborne particles such as dust, mold, pollen, and bacteria. These particles have a size of 0.3 microns or above.

Most air purifiers used in households and office has HEPA filters inside. But it doesn’t work against odorants.


When you smell something, what exactly is observed by your olfactory receptors?

It’s something called an Odorant. This is responsible for all the smells and fragrances around us. All things that give off a smell lets out odorants in the air.

These are small particles that can’t be seen by the naked eye. They move around and get in contact with your olfactory receptors, and you smell things.

And yes, food, pet, smoke, and all nasty things spread odorants in the air, if you were wondering.

HEPA can’t catch odors from the air because it isn’t designed to trap them. Odor particles are different, which makes them hard to trap.

But as you’ve already read before, if the HEPA filter is combined with an activated carbon filter, it can be the all-rounder solution to all your air-purifying needs.

What Is an Activated Carbon Filter?

Activated carbon is a fancy term for a carbon material that has been designed to fulfill a purpose. A carbon filter in an air purifier is simply a bed of powdered carbon.

It’s formed as a thin layer of carbon and then placed in the path of air passage inside the purifier unit.

Carbon, in its powdered form and shaped as a thin layer, is the perfect method to catch gas molecules and odor particles.

How Does an Air Purifier Remove Cooking Odor?

Air purifiers contain a carbon filter that works the same way your HEPA air purifiers work. It has a fan for sucking in the air and pushing it out.

The main difference is that it has an activated carbon filter alongside or in place of the HEPA filter. 

Carbon or charcoal has an impressive absorbing ability. The activated charcoal bed can absorb even more because of the powdered form. Where HEPA fails to trap the odorants, the carbon filter shines at absorbing the particles.

The filter retains the odor and lets the air go back into circulation. Its capability isn’t limited to this purpose only. The gas trapping quality allows it to retain construction smell, chemical odor, and pet odor with the same effectiveness.

What Happens to a Carbon Filter After Absorbing Gas Molecules?

The absorption characteristic of this filter is a blessing. But after it performs its task, the molecules stuck in the activated carbon bed make it less efficient. And slowly, the filter becomes unusable.

It’s recommended to change the filter every 6 months. But you could wash it to squeeze a bit more service out of it. If you do wash it, don’t use it unless it is completely dry.

Some air filters can be used just with a bit of vacuum cleaning. And some carbon air filters can be reused after drying them under the sunlight. Keep them under the sun for a few hours and they become usable again. However, it can only be done for a few times before the carbon bed completely loses its durability.

While they can last up to 4 years, you should replace a carbon filter after a year of 24/7 usage.

Does Dyson Air Purifier Get Rid of Cooking Smells?

One of the most popular brands when it comes to air purifiers is Dyson. It’s renowned for its efficiency in keeping the air fresh all through the year.

But as we are on the topic of cooking odors, how effective is it?

Well, the question comes down to the type of filter used inside the purifier unit. Only the Dyson air purifier with an activated carbon filter can keep your kitchen from the pesky and persisting cooking smell.

Final Words

So, do air purifiers get rid of cooking smells? Heck yeah, they can!

If your machine has a carbon filter, it’ll suck up all those yucky scents in no time.

But don’t rely on just the purifier to keep your home smelling great – make sure you keep the airflow going strong. That’s when the purifier will really be effective!

Last Updated on January 13, 2023

Richard Hicks

Hello there! I hope you are enjoying your stay at my well-curated website. And I certainly am pleased to have you here. I hope that you got what got you here in the first place because that is the only thing that matters to my team and me. But that is not the end; there will be more content, such as the one that got you here.

Leave a Comment