Burnt Coffee Smell in House: How to Get Rid of It

burnt coffee smell in house

It turns out that burning coffee isn’t the only reason you have a burnt coffee smell in your house. Surprising, right? There are plenty of reasons why you may be getting a stale odor without burning anything. Let’s explore the causes and ways you can get rid of the burnt coffee smell in your house.

Reasons for Burnt Coffee Smell in House

Sometimes, your house will smell like a burnt coffee pot, even if you didn’t burn any coffee. There are a couple of explanations for that.

Over-roasted Beans

Over-roasted coffee beans are the primary reason for the bitter smell. You’ll also feel it in the coffee’s taste. It’ll likely leave a burnt smell after you’re done, even if the cup of coffee is fine.

Author Note: Over-roasted beans are usually darker than usual. They’re easy to distinguish; if you find them dark after purchasing, it’s better not to brew them. They’ll result in a stale smell, no matter how you do the brewing.

Old Beans

If you’re brewing stale coffee beans, there’s a high chance your kitchen will have a burnt smell afterward, even if the coffee is fine. Not to mention that your coffee will taste bitter and acidic.

The best thing to do is to use freshly-ground beans. Old beans are either dry, stale, or musty. In all cases, they’ll leave unwanted odors in your machine, which will spread further.

Leaving Your Coffee Pot Too Long

Barista smelling a cup of coffee

If you leave your coffee pot too long on the heat plate, it may be the reason for the burnt smell. It would help if you only kept it long enough for it to stay warm. After that, it’ll get over-cooked, and it’ll leave a stale smell in your house.

Using a Burnt Pot

If your stainless steel pot got burnt and you’re using it again, it may be the reason for the burnt smell in your house. That small stain that you think is harmless is likely the one causing the smell. When it gets heated, the scent will get triggered.

That’s why you should make sure to clean your burnt coffee pot. If it’s damaged beyond cleaning, throw it out and get a new one.

Medical Reasons

This will sound surprising, but the reason you’re smelling a burnt coffee smell in your house may be purely medical. After all, it’s the only explanation for the scent if you don’t brew coffee.

If it’s a medical reason, you may get a catch of other smells, such as burnt toast, chemical smells, or cigarette smell. A nasal condition may be causing it; we’ll talk all about it in detail below.

How to Get Rid of Burnt Coffee Smell in House

There are plenty of steps you can take to get rid of the burnt coffee smell in your house.

Step 1: Ventilate the House Well

The first thing you should do is to bring fresh air into your house. You can do that by opening the windows and doors. If you can’t open all the windows for some reason, make sure to at least open the ones close to the kitchen.

Author Note: You can also turn the fans on to circulate the air faster. Place any fans you have besides the windows you opened earlier and adjust them at the highest speed. That way, the air will get moving quickly.

Step 2: Clean the Remnants

If you accidentally drop the burnt coffee on some surfaces, you’ll want to clean them well before the scent spreads further. You can use a disinfectant or a bottle of bleach. Merely wipe the surfaces and take a go at the floor if it smells too. The odor should then go away.

If any tablecloths or curtains get the smell too, you should throw them in the laundry machine. Generally, fabrics preserve smells for a long time, which may be the reason the odor is still there after you wiped the surfaces.

After you’re done with the surfaces and fabrics, you should clean the coffee pot until it’s shining. Any remnants of the burnt coffee in it can cause a strong smell when you use it again.

Step 3: Absorb the Smell

Strange golden smoke taking away from coffee seeds

There are multiple ways you can absorb the burnt coffee smell from your house. You can use onion water, vinegar, or baking soda.

Onion Water

For starters, cut an onion into small slices. Then, place the pieces in a large bowl of water. You should then leave the bowl where the smell is most prominent. You can move it from room to room until the smell completely goes away.

Vinegar Bread

If you don’t want your kitchen to smell like onions, you can use vinegar instead. Firstly, you should pour two cups of vinegar into a large bowl of water. Afterward, boil it and leave it to simmer for 15 minutes. Then, dip a large piece of bread in the solution.

Place the bread on a plate and put it where the smell is strongly evident. It’ll absorb the odor in no time.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is one of the most efficient odor absorbents. You can use it to remove any foul smell around your house, regardless of its source. You can mix it with water and put it in bowls. Then, place the bowls in every room where the smell is present. After a day, the smell will be long gone.

If you want, you can put the baking soda alone without mixing it in water. It’ll absorb the smell just fine. That being said, make sure to throw it out afterward.

Step 4: Replace the Odor

If your house smells unpleasant, you can work on getting another fresh smell inside. That way, the house will smell good, even if the stale odor is still there. Here are three efficient methods.

Lemon Water

To make lemon water, you should boil a saucepan filled with water. Then, cut a lemon into slices. Put the slices in the boiling pan and let them sit for half an hour. They’ll freshen the house’s smell immediately.

Top Tip: You can also replace the lemon slices with some cloves if you don’t like the citric smell.

Alternatively, you can make a lemon water spray and spritz it everywhere to get rid of the smell. Just pour equal parts of water and lemon juice in a sprayer bottle and start spritzing!

Fake Baking

We all know baking leaves a delicious smell behind. If you’re not in the mood to bake some goods for your kids, you can always create a fake baking odor.

Firstly, heat the oven to 93 °C. Then, cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, and add a thin layer of butter. You can then sprinkle anything that’ll leave a good smell, such as cinnamon. You can throw in some sugar too.

Next, put the cookie sheet in the oven and turn it off. Leave the sheet inside for a couple of hours. A sweet baking aroma will fill the house, and you won’t notice the burnt smell anymore.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are highly efficient at eliminating bad odors. If you have any bottle lying around, such as aloe vera or lavender, you can use it to make an air freshener. You’ll need to combine a cup and a half of water with two tablespoons of vanilla extract.

Next, add around 20 drops of any essential oil you can get your hands on. You can then pour the mixture into a sprayer bottle and spritz it everywhere as needed.

What If You Didn’t Burn Coffee?

If you don’t brew coffee in your house, but the smell is there, it may be an underlying medical condition. There’s a condition that affects the sense of smell; it’s called Phantosmia. Here’s a brief about its symptoms and causes.


delicious and fragrant coffee steaming hot

Phantosmia is a bit of an uncommon condition that makes people smell things that aren’t there. The smells are usually unpleasant, such as burnt things and chemical smells. The disease is sometimes known as phantom smell and olfactory hallucination.

Author Note: There are a lot of things that can cause the disease, such as sinus infections, schizophrenia, migraines, and some allergies. The condition hits the sense of smell, causing the person to smell things that aren’t there. Moreover, it may occur in one nostril or both.

The condition isn’t a cause for concern. Most of the time, it goes away on its own. Additionally, it only affects the sense of smell in most cases. However, it may be a sign of another underlying condition, so it’s always better to consult a doctor.

People with Phantosmia may encounter the following smells:

  • Burnt coffee
  • Burnt toast
  • Metallic smell
  • Stale smell
  • Cigarette smoke smell

Closing Thoughts

The burnt coffee smell is annoying to have in your house, but it’s relatively easy to get rid of. At least it’s not spoiled eggs!

As long as you ventilate your house well, the smell shouldn’t cause an issue. Plus, spraying essential oil around the house ought to get rid of the stale odor. If you need to get coffee stains off of car seats, we recommend checking out our car stain removal guide.

Stay caffeinated friends!

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