5 things people with nice-smelling pantries never do

Avoid these bad habits so you can keep your pantry smelling fragrant and aromatic

pantry three image split
(Image credit: Future)

The pantry is an incredible asset for your kitchen and is often used for storing fresh and non-perishable goods. As a result, it is worth your attention to make sure it smells nice and fresh, and not a home for odors.

When trying to understand what people with fresh and clean pantries never do, we should also consider what people with nice-smelling pantries always do. Pantries are perfect for storing wonderful and aromatic smells, including spices, herbs and sweets. If left untreated these can easily go off and create bad smells that ruin your other produce.

Our experts have identified five bad habits that people with nice-smelling pantries never do so you can utilize this space to complement your organized kitchen

5 things people with nice-smelling pantries never do 

People with wonderfully scented pantries typically avoid a few common things to maintain that delightful aroma. Below are a few things they tend to steer clear of. 

Kitchen pantry

(Image credit: Davonport)

1. Let clutter build

One of the first things people with nice-smelling pantries never do is allow clutter to build up, which can typically happen by overcrowding the pantry with too much food and supplies. This becomes especially important when trying to organize your pantry.

A cluttered pantry not only makes it challenging to find items but can also lead to overlooked spills and expired goods. Cleaning specialist Janille Mangat suggests organizing your pantry regularly, and decluttering unnecessary items to maintain a fresh and inviting atmosphere.

You can install shelves or use baskets to help you avoid cluttering your pantry. These baskets from Amazon help to maximize space and help you keep your pantry storage neat and organized. 

Janille Mangat

Janille Mangat has been working as a cleaning specialist at VMAP services for more than 2 years and has extensive experience with residential and cleaning services. 

2. Neglect pest control

Routinely check for signs of pests such as rodents or insects and address promptly. Shayne Jeramos, cleaning specialist at Bright Cleaners suggests that you should incorporate pest-repellent herbs like rosemary or thyme into your pantry as a deterrent. 

Not only do these pests cause unpleasant odors, but they also pose a risk to food safety and can lead to illness or health issues if they tamper food. Sealing cracks with GE Supreme Silicone Caulk from Amazon and keeping your pantry tidy are effective preventative measures.

Spills can attract pests and create foul odors, so cleanliness is a priority. People with nice-smelling pantries never leave spills unattended, they’re quick to clean up any spills or messes.

Shayne Jeramos
Shayne Jeramos

Shayne Jeramos has been a cleaning specialist at Bright Cleaners for over 2 years and has extensive experience with residential and cleaning services. 

3. Leave food uncovered

Compact kitchen storage solution

(Image credit: Sims Hilditch)

All food, particularly strong-smelling items like onions or garlic can lead to odors in the pantry. ‘You should store food and produce in airtight containers,’ says cleaning expert Prerna Jain. ‘This will help preserve the food and prevent any odors from filling up the pantry.’

Regularly checking and discarding expired items is key. Discard expired products promptly to prevent them from causing unpleasant odors and to maintain a fresh inventory. Not only will this keep your pantry smelling fresh, but it will also ensure hygiene and reduce mess. Mason jars or glass containers from Wayfair work well for storing spices and foods, keeping them aromatic and easily identifiable.

Prerna Jain
Prerna Jain

Prerna Jain is the founder of Ministry Of Cleaning, a top-rated cleaning service with years of industry experience. 

4. Disregard the impact of light and temperature

According to Parveen Garg, manager at Ola Clean, light can influence the freshness of certain foods. ‘People with nice-smelling pantries store light-sensitive items in opaque containers or dark corners to prevent spoilage and preserve aroma,’ says Parveen.

One tip is to store oils and nuts in dark containers to protect them from light exposure. If your pantry is too cold, it can become a go-to spot for moisture. An overly damp pantry can become a breeding ground for mold and musty smells. Open a nearby window or regularly open your pantry door to reduce humidity and clear out stale smells.

If humidity is an issue in your pantry, try these humidity moisture packs from Amazon, which will help maintain the proper humidity levels, ensuring your products stay fresh for longer.

Parveen Garg
Parveen Garg

Parveen Garg is a dedicated and experienced Manager in the cleaning business, specializing in leveraging my extensive knowledge of cleaning practices and products to ensure exceptional cleanliness solutions. With 4 years of experience, he possesses a deep understanding of the industry and excels at leading teams to deliver outstanding results. 

5. Rely on heavily perfumed deodorizers

Walk-in pantry with sage green open shelves filled with cohesive selection of jars and container; there are pull out drawers underneath also

(Image credit: Tom Howley)

'Although they may make it temporarily smell nice, heavily perfumed deodorizers can mask smells such as rotting food or mildew,’ says Angela Rubin, a cleaning expert from Hellamaid. ‘There could be an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.’

An alternative would be to opt for a natural deodorizer instead to keep your pantry fresh. Introduce natural fragrances by placing herb sachets or pot pourri in your pantry. Opt for aromatic herbs like lavender, rosemary, or cinnamon sticks. These not only add a pleasant scent but also deter pests.

Activated charcoal is also a natural deodorizer that can combat unwanted odors, and you can use it by placing it in discreet corners of your pantry. Charcoal is excellent for absorbing and neutralizing smells without introducing additional fragrances.

Angela Rubin
Angela Rubin

Hellamaid is an award-winning cleaning company in Canada that's been featured on multiple global media brands. 


What smells indicate danger?

If you can smell sulfur or rotten eggs then you may have an issue with your gas supply. Gas suppliers treat natural gas (which is typically odorless) with a strong rotten egg smell to make gas leaks more detectable.  

Achieving a pantry that emanates a delightful fragrance requires consistent effort and attention to detail. By avoiding these bad habits, you can transform your pantry into a space that not only smells fantastic but also contributes to a more organized and efficient kitchen.

Seraphina Di Mizzurati
Contributing Editor

Seraphina is a contributing editor at Homes & Gardens, writing Solved features on organizing and storage. She loves to decorate and also grow her own produce from her home in London. Her previous experience includes working at Women's Health and Fabulous Magazine.