We get rid of pickles by eating them – by themselves, with sandwiches and even in relish. But what about the smell of the process called “pickling.” People have found a lot of ways to pickle things, such as eggs, different types of fish, even some vegetables like, well, cucumbers.
Some people think about pickling as a way to add a tart, salty flavor to food. But it is, more importantly, a way of preserving food. This means that the process has to be strong enough to do the job of preservation. One of the after-effects of this is a sour sort of aroma that can fill the house and even get on your clothes.
The important parts of pickles and pickling are the water/salt mixture that makes up the brine. The “bite” of pickled foods comes from the acid produced or used during the process. This process leaves behind a strong odor that can cling to fabric in curtains, clothes and carpets.
Start on the road to getting rid of pickle smell by keeping the lid on tightly when you are letting the food items ferment in the brine. When you are finished with the liquid it is probably best not to pour the used brine down the kitchen drain. This can not only cause some damage to pipes and plumbing connections but some of the brine may stand in the pipes and contribute to the pickle smell. If you can get rid of the brine by pouring it on a compost area outside, so much the better.
We talked about keeping the pot lid on tightly when fermenting food items but it’s also important to keep the jars tightly sealed when you finish the process. You do this, of course, to preserve the food. But it also prevents the odor from filling your pantry and your kitchen.
Once you have processed your pickles or other food items, it is time to take one of the most important steps toward getting rid of pickle smell. Basically, this step involves getting “it” clean so you are ready for the next time. By “it” we mean the jars, the utensils, the pots and pans. You may think the jars and other items are completely clean. But the smell can linger long after you have given everything a good cleaning.
Begin by washing the jars and any other kitchen items with hot water and a good dish detergent. You may think this will be enough, but you should boil the jars and smaller items in water, with some dish detergent and a small amount of rubbing alcohol. Of course, you should then rinse everything very thoroughly, so you don’t have soap residue.
When you are storing clean items for the next pickling session, use newspaper as packing – to protect the jars and to help absorb leftover moisture and odor. If you still have a small amount of odor hanging around, there’s always air freshener. But you shouldn’t need it. Pay attention to these details and you should get rid of pickle smell.