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How to get rid of durian smell at home


Love durians but hate the after smell that lingers on your finger, breath, refrigerator and car? Fret not as we’ve compiled a list of methods to get rid of the stench once and for all. 

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Rejoice, fellow Malaysians! The durian season is upon us, you can bet that we’ll be filling our homes with crates and crates of durians to satisfy our cravings. However much we love the succulent fruit, there’s one thing that even durian lovers despise: the after smell. 

The durian scent can be miasmic and it’s not the easiest to get rid of. The smell can linger on your fingers, breath, refrigerator and even your car for weeks! 

But worry not as there are easy ways to eliminate the stench so you don’t have to live with it 24/7. 

How to get rid of durian smell on your finger

1. Wash your hands with the durian husk or durian seed

© Amnarj Tanongrattana | 123rf

There’s no better way to enjoy the king of fruits than eating it with your fingers. The downside is, the after-smell of the durian will stick to your fingers until it’s ready to move on. Unlike the Covid-19 virus, regular handwashing will not help get rid of the malodour. 

But you know what works? Washing your hands with the durian husks or the durian seeds. You can begin by washing your hands with soap, then rub your fingers on the husk or seed before washing your hands with soap again. While this may not eradicate the smell, at least your fingers won’t be smelling like durian for the next few days. 

Read more: How to deep clean a refrigerator in 11 steps

How do you stop durian smelling in the fridge?

2. Tie pandan leaves into a knot

© Norasit Kaewsai | 123rf

A staple in the Malaysian kitchen, pandan leaves can be found in many local dishes thanks to their sweet and subtle aroma. Besides cooking, seasoned durian lovers also shared that the blade-like leaves are effective in removing the pungent smell.

Just take a few stalks of pandan leaves, tie them into a knot and keep them in places you store your durians. They work especially well in a confined area like the refrigerator. You can also use this method to remove durian smell in the car. 

Pro tip: Pandan leaves are also very effective in warding off cockroaches. So the next time you see these critters roaming around your home, place some pandan leaves in areas where they frequent. 

3. Place a bag of charcoal in the fridge

Bamboo charcoal is amazing. This natural deodoriser can remove any type of smell, including the notorious durian scent. All you need to do is place a bag of bamboo charcoal in your refrigerator and the smell will be gone in no time. 

4. Use an airtight container

© thamkc | 123rf

To avoid letting the durian smell permeate the air. Store them in an airtight container right after you cut the fruit open. Not only does this method help contain the smell, but it also helps to keep the fruit fresher for longer so you can store it for later. 

5. Pour baking soda into a bowl

Baking soda is another kitchen staple that is widely used for cleaning purposes. Aside from cleaning your kitchen appliances, it is also effective in absorbing the durian stench. For those who are looking to remove the durian smell in the refrigerator, try this method. 

The first thing you need to do is get an empty bowl and fill it with baking soda. Then, place it in the refrigerator for a day or two to remove the stench. You can also place a few more bowls in different areas of the fridge to boost its effectiveness. 

* You can also use this method to eliminate the durian smell in the car. 

Read more: How to use baking soda to clean your home

6. Place lemon wedges in the refrigerator

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Another natural way to deodorise your fridge? Use a lemon. First, cut a fresh lemon into wedges. Then place the lemon wedges in different parts of the fridge to get rid of the smell. If you don’t have a lemon at home, you can try it with other citrus fruits such as orange, lime and grapefruit. 

7. Deodorise with coffee ground or used tea bags

Love drinking coffee? The next time you brew your favourite cup of joe, remember not to throw the leftover coffee ground as it can be used as a deodoriser. First, you need to air dry the coffee ground before putting it in a breathable sachet. Place it in your refrigerator to remove any linger durian stench. 

Not a fan of coffee? Used tea bags works wonder as well. Get an empty container and fill it with a few used tea bags. Then, place it inside your refrigerator for a few days. Alternatively, you can try putting several tea bags in different areas of the fridge. This will eliminate the funky smell in no time. 

How to get rid of durian breath

8. Drink from the husk

Aside from eliminating odour from your fingers, the husk is also effective in removing the durian breath. First and foremost, you need to pour salt water into the husk. Then, use a spoon or a fork to scrape the sides (the white part of the skin). This step is important as you want the substance from the husk to mix with the saltwater. Finally, rinse your mouth with the mixture and you’re done!

Pro tip: Durian shells contain 5-HMF, which acts as a deodorising agent to neutralise the strong smell in our breath.

9. Rinse with mouthwash and lemon

Aside from that, there’s also the mouthwash and lemon method. After eating the durian, gargle with mouthwash to kill the bacteria present in your mouth. This will help to get rid of the bad breath. Right after that, gargle with a glass of lemon water to remove the aftertaste of the durians. The acidic environment will inhibit bacteria from growing. 

How to get rid of durian smell in the car

10. Cut the durian stems

© Sucharut Chounyoo | 123rf

Did you know that durian stems can help neutralise the strong odour? If you’re like us who throw the stems (along with the shells) away right after cutting the fruit, don’t. Save the stems by breaking them off from the fruit. Then cut them lengthwise before putting them in the air vent. Let the air flow and your car will smell like normal again.

11. Absorb the smell with bread

The humble white bread can also be used to absorb the durian smell. Just place a few pieces of bread in the car, leave it for two days and the smell will be gone (or at least it won’t reek of durians anymore). You can also use this method to remove odour in the fridge. 

Read more: Silicone kitchen utensils: Pros, cons, and characteristics of a non-toxic kitchenware

12. Wind down the window

Ventilation is key when it comes to removing odour in the car. If you’re bringing durians home from the fruit stall, we suggest winding down the windows while you’re driving to let the air flow freely. The wind will help carry the lingering odour out of the car—though it’s not 100% effective. But at least it’ll be easier for you to remove the stench later on. 

How do you store durian in the fridge?

© thamkc | 123rf

Fresh durians typically last for a month if you store them in the pantry or dry kitchen area. Once you’ve broken the fruit apart, you should consume it immediately. Insects like flies and ants love durians, so if you don’t want your precious fruits to be eaten, consume them or store them in the refrigerator. Here are two ways to do it: 

  1. Store the flesh in the refrigerator

Durians that have been opened will last up to 5 days if you keep them in the fridge. Just put the fruits in an airtight container, pop it in the fridge and munch it whenever you crave the custard-like fruit. 

  1. Store it in the freezer

Frozen durians can last much longer than the ones you stored in the fridge. Up to two months, if you’re wondering. To do this, you need to wrap the durian flesh with cling wraps and aluminium foil. Next, seal them in a ziplock bag and put the bag in the freezer. When you feel like eating the fruit, just take it out and thaw. 

Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. Malaysia Sdn Bhd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

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