My new scent–Essense of Burned Popcorn

burning popcorn

Let me tell you about the break-up of my family…the folks I spend time with on a daily basis. First there’s Cousin Willie and his sidekick, Mrs. Dash. We typically watch the news together each evening.



Cousin Willie is my favorite brand of microwave popcorn and Mrs. Dash gives the the couz’ a bit of a kick. Unfortunately we’re not getting along these days.

It all started about three weeks ago. My specks were at the other end of the kitchen when I popped Cousin Willie into the microwave. I squinted at the dial and punched what I thought was the popcorn button and shuffled outside to enjoy the warm weather.

Ten minutes later, with visions of settling down with a big bowl of fluffy popcorn and the evening news, I was almost knocked down upon entering the house. Thick billows of black smoke were churning throughout the space and the smell would kill a herd of pigs. My puppies were rolling on the floor covering their noses with their paws.

The only thing I can figure is I must have pressed the "baked potato" button which is one row above the "popcorn" command and about twice as many minutes on "high."

Is there any smell worse than burned popcorn? Even though I cleaned the soot off the inside of the oven, everything in the house continued to reek of burned popcorn.  I went to the store this morning  and someone sniffed and asked, "You been burning popcorn this morning?"

When I reheat my coffee it tastes of burned popcorn, and my home now has tinted windows which I got for free. So you can imagine how excited I was today to see a small item in another publication reporting how to rid your home of the essence of burned popcorn.

According to "Hints from Heloise" this is among the top ten questions she receives so I feel a little better that I’m not alone in my dilemma.

She suggests combining 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup of water in a 4-cup or larger microwave-safe container.

"Place in the microwave and heat on high until the water boils and creates steam. The steam will help eliminate the lingering odor. Heloise cautions to leave the mixture to cool completely before opening the microwave, about 15-20 minutes. Then leave the door open for a while so the air can circulate.

If the smell is really stubborn, she says to follow up with some baking soda on a damp sponge and scrub the interior surfaces of the microwave.

I’m still estranged from the Cousin Willie and Mrs. Dash. I carry with me a vivid image of that olfactory assault on my senses. It has blunted my taste buds and given me a phobia-like fear of cooking popcorn… would that make me a popaphobic you think?

11 thoughts on “My new scent–Essense of Burned Popcorn

  1. Emily, I once rented a house to some guys who left it smelling awful! The real estate agent told me to place shallow bowls of white vinegar around the house land lo’, it worked! That was not the last time I had to use the trick and it works every time.

  2. I learned a great trick in my Antiques/Collectibles class. Use an old glass pie pan, invert it, and put your popcorn on it in the microwave to pop. It gets almost all the kernels popped and you can set the timer for much longer. Unfortunately it will still burn if left in too long!

  3. Hey good tip. Thanks. Class sounds good too! Norman Armstrong is teaching calligraphy at the WP library – Marie and I are thinking of take it. But no one seems to be writing any more….computer does all our writing.

  4. Sounds and looks like something my SISTER would do, I’m not old enough
    to do those things yet, but i hope to get there!

  5. Emily, I always wanted to take calligraphy! If you will send over the details of the class, I might just sign up and drive over to to take the class if I can!

  6. Emily,
    In my experience, NOTHING gets rid of burned popcorn smell- I ended up buying a new microwave finally!

  7. Kay, I will! I tried to call you back that Sunday and I think I may have called the wrong number and left a long message – who knows who I shared our deepest secrets with. Unfortunately I misplaced your phone number – call me when you can so we can get together. Can’t wait to catch up! Went to State Ole Miss game last night and cheered for the Dawgs. Have I no shame?

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