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Removing Odors from Plastic Containers

Category Cleaning
Thai food in a plastic container
Plastic food storage containers are convenient to use, but sometimes it is very difficult to remove the residual odors left by their contents. This is a guide about removing odors from plastic containers.
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Solutions

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By 20 found this helpful
May 22, 2011

I've really gotten into washing out and reusing jars and containers instead of buying brand plastic products. Sometimes the best jars have really tough odors, like pickle and olive jars. I've used this tip that was taught to me from a lovely lady when I was just a child. Wad up a page of newspaper, put it in the jar, seal it, and let it sit for a few days. When you take the paper out, you won't smell any trace of the previous item!

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Also, along the same lines, if your refrigerator needs an air freshener, put a few charcoal briquets in a bowl in the back. Works like a charm!

By Maile from Onalaska, WA

Comment Was this helpful? 20

By 2 found this helpful
January 12, 2010

Use new coffee filters to get rid of odors in enclosed containers. Like re-using plastic coffee cans or in stored Tupperware with lids on, equals no plastic odor!

By nancyintx

Comment Was this helpful? 2

January 17, 2011

You will never guess what finally removed the leftover aroma from my plastic bowl. I put it outside in a flower pot (to keep the squirrels from playing with it) in full sunlight for 2 days.

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Darn! My Mother was right - you can do a lot with the simplest things and absolutely no energy expended on my part. Absolutely no odor left either. I could hardly believe it and kept sniffing away, but there was no, absolutely no odor. Now I am putting the salsa in a glass jar, which is great because it keeps the salsa ice cold.

By JodiT from Aurora Colorado

Comment Was this helpful? 4

By 2 found this helpful
March 12, 2008

Cyclists' water bottles often come with a pungent plastic taste/odor. To eliminate this; fill bottle 2/3 with vinegar (clear) and 1/3 water; cover/close and let set for 24 hours. Rinse with clean water. No plastic taste, no vinegar smell, as odor free as using glass.

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By Cajun62234 from Collinsville, IL

Comment Was this helpful? 2

September 3, 20050 found this helpful

Here's something I just learned, if you have plastic that has like an onion smell or something. wad up newspaper and put it into the container. Then close it up for a day and the smell will be gone. Also newspaper is the best way to clean windows and mirrors, streak free. Happy days!

By RoseMary B.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

January 17, 20050 found this helpful

Do your plastic coffee mugs have a soapy smell to them? Just soak them in vinegar overnight. If there is a leftover smell of vinegar re-soak in a sink full of hot water and baking soda.

By Kat

Editor's Note: Probably a good way to remove the stale coffee smell that seems to accumulate in coffee mugs too.

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Questions

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By 0 found this helpful
January 28, 2015

How do you get the smell out of the Gerber baby food plastic food containers (even though you wash them) before doing a project?

By Marilyn

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Answer Was this helpful? Yes
January 29, 20150 found this helpful

Just let them air out a while, couple of days or weeks.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

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January 17, 20110 found this helpful

How do you get the smell out of plastic containers - ie: onions?

By Beverly from Kelowna, BC

Answers:

Removing Odors from Plastic Containers

I was just reading this afternoon that if you leave them sit overnight with a mixture of baking soda and water the smell will be gone the next morning. I haven't tried it yet but hopefully it will work. (09/01/2010)

By zoodad

Removing Odors from Plastic Containers

I wash them in warm soapy water and soak overnight in a mixture of half white vinegar and half water. (09/04/2010)

By Sheltiemom

Removing Odors from Plastic Containers

I run them all through the dishwasher, and don't seem to have odor problems, no matter what I store in them. (09/05/2010)

By louel53

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

September 1, 20100 found this helpful

To take nasty odors out of a plastic container just stuff a crumpled piece of newspaper into the container after you have washed it and put the lid on. The next day all you have to do is wash the container again and the nasty odor will be gone!

By Robin

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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