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How do I get food smells out of plastic containers?

Last post Wed, Nov 12 2008 7:56 PM by Joyous. 21 replies.
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  • Sat, Nov 1 2008 6:38 PM

    • Kim_150
    • Top 150 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Sat, Oct 4 2008
    • Green Bay, WI
    • Posts 525

    How do I get food smells out of plastic containers?

    I've had this problem for a while... having to throw perfectly good containers away because they retain the smell of whatever was in them. For example, I froze chicken stock in a big yogurt container, and after I used it and cleaned it out really well, it still smells like chicken. Which kind of made me feel sick when I sniffed it, because I am that sick of chicken right now! Embarrassed

    I tried soaking it in bleach, but that only made it smell like bleach AND chicken. I always freeze anything with tomatoes in freezer bags, becuse I know they'll stain my containers and make them smell...

    Is there any way to get smells out of my plastic containers?  

  • Sat, Nov 1 2008 6:50 PM In reply to

    • dlw
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Oct 23 2007
    • Posts 463

    Re: How do I get food smells out of plastic containers?

    I read on the internet  you should fill it with a bleach and water solution and put the lid on it and let it sit upright for several days and then flip upside down and let it sit for a couple more. Then rinse with hot water it should remove the smells. It also said that you should spray with cooking spray before using and you won't get stains or smells that stick. It also said that you can scrub stains out with salt. I would personally try salt and lemon to remove smells and stains.

    DL

  • Sat, Nov 1 2008 6:59 PM In reply to

    Re: How do I get food smells out of plastic containers?

     

    I've successfully used white vinegar to get out food smells from containers. I fill it to the top with either straight vinegar or half-water-half-vinegar solution, and let it sit at least two days. Oddly enough, I've had white vinegar get out the pickle brine smell from glass jars. Fighting fire with fire, perhaps?
    ~~~~

    Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves.
    ~ Lewis Carroll

  • Sun, Nov 2 2008 8:19 AM In reply to

    • rolo
    • Top 50 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Wed, Apr 4 2007
    • Michigan
    • Posts 1,932

    Re: How do I get food smells out of plastic containers?

     mild bleach/hot water solution

    baking soda scrub, then hot water/soda solution

    air out

    don't store with lids on

    Lorrie

    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." ~~ Dalai Lama XIV -

  • Sun, Nov 2 2008 8:34 AM In reply to

    Re: How do I get food smells out of plastic containers?

    I've had success with lemon juice and water mixed. Let it sit over night. I saw vinegar mentioned, that would probabloy work like the lemon juice, I think.

  • Sun, Nov 2 2008 5:29 PM In reply to

    Re: How do I get food smells out of plastic containers?

     This won't help for the containers that already smell, but next time you can spray cooking spray in the container before you fill.  This will keep them from staining and picking up odor. Smile

  • Sun, Nov 2 2008 10:58 PM In reply to

    • Kim_150
    • Top 150 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Sat, Oct 4 2008
    • Green Bay, WI
    • Posts 525

    Re: How do I get food smells out of plastic containers?

    Thanks for the advice everyone! I do have an entire cabinet full of plastic containers which probably nees to be cleaned out a little, so I'm just going to toss the smelly chicken-stock ones. But in the future I'll definitely try the nonstick-spray trick! I use a lot of tomatoes, and I'm sick of throwing stained containers away!
  • Mon, Nov 3 2008 9:09 AM In reply to

    Re: How do I get food smells out of plastic containers?

    Dear Kim, Please do use the nonstick-spray trick, as I would hate to see you discard perfectly useful containers just because they have some staining from tomatoes.  Yours in Him, Deb

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Government & Charity Assistance

    Proud guardian of Heart, a black female Miniature Poodle, a Psychiatric Service Dog

    Enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise; give thanks to Him, bless His Name. (Psalm 100)

    Yours in thrift, Deborah



  • Mon, Nov 3 2008 5:06 PM In reply to

    Re: How do I get food smells out of plastic containers?

    Maybe the stained containers could be reborn as something else. Could the exterior be painted and the container turned into an organizer of some kind, for craft buttons or for stationery or make-up or fancy soaps or . . .

    Could the container turn into a kitchen sill herb garden?

    ~~~~

    Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves.
    ~ Lewis Carroll

  • Mon, Nov 3 2008 7:44 PM In reply to

    Re: How do I get food smells out of plastic containers?

    Here is a green and frugal solution for anything that has smells - SUNSHINE! Put those plastic containers in a mesh bag or just on a table top and let them spend a day or two in the sun. A friend of mine had a skunk invade his cabin and spray everthing - furniture, rugs, etc. They put everything in the yard for a few days (in Taos, NM) and the smell was totally gone. SUNSHINE has the ability to clear it all up. Keep that in mind for your laundry.
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