6 Ways to Clean Smelly Plastic Containers Without Harsh Chemicals

(Image credit: MSPhotographic/Shutterstock)

Even if you are making a transition to glass containers for your lunches and leftovers, chances are you still have a small stockpile of plastic containers in your kitchen. And no matter how thoroughly you scrub them, there comes a point where they start to smell a little…stale. If you have any plastic containers that could use a little spring cleaning, here are six ideas to freshen them up — without resorting to harsh chemicals.

Always start by giving your container a good scrub with soap and hot water. Then try one of these methods to get rid of lingering odors.

Newspaper: Crumple newspaper and stuff it into the container. Snap on the lid and leave it overnight or longer.

Charcoal: Place a piece of charcoal in the container. Seal shut and let sit until the odor has been absorbed.

Baking soda: Make a paste of baking soda and water and rub over the interior of the container. Let it sit for a day or two and wash off. Repeat if necessary.

Lemon: Rinse container with lemon juice or rub a cut lemon over the interior surface.

Coffee grounds: Place used coffee grounds (wet or dry) in the container and let sit until odor is gone.

Sunshine: Place your containers outside on a sunny day to simultaneously air them out and take advantage of the odor-fighting power of the sun.

Do you have any other tips for removing odors from plastic food containers?

(Image: MSPhotographic/Shutterstock)

We support our readers with carefully chosen product recommendations to improve life at home. You support us through our independently chosen links, many of which earn us a commission.