Neutralizing Plastic Container Odors

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated June 27, 2016)


One of the first things that you need to realize is that not all plastic containers are the same. In fact some plastic containers are best situated for working with cold foods, while others are best for working with hot foods. By using the containers only with the types of food that they are designed for, you can go a long way to preventing any odors from forming at all. But in the event that you really need to neutralize any odors, and do some cleaning at the same time, then use this method. You will find that neutralizing plastic container odors is actually not that difficult.


  • Dawn or Palmolive dish detergent
  • A sink full of very hot water.
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Bleach
  • Plastic scrubbies


  1. Scrub and clean the containers. Fill up your sink with hot water and some dish detergent. Place the plastic containers into the sink, and begin scrubbing with some plastic scrubbies. You may need to use a lot of elbow grease, but continue to scrub until all of the stain has been removed, thus removing a large portion of the odor causing material. Rinse well.
  2. Soak in a vinegar solution. Create a vinegar cleaning solution by mixing together 1 quart of very hot water, 1 shot glass of detergent, and 2 shot glasses of vinegar. Fill the container with this cleaning solution, and then place the lid on. Allow the container to sit for several hours, and then rinse.
  3. Soak in a bleach solution. Make another cleaning solution, but this time use 1 quart of water, and 1 shot glass of bleach. Fill the container with the bleach solution, and place the lid onto the container. After the container has been allowed to soak for a few hours, pour out the solution and rinse well.
  4. Cover with a baking soda paste. For particularly troublesome odors or stains, create a thick paste out of baking soda, warm water, and a few drops of detergent. Use your plastic scrubbie to liberally coat the interior of the container. When finished, fill with some very hot water, and allow the container to sit for another few hours. Wash and rinse as normal after the time has expired.

In the event that you still have some persistent odors that need to be neutralized, then try placing the container in some white vinegar, bleach, or other type of strong cleaner. After thirty minutes have passed, you simply wash the containers as you normally would and the odors should be eliminated. Another less labor intensive method for neutralizing plastic container odors is to place your clean plastic containers on a sunny porch or window sill for a couple of days.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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What is five less than 8?

2016-06-27 11:50:05

Jack McKee

I have used Windex and 409 and they both work great on taking stains(tomatoes,blueberries and many more) on plastic storage items

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