Touted as one of the healthiest foods on earth with excellent culinary, many people all over the world cannot imagine living without garlic. This vegetable (botanically speaking, that is!) literally spices up our lives.
As much as the love for garlic continues to gain root – there’s something about it that homemakers can do without – the garlicky smell that sticks to our dishes, especially those made of plastic!
Today we’ll learn how to fix that – how to get the garlic smell out of plastic containers.
We are all familiar to taking a clean (supposedly) container from our cupboards then oof! – we get a whiff of the yesterday’s stir fry or last week’s Aglio e Olio which you meant to finish but ended up storing in the refrigerator.
Now you’re stuck with all these plastic vessels that pay homage to the holy garlic with an olfactory memory you wish to forget. But don’t fret – let’s tackle the problem and get those errant containers smelling clean again!
Table of contents
How to neutralize garlic smell in plastic containers
When washing a plastic container that had just stored some garlicky stuff, never rinse them first with hot water as this tends to set in the odors into the material.
Wipe off excess bits and pieces of food. Wash them lightly using your everyday dishwashing solution then rinse in cool or room temperature running water.
Once the surface of your plastic container has been rid of the bits and pieces, we can now try any of these methods listed below.
Here are the Best Garlic Odor Removal Methods for Plastic Containers.
1. The Paper or Rice Trick
While it may seem a tad simple, for lighter garlic odor in our beloved containers, we can place a clean piece of scrap paper into the washed container and sealed it with its lid.
The porous material of the paper fibers has the ability to absorb light odors. Wash the container before reuse.
Should you have an abundance of rice at home compared to paper, you may put in a handful of rice instead. This uses the same action as the paper. If this doesn’t do the trick, we still have an array of options to turn to!
2. Citrus vs Garlic
While the two compliment each other when cooking, when it comes to cleaning, citrus is able to really neutralize that garlic smell off your plastic containers. This is why it’s considered one of the best organic kitchen cleaners too!
While oranges, limes, and tangerines might help, the best citrus to rub on smelly plastic would be lemons.
Just rub it into the container and leave closed for a few hours. After that, wash it clean by hand or in the dishwasher (and since we’re here, why not learn how to clean your dishwasher too?)
More often than not, this leads to fresh smelling plastic food savers afterwards.
Tip: If you are an ardent garlic user, make a spray out of grated rinds or peels and some liquid dish-safe soap. You can use this not only on your garlicky containers but also on your garlic smell laced cooking hands.
3. The Vinegar Rinse
This is quite as simple as it sounds like. Simple swish a generous amount of whatever vinegar you have available and can spare into the concerned plastic container.
Let it sit for a few minutes then rinse. Run a clean, soapy sponge and wash one more time then set out to dry.
4. The Bicarbonate Bonus
For harder to remove smells of garlic in your plastic containers, you can sprinkle baking soda, otherwise known as sodium bicarbonate after washing and drying your plastic food saver.
This is known to be a powerful odor absorber and might just be all you need to have your container smelling fresh again.
5. Flavor Power
Vanilla Extract is also one kitchen staple that many people use to rid plastic containers of the pesky garlic smell.
A few drops of the essence mixed in a cupful of water swirled into the receptacle and left for a few hours will do the trick.
Do this if you are not averse to the scent of vanilla replacing the pungent garlic smell.
6. Natural Vitamin D
Actually, this means a healthy dose of sunlight. This is arguably the cheapest and most natural way to get rid of that garlicky smell stuck in your plastic containers.
Sun them in a clean, sunlit spot in your home. Direct sunlight is quite the effective and simple way to magically make these smells disappear.
7. The Big Guns
So, now we are getting a bit desperate since our plastic container doesn’t want to let us forget the garlic truffle we made for the holidays. So, we know make our magic concoction of odor-ridding formula straight from our kitchens.
Make a paste with the following ingredients:
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 tbsp pf baking soda
- 2 cups of hot water
- Juice of one lemon
Stir it into a paste then slather it onto the inside of the erring container. Let it sit overnight before washing with regular dishwashing solution.
Then you can wipe it dry, place it in the sunlight to dry after which you can store it in a cool dry place with charcoal or newspaper. How’s that for fighting garlicky odor in plastic containers?
8. Check you Dishwashing Solution
Many homemakers who swear by the DIY methods mentioned above also profess that a dishwashing liquid or paste with added baking soda or vinegar in its ingredients also saves a lot of hassle when dealing with garlicky food odors. Just make sure you choose an environmentally safe brand.
The Clove Caveat
As much as we like to win over annoying smells, garlic more often makes its lasting mark. It may happen that after all the effort, you may still get a whiff of the pungent garlic aroma that is great in dishes but not in plastic containers.
Don’t throw your hands up in despair, throw the kitchen towel, or concede and ditch it in the trash.
You might consider labeling these plastic containers to be your dedicated garlic-flavored storage units. You can put them separate so you won’t accidentally store fresh pasta, or leftover plain rice as well as any other food item that quickly absorbs the odor.
They say prevention is the best cure. If you are always stuck with a plastic container that reeks of garlic, maybe you should switch to glass ones.
Or should you go into despair, just drill a few holes on the base and fill them up with soil to recycle them as pots for growing herbs at home!
While it is possible to rid your plastic container of that distinct garlicky smell, a wise man once said – “When I couldn’t remove the garlic smell out of my plastic container, I put in one skin-on fish overnight, and the next day, the garlic smell was gone.”
Now we go to our next topic “How to Remove that Fishy Smell Out of Your Plastic Container.” Just joking!