Cooler Cleaning and Deodorize Tips 2020 (Ice-Chest Cleaning Guide)

cooler cleaning guide, clean ice chestIce-Chest Cleaning Guide 2020: If used ice chest makes you cringe due to the bad odor, you will need to clean it thoroughly with common household items which are easily available in your kitchen. Ice chests allow you to keep food and beverages for an extended period, but they can often begin smelling bad due to old eatables and drinking water. Coolers and ice chests can absorb odors from the foods stored inside whether it is stainless steel or plastic. Simultaneously sanitizing the cooler after every use will prevent the odors from returning and it will prolong the use of your moldy coolers.

Did you forget to clean the igloo cooler after you got back from the picnic last weekend?And if you’re cooler is smelling a little funky now, the dilemma is how to clean out a stinky cooler? Therefore, this is a guide about how to clean and remove odor from the cooler. Before we get started with Ice chest cleaning guide we recommend you to have these cleaning items with you to avoid any hassle.

You Guys might be interested in putting wheels on your cooler, it is good to have a wheeled ice chest while going on hiking and camping. See our How to make wheeled cooler guide here. You can make it at home as well, instead of putting $$$ over finding best-wheeled ice chest.

ice chest Deodorize

Items needed in order to clean your Cooler:

  • Mild Detergent Powder or liquid
  • Warm water
  • Baking soda
  • Soft dishwashing cloth/Paper Towel
  • Lemons
  • Vanilla essential oil (optional)
  • Clear vinegar
  • Old toothbrush

You can check some of the recommended Cleaning product here:

This is Hydrogen Peroxide, a liquid chemical to clean cooler. You can have baking soda and lemons instead of this liquid solution.

Also, See- How to Clean your Backpack & Icebox

This Kit is perfect for cleaning hard coolers and tumblers. 

Cleaning your coolers before the first use is highly essential because nobody wants to put their food and drinks on the chemicals and dust which is present there. Hygiene is first guys! So let’s begin:

Pour some mild detergent powder or liquid dishwasher and a quarter to half cup of baking soda into the cooler and warm water.

Add a generous amount of dishwasher and baking soda. Do not use harsh soaps that can be too strong.

Now, wipe down both inside and outside soapy water.

Rinse it and keep the lid open and dry out with the fabric towel.

Wiping out with a paper towel can be convenient for your sanitizing your ice chest as it doesn’t absorb and tear off inside nooks, crannies, hinges, and latches so that they will not have a snug fit.

Keep the drain open while you do this and leave it open until you are up for your next trip.

After cleaning the cooler you can also leave open to the sun for at least a couple of days with the opening facing as much of the sun as possible. This will get rid of most or all the moist and odor.

Add a few drops of vanilla essential oil after the sun exposure. Not only will the funky smell be gone, but the cooler will also smell good!

After each trip, you have with your cooler, always let the water drain and leave the water drain so mildew or mold doesn’t grow from the wet and moist environment inside the cooler.

If your cooler has odors inside, put in pure clear vinegar and wipe away with a cloth towel, rinse, towel dry and air dry obviously. The vinegar takes away all the foul smell caused by meat or fish.

If the stinky smell doesn’t go away that easily, rub half cut lemons on the inside of the cooler.

But, before that be sure to deseed lemons before cleaning with it otherwise, they will indeed scratch your cooler material.

Rinse, towel dry and air dry. And sunshine is the best place to let your cooler dry and takes away the smell in a short period of time.

As mentioned above you can use your favorite flavors used for cooking or even baking, such as cherry, lemons, vanilla etc. you can use a few drops of it.

If you use it, remember to rinse, towel dry and air dry it properly and keep the lid open for all day and night as the smell can linger and hamper the taste of the food for future uses.

Also, See- Best Large Coolers Reviews in 2020

how to remove mildew from Cooler

Best way to remove Stubborn stain and mildew from Cooler

Few stubborn stain and mildew removal is always hectic and time-consuming as it takes sweat of one’s brow to remove the stain.

  • Firstly, after rinsing the cooler with liquid dishwasher, warm water, scrubbing with cloth and still the marks don’t go Use your sponge or rag to get rid of all stuck on food and drinks. Use the small toothbrush to remove all the gunk present inside the lid fitting and gasket. Rinse the ice chest but do not dry it.
  • Secondly, sprinkle baking soda inside the wet cooler. Use fresh baking soda because old soda generally loses the abilities to work when cleaning.
  • Let the baking soda, let the soda sit up for half an hour.
  • Similarly, the cooler with a rag to remove all the baking soda and rinse until the water is clear. Dry it with a paper or cloth towel.

Another popular method for cleaning coolers are using bleach, bleach is disinfecting and the appropriate thing for removing lingering odors and mold and mildew.

  • Put half a cup of color safe bleach into a 1-gallon bucket or pail.
  • Wipe down the inside and outside of the cooler, with a cloth towel or sponge.
  • Rinse with clear water until the bleach odor is gone. Paper dry and sit out in the sun with the lid open. You can take a small toothbrush to clean out the water drain.
  • As mentioned above, if the bleach smells bother you, use the vanilla or any other flavoring agent you like to remove the smell.
  • Another trick is soaking a towel with a few drops letting the rag or towel stay inside the cooler overnight and remove it in next morning.

Watch out a quick video on Best Way to clean Cooler


Quick Tip: I also sometimes sprinkle some baking soda in the bottom of my cleaned and dried cooler before I close the lid. This way, when I open it back up for the next use, it smells fresh instead of stale. Simply dump out the baking soda, wipe with a dry cloth and you’re ready to use it again. Basic cleaning will prolong the usage of the ice chest. Clean it to keep the cooler in good condition. Cleaning the coolers properly will ensure that they last a long time, and will protect you from dangerous bacteria.

I hope, this article has helped you and given an idea about how to keep your Igloo coolers clean and fresh.

See: Yeti vs Rtic cooler comparison here

About the Author: Yash

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