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How to Remove Garlic Smell From Plastic Containers?

Last Updated on February 27, 2024 by Lauren Beck

As someone who has always been passionate about cooking, I have faced numerous aromatic obstacles. However, none have been as persistent as the lingering smell of garlic in plastic containers.

Fear not, my fellow foodies, for I have discovered some foolproof methods to banish that pungent garlic odor. 

Prepare to bid farewell to the ghostly garlic scent haunting your Tupperware!

8 Ways to Remove Garlic Smell From Plastic Containers:

  1. Baking Soda: Sprinkle some baking soda inside the container, seal it tightly, and let it sit overnight. The next day, rinse it thoroughly with warm water. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that absorbs odors, leaving your plastic container fresh as a daisy.
  2. Lemon Juice: Squeeze the juice of a lemon and rub it all over the inside of the container. Let it sit for a few minutes before washing it with soap and warm water. Lemon juice neutralizes the garlic smell and leaves a refreshing citrusy scent behind.
  3. Coffee Grounds: Fill the container with coffee grounds, seal it, and let it sit overnight. Coffee grounds are excellent odor absorbers and work wonders in eliminating the pungent garlic smell. Rinse the container the next day, and voila!
  4. Vinegar Solution: Create a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar. Fill the container with the solution, let it soak for an hour, and then wash it thoroughly. Vinegar is known for its deodorizing properties and will leave your plastic container odor-free.
  5. Charcoal: Place a few pieces of activated charcoal inside the container and close it tightly. Let it sit for a few days; the charcoal will absorb the garlic smell. Remember to use activated charcoal specifically, as it has higher absorption capabilities.
  6. Tomato Juice: Pour some tomato juice into the container and let it sit for a few hours. Tomato juice is not just for Bloody Marys; it also helps neutralize strong odors. After the waiting period, wash the container with warm, soapy water.
  7. Denture Cleaning Tablets: Drop a denture cleaning tablet into a container filled with warm water. Let it fizz and work its magic for about 30 minutes. The effervescent action of the tablet helps remove odors, leaving your plastic container smelling fresh.
  8. Dish Soap and Sunshine: Wash the container with dish soap and warm water, then place it outside in direct sunlight for a few hours. Sunlight has natural deodorizing properties and can help eliminate the garlic smell.

What Is the Duration for the Odor to Dissipate?

The duration for the garlic odor to dissipate from plastic containers depends on various factors, such as the intensity of the smell, the type of plastic used, and the cleaning method employed. 

Generally, with the above methods, you can expect the odor to be significantly reduced or eliminated within a few hours to a few days.

Is It Possible to Eliminate the Lingering Garlic Smell in the Fridge?

Bowl Full of Garlic

Yes, it is possible! Place an open box of baking soda on one of the shelves to tackle the garlic smell in your fridge. 

The baking soda will absorb the odors, including the garlic smell, leaving your fridge smelling fresh.

What Are Effective Methods to Eliminate the Garlic Smell From the House?

To eliminate the lingering garlic smell from your house, try the following methods:

  • Boil a pot of water with lemon slices and let the steam waft through your kitchen.
  • Light-scented candles or use essential oils with refreshing scents like lemon, lavender, or peppermint.
  • Place bowls of vinegar around the house to absorb the odor.

How Can One Remove the Garlic Smell From Their Hands?

If your hands bear the brunt of the garlic scent, try these quick remedies [1]:

  • Rub your hands with stainless steel, like a spoon or a stainless steel soap bar.
  • Wash your hands with lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Scrub your hands with a mixture of salt and lemon juice before rinsing with warm water.


In the world of culinary adventures, the battle against lingering garlic smells in plastic containers is formidable. But armed with these tried-and-true techniques, you can confidently reclaim your 

Tupperware from the clutches of garlic ghosts. From the power of baking soda and lemon juice to the magic of coffee grounds and vinegar, these remedies will restore your containers to a fresh, odor-free state. 

So fear not, my friends, for with these tips in your arsenal, you can bid adieu to the stubborn garlic scent and embrace the delightful aromas of your next culinary masterpiece. Happy cooking and odor-free storage!


Lauren Beck
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