You just came home from a fishing trip, your portable cooler filled with your catch. Now as you remove the fish from the ice chest onto your freezer, you notice that unmistakable stink. Fortunately, getting rid of fish odors isn't that difficult. Check out the guide below on how to remove funky odors from your portable ice chest, as well as tips on how to keep to keep the chest smelling fresh.
Things you'll need:
- Baking soda
- Old toothbrush
- Clean towel
- Paper towel
Step 1: Rinse the cooler.
Hose down the chest, concentrating on those nooks and crannies where fish juice can accumulate. As you hose it down, make sure that fish scales and debris are completely removed. Don't forget to rinse the top surface of the lid and the crevices. After hosing it down, don't let it dry off or wipe it dry.
Step 2: Apply some baking soda.
While the chest's surfaces are still wet, apply some baking soda. Sprinkle it on the inside and outside, as well as on the top lid. For hard-to-reach areas, you can use an old toothbrush dipped in baking soda. Let the surfaces dry for a few minutes, allowing the baking soda work its magic.
Step 3: Rinse the cooler again.
Rinse the chest with a hose, making sure that all traces of the baking soda are removed. Then using a clean towel or cloth, wipe the chest dry. For those hard-to-wipe nooks and crannies, use a toothpick wrapped in a bit of paper towel.
Step 4: Sprinkle a bit of baking soda on the chest's bottom.
Sprinkle again a bit of baking soda, but this time just on the bottom of the chest. Leave it there to help get rid of any remaining odors. This trick will also help keep the chest smelling fresh until the next trip.
Other tips worth trying out
- Place a layer of coffee grounds, activated charcoal, or unscented cat litter on a cookie sheet, and leave it at the bottom of the cooler. Leave the sheet inside until the odors are completely removed. These ingredients are known for their excellent odor-absorbing capabilities, and they can be easily found in your kitchen.
- You can also clean a funky smelling chest with a diluted mixture of water and chlorine bleach. Aside from scrubbing this mixture into the icebox's surfaces, you can also pour the water-and-chlorine bleach mixture onto the chest, close the lid, and shake the ice box to let the mixture slosh around.
- Another tip is to dip a clean cloth in vanilla extract. Then leave it inside the chest overnight.
- Leaving newspaper pages inside the chest overnight is also a nifty idea to get rid of stubborn smells. Replace the papers every day until the odors are removed.
- Instead of putting the fish directly inside the chest, you can place it inside a clean trash bag first before storing it inside the ice box. Let the bag's opening hang out of the chest so you could close the lid tight without having to knot the bag. This tip can help prevent fish smells from clinging onto the chest's surfaces and prevent fish slime from contaminating other items inside the chest.