Getting Rid of the Onion Smell in Plastic Containers

August 11, 2022
Related Categories: 

Removing that Onion Smell from Storage Receptacles and Your Hands

The smell of onions sauteing in olive oil in the kitchen is possibly one of the best smells ever. Of course, the only downside is when it comes time to store your leftovers.

Photo of Sliced Yellow Onions

Onions Can Emit a Pungent Smell That is Hard to Get Rid Of

When you store onions or garlic in a plastic container, it can be difficult to eliminate that smell afterward. If you put an uncooked onion or garlic into one, it’s even worse. It probably feels as if you should just toss it in the trash. Before resorting to that, try some of these tricks for getting rid of the onion smell in plastic containers.

How Do You Get Garlic and Onion Smell Out of Plastic?

The most common solution for cleaning dishes is soap and hot water. That might work after a long soak and intense scrubbing, but you have easier options available.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is one of the most versatile cleaning agents in the kitchen and is effective against even fresh onions. To get the onion smell out of your plastic containers, soak them in equal parts white vinegar and hot water.

Photo of Vinegar on a Wooden Counter

Vinegar is a Great Cleaning Agent to Get Rid of Unpleasant Smells

Let them sit for several hours and wash them with warm water and soap. If you want to be sure it’s gone, add one tablespoon of baking soda to the mix.  

Baking Soda

For this method, mix equal parts water and baking soda together. Work it into a paste and spread it around the inside of your container. Let it rest for a day or two, and wash it again before anyone uses it.

If you place baking soda into your fridge for a few days, you can also get rid of the pungent odors there. Baking soda is an excellent absorber.

Steep Green Tea

Like baking soda, tea leaves are effective smell absorbers. You’ll need to boil some water and remove it from the heat. Add green tea leaves to the pot to steep for a few minutes. Once it’s cool, pour the tea into the container you want to clean.

Let it soak for a few hours, and then rinse it out. This works for plastic containers as well as pots, pans, and even ice cube trays.

Moreover, tea will rid your fridge of unpleasant onion and garlic smells. If you place uncovered dried tea leaves in your fridge for a day or two, the odors will be gone.

How Do You Get Rid of the Smell of Onions?

Since you’re here, why not learn about getting rid of onion smells from your hands and house.

Off of Your Hands

If you’ve ever had chopped onion in your kitchen, you’ll know how long-lasting the smell can be. If you’re dealing with a lingering onion smell on your hands, consider some of the following steps.

The Spoon Method

If soap and hot water aren’t cutting it, this interesting trick may get the smell of onions off your hands. It involves rubbing a stainless steel spoon all over your hands under cold water. The molecules on the spoon grab the sulfur molecules from your hands. This works with any bit of stainless steel if you have it.

Use Toothpaste and Mouthwash

Toothpaste and mouthwash will act similar to the spoon method by clinging to sulfur molecules. If you wash your hands for around 20 seconds with these, the smell should disappear.

Coffee Grounds

Another option is to scrub your hands with coffee grounds. If you’ve ever used a coffee bean facemask, you already know it’s an effective exfoliant. Scrub your hands with coffee grounds for about 20 seconds under cold water. Be sure to rinse well.

Photo of Coffee Grounds

Coffee Grounds Can Sometimes be Used to Eliminate Tough Odors

Lemon Juice

Good old lemon again. For this approach, squeeze lemon juice over your hands and rub them together until your hands absorb some. Wash your hands after to clean the juice off. Don’t use this method if you have an open wound.

Out of Your House

If the onion odor is in your house, you have several options to consider.

Open Window or Turn on the Vent/Fan

Opening a window is a preventative measure. Before you start cooking your onions (or garlic), open a window. If you can’t open a window, turn on the vent or fan above the stove. It might not rid your kitchen of persistent odors, but you won’t have to suffer through the tears.

Use Vinegar

Vinegar is useful in getting rid of the smell before you even start. It will counteract the onion if you sit a glass of vinegar near the stove. However, this method will introduce a vinegar smell in its place.

Simmer Spices or Fruits

If you’ve finished cooking, boil a pot of water and add spices or fruits. Your choice will depend on your preference as both will eliminate the onion smell.

Bake Cookies

Baking cookies is an excellent way to get rid of the smell of onions in your home. It will counteract the odor, and you will have delicious cookies.

Brew Coffee

Brewing coffee is another option available to you. If you prefer coffee to cookies, then brew a pot. Just like getting rid of the onion smell in plastic containers, you only need another strong smell—it doesn’t necessarily matter what it is.

How Do You Get Rid of Other Smells in a Plastic Container?

Here are some other ways to get rid of smells from your plastic container. These methods aren’t strong enough to overcome garlic or onion.

Leave in the Sun        

This is as straightforward as it sounds. The sun will eliminate the odors if you leave your plastic containers outside. Be sure to take the lids off.

Fill With Newspaper        

Fill up your stinky plastic containers with newspaper and put the lids on them. Leave them to work their magic for at least one day, by which time the stench should be absorbed.

Use Charcoal

All it takes is one piece of charcoal to eliminate bad smells. If you put one inside the container and leave it for at least one day, it’ll be good as new. Be sure to use charcoal that doesn’t contain mesquite or other flammable additives.         

Use a Lemon

What smells cleaner than citrus? Using lemon is an excellent option for eviscerating odors (but not getting rid of the onion smell in plastic containers). Your first option is to slice a lemon and put it into the container with the lid on it. Then, wait for a few hours while it deals with the odor. Alternatively, you can rub lemon juice on the inside of the container. 

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
Related Blog Posts
rocketarrow-downarrow-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram