New plastic -- whether a refillable water bottle or storage bin -- sometimes stinks. While the odor eventually dissipates on its own, it can be unpleasant to endure the plastic smell until it finally goes away. Rather than waiting it out, you can speed up the process by employing a few clever cleaning techniques.
Wash It Out
Whether it's a new storage bin or a plastic toddler toy that smells strongly of plastic, rinse the plastic item; then wash it with mild dish soap and water. To remove plastic odor from storage containers, use a dishcloth to wipe down the inside and outside areas. If unable to reach with a cloth inside a narrow item such as a water bottle, fill the item halfway with soapy water, place the lid on it, or place your hand over the top and shake it vigorously for a moment or two. Rinse out the soapy water; then allow it to air dry. If the item still smells a bit, fill it partway with white vinegar and allow the vinegar to sit for several minutes or even overnight. Dump the vinegar and rinse the plastic out again, allowing it to air dry.
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Air It Out
Odors don't always dissipate immediately, especially when dealing with new plastics. Air out the plastic item outdoors; if it has a lid, remove the lid and place it outside as well. Fresh air and sunshine on a non-humid day help remove some of the inherent plastic smell, while time gets rid of the rest.
Use Coffee Grounds
Dry coffee grounds help absorb all sorts of odors, including plastic smell. Place the coffee grounds inside a smelly plastic container, mug or bottle and set the item in a well-ventilated, dry area such as the porch or patio. If the plastic item has a lid, place the lid partway over it to help enclose the coffee a bit so it absorbs the odor better while still allowing some airflow. Allow the item to sit overnight or for several days if the plastic smell is particularly strong.
Use Paper to Remove Odors
Stuff wads of newspaper inside plastic items such as shoe storage containers or large plastic tubs. Put the lid back on the plastic for a day or longer; then remove the lid and newspaper and air out the plastic again.
Soak in a Baking Soda Solution
In addition to acting as a leavening agent, baking soda does wonders when it comes to odor elimination. Just as it will absorb odors from the refrigerator, baking soda eliminates odors in plastic. To effectively remove scents from plastic containers, dissolve 4 tablespoons of baking soda in one quart of warm water. Immerse the container in the baking soda solution or for large containers, pour the solution inside. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes. If there is still an odor, let it sit for an hour or longer in the baking soda until the odor disappears. Follow soaking by rinsing the container well with water and dry well.