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An Effective Guide on How to Remove Garlic Smell from Plastic 

We all love the burst of flavor & taste we get from garlic. Whether it’s garlic bread or some delicious curry, garlic plays a huge role in enhancing the taste of any food item.

But, what most of us don’t like is the pungent aroma it leaves behind. The after-smell of garlic, especially on plastic containers, is strong. This is because plastic containers retain food odor due to plastics being porous materials. 

So, this might have led many of you to the question, “How to remove garlic smell from plastic?” Well, worry not. Today, we’re here to discuss the various ways you can eliminate the strong garlic smell from your most precious plastic containers. 

Below, we will be following various ways that include both natural and chemical-based methods to eliminate the smell of garlic. Continue reading to know more!

How to Remove Garlic Smell from Plastic 

Have you ever chopped garlic and wondered how to remove garlic smell from plastic cutting board? Or how to remove garlic smell from plastic lid? If the answer is yes, it’s your lucky day. 

Today, we’ll be providing various ways you can remove garlic smell from plastic. Let’s start with the first method.

Method 1: Removing Garlic Smell from Plastic Naturally 

The following are some of the natural methods you can follow to eliminate the smell of garlic from plastic:


If there are any DIY home projects going on, we’re sure you’ve heard of the use of vinegar every now & then. Vinegar is a very popular & common cleaning solution that leans towards a more natural approach for reducing any nasty or foul smell. 

It can be pretty be used for anything, including eliminating the smell from plastic containers. To get started, simply fill your container with an equal amount of water & vinegar solution and then soak for some time. 

Tip: If you’re looking for an extra quick fix, you can rinse the container directly with all vinegar solution and then wash it off with soapy water. 

Lemon Juice 

If you have a bunch of lemons and don’t plan to use them any time soon, you may have just found the star of your next DIY project. Yes, that’s right! Lemons are incredibly effective in removing any sort of foul smell from containers. 

So, if you have any smelly ones that reek of garlic, gather, line them up and start rubbing the walls of your container with slices of lemon. As lemon juice is acidic, it helps break down and neutralize the foul odor coming from the container. 

Tip: Make sure your hands are entirely cut-free to avoid any stings or make use of a glove if you’re not sure. 

Coffee Grounds 

Coffee does not just smell good. In this case, coffee can also eradicate foul smells from plastic containers. Coffee grounds are known to be great odor absorbers, making them the perfect natural weapon against garlic smell. 

If you have a smelly container, place them inside your garlicky container and leave it for some time. After the coffee grounds soak up all the odor, you can throw them away into the compost bin and then rinse your container. 

Tip: Make sure you don’t chuck away the coffee grounds after your regular cup of joe to carry out this process. 


Salt is another natural deodorizer you can utilize to eliminate strong garlic remains. And the best part is, this is hands down the most accessible natural ingredient you can find in your kitchen. 

Before you store your garlicky container away, you can place a small pinch of salt into the container and leave it for future use. This will help the container retain the natural fresh smell. 

Tip: Since this can be taken as a precautionary step, make sure to always empty out the container before its next use. 

Vanilla Extract 

This may not be the first or the cheapest choice for anyone, especially if you’re looking for a more DIY-oriented solution. However, vanilla extract will do wonders for those interested in a sweeter outcome. 

Vanilla is an ingredient that can help neutralize unwanted doors, thus, leaving behind a sweet scent. To get started, mix about 1-2 vanilla extract drops in water and pour the mixture into your container. 

Tip: For the best result, leave the mixture in the container for a few hours, rinse it in water and dry it. 

How to Remove Garlic Smell from Plastic

Method 2: Removing Garlic Smell from Plastic Using Chemicals 

If the natural ingredients aren’t doing it for you, we’ll move on to the second method. These are some of the artificial ways, i.e. the use of chemicals, to flush away the scent of garlic from plastic containers. 


Although bleach is a pretty strong chemical, it is found to be very effective in eliminating all kinds of smells. However, you’ll have to be extra careful when handling the product. 

To ensure proper use, dilute the product carefully with water (if it’s not diluted already) and then cover the container with a layer of the solution. Let it rest for about 30 minutes, and then rinse. 

Tip: As bleach is made of harsh chemicals, be extra careful in handling the product and make sure only to apply a thin layer of it inside the container. 

Dishwashing Solution 

If DIY methods with simple ingredients are not cutting it out, a dishwashing liquid is another efficient way to clear garlic smell from plastic. This also tends to be less time-consuming as it is a ready-made solution. 

You can take a small amount of the cleaning solution and rinse the container or give it a good scrub and leave it for drying in the sun. Additionally, you can also pop the container into the dishwasher if your container is dishwasher safe. 

Tip: If you want to go for a much more mild solution, you can use dishwashers from environmentally safe brands. 

Baking Soda 

Baking soda is often called the “king” when it comes to cleaning, and the title exists for a reason. There aren’t many home ingredients that can match the cleaning ability of baking soda. Hence, it’s not a surprise that it can deodorize smelly plastic containers. 

You can reduce any garlic residue by rinsing the container first and then smearing a paste consisting of baking soda & water within the walls of the your container. To create the paste, you can simply mix the soda and water together. Make sure to leave the container overnight and then wash off the mixture the next day. 

Tip: When creating the paste, make sure to use equal proportions of water & baking soda to create a more efficient solution. 

Our Other Hacks Involving Baking Soda – Our Other Hacks Involving Baking Soda

How to Prevent Garlic Smell

Apart from the usual mass-produced mouth fresheners, there are tons of natural ingredients that can help avert the garlic smell and deodorize both your breath and your cookware. 

Items such as apples, mint, spinach, lemons, etc., are known to be excellent in combating and preventing the smell of garlic. And these are ingredients one can easily find in the kitchen or the nearest grocery store. 

Why Does Plastic Absorb Smells

As plastic containers are constructed using polypropylene, they are known to be porous. This gives plastic containers the ability to contain food odor for a long duration. Hence, making plastic absorb smells in a much more potent & long-lasting manner. 

What Neutralizes the Smell of Garlic

There are various ingredients and products that can help neutralize and minimize the smell of garlic. So, if you’re looking for something feasible and easy, you can always try out green tea, as they are found to contain a high amount of antioxidants. 

Also, lemon is a very effective ingredient in neutralizing garlic smell as it is acidic in nature, which helps fight strong smells. 

How to Remove Garlic Smell from Hands

You can always go for some good old hand wash. A strong-flavoured hand wash is one easy & quick way to flush out the strong remains of garlic smell from the hands. However, if that doesn’t cut it for you, try dipping your hands into a fresh mixture of water & lemon juice. After all, lemon is a great neutralizing agent. 

How to Get Garlic Smell out Of the Dishwasher

During the first cycle, you can place a bowl containing a mixture of distilled white vinegar right on the uppermost rack. After this, you can run the machine on a normal cycle. Follow this up by adding about a cup of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) on the bottom and proceed to run another cycle. 

Wrapping Up

So, there you have it, our quick and easy solutions for resolving any garlic-odor related issues. As many of the ingredients & products we have listed are generally everyday household items, make sure you start with the option you find the easiest. 

That said, we hope our article can help eliminate every garlicky smell and query you have in mind. 

If one of the methods does not work, you can always move on to the other ones and find out which one suits you best. Since garlic is a natural smell, we suggest you begin your DIY solution with the natural ingredients first. Good luck!