How to Clean a Smelly Lunchbox
With the kids back to school each day, we are back to packing lunches. Every parent knows food spillage and leaks are a way of life and they come with some potent and unpleasant smells. Here’s how to keep your little one’s lunchbox clean.
Can a Lunchbox Be Machine Washed?
Some lunch boxes can be thrown into the washing machine or dishwasher with no problems. You must keep in mind the type, style and material of the lunchbox and that many cannot be machine washed. Check the care label/instructions to make sure you are able to put the lunchbox in the dishwasher. If there isn't a care label, you'll want to be safe instead of sorry.
Hand Washing Lunchboxes
For those lunchboxes that just need a quick cleaning, or are not made to tolerate a washing machine, a good hand washing will do the trick.
- Fill the sink with warm water.
- Add a small amount of dish detergent.
- Moisten a soft cloth with the sudsy water, and wring it out so it is just moist.
- Wipe the interior and exterior of the lunchbox with the sponge or cloth.
- If the lunchbox can be submerged in water, it will be easiest to place the entire lunchbox in the water and scrub it all over with a sponge or soft cloth.
- Rinse by wiping with a cloth moistened with clean water.
- Dry with a towel.
- Allow it to air dry completely before use. This step is especially important if the lunchbox was submerged in the water as the insulated filling is likely wet as well.
Removing Odors from Lunchboxes
Here are some steps to remove that “lunchbox smell” because they are bound to happen
- Fill a spray bottle with weak bleach and water solution.
- Mist the interior of the lunchbox with the bleach solution.
- Wipe it dry with a soft cloth.
- Allow it to air dry completely.
If the smell is has not dissipated make a paste out of baking soda and water, make sure it is thick and sand paper rough.
- Apply the paste to the interior surfaces of the lunchbox with a soft cloth.
- Allow the paste to dry completely. As the paste dry’s it soaks up the smell, very important to let the paste dry completely.
- Wipe away with a soft cloth or brush out the dried paste with a towel.
- Dry baking soda can also be sprinkled in the lunchbox and left to set overnight. The baking soda will absorb the odors and can be shaken out in the morning.
- Any remaining baking soda can be rinsed out with clean water
- The best part, any remaining baking soda is not harmful if ingested