Now that the kids are back at school, their lunch boxes have returned to action doing daily duty—and peeee-yew—can they ever stink! A simple wipe up may not be enough to get rid of the odor, so try this trick: Put a slice of bread inside the box and pour white vinegar on it until it’s moist, but not soggy. Then close the box and let it sit overnight. The next morning, remove the vinegar “sandwich,” rinse the box, and let it air-dry with the lid open. The vinegar scent will evaporate as the box dries.

Then to get rid of any lingering bacteria that may be contributing to the smell inside a lunch box, spray it with a solution made of 1 tablespoon of bleach and 1 quart of water. The chlorine will kill germs instantly. If you wash the solution away with a warm, soapy cloth after you spray it on, the box will be food-safe for its next use.

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