Now that the kids are back to school, their lunch boxes have returned to action doing daily duty. And the soft-sided, insulated lunch boxes we use these days can take on bad odors when food leaks, spills, or is left in them for too long—and do they ever stink! A simple wipe up may not be enough to get rid of the odor, so try one of these food-safe tricks:
The power of vinegar. 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.
A baking soda solution. Make a thick paste out of baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the insides of the lunch box with a soft cloth. Let the paste dry completely as it soaks up the smell. Wipe away with a soft cloth or brush out the dried baking soda paste with a towel.
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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