How to Get Smell Out of Plastic

This substance can be found within a wide range of products of daily use.  Normally coated with a glossy finish, a simple wipe-down can usually clean and deodorize the material. However, in rare cases where smelly residues have permeated too long, the plastic fiber can develop a long-lasting pervasive odor.


Though challenging, these embedded odors can be removed with the use of several different household compounds.  By following the below solutions, you can add freshness back within your plastic product to have it smelling like new.


Smell Removal Solutions for Plastic


1 White Vinegar Wipedown

The natural acidic compound within white vinegar will go to work in sterilizing the plastic surface and stripping it of any odor. Mix a solution one part white vinegar with three parts warm water within a bowl.  Using a clean table cloth, dunk it within the mixture and proceed to wipe down the plastic surface.  Allow 20-30 minutes for the solution to air dry from the plastic surface.  Please note, that the surface will maintain a characteristic vinegar smell until it has completely evaporated away.


2 Vodka Wipedown

This alcoholic party drink works wonders doubling as a household deodorant.  The alcohol within the solution has the effect of neutralizing odors on the spot and lifting them away odorlessly.  Dampen a clean hand towel by pouring a small portion of vodka directly from the bottle.  Proceed to wipe down the affected surface area of the plastic making sure to press that deodorizing fluids within any surface cracks of the material.  Finally, provide 10 minutes for the alcohol to freshen the plastic and evaporate way before placing your plastic material back within use.


3 Lemon Juice Spray

The citric acid within lemon juice will go to work in neutralizing odorous residues embedded on plastic surfaces.  Mix a solution of one part lemon juice with three parts warm water within a spray bottle, and proceed to mist down the affected surface area of the plastic ensuring that no area is left untouched.  Allow the acid to work it’s way in the cracks and sit for 10-15 minutes before returning to wipe the residues clean with a freshly dampened table cloth.


4 Activated Charcoal Box

This solution has the unique capability of absorbing odors without dampening the plastic’s surface.  If the plastic that you are trying to deodorize is small enough to fit within a enclosed cardboard box then this solution might be for you.  Place several charcoal briquettes within an old pair of nylon leggings until the have become adequately filled.  Next, place the nylon enclosed charcoal briquettes and the smelly plastic object within an inclosed cardboard box.  Allow for the contents to remain within the sealed box for 5-7 days before returning to remove the freshened plastic item.


Remove New Plastic Smell from Plastic

Newly purchased plastic products often maintain a manufactural odor several for weeks following removal from original packaging. In such cases, there are preventative measures to minimize and remove this chemical stench.


1 Outside in Direct Sunlight

Placing your freshly purchased plastic item outside within direct sunlight will do much to remove odor.  The ultraviolet rays, fresh air and open space will all work to neutralize the manufactural odor and lift it away.  Place the item outside on a sunny day for multiple days.  After 2-3 days the scent of plastic odor should be a thing of the past.



  1. Sean Dodd February 18, 2016
  2. Kyle June 4, 2016

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