How To Get Onion Smell Out Of Plastic Containers? | 8 Effective Hacks

Dilute a cap full of all-purpose bleach with a quart of water. Pour the solution into the plastic container, put it on the lid, and shake vigorously. Wash with water after letting the container soak for a day.

Onion rings are crunchy and divine, but what about the leftover onions that don’t get to be a part of all the fun? The last time we made some, my husband put all the onions that we didn’t fry into an airtight Tupperware.

A day later, I learned of the grave mistake when the plastic container and its lid were already drenched in the lingering onion smell.

I washed the container with every dishwashing liquid and soap, but the smell persisted. Until one day, I called my mother-in-law to inform her of her son’s horrendous mistake when she gave out a few helpful remedies.

If you, too, have been suffering from smelly plastic containers, this post will save them. After all, plastic containers may be outdated and frowned upon, but they are your closest ally in leftovers storage.

how to get onion smell out of plastic

8 Ways To Get Onion Smell Out Of Plastic Containers

Ensure that the container is entirely clean and dry before trying any hacks. An unwashed residue won’t help in getting rid of the smell.

Here are the tips and tricks that will get the pungent onion smell out of your plastic Tupperware:

Method 1: Baking Soda And Lemon

You’ll always see baking soda and lemon in hacks for removing unwanted smells. Their extreme pH work to neutralize the odor-causing agents and freshen up your containers.

Here’s what you will need to get rid of the onion smell in plastic with these two:

What You’ll Need:

  • One tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Two tablespoons of baking soda


  • Mix the two ingredients to form a paste.
  • You can add more lemon juice if the consistency is too hard.
  • Cover the inside walls of the container and the lid with the paste.
  • Let the mixture sit for at least two days.
  • Wash with lukewarm water.

Method 2: Baking Soda And Vinegar

Like lemon juice, vinegar is notorious for getting rid of onion smells. Here’s how you can use them for your plastic containers:

What You’ll Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Synthetic vinegar
  • Lukewarm water


  • Cover the walls of the container and the lid by sprinkling baking soda on them.
  • Now, pour white vinegar into the container until it is almost half full.
  • Fill the rest of the container with lukewarm water.
  • Let the concoction soak the container for at least 24 hours.
  • Wash the container and the lid with hot water and dishwashing soap.

Method 3: Salt And Baking Powder

Do not confuse baking powder with baking soda. It is different but works like magic for getting smells out of utensils, clothing, blankets, etc.

What You’ll Need:

  • One part of salt
  • One part of baking powder


  • Sprinkle equal parts of salt and baking powder in the smelly plastic Tupperware.
  • Place the lid and store the container for later use.
  • Just discard the mix and rinse the container before using it whenever you need the container.

Method 4: Sunlight

Drying your utensils thoroughly by keeping them out in the sun will remove lingering smells and germs.

Sunlight is an excellent disinfectant and odor remover. Just keep the Tupperware in a bright spot for a couple of hours.

Always rinse before storing them to ensure they didn’t catch any dust while they were out in the open.

My mum always recommended drying all my utensils in the sun at least once a week to disinfect them.

use sunlight to get rid of onion smell from tupperware

Method 5: Hot Water Soak

Soaking your plastic container in soapy hot water should do the trick too. It dissolves any residues that may be giving off the pungent smell.

What You’ll Need:

  • Hot water (almost boiling)
  • Few drops of dishwashing liquid


  • Pour hot water into your plastic container. Make sure the container is compatible with high temperatures.
  • Add a few drops of dishwashing liquid.
  • Cover the container with its lid.
  • Shake the container vigorously for a few minutes.
  • Let it soak for at least a couple of hours or until the water cools down.
  • Wash generously with tap water.

Method 6: Bleach

When other organic tricks fail, you can always resort to the king of cleaning supplies – the bleach. Look for a mild all-purpose one that is suitable to be used for kitchenware.

What You’ll Need:

  • One quart of water
  • One cap of all-purpose bleach


  • Dilute the bleach with water and pour the mixture into the container.
  • Place the lid and shake vigorously.
  • Let the container sit for a day at least.
  • Wash with soap and plenty of water.

Method 7: Charcoal

Charcoal has good absorbency for smells. However, it is only effective for smaller Tupperware. For bigger ones, you can fill them with numerous coal pieces to have an effect.

Let the charcoal sit in the covered container for a couple of days. Remove the piece and wash before use.

Method 8: Newspaper

We’ve all stuffed our smelly boots with balls of newspaper to get rid of the smell. So it is worth trying with plastic containers as well.

Scrunch up a few newspapers, keep them in your containers, and put on the lid. Store them like so until later use. The newspaper should absorb the pungent odor by then.

FAQs On how to get onion smell out of plastic

Why do plastic containers smell?

Plastic absorbs odor quickly, and hence if you put any strong-smelling food in a plastic container, the scent may linger for days.

How should I avoid the onion smell in plastic containers?

Before storing onions, garlic, or any strong-smelling food, line the plastic container and its lid with kitchen-grade plastic wrap. Doing so avoids contact of the food with the plastic and saves it from the smell.

Scroll to Top