How to Clean and Deodorize a Cooler

Between picnics, tailgating, camping, fishing and cookouts, coolers can get really gross. They can become stained and stinky, and can also harbor mold and mildew. It's a good idea to give your cooler a good cleaning in between uses and also to take a few extra steps to ensure that mildew doesn't grow in your cooler. After all, coolers are used to transport food and drinks, and we don't want any extra germs lingering in them. The good news is that you most likely already have the items you need to clean your cooler out in your kitchen pantry!

Image Credit: Jessica Kielman

Things You'll Need

  • Water hose or bucket of water

  • Baking soda

  • Vinegar

  • MagicEraser sponge (optional)

Image Credit: Jessica Kielman

Step 1: Rinse out the cooler using a water hose.

If you don't have access to a water hose, you can clean your cooler in the bathtub or kitchen sink.

Image Credit: Jessica Kielman

Tip

If your cooler has a drain, leave it open between uses.

Step 2: Sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda on the inside of the cooler.

The baking soda will help scrub and lift any dirt and stains from the inside of the cooler.

Image Credit: Jessica Kielman

Step 3: Spray the entire inside of the cooler with vinegar.

The vinegar will help clean the cooler and will also help remove any odors that may be lingering inside.

Image Credit: Jessica Kielman

Step 4: Scrub the inside of the cooler.

Scrub the inside, using the brush to spread the baking soda and vinegar mixture all around, removing dirt and any rust spots.

Image Credit: Jessica Kielman

Step 5: Use a Mr. Clean MagicEraser to remove any tough stains.

This works really well on rust spots and scuff marks.

Image Credit: Jessica Kielman
Image Credit: Jessica Kielman

Step 6: Rinse well and use the same steps to clean the outside of the cooler.

Image Credit: Jessica Kielman

All clean!

Tip

Leave the lid off of your cooler or open in between uses so mildew doesn't grow inside.

Image Credit: Jessica Kielman
Image Credit: Jessica Kielman