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How Do I Get the Smell Out of Jar Lids?

How Do I Get the Smell Out of Jar Lids?

If you're reducing, reusing, and refilling, you're likely also repurposing jars. It's an early lifestyle adoption for folks venturing down the zero waste (okay, low waste) path. Getting labels off of jars can be its own hurdle, and we've got advice on that. However, if you eat salsa or pickled onions, then you may have also learned that those lids can smell like their original resident, well, forever. In fact, that's the reason many refill shops have a strict no-salsa jar rule for their community jar donations. We don't have that rule, because we have something stronger: hope. We hope you'll read this blog and get the smells out of those lids before you bring them to us and we have to turn them away.

Here are our tried and trues:

  1. Coffee Beans: This is the trick that works for most people most of the time, but it does require either having stale coffee around that you hung on to or sacrificing perfectly good coffee to the cause. To be fair, you could use grounds, too, they're just messier and more likely to get stuck in nooks and crannies. 
  2. Sunshine: If you've got direct sunlight for a few days, this is my personal favorite approach. (I rarely have coffee to spare.) I will lay out all my offending lids, smelly side up, and leave them in the mack yard for 3 or 4 days. Sunshine is the original all-purpose cleaner. 
  3. Rubbing Alcohol: (or any booze over 90%, if you have that laying around) For lesser-strength smells, we often have luck leaving a small pool of isopropyl or rubbing alcohol to evaporate from the lid. 

Have a favorite solution for getting the smell out of lids? Comment below—we'd love to hear it!

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