How To Get The Smell Out of Firehouse Subs’ Pickle Buckets!

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how-to-get-the-smell-out-of-firehouse-subs-pickle-buckets

Firehouse Subs has a great deal on food grade storage buckets. They sell the buckets for two dollars and that money goes to a local fire station. This is really a great deal considering these buckets run anywhere between $6.00 to $20.00 online plus shipping. Yeah, I know you can get a five-gallon bucket from a home improvement store but they are not food grade. If I’m going to go through the trouble and expense of storing food I want the buckets to be food grade even if I use a Mylar bag.

When I first started looking around for buckets I thought I hit the lottery when I went to my local grocery store and found that they gave two gallon and one-gallon buckets away for free in the bakery. The only catch is that I had to clean out the leftover frosting. No biggie! I hauled my treasure home and promptly cleaned out the frosting. However, when I started to load food into these buckets I found they were just too small for most of the stuff I wanted to store. I have five people in my family, four of them boys, so we consume a large amount of food. I found I was really stuffing these smaller buckets and then when I was ready to store them I found the lids didn’t work properly –  either the store had given me the wrong top, the top was warped or the top just didn’t fit right after the seal had been broken. After all, they really weren’t meant for long term food storage without the seal.

Then I found Firehouse Subs were practically giving their nice big five-gallon food grade buckets, with great fitting tops, away. I quickly went and acquired six buckets! When I opened the buckets to clean them I was overwhelmed with the pickle smell. I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed and then figured out I needed more than soap to get the smell out. So I started doing some research and came across four methods that I thought had great potential. Here’s what worked and what didn’t work!

Method One: Baking Soda and Newspaper

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 Here I used some old newspaper and a little over a cup of baking soda.

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Baking soda is well known for getting the smell of clothes and various other things. This method required me to place baking soda and newspaper (to absorb the smell) in the bucket.

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 Fill up the bucket with both baking soda and newspaper. Close the lid and let sit for a week or more.

Method Two: Baking Soda mixed with Hydrogen Peroxide

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This method was the one I thought had the greatest potential since it’s often used to get the skunk smell off of dogs.

how-to-get-the-smell-out-of-firehouse-subs-pickle-buckets

 Pour a few cups of hydrogen peroxide in the bucket and mix with baking soda. Shake the bucket every day for a week or more.

Method Three: Un-brewed Coffee

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 This one I thought would not work. Simply place un-brewed coffee into the bucket.

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 I poured about half a pound. It was all I could afford. Coffee is not cheap!

Method Four: Natural Charcoal

how-to-get-the-smell-out-of-firehouse-subs-pickle-buckets

 I did research and everyone raved about how well charcoal got the smell out of anything.

how-to-get-the-smell-out-of-firehouse-subs-pickle-buckets

I tried to break it up so we’d have more surface area to absorb the smell but it was really harder than I expected to break up.  I could have broken it into bits but then the plastic would have broken and the charcoal would have been everywhere. Clearly, if breaking up the charcoal made that much difference it was more effort than I wanted to put into this project.

how-to-get-the-smell-out-of-firehouse-subs-pickle-buckets

 So I left it whole and let it sit for a week or so.

The Result:

Well, I was shocked but the method that worked the best (and I mean way above the rest) was the un-brewed coffee. None of the other methods really made a dent on the vinegary pickle smell in the buckets. You could say that the coffee simply covered the smell of the pickles and maybe to a very small degree that is true. However, I think it absorbed the smell more than anything because to further this experiment (and yeah, save a couple of bucks) I reused the coffee. I did not have the same results. The coffee did not take away the pickle smell after I had already used it in another bucket. This also leads me to believe that if it does not work the first time you can always pour new coffee in and wait a bit longer if you’re willing to part with that much coffee. I ran out to a warehouse store and purchased cheap coffee in bulk for the purpose of getting the smell out of the buckets. I figure this adds about one dollar to my total cost of one bucket. Still a bargain! I will take a moment to mention that none of the above methods probably works as well as leaving the buckets out in the hot sun for a few weeks or even months. However, not everyone has that kind of weather or time.

  • Jen says:

    used to be that drug smugglers would hide their drugs inside coffee grounds. Drug sniffing dog couldn’t detect the drugs over the coffee smell. Now of course dogs are trained to sniff out coffee.
    Thanks for the tips.

    • Linda says:

      My husband was a dog handler and coffee never covered up the smell of drugs. His dog could find the drugs no matter what. Dogs noses are much better than that.

      • Russ says:

        That’s correct! Dogs can smell many things. When people use things like coffee to “cover” the scent of drugs, the dog simply smells coffee and drugs.

  • Bama Girl says:

    Wow! Great idea! Love those red buckets! I’ll ask at Firehouse Subs next time we go, if they sell theirs. Those buckets come in handy here on the homestead! Thanks for sharing! Blessings from Bama!

    • barbara way says:

      Yes they do for $2.00 .I have a couple of them.

      • Kathy says:

        You have to check regularly, these buckets sell really, and I do mean really, FAST. But they are awesome once the smell is gone and as Jennifer said, just letting them air out works the best for me, too.

    • Chris says:

      I called and they said baking Soda. and warm water

    • Brian Coburn says:

      The coffee method is the best.
      Here is a tip to reduce the cost.
      Go to your local Starbucks and ask for their used coffee grounds.
      Most around my area package some of their used grounds up for people to use as a garden mulch and here’s the kick. THESE GROUNDS ARE FREE…
      Last time I stopped by we caught them with a trash bag load and it took care of all my flower and vegetable pots as well as two Fire House sub buckets.
      Put about a pound or two in each bucket, more is better.
      Give it one or two weeks to sit and be sure to shake it up once or twice a day and it will give you the best process to remove the pickle smell you will find. (I’ve tried all the others!)
      Of course, be sure to use the grounds in your garden or flower beds when you’re done.
      Hope this helps y’all, BCn66062.

  • Will says:

    Try a few drops of vanilla or vanilla extract. It’s an old fishermans trick got getting the fish smell out of your cooler. It probably works the same on pickle buckets.

    • John says:

      NO on the Vanilla Extra (PURE) . I put 2 rather large bottles in one of my FireHouse buckets and it didn’t put a dent tin the smell!! actually it created a new awful smell….vanilla Pickles! : p My garage has become the most unwelcoming place with these pickle buckets, and they were only in there for 3 days @ 50 degrees, glad it wasn’t summer!!

      Thank You for posting about your Experience with these buckets, I am going for the cheap coffee method. I asked a the sub shop tonight and they had no ideas.

  • christina sholty says:

    How long do I keep the coffee in there?

    • Jennifer says:

      I leave it in at least a week. In most cases I leave it in a few weeks. It just depends on how much time I have. I think after 3 or 4 weeks the coffee has soaked up as much of the smell as it’s going to. If you’re not satisfied you could always add a fresh scoop of coffee for a few more weeks. I’ve never added the extra coffee a second time, I’ve always been satisfied but I am also using Mylar bags. If you are not using Mylar bags you might want to do a second round of coffee and maybe set them in the sun for a few days.

  • Miriam says:

    You may want to try coffee beans instead of grounds. They are more potent. We keep them in the bottom of the trash can. They absorb the drips and you never small anything. It lasts for months. I think my sister kept the same beans in for 6months.

  • Joe says:

    Thanks for the info. I plan on using them to filter water by having the filter drain from the top bucket to the bottom one.. Do you think the water will still taste like pickles? Thanks!

    • Jennifer says:

      Joe, I’m not sure. Water is a little different than food placed inside Mylar bags placed inside these buckets. I guess it depends on how much water you run through the buckets, eventually if you run enough water through them the water won’t taste like pickles…..:) I assuming you don’t want to waste gallons and gallons of water though. If I were you, I’d try the coffee trick and then also airing the buckets out and placing them in the hot sun before I tried to drink water out of them. Let me know how your project turns out!

  • John says:

    Can you drink the coffee after this, or does it taste like pickles (even after airing out)? If you can’t and are going to have to dispose of the coffee, I wonder if a baking soda and coffee (perhaps with vanilla) combination might be even better. Also, Starbucks will give you used coffee grounds for use in gardening. You specified unused, so I realize this might not work, but certainly worth a try given the price is right (free).

    Also, have you experimented with the role of heat in this process? I want to experiment to see if one of these buckets can be reformed using heat (this can be done with #2 plastic) into a 12″ x 12″ square container for use in Square Foot Gardening. It would be interesting to determine the role of heat, if any, in the pickle smell removal process.

    • Jennifer says:

      I don’t think I would drink the coffee, I like good coffee……:) Yeah, the already ground coffee doesn’t seem to have the same aroma pulling power that the unused coffee has. I wonder too if you added a bit of baking soda and a little vanilla what would happen. You might be onto something there. The only thing I would worry about is the baking soda pulling the coffee aroma out and not letting it absorb the pickle smell, but it’s definitely worth a try! No I have not experimented with heat other than the heat from the sun, so if you decide to do that please let us know the results!

      • John says:

        Well if you use coffee, does the tub end up smelling like coffee? Granted a coffee smell is better than a pickle smell, but I wonder if you could use coffee to get the pickle smell out, and then would have to use baking soda to get the coffee smell out (assuming you want an odor free tub).

        Partially kidding, but perhaps you need to get that “new car smell” spray or hang tag to make the tub smell like a bucket again.

        • Jennifer says:

          I don’t think anything will get the smell completely out of these buckets except perhaps an entire summer in the sun. Of course then you have to worry about moisture corroding the metal handle. Yes, after the coffee comes out of the bucket there is a coffee smell and like you I prefer a coffee smell to a pickle smell. Usually what I do is air them out a bit even after I’ve taken the coffee out and that is an acceptable smell for me to go ahead and use the bucket for packing food in a Mylar bag. You bring up a good point about the “new bucket smell”. Some plastic buckets stink from chemicals when they are new so I guess you have to figure out what is acceptable to you.

          • John says:

            After some testing, let me suggest that you stop by Starbucks and ask them for some used coffee grounds. They will usually give you some; sometimes a sackful. You can fill up a Fireside bucket half-full this way for free, and after sitting for a while, it does a good job of getting the pickle smell out. This is also a lot cheaper than using unused coffee beans or grounds.

          • Jennifer says:

            Thanks John, I will have to try that method. I wonder if I would have to go to multiple Starbucks locations to get that much coffee, especially if you were filling more than one bucket…..:) I guess you could just brew your own coffee that throw it in the bucket. Have you had any problems with mold or mildew using this method?

          • John says:

            Sometimes Starbucks will have the used grounds prepackaged in an aluminum pouch. Sometimes they will just take the bag out of the grounds bucket and hand it to you. They give them away for people to use on their gardens; so it is a simple form of recycling.

            I have opened up a bucket and noticed some discoloration on the top; but I have been using the “fill them and forget them” approach, and you probably don’t need to keep them in the bucket for that long. I have been using them for utility buckets rather than for long term food storage, so if that is a concern for you you may want to watch for that and empty the bucket before that happens, and would probably still have good success.

  • Melissa says:

    Thanks, I’ve tried everything I could think of to get the pickle smell out of my buckets, I’m going to have to try coffee!!

  • jj says:

    I sprayed Febreeze in my Firehouse buckets…worked like a charm!

    • Jennifer says:

      Oh my, I really would not recommend this! Febreeze is not food. I’m afraid of what might happen if some of the chemicals leached into your stored food. If you are not going to be storing food in the buckets then this would work fine.

    • Ammar says:

      If you freeze your flour it will kill the mites that are in it when you buy it. You can then revome it from the freezer and store it. I prefer metal bins for storing my dry products. Vermin will chew through plastic in no time at all. Here’s hoping we never need to use our food in a crisis!

      • Gail says:

        Yes, I agree! We lived on a tropical island and most of the dry foods were shipped in from China….along with tiny worm eggs/larvae! I was told to freeze my dry goods and the eggs would die and not hatch. Also, while living in Hawaii, we were told to let our flour set out in the hot sun and any weevils in the bag would crawl out.

  • dana b says:

    You can get free food grade buckets from the bakery at grocery stores.

    • Jennifer says:

      Yes, that is true and I have gotten the free ones before. However, the quality is not half as good as the firehouse subs buckets. Also I have had trouble with the lids fitting back on the free ones properly.

      • Kathy says:

        I, too, get frosting/icing buckets from my local grocery store bakery dept. sometimes there is a lot of leftover frosting inside. I grab a scraper and remove that and then scrub that “oiliness” from inside and pack away 😉 . Sometimes they are just under the 5-gallon size. I get gallon sizes from a donut shop for .25-.50 cents each. Great for storing baking chips and smaller quantities of baking supplies .

  • laurie says:

    Nice looking buckets. But at $2 a pop,you can spend that at walmart and get buckets that don’t stink as they’ve not been used. Not as pretty as the firehouse but cost wise there’s no extra expense in cleaning

    • Jennifer says:

      I’m not able to get food grade buckets at my Walmart for $2.

      • The Colonel says:

        How did the cheap coffee work out?
        Also I have a question on another subject.
        Do you or any of your readers know anything about making diesel fuel out of used synthetic motor oil?

        • Jennifer says:

          The cheap coffee does work! I have buckets with cheap coffee in them as I type this reply…..:) No, I do not know anything about making diesel fuel out of used synthetic motor oil. I will pass the question on to my husband, he might decide to investigate. He is passionate about preparedness.

      • Tom says:

        I have checked with my local Walmart store in the bakery department and they told me that they will sell the empty buckets for $1.00 a piece. I live in Pennsylvania and that is the going price they charge per bucket due to the fact that I have checked with several Walmart stores in my area since I needed a large amount of buckets.

      • Kathy says:

        My WalMart never has any to sell. The bakers are prejudice who they sell too, and one baker says they throw them away, one says they reuse for their grease throw always, another says they DO sell them but they don’t have any “right now” . So I just gave up asking. Publix has the bigger buckets but my closest Publix is 45 minutes away, so not easily checked for availability.

    • Russ says:

      The buckets at WalMart, Lowes and Home Depot I have seen are all 70 mils thick, the Firehouse buckets are 90 mils thick. This means the Firehouse buckets are thicker and stronger. It’s a much heavier duty bucket, plus the ones at the box stores may not be food grade. Where I live you would have to pay about $2.85 for the bucket and another $1.65 for the lid at Lowes. The Firehouse bucket is a better bucket for half the cost, you can feel good about recyling and the money goes to charity.

  • TJ says:

    Have you tried “PBW” (Powdered Brewery Wash) and hot water soak? Its brewery trick to clean almost everything! It can be bought at the local homebrew shop or online homebrew supply. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

  • Matt says:

    I have always wondered how to get the smells out of these 5 gallon buckets! Thanks a lot for the tutorial. I may share it on my website to and spread the word. Again. Thanks

    http://www.shtfpreparedness.com/

  • Rebecca says:

    The coffee treatment really works. I used it on a cedar chest that had been in a heavy smoker’s bedroom for over 20 years and it was amazing. One small can of ground coffee in a bowl for a week with the lid closed and no more smell. The coffee odor lingered for a little while, but leaving the lid open took care of it- I would think the same would hold true of the buckets.

  • tricia b says:

    I have used this on my pickle buckets and it works for anything else… especially glass. I cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup white vinegar. Let soak overnight and your done. It will foam up a little so leave room in the bucket.

  • Wayne Carlisle says:

    I know the pickle smell is bad (I have 12 buckets in the backyard) but will it really affect the taste of the food it is stored in or will it just make it smell like pickles? Has anyone tried yet? Thanks for all of the helpful ideas.
    Wayne

  • Amy says:

    Thanks for the info. So far my only plans for the buckets is for non-food storage, but I still want to get the smell out so I am going to try the coffee trick. I’m just curious – what kind of food are people storing in these buckets? I’m single so I never have that much of any kind of food around. 🙂

  • Justin says:

    Thanks for all the ideas. I’m building a honey extractor from a 200 litre pickle barrel and will definitely give the coffee a shot.
    Justin from South Australia.

  • Patrick Kruse says:

    I saw a request about what would you use these for and if it affected the taste of the water. Maybe he is interested: Im very hopeful for the coffe grounds and its a good idea these days to have one of these around:

    http://videos.komando.com/watch/6217/kims-picks-how-to-create-your-own-water-purification-system-in-no-time

  • rous says:

    I store dog food in mine for a few weeks. It gets the pickle smell out.

  • Kamay says:

    I get large plastic pickle jars from my work and I have had the worst time getting the smell out. I tried a bleach water bath inside of them for 2 days and there is no bleach smell. Sure is a pickle smell in them still! I’ll try the coffee! I’m ready to fill them with rice, sugar and flour!

    • Donna says:

      The glass pickle jars are not what is holding in the pickle smell. It is the gasket on the lid. I just purchase new lids from an Amish store. #100 screw-on works for gallon and 1/2 gallon pickle jars.

  • John Breland says:

    I have several of the Firehouse buckets. To get the pickle smell out of them I pour in a cup or so of plain Clorox and fill to the brim with cold water. Then, I let them sit outside in direct sun for a week or so.

    As someone mentioned earlier, storing dog food in them seems to work. I have noticed that storing bird seed in them will get the smell out as well.

  • joe says:

    Why would you want to get the smell out? I keep one bucket with the lid on so I can open it up and get a whiff . Makes me want to make a sub. I you want to get rid of of the smell, just leave it outside in the sun for a couple of days.

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Joe,
      Yes, that’s one way to go, especially if you like pickles…lol

    • Stacey E. says:

      Well, the smell is pleasant until you’re forced to breathe it for several hours. Then the sweet and pungent smell gets a little skunky. I bought a couple of buckets along my route yesterday, and keeping them in the truck with me started to get annoying within the space of about a half hour. My car and kitchen also stink from the buckets. So the fresh scent and the lovely dill smell really start to grate on your nerves after a while. You’d want to remove the smell if you’re going to be storing anything in the buckets that would be “ruined” by that smell. Like pasta or flour, or something. I don’t think you’d want pickle flavored sweet rolls, for instance.

  • NORMAN CURTNER says:

    A couple notes on the buckets. First, I use LemiShine for wet cleaning my reloading brass as well as keeping my dishwasher clean and fresh smelling so I thought why not try it. Hot tap water, about a gallon, and around one third cup LemiShine. I put the lid on and shook the bucket well making certain to get the entire inside covered. Whenever I thought about it I would shake the bucket again and left it overnight to soak. In the morning I shook it over the next few hours then rinsed. NO DISCERNIBLE ODOR WAS INSIDE! Try it, it worked for me.

    Secondly I contacted Encore Plastics Corp and was told all the Lowes buckets are food safe. Even the $3.00 blue ones and they told me they do not use the harmful release agents on them. Lowes also has a white version for around $5.00 which is food safe as well as a lid designed in the Gamma style that retails for about $7.50 per lid sold separately. All made by Encore PLastics. Sure beats a $15.00 bucket and another $12.00 to $15.00 per Gamma seal lid. Encore told me they are all food safe for long term food storage even the blue and black buckets.

    Hope someone finds this information useful and can afford to put up some supplies. At the cost level of Firehouse buckets or the ones from Lowes you can fill up two buckets for the price of one including such staples as sugar or flour! Encore assured me it is safe inside their containers even without a mylar liner. Hope this helps and the LemiShine works as well for you as it does for me.

    By the way, LemiShine is available online from Amazon and a few local stores. I just use the original since they now have a few different types.

  • Missy says:

    I asked bakery at Walmart and got 5-gallon and lid that fit for $1.00, 3-gallon the same. Lucky?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Missy,

      That sounds like a great deal. I’ve done the same thing. My local grocery store gives them away for free and free is an even better deal if you have a good source. The only problem I’ve had with the free or almost free buckets from the bakery is the lids don’t fit back on really well.

  • Barbara says:

    I save large glass pickle jars that normal washing or even the dishwasher can’t get out well. I use baking soda and vinegar, and fill the jar with hot water. Let it sit for two or three days. Repeat if it isn’t clean-smelling. I also do that for the plastic half-gallon picante sauce jugs, and it works on those too, but it takes several treatments. Leaving them open for a while after treatment helps as well.

  • Phabeon says:

    found this on the internet..

    How To Get The Smell Of Pickles Out of Buckets

    FireHouse Subs gave me this recipe to get rid of the pickle smell from their buckets and it works great, just know that if you have quite a few of them, then you will really go through the Murphy Oil soap.

    1/3 cup bleach
    1/3 cup murphy oil soap
    1 gallon hot water

    Just rub the inside of the bucket well and let it set for a few hours. Can also be used for cleaning your bathroom.

    – See more at: http://www.solarsurvivors.com/free-5-gallon-buckets-with-lids/#sthash.ZcNbCql2.dpuf

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Phabeon,

      I’m not sure I would use Murphy oil soap on my food grade buckets if I wanted to store food in them.

  • Kathy says:

    I agree with Jennifer about the bakery buckets. Unless you get the “rectangular” ones. These are so awesome and the lids fit all the time, BUT my local WalMart no longer gives them away. And has never sold them, either. One employee said that they send them back to the warehouse, and another said that the store reuses them for “grease” collection. But another time I asked for buckets and got 10. Go figure. But you really have to scrub with hot soap and water to get out the greasiness of the frosting that’s in the buckets. I do love the Firehouse buckets but so hard to get as it seems everyone knows the secret now ?

  • Jimbo says:

    I go to the paint department in Walmart and pay $2.58 each for the 5 gallon WHITE buckets which are marked FOOD GRADE in bold black letters. Walmart’s lids do not have any type of gasket but Home Depot lids do, just not sure they are food grade lids. I guess Gamma lids are the way to go.

  • Lori Mueller says:

    I received several free pickle buckets and I have successfully removed the pickle smell by using approximately one cup of Arm & Hammer baking soda and enough water to make a paste. Thoroughly rinse the bucket , and then apply the paste to the walls and floor of the bucket and the entire underside of the lid. I let it sit for approximately 3 days and then scrubbed it out with a rag and hot water. I did not use dish soap. Perhaps leaving it longer or misting the paste and then leaving it for another three days would take care of stronger or more stubborn pickle odor.

  • Gail says:

    I found that the paint buckets at Walmart say they are food grade! Surprise! Lids are sold separately but for less than $5.00, I have what I need. I re-package things like sugar, flour, pasta, and dried milk imto zip lock bags so they take up less space and can conform to the shape of the bucket. I just wonder how safe my zip lock bags are! I would rather individually re-package foods though so there is no cross-contamination and when the need comes, I can remove one package at a time, as needed. I cut off a small portion of the original box with info and sell by date and either tape it or add it to the bags.

  • Lesley says:

    I know this is an old post but I have always used hydrogen peroxide & sunlight, about 5 hours of sunlight usually does the trick. That is the only thing I’ve found that removes the stain & stink from metal lids off of glass jars, fill the lid with peroxide & set in sunny spot for a few hours. On plastic buckets you have to keep applying the peroxide but it always works.

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Lesley,

      I wrote this post a few years ago, but love the discussion that still surrounds it. Great idea using hydrogen peroxide.

  • Lisa says:

    I didn’t want to wait a week. I use them to make nesting boxes for my chickens to lay their eggs in after cutting a semi-circle out of the lid and laying aspen shavings in the bottom.

    After a good washing, I got out in the sun with dish gloves, fresh lemons, cut in half horizontally and I rubbed the entire surface of the inside of each bucket with the lemon half. In addition, I then used the cut lemon, dipped it in baking soda and scrubbed the inside of the bucket. I did the lids too.

    After this and before rinsing, I left them out in the sun for the day, open side up…it was a hot one. Between the lemon and lemon/baking soda scrub and the sun bath, no more smell and my chickens are happy girls 🙂

  • Michael H says:

    Throw the pickle buckets into a chlorinated pool for two days then fish them out. Good as new.

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Michael,

      No doubt that’s true. However, those chemicals are not exactly food grade, so it’s not something I would recommend doing.

  • pam says:

    I too have Firehouse Sub 5 gallon buckets, I can’t seem to get the smell out of them. I have some with coffee grounds, some with vinegar, some with dawn and water and one with clorox and water. so far they still smell like pickles. My question is, will the pickle smell permeate the mylar bags? if not, then I’m done. I can deal with the smell of pickles as long as my food won’t smell like it.

    Thank you,

    Pam

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Pam,
      No, it won’t permeate the bag. However, it will linger on the outside of the bag and you’ll still smell it after you remove the Mylar from the bucket. Since it’s on the outside of the bag when you open the food, theoretically it can get inside the food. Also vinegar is an acid and Mylar is waterproof, but I can’t speak to what lingering vinegar might do to the bags.

  • Frankie Brown says:

    I just left them outside for a few days after rinsing out. Then I left them in the shade on the back porch a few days more. I believe the sunshine and then just the heat and air did the trick. Storing water in mine.

  • Erin says:

    Have you tried free coffe grounds from Starbucks? Just have to ask them for them.

  • Bruce Allen says:

    JUST A SUGGESTION….TRY SPRITZING THE UNDERSIDE OF THE LID AND WALLS AND FLOOR AND DUST WITH DIATOMACEOUS EARTH AND PLACE A 1/2 CUP OF IT ON THE BOTTOM…CHECK ON IT IN THREE DAYS….IT IS USED IN KITTY LITTER

  • Karin says:

    Here in Arizona, I just wash with blue Dawn, rinse and then leave them out in the sun for a couple of days!

  • Alex Groggett says:

    What brand of coffee would you recommend? I’m not a coffee drinker, so I don’t know what brand would work best.

  • Stacey E. says:

    I tried the baking soda paste, the Murphy’s oil soap, and storing dog food in my buckets for several weeks and none of these things took the pickle smell away. I will try coffee next. I would leave them out in the sun, but we get heavy winds sometimes and would be afraid they’d go shooting off of the porch, and end up upside down in the yard. I also have a dog that would likely chew the bucket or lid if left out on the porch.

  • Chris says:

    I have found that baking soda and vinegar work well. Just add both to the bucket, swirl it around a bit and some light scrubbing. Finish by adding dawn and hot water, scrub again and leave in the sun to dry. Smell is gone.

  • Stacey E. says:

    I tried absolutely every method for removing the smell that involved cleaning them or putting a masking smell inside, and none of them worked. The only thing that worked to get the smell out was to put them on the railing outside in the sun, and leave them there for about a month. I even tried the method that Firehouse suggested, and just ended up with pickle smelling buckets that smelled only slightly less bad than how they started out. The pickle smell is nice for the first few minutes, but try driving around with them in an enclosed vehicle for the better part of a day and find that not only does it start to smell objectionable, it also gives you a headache. I can’t figure out why sunshine or fresh air removes the smell, but it does. It just takes forever to work. No cleaning product, dog food storage or scrubbing with any sort of chemicals worked for me.

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