No matter what model of cooler you use – a marine cooler, an insulated backpack ice chest or just a regular cooler, you want to keep it clean after each use. Who wants to spend a lot of money on a new cooler or ice chest every season, right? The secret is – if you clean your cooler regularly, it can last longer! Good cleaning removes stains, smells and keeps a cooler away from mold and mildew growth. And that is important because I can tell – that mold is just so disgusting!

Even if you’re super tired or just lazy you have to clean your cooler to prevent all the unpleasant issues. But don’t worry – here are some simple recipes from me to you to clean and deodorize a cooler with products that everyone has at home. Let’s get it started!

What do we need?

  • Dish detergent;
  • Baking soda;
  • Bleach;
  • Sponge or towels;
  • Your favorite essential oil.

How do we clean it?

I noticed that after trips I often see some food remains in my cooler. Those little fellas should be removed at the beginning of the cleaning procedure.

  1. First of all, wipe down the inside and outside of your cooler/ice chest with a bucket of soapy water. Rinse it, but don’t dry it. Use your sponge to get rid of all the stuck-on food and drinks. This may be not very pleasant, but you’ll thank me later.
  2. After that pour baking soda inside the wet cooler. My advice to you – use fresh, brand-new pack of soda because it works better and doesn’t lose its strength. Let the baking soda sit up for a half hour.
  3. Rinse everything and dry your cooler with a towel. Keep the drain open while you do this. Try to leave the water drain open after each trip so mold doesn’t grow from the wet environment.

How about some disinfection?

Which best disinfector and mold killer for coolers and ice chests you know? Of course it is bleach. Here are the instructions:

  1. Put 1/2 cup of bleach into a 1-gallon bucket.
  2. Use white towel or sponge to carefully wipe down the inside and outside of your cooler. If you still have any concerns, use a small toothbrush to clean every tiny bit of it.
  3. Rinse with water until the bleach odor is gone. This is really important – you don’t want your food taste like bleach, right?

What’s with the chemical smell?

I don’t like the smell of bleach; it makes me sick to my stomach. You too? Well, I may have some tips for you here. Use your favorite essential oil (mine is vanilla)! Soak a towel in water with a few oil drops. Leave the towel inside the cooler overnight and remove the next morning. Here you go – clean and deodorized cooler or ice chest! The last advice: don’t delay with cleaning, better do it after every trip.