How to Get the Pickle Smell Out of a Pickle Jar

Pickles are made with a special type of cucumber known as a pickling cucumber. To pickle a cucumber, you must allow it to sit in a salt and vinegar brine for a period of time, resulting in the distinct pickle flavour, texture and smell. Glass pickle jars are often reusable, making convenient containers for craft projects or storage. If the pungent smell isn't removed from the jar first, the new contents can end up absorbing the pickles' scent. You can make your pickle jar smell-free with a few simple procedures and supplies.

Fill a dishpan with warm water and add a squirt of dishwashing detergent to make a soapy solution. Place the empty pickle jar in the soap water and scrub with a dish scrubber to remove any pickle brine residue that might be contributing toward odour.

Rinse the jar with warm water and dry with a clean towel.

Pour white vinegar into the pickle jar until it's filled halfway. Add water to fill the rest of the jar. Allow the vinegar and water solution to remain in the pickle jar overnight to absorb pickle odour.

Empty the pickle jar in the sink the next morning. Dry the inside and outside of the jar with a kitchen towel. Allow the glass jar to air dry completely.

Treat any last trace of pickle odour by filling the dry jar full of crumpled newspaper. Leave the newspaper in the jar overnight to absorb pickle smell.

Remove the newspaper from the jar the next morning and repeat Step 1 to ensure cleanliness -- newsprint has a distinct smell and newspaper ink runs easily -- before reuse.


There are other odour-eliminating methods to augment the above steps: Make a paste of two parts baking soda to one part water. Scrub the inside of the pickle jar with the baking soda paste. Allow the paste to sit on the interior surface for a few minutes before washing it off. Fill the glass jar with coffee grounds and place the lid on. Allow the grounds to remain in the jar overnight to absorb pickle odour. Wash the jar with dish detergent to remove coffee ground residue.

Things You'll Need

  • Dishpan
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Dish scrubber
  • Kitchen towels
  • White vinegar
  • Newspaper
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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.