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How to get rid of plastic smell

Updated February 21, 2017

With the purchase of a new toy, container, shower curtain or refrigerator, the last thing you want is an overwhelming plastic or other chemical odour. Many newly manufactured products contain a sharp, plastic odour either from the packaging or the item itself. But don't let the plastic odour deter you from using your new item. You can easily and safely remove this odour from your plastic items and enjoy them for years to come.

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  1. Increase ventilation. Oftentimes, plastic items have been sitting in PVC packaging for quite some time. Simply letting your item air out will reduce some of the harsh plastic odour. To do so, leave your item outside or leave it in the garage (if you have one) with a circulating fan turned on. If you leave your item out in the sun, be warned that your item may fade in colour due to exposure to direct sunlight. You may need to leave your item outside overnight for the full fresh air treatment.

  2. Apply baking soda. Baking soda is known for its ability to neutralise persistent odours. Dust your item with baking soda or immerse the item in a mixture of baking soda (a couple of teaspoons) and warm water. If you do the latter, make sure the solution is mixed thoroughly. Let your item sit in the baking soda and water mixture for a couple of days. Rinse the item clean with water.

  3. Mix white vinegar and water in a small bucket or bowl, if baking soda doesn't work. As an added bonus, white vinegar also kills germs and bacteria. Use a three-to-one ratio of water to vinegar. Immerse a dish towel into the vinegar and water mixture and use the towel to wipe down your plastic item. After generously wiping down the item, rinse the item with clean water. The chemical plastic smell should dissipate. If it does not, try immersing the item in the water and vinegar mixture for a longer period of time, and rinse clean afterward.

  4. Allow your plastic item to dry completely after using the baking soda or white vinegar treatmen. If possible, leave your item to dry outside or in a well-ventilated area.

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Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Warm water
  • White vinegar
  • Dish towel
  • Fan

About the Author

June Lee has been writing professionally since 1999. Her areas of expertise include education, art, fashion and travel. She holds a B.A. in English and has been writing online professionally since August 2010.

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