The Cleaning Hack That'll Freshen Up Your Cooler After A Party

Social events like parties, tailgate outings, or campsite hangouts can feel energizing and renewing. However, all that excitement is hard to stomach when your tummy's rumbling, so most of us excitedly show up for these events bringing coolers stocked with drinks, sandwiches, fixings for the grill, and, of course, ice. To ensure the food stays safe to consume, coolers should be sanitized and in good working order. That said, when you return from an unforgettable outing, they'll be far from spotless. Once you're back home, refresh your cooler with a generous spritz of hydrogen peroxide and a thorough wipe-down. 

Hydrogen peroxide has a number of surprising household uses and is considered an effective enough disinfectant for use in healthcare facilities, so it's more than sufficient to sterilize and clean your cooler. And, of course, because of your cooler's unwieldy shape and large size, you probably can't toss it into the kitchen sink. When you're ready to clean it, grab a bottle of 3% household-strength hydrogen peroxide, a sponge, gloves, a dish towel, and an optional spray bottle.

How to use this hack

Hydrogen peroxide is sold in dark brown bottles to preserve its disinfecting power. It's packaged that way because the liquid starts to degrade when it comes into contact with light. While putting some in a spray bottle may make cleaning more convenient, we recommend just transferring the amount you need since it will quickly lose effectiveness. This can be done by applying a generous amount of hydrogen peroxide to a clean sponge or by pouring just a little into a clean spray bottle.

Because the CDC classifies hydrogen peroxide as an irritant to the eyes, throat, and respiratory system, you might consider putting on a mask while you use it. After you've wiped down all the interior surfaces of your cooler, rinse your sponge with fresh water and give it another go. Then, you can wipe it dry with the dish towel. However, when cleaning with hydrogen peroxide, the safest option is to use it solo and avoid mixing it with other cleaners. Mixing it with vinegar creates peracetic acid, so these two versatile cleaners should never be used in tandem.