Freshen Up Your Smelly Cooler With This Simple Medicine Hack

Coolers are indispensable for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy picnics, tailgate parties, camping, and fishing. However, it's not uncommon for coolers to develop unpleasant odors after repeated use. Like any outdoor gear, coolers require regular maintenance to ward off foul smells and stubborn stains. Fortunately, the solution to a smelly cooler is likely in your medicine cabinet: Alka-Seltzer.

Alka-Seltzer is renowned not just for its ability to relieve headaches and stomach discomfort but also for its surprising efficacy in home cleaning tasks. Skeptical? Try this simple experiment: Leave a glass of Alka-Seltzer and water in your smelly fridge and see what happens! If it can handle a fridge, it can surely refresh your smelly cooler. Just fill the bottom of your cooler with about an inch of water and pop about four tablets. Allow them to fizz with the cooler closed. After letting the solution work for about an hour, rinse and dry your cooler. You'll likely find that the persistent odors have disappeared, leaving your cooler refreshed and ready for your next outdoor adventure.

How Alka-Seltzer deals with smelly coolers

Alka-Seltzer is a medication that treats heartburn, upset stomach, indigestion, and headaches, thanks to its main ingredients, two antacids, and aspirin, a pain killer. Its two antacids, anhydrous citric acid and sodium carbonate (aka baking soda), aren't only great at tackling acids; they're also known cleaning powerhouses. So when you use Alka-Seltzer to freshen up your smelly coolers, you're essentially harnessing the cleaning power of these substances.

The nasty smells from your coolers are primarily due to the oxidation or breakdown of fatty acids in decaying food. Baking soda, being a base, reacts with these acidic odor molecules and neutralizes them, effectively eliminating their odors. This chemical interaction is critical to tackling the smells that commonly plague coolers. Aside from fatty acids, bacteria and mold can also contribute to the unpleasant lingering smell in your cooler. Fortunately, the citric acid in Alka-Seltzer has antibacterial properties and prevents the formation of molds, yeasts, and fungi. Additionally, the fizzing action of Alka-Seltzer, which releases carbon dioxide, aids in loosening and removing stuck-on stains within the cooler. Convinced of Alka-Seltzer's cleaning prowess? There are a variety of Alka-Seltzer cleaning hacks to try around your house.