How to Clean a Cooler


by Jeremy Denson August 03, 2014

"The garage smells like fish. Bad." My wife's nose wrinkled.

I made a noncommittal noise, "Nnnh", and hoped she'd go away.

"Did you forget to clean the cooler after you got back from the coast last weekend?" Her eyes narrowed dangerously.

I shrugged, remembering that I had left several days' worth of redfish and speck slime inside the cooler six days ago. I headed to the garage, where I found my Brute Outdoors 75 Quart Cooler with the lid down and the plugs out. I cautiously opened the unlatched lid and was greeted by a few dribbles of tepid water and a vigorous fish stink.

Fish long enough and it'll happen. You clean your fish, you get home late, you figure you'll handle cleaning the cooler up in the morning. Except you don't. Days later, your ice is gone and your cooler has become an olfactory science experiment. So how do you get rid of the fish smell and clean a cooler?

After thoroughly rinsing the cooler, drop one tablespoon of liquid dish soap and a quarter to half cup of baking soda into the cooler. Add a generous spray of water and scrub using a green dish scrubbing pad. Rinse the cooler again, then liberally spray with Clorox Anywhere sanitizing spray. Leave the lid open and allow the spray to dry. That's it. Clorox Anywhere contains sodium hypochlorite, a component of bleach. It is food safe and will not bleach fabrics, but it handily kills fish smells. If you still detect an odor from your Brute Outdoors Cooler, simply reapply Clorox anywhere.

After employing this cleaning method - and letting the garage air out in the process - my Brute Outdoors fishing cooler was odor-free and I was back to watching baseball, dodging chores and planning my next fishing trip.

Article compliments of Brian Donovan




Jeremy Denson
Jeremy Denson

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