I have a plastic container that milk went off in. It is part of a coffee machine. Any hints how to get rid of the smell would be greatly appreciated


6 Answers 6


Fill up half the container with boiling water and close with lid. So that, vapor can't go out. Wait till it the water cool down completely. Do this with couple of times.

Still you feel the smell, half-feel with water close it with lid and keep that container at your rooftop where it can have direct sunlight throughout the day. Keep it there for at least a week.

  • 2
    .. and after that week, you have replaced the sour milk smell with a nice algae scent?
    – Stephie
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 14:27
  • This is a trick for restoring the shape of a crushed plastic milk container. The pressure of expanding water inside will distort or burst the bottle.
    – GeeGee
    Commented Jan 31 at 10:28
  • The OP refers to the container only as generic "plastic". If it happens to be #1 plastic, doing this, "Fill up half the container with boiling water", will not only destroy the container, it might spew the boiling water on the person pouring it. Commented Jan 31 at 14:01

I use warm water and baking soda, and a soft sponge-scouring pad to wipe rub all.

Source: Myself, when cleaning stuff that had moldy milk in it.

  • After the baking soda bath, fill coffee maker with water, add1/2 cup of white vinegar and run a cycle. Rinse out and run one more cycle of plain water. That really outta do it.
    – M.Mat
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 1:57

The best trick I've used for protein shaker bottles that stink is to fill the container with hot water and washing up liquid and leave till cool.


Bleach is a miracle chemical for removing smells. Of course you should first wash it with dish soap as suggested in the other answers, but if the smell remains, soak it in water with just a bit of bleach added--a tablespoon per gallon of water should be enough if you soak it for a while. An aggressive bleach solution is one part bleach to nine parts water, but something much weaker is sufficient to remove smells.

If there is any metal involved, you cannot use any but the mildest bleach solution. The chlorine in bleach causes metal to rust, sometimes even forming compounds that will encourage future rust and can't be washed off.


Vinegar has a high level of acidity, which helps to break down and neutralize odor-causing molecules in the air. It can also absorb odors through its porous structure.

Reference: https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/does-white-vinegar-really-neutralize-airborne-odors-and-not-just-mask-them.996427/

  • 1
    Are you suggesting that liquid vinegar is porous? That makes no sense.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Jan 31 at 9:16

Try rinsing the bottle with a little bit of white vinegar.

  • Hi!. Can you explain why this is a good answer? We expect answers to not just suggest solutions, but explain why they would work.
    – A J
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 8:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.