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How to Clean a Stained, Smelly, or Moldy Cooler

Cooler for house cleaning Plano TX

If your cooler is in bad shape after your busy summer, don’t worry – there is a solution! This blog post will teach you how to clean a stained, smelly, or moldy cooler using everyday household items. So, if you want to keep using your cooler for years to come, follow the steps below!

Step 1: Mix Baking Soda and Water 

To begin, mix one tablespoon baking soda and one cup of water into a paste. Baking soda is a mild abrasive that will help break down stains, so if you have any tough stains, this step might help remove them. The water helps spread the baking soda around and dilutes it slightly.

Baking soda is also an effective natural deodorizer, so if your cooler smells funky or has mildew buildup, this could also help eliminate odors!

Step 2: Combine White Vinegar and Water

Vinegar is a great cleaner for a variety of materials, including glass. It’s an acid and will help remove stains from your cooler. You can use it on its own or with water. To make sure you get the most out of the vinegar’s cleaning power, fill the cooler with hot water and add 1 cup (240 milliliters) of white vinegar before dumping out the water to neutralize any residual odors and kill off bacteria. If you have an adjustable-nozzle sprayer, leave it at its widest setting so you can cover as much surface area as possible when spraying down your cooler!

Step 3: Apply to the Cooler’s Stained Areas

Spray a mixture of white vinegar and water on the cooler’s stained areas. Stir 1 tablespoon of baking soda into 1 cup of warm water until it has dissolved completely, then apply it to stains with a clean cloth or sponge. Wait about 15-20 minutes for the stains to lift from the cooler’s interior area before thoroughly cleaning it with soap and water.

Step 4: Wipe with a Dry Cloth

After you’ve let your cooler sit for a few minutes, use a dry cloth or paper towel to wipe off the solution. Make sure you dry the cooler entirely before storing it away. If any stains remain after cleaning your cooler with vinegar and water, try using baking soda or lemon juice.

Step 5: Dry Completely Before Storing It Away

Once the cooler is dry, you can store it away. Please don’t put your newly clean cooler away until it is completely dry. If you leave it out and allow moisture to collect in the crevices of the cooler, mold will start to grow again and cause problems.


The key to cleaning a stained, smelly, or moldy cooler is knowing what you’re dealing with and how they were formed. If the stain is caused by mildew or mold, you should use baking soda and water instead of vinegar because it will not leave any residue like white vinegar. If the stain is caused by oil or grease, an enzyme cleaner will work wonders!

Need some help cleaning the rest of your home? Click here to request a free estimate from Dallas Sunrise Maids today!

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