How to Remove Odors from Plastic


Maria asked: How do remove “curry” odor from my son’s plastic race car twin bed frame? My son’s Little Tikes race car plastic bed fram and attached toy/car “trunk,” (the kind that surrounds an entire mattress and boxspring) has taken on an odor of curry. No matter what I clean it with, the odor remains. Many thanks for any and all suggestions.

Removing odors from any kind of plastic can be difficult. With such a large surface, the removal will likely take some time, but it will be worth the effort. Here are a couple of methods that can be used to remove the smell.

You Will Need:

  • Sponges
  • Water
  • Buckets
  • Lemon juice
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Vacuum

Steps to Remove the Odor:

  1. Fill a bucket with warm water and add dish detergent. Dish detergents are designed to break down oils which can cause odors.
  2. Use a sponge or soft cloth to wipe the bed down with the mixture.
  3. If the plastic can withstand it (and not become discolored) add a small amount of bleach to the water for additional cleaning power. If you are unsure of discoloration, test a small, hidden area first.
  4. If that does not work, mix baking soda with water to form a paste.
  5. Spread the paste over the surface of the plastic. For larger projects, work in small sections.
  6. Allow the paste to dry completely and vacuum away or wipe off with a moist cloth.
  7. Another mixture can be made with one part baking soda, one part lemon juice and two parts water.
  8. Moisten a soft cloth with the mixture and apply it to the surface. Allow it to set for several minutes before wiping away with a clean cloth moistened with water.
  9. Vinegar is a well known odor-remover. Wipe the surfaces of the plastic with vinegar.
  10. Allow it to set for several minutes. Then, either rinse or wash it away.
  11. The smell of vinegar may linger slightly, but will dissipate after a day or two.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Odo-ban is a commercial product that is designed to remove odors from a variety of surfaces. It may work well on such a large area such as a bed.
  • These same removal methods can be used with other plastic items as well, such as dishes.

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