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Defunkifying funky plastic

I let some friends with less space use my equipment sometimes. Recently I discoverer the soggy, spent grains were not emptied from my cooler for several days, leaving behind one nasty odor that would not scrub out!

After a lot of failed remedies from the internet without seeing the most obvious solution to me, I ended up getting the funk out completely by letting it outgass for a week, then pouring a cup of vinegar and a kettle of boiling water in, sealing it up, and letting it sit for an hour.

Thought others might find this useful. Should work on anything plastic that can handle temps just shy of boiling.

Anyone else have their own solutions?

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I found using a weak bleach solution and filling the container works well. I let it sit overnight empty, rinse well and let it sit open to air out. I have not had any lasting problems with the bleach staying in the plastic.

I have not had to do this with beer making supplies but I have had situations where I have had to rid plastic coolers and buckets of the smell of fish. I own a pool and find (probably similar to the beach idea) that filling the vessel with warm water and then adding a couple ounces of pool chlorine works wonders. After a couple hours I dump and allow to sit open over night and all odor is gone.

When you found out, did you turn into the Incredible Hulk? Grrrraaarrrr!! :evil:

I have had success with mixing baking soda with warm water and letting it sit for a few days. This was for coolers that smelled funky, but I did not brew then, but it should work with your mash bucket, I never smelled any lasting odor after the baking soda treatment.

I probably would have bulked out if the smell hadn’t laid me flat.

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