Reclaiming Your Container: Tips for Eliminating Unwanted Smells

If you’re experiencing trouble with unpleasant odors in your shipping container, don’t worry! There’s a solution that’s easy, safe, and affordable: baking soda. Baking soda is a versatile and effective cleaning agent that can be used in many ways, including neutralizing pesky smells. Here’s how to get the smell out of a shipping container using baking soda:
  • Step 1: Mix baking soda and water in a bowl to create a paste or emulsion. You can adjust the amount of baking soda and water depending on the size of your container.
  • Step 2: Using a clean cloth or sponge, rub the paste into the interior of the container thoroughly. Make sure to cover all surfaces, including corners and crevices.
  • Step 3: Let the baking soda do its work by leaving the container closed for a few days. This will give the baking soda time to absorb the odors, leaving the container smelling fresh and clean.
  • Step 4: Once the waiting period is over, rinse the container out with water. You can also add a small amount of vinegar to the rinse water to neutralize any remaining baking soda residue.
  • By using baking soda to eliminate unpleasant smells in your shipping container, you’ll be able to use it for storage with confidence. It’s also a safer alternative to chemical deodorizers that may contain harmful ingredients. So next time you encounter a smelly shipping container, reach for baking soda and enjoy a fresh and clean storage space!


    Shipping containers are sturdy, reliable storage options that can withstand the elements, but sometimes they can also come with unwanted odors. Whether you’re using one for long-term storage or converting it into a living space, dealing with lingering smells is essential. Fortunately, there’s a simple, affordable solution that’s likely already in your kitchen pantry: baking soda.
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    Understanding the problem: lingering smells in shipping containers

    Shipping containers are often used to transport a wide variety of items, from clothing and books to chemicals and animal products. Over time, these items can leave behind a lingering odor that is difficult to remove. Additionally, if the container has been sitting outside for an extended period, it may have absorbed outdoor smells like mold, mildew, and pollution. No matter what the source of the odor, it’s important to remove it before using the container for storage or living. Not only can odors be unpleasant, but they can also indicate the presence of harmful bacteria or chemicals.

    The power of baking soda for cleaning and sanitizing

    Baking soda is a natural odor absorber and deodorizer that has been used for centuries in a variety of cleaning and sanitizing applications. It’s affordable, eco-friendly, and non-toxic, making it the ideal choice for removing odors from shipping containers. When mixed with water, baking soda forms an emulsion that can be rubbed into surfaces and fabrics to neutralize odors. The alkaline nature of baking soda also makes it an effective disinfectant, killing mold, mildew, and bacteria.

    How to mix and apply baking soda solution to shipping containers

    To use baking soda to remove odors from shipping containers, you’ll need to mix it with water to form a solution. Here’s how to do it:
    1. Measure out one cup of baking soda per every square foot of container space.
    2. Add enough water to the baking soda to make a thick paste or emulsion.
    3. Using a cloth or brush, rub the baking soda solution into all surfaces of the container, focusing on any areas with significant odors.
    4. Leave the baking soda solution on the surfaces for at least two days, allowing it to absorb and neutralize the odors.
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    Allowing time for baking soda to work its magic

    One of the most critical steps in using baking soda to remove odors is allowing enough time for the solution to work its magic. It’s tempting to wipe the solution away immediately, but that will not be effective. The longer you let it work, the more effective it will be. Two to three days is the minimum amount of time you should let the baking soda solution sit in the container. If possible, leave it for up to a week for maximum effectiveness.

    Final step: washing and preparing the container for use

    Once you’ve allowed the baking soda solution to work, it’s time to wash the container and prepare it for use. Here are the steps:
    1. Use water to rinse any remaining baking soda solution from all surfaces of the container.
    2. Wash all surfaces, inside and out, with a solution of warm water and mild detergent. Rinse thoroughly with water and allow to dry completely.
    3. Inspect the container for any remaining odors. If odors persist, repeat the baking soda solution process until they are gone entirely.


    Shipping containers are a valuable storage and living space option, but removing odors is a critical step in making them safe and enjoyable. Baking soda is an excellent solution for neutralizing odors and can be easily mixed with water and applied to all container surfaces. By following these steps and allowing the baking soda enough time to work, you can remove unwanted odors from your shipping container once and for all.

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