A cooler is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment that someone can add to their camping kitchen setup. An ice chest can come in handy for a camping trip, as a lunchbox, and even during tailgates. At the end of a long trip, it is understandable for people to be tired, and they might wait awhile before trying to clean their ice chest or cooler and the freezer ice packs inside of it. However, people may also find the cooler is harder to clean if they wait too long, for example if dirt is caked onto the wheels of your wheeled cooler. With this in mind, here are a few tips that everyone should follow to make sure their ice chest and cooler stay clean.

Start the Job Quickly

One of the most important tips that people should follow is cleaning the cooler as soon as possible after it has been used. The longer someone waits, the harder it is going to be to clean the cooler, as stains, odors, and other debris will soak into the sides and bottom—regardless of whether you have a hard-shell cooler or a collapsible cooler or backpack cooler.

Start with a General Cleaning

When cleaning the cooler, start with a general cleaning. Take some warm water and mix it with soap to create a bubbly solution. Then, take a sponge and clean the inside of the cooler thoroughly. Be sure to scrub the corners as well. Then, rinse out the inside. Do not forget to clean the outside, the bottom, and the lid of the cooler as well. Make sure the entire cooler, especially if it’s a large cooler, has been scrubbed using the soapy solution.

Getting Rid of Odors

After cleaning the cooler with a mixture of soap and water, some people might find there are odors that are tough to remove. As a result, these odors may start to impact the taste and smell of whatever goes into the cooler next. To prevent this from happening, use a diluted solution of chlorine bleach and water. This is typically enough to remove odors from the cooler within about 24 hours. If the odor is still present after using this solution, take a cloth and dip it in vanilla extract. Then, wipe down the cooler using this cloth. Leave the cloth in the cooler overnight. This could be enough to get rid of even the toughest odors.

Let the Cooler Dry

One of the most common mistakes people make when cleaning their coolers is forgetting the drying process. After cleaning the cooler, it is important to leave the lid off to allow it to air dry. If the cooler is stored in a wet state, this promotes the growth of mold and mildew. If mold is present in the cooler, it can be tough to clean. Furthermore, if the cooler is allowed to sit for an extended period of time with mildew present, it might spread and take over the entire cooler. Some people might even be forced to buy a new cooler entirely, which can be expensive if you’ve invested in a large or high-quality cooler like a bear-proof cooler. Prevent this from happening by allowing the cooler to dry properly.

Keep the Cooler Clean

All different types of coolers should be viewed as investments that needs to be protected, so it is important for everyone to make sure their cooler stays clean so it can continue serving you in storing ice and keeping food cold. This will ensure that everything inside the cooler stays clean as well. With this in mind, follow these tips to make sure your camping cooler lasts for the long term and is ready for the next trip.

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