The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Removing odour from jar lids

Martyn's picture

Removing odour from jar lids

I bought several small jars containing prepared garlic, chilli, ginger, mint etc, a while ago. These jars are very stylish and I thought they would come in handy for keeping yeast, salt, seeds, etc. I have washed the jars but cannot get rid of the strong smells from the lids. I've tried washing up liquid, bleach and baking powder, they are currently soaking in a handwash that is supposed to remove all odours but it doesn'r smell too promising.

Anyone have any ideas before I give up and throw the lids away?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Brushed SS surface even better.  Use a SS bowl and all the loose SS utensils you can muster and some washing up soap, lathering each one well using the warm lather on the lids and into the bowl to soak several hours.  Rub bowl surfaces often and rinse everything well.  Let dry with lots of circulation.   

Can also smear and let air dry a paste of soda and water.  After washing dry in sunshine. 

qahtan's picture

I find if I run them through the dishwasher a couple times, or a good wash with soapy water, rine well then I put them out side on the kitchen window sill

open side up, and leave them there a few days in the sun or snow and that will remove the smell most times. then to be double sure put a used tea bag in the jar and  close and keep that way a few days..

 Depends on how bad you want the jars with their own lids,  If I am storeing empty jars with lids I always stck a clean paper towel inside... qahtan 

manicbovine's picture

I reuse all of the jars I get food in. I'll post an excessively detailed account of what I do.


Days 1-3: Soak jar in boiling hot soapy water, lid screwed on with the jar placed upside down. Change the water once or twice a day.


Day 4-5: Soak in white 50% water, 50% white vinegar, changing once or twice per day. (Again, upside down so that the liquid rests on the lid).


Day 6: Wash by hand and place in dishwasher.


This works on nearly everything. I have had some difficulty with a little glass jar that once contained "smoked flavor" and with a glass jar that contained minced garlic.




Martyn's picture

Thanks Jacob, I've been soaking the jar that contained the minced garlic, boiled it, washed it again etc. I got to a point where I thought the smell had gone. I filled it with a small bag of bread machine yeast that had split to avoid wasting it. When I use the yeast there is a VERY strong smell of garlic in the jar, I'm just wondering if this could be the secret to everlasting garlic bread :-D

Smo's picture

I've had great luck using fat to remove flavors from jar lids.  I just put some fat on a jar lid, leave it in a warm spot (like on a rack above a wood stove) for a couple of days, then wipe out the excess and wash it out.  Often flavor compounds that don't dissolve into water will dissolve into fat or alcohol.  I just put up a blog post about it here:

I've only tried lard, but I'm sure other fats would work just fine.

fmlyhntr's picture

I'm going to try this--I think. Does it work in a cool environment? I don't have a wood stove. I can contrive a warm spot for a short period of time. I have some crisco I'll try this with.

dablues's picture

I kept a small glass jar with a plastic top in my fridge with chopped garlic.  I got the garlic smell out of the glass jar by using baking soda as a paste, but not the top.  I tried vinegar for the top.  I tried mustard as someone said that would do it.  It didn't  I didn't have regular tomato juice on hand just V8 juice that didn't work, I tried baking soda.  All these that I tried I left on all night long.  Odor is still there.  I don't want to throw the top out.  Any other suggestions.  I do not put plastic in the dishwasher.  Any other suggestions I will try.  Thank you!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

believe it or not, and garlic?  Well, better off labelling the lid "garlic" and use it for a garlic jar when needed.  Or for pickles,  or any other salad type food where garlic flavour might not be a problem.  

The only thing I think you haven't tried is wrapping the lid in old newspaper (one half sheet will do) and change the paper once a week until the aroma is gone.  Did you try just soaking it in soapy water in a stainless steel bowl or with stainless utensils? 

I learned a trick from the Koreans while living there,  Combine crushed garlic with honey and pack it into your little jar and always have it ready--on hand when you need it.  It preserves the freshness and flavour and you don't have to worry about smelling up a lid, you already have one.  :)

Before you throw it out (and all other suggestions won't work) try the dishwasher, or soaking the lid in a paste of the machine dishwasher soap.