So, you recently emptied out that large glass jar of your favorite pickles, and now you’re left with an overpowering smell that won’t go away. As much as you love pickles, you certainly don’t want their pungent odor lingering around. In this article, we’ll explore various effective methods to banish that stubborn pickle smell from your jar, leaving it fresh and ready to use for your next kitchen adventure.

How to Remove Pickle Smell from Jar?

how to remove pickle smell from jar

Understanding the Science Behind Pickle Odor

Before we dive into the removal methods, let’s understand why pickles tend to leave such a strong smell in the first place. Pickles contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are responsible for their distinct aroma. When pickles are stored in a glass jar, these compounds interact with the jar’s surface, intensifying the odor over time.

Common Mistakes That Lock in the Smell

Sometimes, the smell gets trapped in the jar due to simple mistakes we make during the cleaning process. Two common culprits are improper washing techniques and inadequate drying. Both of these can lead to a lingering pickle smell even after cleaning.

Preparation Before Deodorizing

Before we begin the deodorizing process, it’s crucial to prepare the jar correctly. Start by emptying the jar completely of any remaining pickle juice or residue. Then, please thoroughly rinse with warm water to remove any visible traces.

Home Remedies for Removing Pickle Smell

Let’s explore some fantastic home remedies that are effective and budget-friendly. One such remedy involves using a baking soda and water solution. Baking soda is renowned for its odor-absorbing properties, making it an excellent candidate for combating the pickle smell. Create a mixture of water and baking soda, and let it sit in the jar for a few hours before rinsing it out.

Another remedy involves using vinegar, a versatile ingredient found in almost every kitchen. Prepare a vinegar soak by filling the jar with white vinegar and allowing it to sit for a few hours. The vinegar will neutralize the pickle smell, leaving your jar smelling fresh once again.

Activated Charcoal Magic

Activated charcoal is like a superhero when it comes to absorbing odors. Its porous nature allows it to attract and trap odor molecules effectively. To use this method, place a few pieces of activated charcoal inside the jar and seal it with the lid. Let it sit for a day or two, and you’ll be amazed at how well it removes the pickle smell.

Harnessing the Power of Coffee Grounds

If you’re a coffee enthusiast, you’ll love this deodorizing method. Coffee grounds are great for making a morning brew and absorb odors. Place used coffee grounds inside the jar, close the lid, and leave it overnight. Wake up to a pickle-free, coffee-scented jar!

Lemon and Citrus Zest

how to remove pickle smell from jar

Lemons and other citrus fruits are known for their natural deodorizing abilities. Take advantage of this by using lemon peels or citrus zest to eliminate the pickle smell. Place a few peels or zest inside the jar and let them work their magic for a day or two.

White Vinegar and Water Solution

In addition to being an excellent deodorizer, white vinegar is also a powerful cleaning agent. Fill the jar with this solution and let it sit for a few hours. The vinegar will neutralize the odor, leaving your jar fresh and odor-free.

Sunlight and Fresh Air

Mother Nature has a solution for everything, including pickle smell removal. Sunlight and fresh air can work wonders in eliminating odors. Place the jar outside in direct sunlight for a few hours. The combination of UV rays and fresh air will naturally dissipate the smell.

The Power of Time

Sometimes, all it takes to remove the pickle smell is time. After washing and rinsing the jar, leave it open and let it sit for a few days. The odor will gradually fade away, especially if you place the jar in a well-ventilated area.

Commercial Deodorizing Products

If you prefer a ready-made solution, various commercial deodorizing products are available in the market. Look for odor-absorbing gels or charcoal-based deodorizers designed to remove stubborn smells from enclosed spaces. 

Preventing Future Pickle Smell

Prevention is better than cure, which is true for the pickle smell. To avoid future odor issues, ensure you wash the jars thoroughly with warm water and soap and dry them completely before storing anything in them. Additionally, using airtight lids can help keep odors at bay.

Additional Tips and Tricks

You can create small packets of baking soda and place them inside the jar for added deodorizing power. Replace these packets every few weeks to maintain a fresh-smelling jar. Alternatively, a few drops of essential oil can also add a pleasant fragrance to the jar while neutralizing any lingering pickle smell.


Bid farewell to the persistent pickle smell with these simple yet effective methods. Whether you opt for natural remedies like baking soda, vinegar, or activated charcoal or choose commercial deodorizers, your glass jar will be odor-free and ready for the next adventure in your kitchen. Say goodbye to the pickle smell, and hello to a fresh start!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

how to remove pickle smell from jar

Is it necessary to remove the pickle smell from the jar?

  • While it may not be essential, removing the smell ensures that it doesn’t affect the taste of the next food you store in the jar.

Can I use bleach to remove the pickle smell?

  • Using bleach is not recommended, as it may leave harmful residues and interact with pickle remnants, creating toxic compounds.

How often should I replace the activated charcoal?

  • Replace the activated charcoal every few months to maintain its odor-absorbing efficiency.

Can I use these deodorizing methods for plastic containers too?

  • Yes, most of these methods are safe for plastic containers as well.

Are there any natural alternatives to commercial deodorizers?

  • Yes, baking soda, vinegar, coffee grounds, and citrus peels are all-natural alternatives that effectively remove odors.

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