How to Remove Unwanted Smells from Bottles

In my post last week, I mentioned that Carlo and I were going to be scraping off the labels from my hoard of bottles. After we did that, I soaked all of them in hot, soapy water then scrubbed them clean. Yet even after all that cleansing, some of the bottles (particularly the ones from pasta sauce) still had a strong, tomato-ey scent. As I am planning to use the bottles for cereal, oatmeal and other baking items, I certainly didn’t want these staples to become tomato flavored.

I remember reading somewhere (I have no idea where but I’ve got all sorts of weird trivia stuck in my head) that mustard and hot water will get rid of any sort of smells from glass jars and/or plastic containers.  And so in the interest of science and I figured it would make a great thing to share here on the blog, I decided to try the “recipe” out. 

1) Spoon some mustard into your jar/container. (Both the dry, ground spice and the goopy, condiment kind will work. I tried them both!)

2) Pour some hot water into the bottle.


3) Put the lid back on, then shake!


It worked instantly! And for those that still had an odor, I just let the mustard mixture sit in the jar for a little longer and shook it again later. Ta-dah!!! Good as new! Even the lids no longer reeked!  

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  1. How neat! What’s your method for taking out the labels and the sticky stuff left on the bottle surface after the label’s been taken out?