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How to Get the Smell Out of Pickle Jars to Reuse Them

A jar of pickles sit on a wooden table top.
Iakovleva Daria/Shutterstock.com

There are tons of ways to repurpose everyday household items. Just think about all those grocery bags you’ve got stashed under your sink. Arguably, pickle jars are one of the most useful things you can repurpose, but oof, that smell is something else.

How do you get the smell out of pickle jars so you can reuse them? While it might take a bit of time, the process is easier than you think.

Whether you want to reuse pickle jars to, well, pickle something else, make a “mason jar” salad, or just use it as a drinking glass, you’ll want to get all of the brine residue and scent out before it becomes your new food storage container or water glass.

Lock & Lock Pickle Container

Haven't quite finished your pickles? Put them in their own container.

First, you’ll clean the jar with your usual dish soap and sponge or brush. Be sure to scrub every bit of the interior to remove those salt and brine leftovers. Rinse and dry the jar. Then, set it in a sunny window or outside in full sunlight for a day or two.

Once the jar has sat, fill it with half vinegar and half water. Add the top and allow the filled jar to sit overnight. In the morning, empty the jar, wash it, and let it air dry. You should have an odorless container.

If, however, you’re still getting a lingering pickle scent, crumble up newspaper and leave it in the jar overnight. The paper should absorb the last bit of scent. Before using, just be sure to wash the jar again.

For those looking to repurpose and recycle more, pickle jars might be a good place to start. While sure, there’s a lot of waiting around when it comes to removing smells, there’s actually very little labor involved.

So, should we start calling them pickle jar salads now?

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Assignments Editor at LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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