Keep It Cool, Then Keep It Clean
Coolers are a fantastic household item – they are a lifesaver when tailgating, attending the kids’ sports games, attending holiday cookouts or any number of other fun outdoor activities involving food or drinks. Of course, with the moisture that comes with storing ice, cold food and beverages – and the inevitable delay of cleaning them out after a long, fun day outside – you can be left with stain and odor-causing bacteria, as well as mold and mildew.
For general cleaning in between each use, empty the cooler completely, wipe down all surfaces with warm water and a mild soap, then wipe it clean. Allow the cooler to dry with the inside exposed before storing again.
To remove odors, apply white vinegar to a clean cloth and wipe the inside of the cooler. Afterwards, you can just let the vinegar dry completely - no need to wipe off!
If you find mold and mildew in your cooler, fill the cooler with water and a half cup of bleach. Allow the solution to sit for an hour, then rinse thoroughly and let dry outside in the sun, if possible.
The best solution for keeping a clean cooler is to purchase one with built-in antimicrobial product protection, such as Rubbermaid coolers with Microban®. These coolers will stay cleaner in between cleanings, and last longer.