The warmer months are the perfect time to break out the camping gear and head for the great outdoors. But no one wants to open up their cooler after a long day of hiking only to be hit with a wave of foul odor. If your cooler needs a good cleaning, follow these tips to get it smelling fresh again.

Clear It

Most of us have had the experience of digging through a cooler, only to find a science experiment masquerading as lunch. If you want to avoid food spoilage (and potential illness), it's important to clean your cooler regularly. The best way to start is by removing everything from the cooler, including any food or drinks that may be left inside. Also, take out any removable shelves or dividers. Once the cooler is empty, give it a good scrub with warm, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and dry completely before adding new food. By taking a few simple steps, you can keep your cooler clean and ensure that your next camping trip is a success.

Wash It

Before you begin packing up your camp cooler for your next trip, take a moment to clean it out. Mix up a solution of warm water and dish soap, and use it to wash the interior and exterior of the cooler. Pay special attention to any areas that seem particularly dirty, and make sure to get into all of the nooks and crannies. When you're finished, rinse the cooler thoroughly with clean water. By taking the time to clean your cooler before heading out on your trip, you'll help keep your food safe and ensure that your cooler stays in good condition for years to come.

Disinfect It

Everyone knows how important it is to keep their coolers clean. Not only does it help to prevent the spread of germs, but it also helps to eliminate any lingering odors. To disinfect your cooler and help fight off any bad smells, mix 1 tablespoon of bleach with 1 gallon of water. Using a sponge, wipe down the inside of the cooler with this mixture. Rinse out the cooler with clean water when you're done. For an extra fresh smell, you can also add a few drops of essential oil to the mixture. This will help to keep your cooler smelling its best all season long.

Clean the Extras

Keeping your cooler clean is important for preventing the growth of bacteria and mold. If you have a removable shelf or divider in your cooler, be sure to soak it in a bleach solution for 15 minutes before rinsing it off with clean water. This will help to kill any harmful microbes that may be present. Once the shelf or divider is clean, you can put it back in the cooler. By taking this simple step, you can help to keep your cooler clean and safe to use.

Freshen It

To freshen things up, try placing a few bowls of lemon juice inside the cooler and closing it up tightly overnight. The lemon juice will help neutralize any bad odors and leave your cooler smelling fresh and clean. Plus, it's a natural and environmentally friendly way to keep your cooler looking and smelling its best.

Sum It Up

By following these simple tips, you can easily get your smelly cooler cleaned up and ready for your next camping trip. And with lemon juice working to keep things smelling fresh, you'll be able to enjoy your time outdoors without having to worry about any unpleasant odors coming from your cooler.  Check out our review of camping coolers for more information.