Ice coolers get used the most during summers. It is common for them to get stained and even stink. Since they are an essential part of many outdoor activities, they get dirty very quickly.

The growth of mold is also a common occurrence due to the heavy dampness within a cooler. Cleaning an ice cooler isn’t a hectic task and doesn’t require a lot of effort.

You should clean your portable ice cooler from time to time and keep it clean and fresh. Do remember to clean your ice cooler after a fishing trip to eliminate the ‘fishy’ odor for a pleasant use for additional trips. A dirty ice cooler can lead to contamination of your food and water and even lead to

an unwanted stench.

Please do not wait for specific occasion or weather to clean your pelican coolers; make sure you clean it thoroughly after a certain number of uses on outdoor trips.

Here are the ingredients required when cleaning an ice cooler:

  1. Water ( obviously )
  2. Baking soda. It dissolves dirt and grease in water, making it very effective in cleaning tough unreachable spots.
  3. Vinegar. Vinegar is made up of acetic acid, which means its acidic nature is strong enough to kill bacteria and dissolve mineral deposits and grime. It is used to rinse the outside of your ice cooler and even the inside to exterminate bacterial formation.
  4. Scrubbing brush. Some stains aren’t completely removed by just using baking soda and vinegar and require manual scrubbing to bring that spotless shine to your ice cooler.

Now that you have gathered the required ingredients, follow these steps to ensure a clean and sanitized ice cooler:

  • Rinse the ice cooler with water to remove any dirt that hasn’t yet stuck to the surface of the ice cooler.
  • Next up, coat the insides of the ice cooler with a surplus amount of baking soda. Make sure to miss no spots.
  • Without adding water, spray vinegar inside the ice cooler and watch the combination of vinegar and baking soda start to fizz. Let it fizz for around five minutes.
  • Bring out your scrubbing brush and scrub the entire ice cooler thoroughly. This ensures that there is no leftover dirt or grease that might still be stuck to the surface.
  • Rinse the ice cooler with water and watch it become as spotless as it was when it was brand new.
  • For disinfecting the ice cooler:
  •  Pour ⅓ of a cup of bleach and scrub the surfaces.
  • Let it sit for 5-6 minutes as it disinfects completely.
  • Rinse thoroughly with water.

Are you done following these steps? Perfect! Your ice cooler is now clean and totally disinfected, and ready to use again. Wasn’t that hard, was it?


Ice coolers should be thoroughly cleaned after a certain number of uses. This article has the required ingredients and the steps to follow mentioned in it.

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