Silicone kitchenware is durable, nonstick, food-safe, and environmentally friendly.
Unfortunately, silicone also absorbs and locks in odors.
If you’re wondering how to remove smell from silicone ice trays or how to do away with the garlic odor on your Two Pillars silicone zip bag, we’ve got you.
In this article, we answer the question: does silicone absorb odors?
We also discuss how to keep strong pungent smells off your silicone items.
Why Do Silicone Items Absorb Odors?
Food grade silicone is an odorless and tasteless material.
However, silicone absorbs odor due to the properties of the molecules used to make the material.
When you heat silicone, its molecules expand, allowing odors and gasses to seep through. When the item cools down, the smells get trapped, making it hard to remove them.
Additionally, silicone ice cube trays smell if there is an accumulation of freezer odors on the material.
How to Remove Smell from Silicone
The smell on your silicone kitchenware isn’t harmful, but it can be annoying. The good news is that there are easy ways to reduce and get rid of this odor.
Notably, when looking for ways to remove odor from silicone bakeware or kitchenware, you’ll want to avoid harsh chemicals. Besides, you don’t want to use abrasives that can ruin your silicone cookware.
Keeping this in mind, here are safe ways to get rid of odor from your silicon products.
1. Bake Your Silicone Kitchenware
One of the safest and easiest ways to remove odors from silicone is to bake them out. The scents that may be making your silicone ice cube trays taste bad will evaporate at high temperatures. But make sure your trays are 100% silicon without any plastic.
Besides, silicone is inert, meaning it won’t leach out any chemicals when heated. Also, food-grade silicone doesn’t have additives that can harm your health when heated. Another great property of silicone is that it will remain stable even at high temperatures of 4500 F.
Notably, before using the baking method to remove odor from your kitchenware, ensure you’re using pure silicone. Test your item using the pull and twist test to determine if it’s made of 100 percent silicone.
Pinch or pull your silicon item on both sides and check if the item shows any white color. Pure silicone will not change color when pulled or twisted. If you notice that your item changes color after the test, don’t put it in the oven, as it may not hold under high temperatures.
So, here’s how to use the baking method to remove odors from silicone
- Preheat your oven to 350F
- Gently scrub your silicone item with a sponge, warm water, and a dish cleaner to remove any oil and food residues
- Place your silicone kitchenware on a cookie sheet and put it in the oven for 20 minutes
- Once your timer goes off, remove your item from the oven and take a sniff
- If your silicone container still has some odor, put it back in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes
- Let the item cool once the odor is gone, and then rinse it with warm water.
2. Never Use Abrasives
In some instances, simply washing your silicone kitchenware with soap, a non-abrasive sponge, and hot water might get the odor out.
Start by putting a few drops of detergent in hot water on your sink. Wear a pair of gloves and soak your kitchenware in the mixture for 20 to 30 minutes. Then, scrub the item with a sponge and later rinse and dry it using a microfiber cloth.
However, don’t be tempted to use an abrasive sponge for this process, as this can ruin your silicone item. An abrasive sponge will flake off your kitchenware and ruin its nonstick property.
3. Use Baking Soda
Baking soda is an effective cleaning agent that can cut through any form of grime, dirt, and odor. Baking soda is also a mild abrasive, making it suitable for cleaning your nonstick silicone cookware.
Here’s how to use baking soda to clean your silicone item.
- Create a paste with equal parts of water and baking soda.
- Rub this paste on your kitchenware and let it sit for 20 minutes or overnight, depending on how pungent the smell is.
- Use a gentle sponge and hot water to rinse off the paste.
- If the smell lingers on, repeat the process several times until the odor is gone.
Alternatively, you can mix two parts of baking soda with one part of vinegar and follow the above steps.
4. Steam Clean with White Vinegar or Lemon
Another foolproof way to clean your silicone kitchenware is to use vinegar and lemon juice, slices, or rinds. This method is particularly effective for cleaning silicone instant pot sealing rings.
- Add one cup of water to one cup of vinegar and lemon rinds in an instant pot.
- Seal the lid and run your instant pot on steam for 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid and ring and leave the latter to dry.
Soaking your silicone bag in 50-50 white vinegar and water mixture for an hour can also remove odor. Remember to wash your silicone zip bag with soap and to dry it in the sun after cleaning it.
Silicone kitchenware is durable, heat-resistant, and easy to clean.
Unfortunately, silicone is also known to absorb strong odors after just a few uses. And getting rid of pungent smells from your silicone kitchenware may require more than your routine cleaning.
Hopefully, the above cleaning hacks will get rid of stubborn odors from your silicone items in no time.