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Silicone and odors. Help please.

I am at a loss. My gaskets for pressure cookers and my beloved universal silicone lids have become saturated with the stench (now) of old cooked onions and garlic. The odor is nauseating. I tried an over night baking soda soak, no luck. I am now trying a bath in white vinegar. It is reducing it some but still has not removed the odor. Anyone with a similar problem and if so have you solved it and how?


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  1. i replaced mine. it was about $5.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ScubaSteve

      Thanks, i sell replacements. The gaskets are not expensive at all, I know. The silicone lids are another matter and are expensive.

    2. Since silicone is pretty impervious to most common household chemicals you do have some range of options here. I think I'd give them a soak in a bleach solution, and then leave them out on the back porch for a week or so. Or maybe until Spring...

      4 Replies
      1. re: Will Owen

        Bleach was my next option. i went looking for the spray cleaner for plastics today, my Kroger seems not to stock it any longer. The pressure cooker is out on the back porch at this moment. It gets used several times a week, especially in winter so it has to come in but at the moment it is a solution. I just dread opening it for use.

        1. re: Candy

          Actually, after I wrote that I got to thinking that what I'd do, especially if I lived somewhere with cleaner air and actual winter weather, is just leave those things out in the elements for a week or two, like hanging from the clothesline (doesn't everyone in Indiana have a clothesline, or has that gone by the wayside too?). Let sunshine, rain, ozone and oxygen do their thing.

          I assume you meant to say that your pressure cooker is IN a solution...

          1. re: Will Owen

            Hi Will. The pressure cooker gasket was what I was soaking trying to remove that odor. Alas, the screened porch will have to do, no clothes line. Clothes lines are against the covenants and restrictions in my neighborhood.

          2. re: Candy

            I had a really bad experience with silicone absorbing the smell/taste of dish soap that would make me wary of using bleach. The best solution I found was to put my silicone mats in the sink and cover them with boiling water. Once the water cooled enough to put my bare hands in, I pulled the mats out, rinsed them off, and let them air dry.

        2. Lemon juice works better than vinegar when cleaning the same smaells from my fingers. Of course, they are not silicone, but it's worth a try.

          1. I had "bad milk" odor on my silicone coffee cup lid. I soaked it overnight in a strong (3 tablets) denture cleaner solution. That didn't get all the odor out, but it reduced it to the point where it went away after another week of sitting.

            2 Replies
            1. re: patricium

              Brilliant! The plastics in dentures hold odors, so it stands to reason that denture cleaner would be formulated to remove smells from plastic without damaging it.

              1. re: therealdoctorlew

                I'll give it a try. Last night after starting a chowder in the pc the old stale onion odor was back as strongly as ever.

            2. This is why I am not a fan of all the new silicone products. I had some silicone measuring bowls and they got an odor in them would absolutely not come out. I tried:
              - lemon juice
              - vinegar
              - baking soda
              - freezing
              - bleach and water combo
              - freezing combined with all of the above
              Nothing worked.
              I finally just threw them out and got some nice stainless steel ones.

              1 Reply
              1. re: taos

                I am just about there. Tomorrow I will buy a new gasket for the PC. It will be the non-onion/garlic gasket. That one will live on the porch. Honestly, the other is in my dishwasher after last night's chowder debacle and reeks as badly as it ever did. I open the DW and stick stuff in holding my breath.

                Now what do I tell my customers who come in and refuse to buy anything that might resemble plastic?

              2. Try a de-greaser, used full strength. You can get it at a restaurant or cleaning supply house. Costco has it sometimes.
                The garlic/onion odor is oil-borne and has gotten into the silicone which is not carbon-based. The oil/onion/garlic mix is carbon-based and the de-greaser should get it loose.

                The other product that can sometimes work down in cracks and tough spots is Scrubbing Bubbles which seems to have de-greaser in it. It gets gunk off the interior of my stove exhaust that nothing else will. No elbow "grease" at all. The ick just melts off.

                Another product that works wonders is Calgon. Lord knows why something that softens water will chase grease but it works. I throw the grease filters from my exhaust hood into hot water with a good handful of Calgon and swear that I can watch the grease flee from the mesh filters. Monty Python: Run away! Run away!

                2 Replies
                1. re: MakingSense

                  I think that might just exacerbate the problem.. I made the mistake of soaking a couple of silicone spatulas overnight in the sink. They became impregnated with Dawn dishwashing detergent scent and nothing (see my post above) could get the smell out. It affected the taste of food they touched as well.

                  1. re: taos

                    Ouch, I have mine soaking in orange scented Method dish soap right now, better get them out. This is the same problem I have, the gaskets from the pressure cooker are silicone and I swear I couldn't sleep because I can smell it all the way in the bedroom! I am up now trying to fix it for the umpteenth time. I can't throw it away every time I use it!! I think I will try Borax next. If Calgon works, maybe Borax will work. I'll let ya know. I was gonna try tomato juice (works on skunk stink) but it's too expensive to waste on a silicon ring.

                2. I have read that odors can be neutralized by first sprinkling baking soda all over said object, then pouring vinegar over the top of it and leaving it for several hours.