You know that stink that hits you when you open up your cooler a week after your last camping trip? I know it well, as I have a bad habit of not cleaning my coolers when I get out of the woods. I usually remember to remove the perishable stuff, but beer and soda cans (both empty and full), water bottles, and empty ice bags—all of that stuff tends to sit and ferment until the next time I need my cooler.
Recently I discovered a product that does a pretty good job of cleaning stinky coolers. It’s quicker and more effective than my typical cleaning method of filling the cooler with water, along with a tablespoon or two of bleach and letting it soak overnight—or a few days if the interior is in really bad shape. Cooler-D-Funk is a cleaning agent designed to kill cooler odors. It comes in both a spray bottle or in a handy tube containing 30 pre-treated cleaning wipes. This summer I’ve been using both and have to say my coolers have never been cleaner.
Cooler-D-Funk uses a blend of alcohol ethocylate, water, baking soda, and a few other ingredients with names I can’t pronounce or spell. From my limited research these aren’t harsh chemicals, however, but fairly mild cleaning agents also found in toothpaste, detergent, and other household products. Contec, the company behind Cooler-D-Funk, calls the formula “Double-Down Technology,” claiming it “neutralizes and counteracts odor at the molecular level.” I don’t know about that, but it does have my nasty coolers looking and smelling clean with just a few wipes. And from my experience, the stuff wipes clean with no slick or abrasive residue.
The wipes are handy, but they’re not the most durable. I tend to go through a few scrubbing a 65-quart-sized cooler. I prefer the spray formula and a cloth rag, which works better at removing really tough blood and other stains of dubious provenance. It’s also worth noting that Contec makes a product called Fish-D-Funk that’s designed to remove that fishy smell from your hands, fillet knife, or cutting board.