Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How to Clean Your Gross Plastic Containers

Let's face it. We've been there. Taco sauce, tomato soup, Spaghettios.... they wreck havoc on your plastic containers! Here is an easy how-to to clean your containers out.

1. Fill almost to the top with water and a squirt of dish soap
2. Add 1/4 cup of bleach
3. Microwave the container for 40 seconds, or until the solution is boiling
4. Allow to rest until the water is luke-warm
5. Wash out your container and it is as good as new!

PS: Any qualms about using bleach on plastic food containers? Then don't do this. Simple as that.

65 comments:

  1. Will try this! Found it on Pinterest today. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just found this on pinterest :D Can't wait to try it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Or just set it in the sun for an hour or so.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Would this work on colored plastic kid bowls?

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Brigid, if you don't feel comfortable heating the bleach, just add boiling water to the bleach/dish soap in your container and let it sit, or else do like StampHappy and let it sit in the sun. @Mindy, this works because of two things. 1, the heated water/soap combination gets the polarized H20 particles moving their fastest, so they remove as many possible left over food particles as possible and 2, the heated bleach eats away the color of the red stains. If your colored kids bowls are bleach safe (ie, the bleach won't eat away the color of the bowls), I would say it shouldn't be a problem.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This will also help get your microwave clean. After you've let it boil and set in the microwave, the steam will make everything wipe right out. 2 birds with 1 stone:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love this tip, but like others, I don't think I could stand the smell. For plastic, I'll have to use boiling water and for my microwave - elbow grease! :D

      Delete
    2. white vinegar will do the same thing for the microwave and it's 100% bio degradeable... just sayin'

      Delete
    3. I am going to try it! What could it hurt. I take a bath with bleach in my water and I haven't died yet. Thanks for the tip because my plastics look terrible.

      Delete
    4. Ha ha ha. Love your attitude there! ^

      Delete
    5. Why do you take a bath with bleach? Just wondering?

      Delete
    6. I think she is referring to the chlorine in most tap water in the US.

      Delete
    7. Actually, bathing with a small amount of bleach in the water is good for eczema!

      Delete
  7. To keep them from forming, spray the container with PAM before putting food in it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, that's the best trick I've found really. I've done the bleach and/or white vinegar and neither work for me....I just end up with smelly plastic that I have to toss anyway because I don't want that smell in my food...but the Cooking Spray (Pam is a brand name) really works great!! Especially for ANY tomatoe based sauses that wind up in my plastic.

      Delete
  8. could vinegar work instead of bleach?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Vinegar certainly wouldn't hurt in cleaning up dirty containers, but it doesn't have the same qualities of bleach in regards to eating away color (in this case, spaghetti stains in plastic)

    ReplyDelete
  10. For those that are concerned about microwaves, I've done this with just plain bleach and regular tap water. I let it sit overnight and it also works that way, no microwave involved.

    To get the odor/taste of the bleach out of the container, put about 2 tsp-tbs of baking soda in the dish (depends on size of the dish) and fill to top with warm water. Let sit overnight. Drain, rinse and let dry.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love all the feedback on this thread. I dont use microwaves so i"ll try the boiling hot water. the baking soda tip is helpful too.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi, I'm your newest follower! Found this idea on Pinterest and I love it! Hopefully I'll try this soon...I think I have a couple of containers that could use some love.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I use hot water and liquid/gel dish washing detergent and let it soak overnight. Works perfect for stains and also dried on food in pans!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I always put a little bleach in my dishwasher and this helps cut down on yucky looking plastics a lot

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've been hearing a lot about hydrogen peroxide for getting stains out. Might it work instead of bleach? XXOO

    ReplyDelete
  16. I don't understand why if people AREN'T going to do this, they still feel the need to comment. Anyhow- thanks! This rocks.

    ReplyDelete
  17. hi. the tips shared here are really very useful and simple to use. thanks for sharing such amazing posts.

    Recycling Plastic Containers

    ReplyDelete
  18. Theres no harm in leaving comments even if you aren't doing the exact technique, it helps other so why does it upset you "anonymous"
    I found all the comments helpful, thanks trying now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous I agree with you . All comment are helpful .

      Delete
  19. I think what Anonymous is saying is that what point is to your posting if your not actually going to do it as it doesn't add anything useful. Now if you tried it and it didn't work or you didn't like it at least that can be useful because we may learn a different way to do it. Good praise of the tip means that people are liking it and there's a good chance you will too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kimberly, I can't use bleach so if someone has an idea that might work then why not others post there ideas . They might be helpful to those of us that can't use bleach .

      Delete
  20. Do you think this will work for a Starbucks clear tumbler (the ones that look like the iced drink cups)? I have an old one that's dingy, and want to use but it just looks gross to drink out of. I know its clean but its just not as clear as my newer one.

    ReplyDelete
  21. As mentioned above, this works because the hot bleach eats away stains while the polarized soap and water leech away as much of any small debris there might be. So, using those principles, it should be just as effective on your coffee cup.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Tried it this morning and it worked great!! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm halfway through putting all of my tupperware through this process....it's working amazingly well, so far. It doesn't remove those awful white stains though....anyone know how to remove those?

    ReplyDelete
  24. i put bleach in the dishwasher all the time it boosts the detergent n keeps the machine itself fresh n kills a lot of bacteria that could be in there

    ReplyDelete
  25. White stains on my bowls is melted/scortched plastic and no way get that off.

    ReplyDelete
  26. You can also use hot water and a little dishwasher detergent and let it sit.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Using baking soda with the bleach helps the bleach work better and also deals with the odor, for this, I would use about 2 tablespoons baking soda for 1/4 cup bleach! You can use it to enhance the bleach power in the laundry, too!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Fantastic Tip.. Thank You xx

    ReplyDelete
  29. The only way to totally not get those white stains is to not use plastic in the microwave. I choose to transfer my food to glass to reheat in the microwave. But even if you store your food with a tomato base in it in the refrigerator it will tend to turn your plastic containers. I use the bleach in my plastic containers all the time. I just have never thought to microwave them. I have just let it soak over night with Bleach and Dawn. And that has always worked.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I have been cleaning stained dishes for years with bleach. It rinses right off. :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks everyone for your different viewpoints, especially the alternatives for those who aren't comfortable using bleach! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Vinegar was mentioned a couple times so since everyone else is talking about bleach I just wanted to add do NOT mix vinegar and bleach it can produce some harmful fumes (Ammonia and bleach makes poisonous fumes too)

    ReplyDelete
  33. I have just decided to avoid all the hassle of bleaching my plastic containers. They are all getting recycled and i am switching to all glass. LOl

    ReplyDelete
  34. great thoughts here. I really did get rid of all the plastic and made the switch to glass - not as difficult as you may think. Most are jars I would have recycled. Glass doesn't stain, absorb odors, taste, etc. Plastic lids are available for Mason jars - love that I can write on them with a white board marker. Everything looks so pretty in the fridge and freezer too! Biggest issue was getting my family to take them in their lunch boxes, but now their friends and moms are now on board too. Glass is tempered and can go in the microwave too. Easy clean-up.....no harsh chemicals!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Be very careful to check your dish soap before doing this. Many dish soaps contain ammonia, and we all know that mixing ammonia and bleach is bad news.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I've tried the bleach, but my favorite is lemon juice.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Anonymous..not all glass is tempered and cannot all go in the microwave, as you said you were recycling old jars..be careful! Some jars also dont stand up to freezer temps and can break in freezer due to not withstanding the cold temps or expansion of food, so make sure to leave head room and always put jar inside of a bag, in the event it does break in freezer, it will be easier to clean up! Hope those tips help someone!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Ive been using neat bleach to clean coffee/tea stains from mugs for years. Simply swirl round the mug until its gone! Will definately be trying it out on my plastic containers.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I have been using a bottle of about 1/4 vinegar to 3/4 water as an all purpose cleaner and it does work.Cleaner Jobs

    ReplyDelete
  40. Be careful when reheating food in glass containers in the microwave.. they can explode. A way to not get the white stains is to not heat your "Tupperware" (I am a Tupperware lady!) on full power. Microwave safe containers are not meant to be cooked on full power, just add more time and lower the power (5-6 or 50-60%) Tupperware is BPA free (unlike some of the reusable containers found at box stores) so there isn't the worry about reheating in the Microwave. Hope this helps!

    ReplyDelete
  41. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  42. This works with just water and dish detergent also. No bleach needed but use microwave for 2-3 minutes.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I put vinegar in my dish water let soak then it gets the stains out plus that greasy feeling from sauces also

    ReplyDelete
  44. Cool thanks for all the tips and tricks I will try them and report back

    ReplyDelete
  45. A natural way to do this is to store potatoes in the container (I usually use left over mashed potatoes) to get the red stain out and then wash normally. Works every time for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a great natural tip, thanks for sharing!

      Delete
  46. Hi American,
    Thanks! for your info about Cleaning Gross Plastic Containers.It's really helpful.

    wilson roy
    steam cleaning

    ReplyDelete
  47. I just put plastic container with stubborn stains out on the porch and within a few hours the sun will make the stain disappear. It really works even on tomato stains.

    ReplyDelete

src='http://shuttle.sharexy.com/LoaderLite.js'>