Plastic food containers are very handy when it comes to storing leftover foods or for keeping your snacks or packed lunch. Their only drawback is that they are harder to clean when compared to other receptacles made of glass or stainless steel. If not properly washed, food can leave stains, odors, and oils on the surface of plastic food containers. But there are some easy-to-follow steps that you can take to thoroughly clean these containers and keep them at their best.
Tips to Remove Grease and Oil
1. Rinse plastic food containers with warm water to remove debris.
2. Drain water then fill container with vinegar and let sit for at least 2 minutes.
3. Rinse the vinegar then using a nylon scrubber, wash the plastic food container with warm water and dish detergent. Repeat the procedure if the surface is still oily or greasy.
Tips to Remove Stains
When removing stains from plastic food containers, there are several methods that you can try using different substances:
1. Lemon. Cut open a lemon and scrub the open surface to the stained container. Let it sit under the sun for at least an hour. Rinse the container then wash it with warm water and dishwashing soap. The lemon and the sun have a natural bleaching power that can effectively remove stains from plastic food containers.
2. Baking Soda. Make a baking soda paste by mixing a tablespoon of baking soda with water. Using a sponge or nylon scrubber, scrub the container with the baking soda paste. Baking soda is an effective stain remover and deodorizer as well. It can help remove stains and odors from plastic food containers.
3. Undiluted Vinegar. The acidity of vinegar makes it an effective stain remover not just on clothing but also on plastic food containers. Simply fill the receptacle with undiluted vinegar and let sit for about an hour. Rinse out the vinegar then wash the container with dishwashing detergent.
3. Cleansing Tablets. For stubborn stains, you can use cleansing tablets instead such as Polident. Fill the container with hot water then drop a cleansing tablet. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before washing as you normally do.
4. Oxygenate Cleaners. Another option for stubborn stains is to use oxygenated cleaners such as Oxiclean. Simply follow the directions on the label for the proper use.
One or two of these materials may be effective in removing stains on your plastic food containers. However, if after trying all these methods, the stains still remain, they might have already set and it is about time for you to retire your container.
If you don’t want to be burdened with removing stains from plastic food containers, there are also several tips that can help you avoid stains. Avoiding stains is easier to do than removing stains. Here are several tips to avoid stains:
1. Before storing food, spray the container first with cooking spray. Make sure that all sides are coated. This will reduce the chances of stain sticking to the container.
2. Avoid storing food with tomato sauce on plastic food containers. Tomato sauce is one of the common causes of stubborn stains.
3. When storing food in a plastic container, you can line it up with foil. This way you can avoid stains as well as unwanted smell on the container.
Although most plastic food containers are not that expensive, make an effort to recycle them as much as possible. But before you do, read first the label on the container whether it is recyclable or not, otherwise recycling it may be harmful to your health.