How To Clean Plastic Containers


How To Clean Plastic Containers

We’re lifting the lid on a topic that’ll get your heart racing. Well, maybe not – but here’s how to keep plastic containers clean and odour free.

Reusable plastic containers are a godsend for many reasons, but then they’re absolute pains in so many other ways. If you’ve spent time scrubbing off those ruthless spaghetti Bolognese stains, you’ll know what we mean.

Never fear, we’re here to share some lifesaving hacks that will help you keep your sanity when it comes time to clean plastic containers. Once you’ve cleaned the containers thoroughly, discover four easy ways to organise your tupperware and food storage containers.

Hack 1. Hand wash with dishwashing liquid & water

You’d be surprised at how clean you can get your tupperware with hot water and dishwashing liquid. Hand washing will help eliminate food smells, too.

Hack 2. Wash containers ASAP

Can’t be bothered washing your food container immediately post lunch at the office? We’ve all been there. Rather than waiting until you get home – when the stains have probably fermented into the plastic – wash the culprit ASAP.

Hack 3. Avoid washing in the dishwasher

Hand washing your food containers might be painful, but it’ll ultimately save you time when you come to remove your containers from the dishwasher and discover they’re still laden with stains.
If you’re not sold on this idea, try placing your containers on the top rack of the dishwasher to avoid them coming into contact with the super-hot areas, which causes them to melt and warp.

Hack 4. Scrub with a toothbrush

For nasty stains that show no signs of dissipating, grab an old toothbrush, some baking soda and invest some time in a little elbow grease and get scrubbing.


Hack 5. Apply baking soda

For tough stains – and smells! – caused from the likes of pumpkin soup, Thai red curry or spaghetti Bol, apply a little baking soda into an empty container and let sit overnight.
The next morning, rinse thoroughly with warm water and dishwashing liquid and wipe down.

Hack 6. Store with a pinch of salt

Add a large pinch of salt to your freshly washed containers when you store them away. This will help rid the containers of food smells, so the next time you use them they won’t taste like the aforementioned curry.
Just be sure to remove the salt before using again!

Hack 7. Make a baking soda paste

Stains not budging? Make a strong paste using baking soda and water and scrub until your heart’s content.


Hack 8. Rinse with vinegar

After hand washing, fill your container with white vinegar and let sit for three to five minutes (longer if necessary) to remove any unpleasant food odours.
Remove vinegar and wash again with soap and water.

Hack 9. Spray a little cooking oil

Apply a light spray of olive oil cooking spray into your container before adding your food so the container doesn’t absorb the smell.

Hack 10. Let them bask in the sun

No, plastic containers do not enjoy the same feel-good endorphins from vitamin D that we do, but they sure do enjoy the cleansing powers of a little sunshine.
Simply place your containers outside on your balcony or in unobstructed sunshine for a day or so. In the absence of baking soda – and for a more natural approach – it can help deodorise the containers leaving them free from odours.
So there you have it – helpful hacks to help you keep your plastic containers nice and clean.
And if all else fails, just remember everything has its day – so perhaps if those stained plastic containers just won’t clean up, then consider investing in glass containers instead. They’re far easier to clean, don’t absorb stains or smells and can be reused over and over again.

All pictures: Getty