Removing Stains and Odors from Plasticware

Removing Stains and Odors from PlasticWare Plastic food containers with lids are so convenient for storing leftovers and taking lunches to work. However, you don’t want today’s Greek yogurt with berries to taste like the leftover taco meat you saved for lunch last week. And have you ever tried getting tomato stains out of plastic food storage containers? What a nightmare!

Plasticware doesn’t grow on trees, so you probably want to keep yours looking nice and smelling good for as long as possible. Well, we’ve got three tips on how to clean plastic food containers with lids that can help you do just that!

Deodorizing Plastic Food Containers

Popping a grape or berry into your mouth only to find it tastes like cumin or tuna is no fun. But that’s exactly the type of awful experience you're in for if you don’t know how to remove odors from your plastic food containers.

You’ll need
  1. Wash your plasticware as you normally would with the dishwashing liquid, hot water and microfiber cloth.
  2. Fill the container with vinegar and let this sit for five to 10 minutes
  3. Empty the vinegar out and wash the container again with the soap and hot water.
  4. Repeat as needed until the smell is gone.


Cleaning Tomato Stains from Plasticware


First, it’s important to note that you can’t get rid of tomato stains in plasticware that has been microwaved. The heat from the microwave will literally bake tomato sauce and residue into your plastic food storage containers. Because of this, it’s a good idea to save your marinara or leftover sloppy joes in glass.

If you haven’t microwaved the container, you can try using lemon juice or baking soda to remove the stains, as you’ll see below.

How to Clean Plastic Food Storage Containers with Lemon


When life gives you lemons, you can remove tomato stains from your plastic food storage containers!

You’ll need:


  1. Rinse or scrape all remaining food from the container.
  2. Cut the lemon in half.
  3. Rub the fleshy side of the lemon over the discolored areas.
  4. Squeeze a little of the juice over the stains and work those in with the lemon.
  5. Set the container outside in the sun for an hour or so, until the lemon juice has dried.
  6. Wash your plastic food storage containers with lids as you normally would.

Using Baking Soda to Clean Stains from Plasticware


Baking soda has many housekeeping uses from cleaning kitchen countertops and shining silverware to — you guessed it — helping lift stains from plastic food storage containers.
You’ll need:
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • A small bowl

  1. Make sure all remnants of leftovers and sauce have been wiped out of the container.
  2. Mix together a little baking soda and water in your small bowl. You want to form a thick paste with this.
  3. Use your fingers to spread the paste on the stained areas of the plasticware.
  4. Let this sit for about 15 minutes.
  5. Rinse the paste away with water.
  6. Repeat steps 2 to 5 as needed.
  7. Wash the container as you normally would.
Looking for more tips on how to care for common kitchen items? Learn the best way to wash a cutting board and then find out how to clean your dishwasher.