how to clean plastic food containers

How to clean plastic food containers

Whether it’s simple storage of your namkeens or a convenient tiffin box for the kids, those Tupperware and lock-n-lock containers sure are handy! However, what is a little bothersome is the lingering odour and colourful stains that the food stored often leaves behind. But fret not; we have scoured the internet to find the best possible solutions to these problems. Here is everything you need to know about how to clean plastic food containers:

Basic cleaning

The first and foremost thing you need to do is rinse with regular water as soon as possible.

After this, when you do get down to washing the containers, use warm water and soap. If it has a lot of grease on it, you might want to wipe it out with a tissue first.

If your container is very flimsy, like the ones you get from restaurants for home delivery, it is not meant to be reused and could be a health hazard in all probability. Throw it out. NOW.

How to clean plastic food containers
Image credits Rubbermaid via Flickr


There are several ways in which you can remove the stains from your food containers, the most effective of which are:

Sunbathing-Let them sit in the sun for three to four hours. Solar rays heat have natural bleaching properties. Remember how the sun would give you streaked highlights? Same principle. Do wash them afterwards though.

Bleach- This is slightly tricky since too much bleach would corrode the surface, but it works wonders for lightening the stains. Fill the container with a solution of one part bleach and two parts water and let it sit for half an hour. Then empty the container and scrub it with hot water and soap. The stains should be hardly visible.


Much as we love our flavorful curries and sabzis, their aroma might not be the perfect accompaniment to a nice club sandwich. Their odor tends to linger even after repeated washing. Try these hacks we found on to get rid of that.

Newspaper: Crumple newspaper and stuff it into the container. Snap on the lid and leave it overnight or longer.

Charcoal: Place a piece of charcoal in the container. Seal shut and let it sit until the odor has been absorbed.

Baking soda: Make a paste of baking soda and water and rub over the interior of the container. Let it sit for a day or two and wash off. Repeat if necessary.

Lemon: Rinse container with lemon juice or rub a cut lemon over the interior surface.

Coffee grounds: Place used coffee grounds (wet or dry) in the container and let sit until odor is gone.

A little ‘prevention is better than cure’-

Don’t microwave things like tomato sauce based foods in your plastic containers. Use glass bowls or those Corelle plates.

You could wrap up food in aluminium foil and then put it in the tiffin-box as this would prevent staining and odor. However, use it less; you know, eco-friendly and all that.

Store your containers with a pinch of salt as this will absorb the stench if any.

We hope that you have spotless and lovely smelling plastic in your kitchen from now on. Now if you want a spotless and lovely smelling kitchen to go with those containers, you can always contact us by clicking here! 🙂

About Ritika Bandale


  1. thank you for sharing …..very nice tips
    please continue the good work
    all the best

  2. jean ann jackman

    Do not use bleach.

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