Home » How Do You Get Stains Out of Plastic Food Containers?

How Do You Get Stains Out of Plastic Food Containers?

Plastic containers are great for storing leftovers and bringing lunch to work, but they can accumulate stains from food, water, and other accidents. Fortunately, it’s not that hard to get these stubborn stains out of your plastic containers.

There are three different methods that you can use to wash the inside of a plastic container without detergent: boiling water; dishwasher; or running it through the dishwasher. You might also want to try a DIY home remedy like ketchup or grapefruit seed extract.


How Do You Get Stains Out of Plastic Food Containers?

Boiling Water Method

There are several different options for getting rid of the smell from your plastic containers. One way to get rid of odors is boiling water in the container for about five minutes.

This will get rid of any smells that are inside. After you finish boiling the water, let it sit out and dry before using it again. If you plan on reheating food in the container, consider pouring boiling hot water into it before packing it with food.

Keep in mind that you should do this right after using soap to wash the container. After washing your plastic container with dish soap and warm water, boil some water in it on the stovetop.

Then, let it sit for about twenty minutes before emptying it of the water.

Dishwasher Method

Another way to get rid of smells from plastic containers is to run them through the dishwasher.

However, this will leave your container a bit more dried out than if you were to use the boiling water method. It also might not get rid of all of the smells from your container.

Soaking Up The Smell If the smell from your plastic container refuses to go away, try soaking it in vinegar overnight. This remedy will make it smell like vinegar and should help with any lingering smells on the inside.

Dipping It in Sugar Sometimes vinegar and sugar can have the same affect on plastic containers. So, try soaking your plastic container in a bowl of sugar overnight.

This will help remove any smells from the container. If you notice that this method doesn’t work, try dipping the container in a mixture of water and baking soda.

Glass Jar Method

If you want to get rid of smells from your plastic containers, never put them directly into an empty glass jar. Instead, pour food into a glass jar with airtight lid and then place it into the microwave for fifteen seconds.

The plastic needs room to expand without breaking the glass. Plastic containers also have vents to release excess pressure, so it’s important to leave room in between the two items.

Plastic Zipper Bags Plastic zippers bags are a great alternative to using plastic containers. You can pour the leftover food into the zippered bag and then reuse it over and over again. The great thing about zippered bags is that you can clean them out much easier than having to clean a big plastic container.

Common Stain Causes on Plastic Containers

You may have noticed that your plastic containers get stained with certain foods and liquids. All of these stains are caused by different reasons, here are the main causes: Stains from coffee.

Coffee is one of the most common stains on plastic containers, especially if you use your container for your morning coffee. The best way to remove them is to use a mixture of water and baking soda – just like you would do when cleaning a stainless steel sink.

Stains from berries and tomatoes. A lot of people use their dishes for storing fresh fruit and veggies like berries and tomatoes. They are very juicy and can leave stains on the plastic containers.

To remove this kind of stain, soak the container in a mixture of water and some vinegar. You can use your dishwasher for this one. Stains from red wine.

Darker-colored foods and liquids like red wine can leave small stains on plastic containers, even if you washed it immediately after using them.

The best way to get rid of them is by washing your container with warm soapy water, and then put it in the dishwasher or run a little mix of vinegar and boiling hot water through it (this will not work with hot dishes). Stains from oil-based foods.

Oils like peanut oil, canola, and vegetable oil can leave noticeable stains on your plastic containers. The best way to get rid of them is by washing the container with dish soap and warm water, and then run it through the dishwasher or wash it up with a blender (the blender will not allow the oil to rest).

How do you get stains out of plastic food containers? There are several different ways that you can remove food stains from plastic containers. Which method you choose depends on how severe the stain is, what type of plastic container you have and if you want your container to smell better.


It is very important to know how to clean plastic containers correctly because they are widely used in our kitchens. Therefore, there is always a small risk that they can get dirty and then start smelling awful. That’s why it is vital not just to properly clean them once, but to keep washing your plastic containers regularly (at least once a week).

Leave a Comment