How To Properly Clean Plastic Containers That We All Have Now

Here are three ways to do it.

IMAGE Shutterstock

Plastic containers are a common fixture in a kitchen. Whether these are from food delivery shops or reusable containers you use for leftovers and storing food in general, you will most probably find a few of these lying around any kitchen. 

Since many of us feel the need to reuse these containers, cleaning these containers properly is a task many of us face. It's usually easy enough to do because it's usually just like washing your everyday dishes. However, some food does not wash off easily. 

Removing the stubborn oily residue from plastic containers is probably the most difficult task of all. That plus the odors that sometimes cling to the container are sure signs that you haven't cleaned it well yet. Odors are easy to remove. Just add vinegar and water to the container, close and shake or let it soak a few minutes before rinsing. 

If you're faced with the oily problem, you have three ways to wash and clean these before you give up and toss them in the trash bin: 

Photo by Ken Boyd from Pixabay
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1 Rinse with hot water. 

Hot water is effective against the stubborn oil that clings to the plastic. If you've got a sink that runs both hot and cold water, this is easy. Just turn on the hot water faucet and fill up the container with hot water. You can also use water from your water dispenser, place the container with water in the microwave, or even heat up the water in a kettle and pour it in. 


Just note that you do not need the water to be boiling! Boiling hot water can warp or even melt the plastic container you're trying to clean. Instead, use water that is just hot enough to warm the oil and help it release from the surface of the plastic. 

Photo by The Marketplace, Robinsons

2 Use dishwashing soap undiluted. 

For the most stubborn stains, turn to dishwashing soap and use it in its undiluted state. This means, no adding water to make it bubble up because diluting the dishwashing soap makes it less effective against the tough grease that it's meant to remove. Instead, apply the soap directly to the stubborn oily spots. Rub it in with your fingers or a damp sponge. This usually works every time, resulting in squeaky clean plastic containers

If you are faced with particularly stubborn stains, you can also turn to specialty pan and cookware cleaners. Ensure that these cleaners are made for the kitchen for best results. 

Photo by Shutterstock

3 Try the viral cleaning hack. 

Have you seen it? This cleaning hack from Twitter saves all your containers by easily removing the oily and greasy stains that are left behind in your plastic food containers. 

Here's what to do:

  1. 1. Add dishwashing soap to the container. (A few drops up to a teaspoon should do.)
  2. 2. Fill the container with water. 
  3. 3. Add a crumpled paper towel. 
  4. 4. Close the container and shake vigorously. 
  5. 5. Rinse the container. 

Do you have plastic containers that need to be cleaned better? Try one or even all three ways to get those containers as squeaky clean as possible so you can safely store food in them again. 


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