Are you packing lunch to work or for your kids? If so, the struggle of cleaning dirty food containers may be all too familiar to you. Just thinking about the stains on food containers caused by leftovers is enough to bring anxiety to some of us. The stains and the smells, oh my!
I always thought they were ruined permanently and that I had to bear with the odors and stains. Fortunately, not any longer! Here are tips on getting rid of ugly stains and smells on food containers.
1. Use Baking Soda Paste
As stated by Food52, the finest way to remove stains from food containers is to rub them using baking soda and then leave them for at least a day. This tip removes stains and also performs double duty by removing leftover odors from the container.
To make the paste, take some baking soda and blend it with a little hot water. Since you need the blend to be thick, less amount of water is better. Use a dish sponge with a rough side to remove food scraps while rubbing the pasta well.
2. Rubbing Alcohol
According to Foodal, an excellent technique to remove all types of stains caused by food dyes is rubbing alcohol. You can use it on your discolored food container, and rest assured your problem is solved.
In general, you can get rid of the discoloration by rinsing the container immediately after smearing the alcohol or cleaning it with detergent and water. If the stain does not go away, pour more ethanol into the dish and leave it for some minutes. Once the container is blemish-free, clean it well and dry it.
3. Use Your Hand Sanitizer
Foodal also suggests using hand sanitizers to clean your food container; the active element is alcohol. You only need to pour a little into the dish, rub gently, wash, and dry.
4. Wash with Bleach
You can also remove stains with chlorine bleach. With this bleach, ketchup and tomato stains should not be an issue for you. All you need to do is prepare a bleach and water solution. For every cup of water, put a tablespoon full of bleach. Soak the food containers in the solution for an hour or two. Rinse and clean them once the stains are gone.
5. Clean with White Vinegar
According to momables, white vinegar is a perfect choice if you are experiencing the challenge of discolored food containers. Just fill your containers with white vinegar after washing them with dish soap and hot water. Leave them for around three minutes to get rid of unpleasant and lasting odors. Then pour the vinegar and rinse again with water and soap. Your dish will be ready for use.
6. Use Denture Tablets
Because dental tablets are perfect for removing teeth stains, I decided to use them with my stained food containers and discovered that it works.
Just put two tablets in a little hot water and put the blend into your discolored container. Leave it until all stain disappears. You can now clean and dry your container.
7. Use the Alka Seltzer
The Alka Seltzer works the same with dental tablets. Add two tablets to warm water into the container and leave it for a few hours before washing. In case the stain did not come out, leave it overnight.
8. Use Lemon
Rub the container with lemon juice and let it sit in the sunlight for a day or two. A mixture of lemon and ultraviolet light from the sun eliminates discoloration and also kills bacteria.
9. Use Salt to Store and Clean the Food Container
Another technique of getting rid of stains and odors, based on Food52, is the use of salt. To clean using salt, take some warm water, a damp cloth, and salt. Clean the container repeatedly until the stain no longer exists.
Once it is clean and still has smells, add a big pinch of salt to the bowls. This will help get rid of the odors; hence, your turkey sandwich will not taste like coconut milk and green chilies. However, be sure to clean the inside and the bottom of the food containers before using them, or you might gulp some salt!
10. Rinse Immediately after Using
If possible (for example, if your workplace has a sink), pour a drop of soap into your food container and wash it with warm water after eating. The longer the food stays in the dish, the stronger the stains and odors will be.
In case you are rinsing at work, avoid the public sponge and rub the soap with your hands – it penetrates better.
11. Expose the Containers to Direct Sunbeams
As stated by food52, sunlight plays a huge role in combating odors. You should place your containers outdoor and aerate them. Also, you will benefit from the sun’s ability to get rid of odors.
12. Keep the Containers with a Newspaper Overnight
I heard of this technique and decided to try it out, and it worked. The newspaper often removes lingering odors from food containers. All you have to do is put the crumpled newspaper in it, cover it, and leave it the whole night. After that, don’t forget to wash it with water and soap, because the newspaper is not always known to be clean.
Finally, the next time you consume your ketchup or lunch, you will not stress trying to figure out how to remove the odor and the stain. You have it all now. Just choose the most convenient tip, and your problem will be solved.