We’ve all done it: you take out a container you haven’t used in a long time, only to discover that the plastic has grown discolored and dingy.
But don’t give up! There are simple methods for bringing your containers back to life. In this, we’ll look at how to clean discolored plastic food containers so they look like new again!
Plastic food containers are an easy and adaptable way to store and transport our meals. However, these containers can grow discolored with time, which can be rather ugly. So, what is the source of this discoloration?
The presence of food stains and oils is one of the primary causes of discoloration in plastic containers.
These stains can seep into the plastic’s porous surface, leaving a tenacious deposit that causes discoloration. Furthermore, heat, sunlight, and specific chemicals can cause the plastic to fade and lose its original color.
Another consideration is the sort of plastic utilized in the container. Some plastics fade more easily than others. Transparent polypropylene containers, for example, can readily develop yellowish stains.
Understanding why plastic containers discolor is critical for cleaning and recovering them properly. By recognizing the underlying reasons, you may take the required actions to remove the stains and keep your containers looking good.
In the next sections, we will look at 3 easiest methods and techniques for cleaning discolored plastic food containers and restoring them to their former beauty.
Method 1: Make a solution of baking soda and vinegar.
A baking soda and vinegar solution is an efficient technique to clean stained plastic food containers.
Baking soda has abrasive characteristics that aid in stain removal, whereas vinegar works as a disinfectant. Here’s how to use this solution to clean stained plastic food containers:
- Make a paste with equal parts baking soda and white vinegar.
- Apply the paste to the discolored portions of the plastic container and leave it for 10-15 minutes to dry.
- Scrub the container with a scrub brush or sponge, paying special attention to the discolored areas.
- Thoroughly rinse the container with warm water.
- If necessary, repeat the process until the discoloration is entirely eliminated.
Please keep in mind that this procedure may not work for deeply embedded stains or scratches on the plastic.
It’s also vital to avoid using abrasive cleansers like steel wool or harsh chemicals that can harm the plastic. Always rinse the plastic container well after cleaning to remove any remaining cleaning solution.
Method 2: Making a Lemon-Baking Soda Paste
Look no farther than lemon and baking soda for a natural and effective approach to clean stained plastic food containers.
This method makes advantage of the power of two ordinary home discolored tems to remove stubborn stains and restore the shine of your containers.
To begin, make a paste using fresh lemon juice and baking soda. The acidity of the lemon aids in the breakdown of stains and odors, while the abrasive texture of the baking soda aids in the removal of discoloration.
Using a sponge or rag, apply the paste to the discolored parts of the plastic container. Gently work the paste into the stains in circular motions, paying special attention to the most afflicted regions. Allow the paste to settle for around 15 minutes to work its magic.
After the paste has had time to penetrate the stains, thoroughly rinse the container with warm water. Scrub away any leftover residue with a brush or sponge if necessary. Before storing or using it again, fully dry the container.
This approach is not only efficient, but it is also secure for food storage. Lemon and baking soda are natural cleaning agents that do not leave dangerous chemical residues behind. Furthermore, the lemon flavor leaves your containers smelling clean and fresh.
So, the next time you’re wondering how to clean discolored plastic food containers, try this lemon and baking soda paste method. Your containers will quickly return to their bright selves.
Method 3: Solution of Bleach and Water
If the previous procedures have failed, it is time to try the bleach and water option. Before attempting this procedure, keep in mind that bleach can be strong and may cause damage to the plastic container. As a result, it is advised to conduct a spot test first.
Mix one tablespoon of bleach with one cup of water to make the solution. Stir the fluid until all of the bleach has been dissolved. After that, immerse the container in the solution for around 10 minutes.
Remove the container from the solution after 10 minutes and thoroughly clean it with water. Rinse the bottle many times to ensure that all traces of bleach are eliminated. Finally, before using the container, allow it to air dry.
Always wear gloves when using bleach to protect your skin and avoid mixing bleach with other cleaning products. This procedure can remove difficult stains and discoloration, but it should only be used as a last option.
In conclusion, there are numerous methods for how to clean discolored plastic food containers. You may restore your plastic containers to their original form and make them look brand new again by utilizing these ways.
Precautions to Take When Cleaning Plastic Containers
While learning how to clean discolored plastic food containers is crucial, taking steps to ensure the safety of both yourself and the containers is also critical.
Here are some important considerations to take when cleaning plastic containers.
- Wear gloves when working with cleaning solutions or abrasive products to protect your hands from any potential irritation or chemical reactions.
- Ventilation: Make sure you clean the containers in a well-ventilated place to avoid breathing any cleaning solution fumes. To enhance air circulation, open windows or turn on fans.
- Avoid using abrasive products: Scrubbing with severe abrasive items like steel wool or abrasive cleaners can scrape and damage the plastic surface, leaving it more susceptible to discoloration in the future. Use soft-bristle brushes or non-abrasive sponges instead.
- Perform a small area test: Before applying any cleaning solution or paste to the entire container, perform a tiny, inconspicuous area test first. This will assist you in determining whether the remedy is safe and effective without causing harm.
- Thoroughly rinse: After washing the containers, thoroughly rinse them with water. This will aid in the removal of residue from cleaning solutions or pastes and ensure that no dangerous substances remain.
By taking these steps, you can clean your discolored plastic food containers safely without causing harm or jeopardizing your health.
How to Prevent Plastic Container Discoloration
- Avoid heating food in plastic containers: Heat is a leading cause of discoloration in plastic food containers. When you heat food in these containers, the chemicals in the plastic might leak into it, producing staining and discoloration. Before heating, always place the meal in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic container.
- Use non-abrasive cleaning tools: When cleaning plastic containers, avoid using strong scrub brushes or abrasive sponges, which can scrape the surface and make the plastic more susceptible to discoloration. Instead, use soft sponges or brushes to wipe the containers gently.
- Rinse promptly after use: Food residues, particularly those containing strong colors or spices, can discolor plastic containers if left for an extended period of time. It is best to clean the containers promptly after use to remove any leftovers and prevent discoloration.
- Avoid using harsh cleaning agents: While it may be tempting to use harsh cleaning solutions to clean discolored plastic containers, they can damage the plastic and be dangerous if not fully washed out. Use gentle dish soaps or natural cleaning solutions such as vinegar and baking soda.
- Properly store plastic containers: Proper storage of plastic food containers can also help to prevent discoloration. Before stacking the containers, make sure they are totally dry, as moisture can cause discoloration and even mold growth.
By following these simple methods, you can keep your plastic food containers looking good and extend their lifespan, thereby saving money and minimizing trash.
Remember that being proactive is always preferable to having to deal with how to clean stained plastic food containers.
To summarize, learning how to clean discolored plastic food containers is an essential skill that every homeowner should acquire.
Plastic containers discolor for a variety of causes, including heat, spices, and oils, and this can result in stubborn stains that are difficult to remove.
You may, however, bring your containers back to life with the correct cleaning approach. Baking soda and vinegar solution, lemon and baking soda paste, and bleach and water solution are the most popular and effective cleaning solutions.
It is critical to know that you must exercise caution when cleaning plastic containers because they can be susceptible to harsh chemicals.
Furthermore, avoiding high temperatures, avoiding oil and spice stains, and washing plastic containers soon after use can help to prevent discoloration.
With these instructions, your plastic containers will retain their original color and look brand new for a longer period of time.