How to prevent mildew in plastic storage containers

Written by mary ylisela Google
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How to prevent mildew in plastic storage containers
Plastic containers can become mildewy if not properly cared for. (Lemon Tumblers in plastic container image by Edward Stephens from

Storing clothing and other important items in plastic storage containers is a good way to prevent them from exposure to mildew. If any moisture gets into a plastic storage container prior to sealing it closed, mildew can grow and thrive without your knowledge. A few simple steps will help prevent mildew from growing in your plastic storage containers. While commercial mould and mildew removal products are available, you can prevent mildew in plastic storage containers using natural supplies instead.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean cloth
  • Cotton balls
  • Grapefruit seed extract
  • Eye dropper

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  1. 1

    Pour straight white vinegar into a plastic spray bottle. Spray the inside of a clean plastic container and allow the vinegar to sit on the plastic for five minutes.

    How to prevent mildew in plastic storage containers
    Spray bottles come in handy for cleaning tasks. (green spray bottle image by Jim Mills from
  2. 2

    Wipe the white vinegar off the inside of the plastic container using a clean white cloth. If filling the plastic container with food, make sure the food cools completely before sealing the container. Heat and moisture create the perfect conditions for mildew to grow.

  3. 3

    Allow empty plastic containers to air dry for a few hours before storing them away. Store lids separately from the containers to save space and prevent mildew from forming.

  4. 4

    Place a few drops of grapefruit seed extract on a cotton ball with the eye dropper. Set the cotton ball into a plastic storage container that's being used for storing clothing or other non-food items. Grapefruit seed extract is odourless and will kill and prevent the formation of mildew inside your plastic storage container.

    How to prevent mildew in plastic storage containers
    A cotton ball prevents mildew growth without taking up a lot of space. (Cotton Balls image by Towards Ithaca from

Tips and warnings

  • Wipe plastic containers out with straight lemon juice, instead, if you do not have white vinegar.
  • Mildew that forms in a plastic storage container can easily transfer to clothing or other surfaces. Always ensure there's no moisture in the storage container prior to closing it.

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