How to Remove Food Stains From Plastic Containers

Written by mary ylisela Google
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How to Remove Food Stains From Plastic Containers
Leftovers stored in plastic containers often leave food stains. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

When stored in plastic containers, leftovers often leave food stains and odours. Even after washing, discolouration from food can remain on the plastic. Removing these stains can be difficult because the food creates a colour stain in the plastic, rather than just sitting on the surface. Effective stain removing supplies and techniques help you get rid of the food stain, leaving your plastic container looking and smelling clean.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Lemon wedges
  • White vinegar
  • Sponge
  • Baking soda

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  1. 1

    Rub lemon wedges over the food-stained area of your plastic containers. Set the containers in direct sunlight and allow them to dry. The lemon and sunlight work together to bleach the food stains out of the plastic.

    How to Remove Food Stains From Plastic Containers
    Sunlight is a natural bleaching agent. (Sun image by KPICKS from
  2. 2

    Rinse your plastic containers off to remove the lemon juice and then check to see if any food stains remain.

  3. 3

    Wet a clean sponge with straight white vinegar. Wipe the stained areas of the plastic containers to remove the remaining stains.

  4. 4

    Sprinkle baking soda onto the vinegar-soaked sponge to add a cleansing boost to the vinegar. Baking soda is a natural abrasive, safe for plastic surfaces and will work with the vinegar to remove the food stains as well as their odours.

    How to Remove Food Stains From Plastic Containers
    Keep a sponge handy for scratch-free cleaning. (green sponge image by robert mobley from

Tips and warnings

  • Wash plastic containers with hot water and a grease-cutting dishwashing detergent to remove fresh food stains.
  • Soak a severely food-stained plastic container in a solution made of 1 tbsp bleach and 1/2 cup water. Rinse well with water and allow the container to dry. The bleach will dissipate from the surface as it dries.

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