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How to prevent mildew in plastic storage containers

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.

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  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.

  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. 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. 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.

  5. Tip

    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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Things You'll Need

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

About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.

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