How do I get tomato sauce stains from plastics?
Mary from Mass
If you have a dishwasher, you fill the reservoirs up with baking soda then add a dab of liquid soap like Ajax or Dawn. They will come out squeaky clean.
If not, just sprinkle the baking soda on the plastic rub it on then wash as you normally would. (02/28/2007)
I put a new plastic bowl that my husband microwaved lasagna in. I had heard about using the sun. So I left it on my porch while I was at work. When I got home all the stain was gone. Good luck. (02/28/2007)
They make a product used to clean stained tea/coffee cups and pots. I don't remember what it's called but it comes in a turquoise box and is sold in the grocery store where the coffee filters are sold. Works like a dream, fast and cheap. Also removes koolaid stains from pitchers. (02/28/2007)
By Debbie in SC
If you leave it in the sun for a few hours, the stains will be gone (02/28/2007)
I'm currently trying to replace all my plastic food storage containers with glass (a few pieces at a time, of course). Way too much new info on the leaching of chemicals from plastics for me to feel comfortable using them. That said, I like the sun solution the best so far. Thanks for sharing that. I'll give it a try. (04/06/2007)
To remove such stains, it helps to let them soak in a little bleach water. To help prevent tomato stains, it helps to spray or apply cooking oil to the utensil first. This also works well when baking with ingredients such as margarine or peanut butter, to spray the measuring cups or spoons first, or dip them quickly in cooking oil for a light coverage. Or if the recipe calls for equal parts of cooking oil AND these other ingredients, measure the oil first. The gooey stuff slides right off. (04/06/2007)
What ever you do to clean your plastics, DO NOT put dish detergent in a dishwasher with your plastics or anything for that matter. Dish detergent does not belong in the dishwasher. The person who recommended this just wants to laugh when you have suds coming out of the dishwasher like crazy. Tried it once when I was younger, but never again. (01/18/2008)
Editor's Note: The original comment was to just put a "dab" of liquid in the dishwasher. If you use too much, you will have a mess so be cautious if trying this technique.
Anyone know what to do with similarly annoying curry stains? Heated up a lovely lentil soup in a plastic container and now it's gone all fluorescent! (06/12/2008)
I want to thank those who suggested the baking soda paste.
The use of the sun also, as Linda mentioned, is very important. My family has always put our cutting boards out in the sun to beach, even if we have just used chlorine. The sun's UV has its own power to kill germs: the air "scrubbers" used by the CDC in hot zones pass the air though an ultraviolet radiation chamber, killing everything.
(The sun giveth, the sun taketh away.)
I prefer to wash plastic in the dishwasher as much as possible, since oil seems to love to cling to plastic; try as I might, if the plastic item is not one of the very first items washed, some of the oil not bonded to detergent sticks to the surface of the plastic.
Plastic is problematic. I worked at a restaurant where we ground our own black pepper, and put it into a Styrofoam cup. The next day I noticed that the plastic was pitted, just above the level of the pepper. The oils had formed corrosive compounds on contact with the air, as there was no damage to the plastic below the level of the pepper. The chef said "OK. We go to ceramic".
It seems the stains mentioned are from dyes that bond easily to oil, like the iridescent yellow from the turmeric in the curry, so not putting oily, brightly colored food in plastic is perhaps the best remedy, or would be in a world where we all have the money to buy nice glass and ceramic and the time to always pick the right container for the job. (02/24/2009)
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