Cleaning Stains from Plastic

Tomato sauce and other products can leave noticeable stains on plastic containers. This is a guide about cleaning stains from plastic.

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Question: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

By Michelle 1

How do you get tomato stains out of white bowls?

By Michelle from Scipio, IN

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Most Recent Answer

By Elaine 173 890 Flag

February 15, 2010

I use bleach also if the stain is there but to prevent the stain in the first place, if I am storing leftovers in fridge that is tomato based, I first spray the container with cooking spray to prevent it from seeping into the container.

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Tip: Cleaning Stained Plastic Bowls

By Kathy Lynn 4

To clean stains out of bowls, leave bowl sitting with white vinegar in it. Leave it for a few days, then rinse and wipe out.

    CommentWas this helpful? Yes

    Tip: Cleaning Tomato Sauce Stains from Plastic

    By Mary Feldhahn 3

    Ever use a rubber spatula on food items like spaghetti or tomato sauce and have the spatula get stained? Or ever use a plastic food container for leftovers which stained the container? I dreaded using my Pampered Chef white spatulas when I needed them for spaghetti. I also did not want to have my containers stained. Now when I have any type of food stains, I rinse and place the item outside when the sun is shining. Presto! After a few hours my items are stain-free and like new.

    By mfeld from Twin Cities, MN

    CommentWas this helpful? Yes

    Tip: Sunlight as Free Bleach

    By Bruce Byrnes 1 11

    Sunlight will remove tomato sauce type stains from plastics. Just place items in direct sunlight for a few hours around midday. It will bleach white laundry too.

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Question: Spatula Bleach Stains

      I clean our rubber spatulas in the dishwasher. They now have been bleached in spots. Is there a way to remove those white stains? Thanks.

      By Joyce S. from Dade City, FL

      AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

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      Most Recent Answer

      By DCA 4 1,344 Flag

      December 19, 2014

      The white "stains" on your rubber spatulas are actually a removal of the dye color of the rubber in the white areas by the dishwasher cleaning agent. You can not remove the white area as it is not a "stain" but rather an absence of color.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

      Question: Stained PVC Shopping Bags

      How can I get stains out of Ted Backer PVC shopping bags? It seems to be ingrained.

      By Shannon M.

      AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

      Question: Cleaning Taco Sauce Stain on Plastic Shelf

      I had taco sauce stain the plastic on a refrigerator door. Its a big stain. Any solutions for this?

      By Ray L. from Palm Springs, CA

      AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

      Archive: Cleaning Tomato Sauce Stains from Plastic Containers

      Clean tomato sauce stains from your plastic containers using hot water filled to the top and plopping a couple denture tablets in.

      By Rhonda

      More Tips:
      Removing Tomato Sauce Stains from Plastic 06/25/2004
      Instead of buying cleaner for colored stains on plastic, like tomato sauce, etc. I submerge the item in really hot water for several seconds before I put on the soap and then I wash and rinse in hot water again. It comes out like magic!
      By tiny bop
      Bleach 09/15/2004
      To remove tomato stains or any other stains from plastic containers use the following method:

      Take about 1 cup of bleach & add 3 cups of water. Place this solution into the container that is discolored. Leave in place for about 2 hours. Rinse well with plain water being especially careful not to let the solution touch or splash on your clothes. Happy bleaching.

      By joesgirl
      Denture Tablets 11/07/2005
      Clean tomato sauce stains from your plastic containers using hot water filled to the top and plopping a couple denture tablets in.
      By Rhonda
      Cooking Spray 11/07/2005
      I don't know if this will work at all times, but try putting cooking spray in the container BEFORE putting your food in there. If you eat it all straight away, 99% of the time, it won't stain. However, if you keep it overnight, I think it will.
      By KLS8800 (Guest Post)
      RE: Cleaning Tomato Sauce Stains from Plastic Containers 11/07/2005
      I mix baking soda and dish soap into a paste to clean my bowl. If the red isn't gone I set it in the sun and let it bleach out naturally.

      Love & Prayers,
      Linda

      By lindaljh1
      Pitted or Scarred Containers 11/08/2005
      Just a warning... if the container is pitted or scarred throw it out! The chemicals in the plastic can leetch from the damaged plastic into your food and who knows what damage those chemicals can do to a person ... Rather to be safe than frugal?!?

      That being said, a baking soda paste and a short "soak" works well on my plastics!

      By Madelynnsmama

      Archive: Cleaning Tomato Sauce Stains from Plastic

      How do I get tomato sauce stains from plastics?

      Mary from Mass

      Feedback:

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Sauce Stains from Plastic

      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)

      By Medtaz165

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Sauce Stains from Plastic

      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)

      By anniebok

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Sauce Stains from Plastic

      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

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Sauce Stains from Plastic

      If you leave it in the sun for a few hours, the stains will be gone (02/28/2007)

      By Jenny

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Sauce Stains from Plastic

      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)

      By Kat63

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Sauce Stains from Plastic

      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)

      By tismom

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Sauce Stains from Plastic

      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)

      By Lilly

      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.

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Sauce Stains from Plastic

      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)

      By unatuna

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Sauce Stains from Plastic

      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)

      By Linden

      Archive: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      I wonder if anyone knows how to get tomato stains off plastic. I cooked tomato rice in a plastic pot and know it is stained, any ideas how to remove it?

      Thanks,
      Wonderfulone from Hamilton

      Feedback:

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      I fill my plastic containers with half and half of water and bleach overnight and then wash thru the dishwasher and they come out spotless. (09/01/2004)

      By Suzanne S.

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      You can rub a light coating of liquid dishWASHER soap in the plastic container and let it sit. Product contains bleach so stains will come right out. (09/01/2004)

      By

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      If using bleach doesn't help and the pan is white, you can put the pan in the sun for a few days. Seems to work like a charm. Next time, rinse your plastic ware in cold water first as plastic is porous. (09/02/2004)

      By Diamondee

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      One of the best things I have found to remove most stains is a paste of water and powder cleanser - let it sit for awhile and then rinse - works like a charm. The cream cleansers, such as Vim, etc., don't work at all, though. I recently had some indelible marker come off a package of thawing frozen food onto my light counter-top and it even worked on that.

      (09/05/2004)

      By CdnProf from Hamilton, too!

      RE: Liquid Dishwasher Gel for Stains on Plastic

      Rub some liquid dishwasher gel on spaghetti sauce stains on plastic containers, high chair trays, plastic plates, etc. Let it sit for a while. The bleach in the gel lifts the stains.

      By Linda (10/26/2004)

      Stained Plastic Containers

      To restore stained plastic food containers, wash them and place in direct sunlight. The sunlight removes the discoloration.

      By truerblue (04/23/2005)

      By ThriftyFun

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      Instead of buying cleaner for colored stains on plastic, like tomato sauce, etc. I submerge the item in really hot water for several seconds before I put on the soap and then I wash and rinse in hot water again. It comes out like magic!

      By tiny bop (11/07/2005)

      By ThriftyFun

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      To remove tomato stains or any other stains from plastic containers use the following method:

      Take about 1 cup of bleach and add 3 cups of water. Place this solution into the container that is discolored. Leave in place for about 2 hours. Rinse well with plain water being especially careful not to let the solution touch or splash on your clothes. Happy bleaching.

      By joesgirl (11/07/2005)

      Denture Tablets

      Clean tomato sauce stains from your plastic containers using hot water filled to the top and plopping a couple denture tablets in.

      By Rhonda (11/07/2005)

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      Well, whatever you do, DON'T use bleach to remove the tomato sauce stains from your Tupperware! It may remove the stains "like magic" but your container is porous and the will suck in the bleach, which doesn't rinse off easily! It also ruins the finish of the container, so next time you do the same, it will REALLY discolor. (I don't know about you, but I don't like to eat bleach with my food!) I recommend using baking soda and water in hot water (make a paste). If this doesn't work, does it really matter that your container is orange? (01/18/2006)

      By Em

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      The best product I've found is the Cascade - Plastic Booster for the dishwasher. It's the best! I Love it. (09/14/2006)

      By Lori Roberson

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      Rubbing alcohol removes almost any marker. (11/12/2006)

      By Whitney

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      I used Dawn power dissolver. i let it set 30 minutes and it washed off clean. This was for Tomato stain. (03/21/2008)

      By vanman

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      This cleaner I get from the dollar store called "Awesome" works well. (06/12/2008)

      By Dawn

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      I always use Dawn Power Dissolver. Works great, but I ran out and my husband gave baby spaghetti Oh's in the highchair, so we tried a paste of Comet and hot water (please make sure baby is not in high chair when you do this). Worked great, but I prefer the Dawn Power Dissolver, that stuff is awesome! (08/17/2008)

      By Giulia Cermak

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      Use salt on a damp cloth or you can use lemon juice which will eat away at the tomato sauce-I used it just now on a clear set that contained tomato based gumbo which a friend made. I was planning to go and purchase her a replacement bowl because I hated to give her the stained one back-it looked terrible. I used both salt (rubbed it in the bowl) and lots of lemon juice and hot water and now it looks likes it never had tomato sauce in it. Works great. (08/26/2008)

      By tonya

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      The only thing I have learned but never tried is to clean thoroughly and leave the containers out in the sun.(12/22/2008)

      By

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      I just tried it and the water with Lemon in it for 4 minutes, works beautiful! (02/07/2009)

      By April

      Archive: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      Lets say you made spaghetti in a white plastic bowl and has stains on it. (Left it in the fridge to because of the leftovers.) After you wash it and it still has the stains. Just sit it outside for a couple of days and let the sun hit it. The stain will be gone. Just rewash, because of dirt and debris. It does work. I just did it not too long ago.

      By dietvanilla from Shoemakersville, PA

      Feedback:

      Archive: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      My Tupperware has an orange stain in it from eating things like Spaghetti Os and Chef Boyardee. Does anyone know how to get these stains out?

      By Grace from Selinsgrove, PA

      Feedback:

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      I have tried half water and half bleach and then wash it really good and that seems to get them off. (11/27/2009)

      By farthead

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      I've had luck with dishwasher detergent. (11/30/2009)

      By castleberrycc

      RE: Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

      Put them outside on a sunny day. Can't remember where I read about this hint, but was probably on this site. Worked wonders on my tomato sauce stained Tupperware in one day of sun in Northern Virginia. (12/01/2009)

      By Kathryen

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