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Cleaning Stains from Plastic

Category Dishes
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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By 3 found this helpful
July 14, 2014

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.

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By 2 found this helpful
May 14, 2009

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 Mary Feldhahn from Twin Cities, MN

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By 1 found this helpful
March 25, 2015

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.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 5 found this helpful
February 10, 2010

How do you get tomato stains out of white bowls?

By Michelle from Scipio, IN


February 11, 20100 found this helpful

Soak them in hot water, dish detergent and some bleach.

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February 11, 20100 found this helpful

Hi. I know this sounds funny but I tried it as I always freeze leftover spaghetti sauce in my plastic containers.


Make sure the container has been washed and then stick it in the sun and leave it for a day. Not sure where I read this but I have tried it and it works.

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February 11, 20100 found this helpful

The sun does wonders with stains from tomato sauce on Tupperware and other plastic dishes. The sun also worked to take out some flower pollen stains on a favorite pair of light beige slacks.

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February 15, 20101 found this helpful

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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December 15, 20140 found this helpful

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


December 19, 20140 found this helpful

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.

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January 31, 20150 found this helpful

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

By Shannon M.

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September 6, 20140 found this helpful

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

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

February 10, 20100 found this helpful

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


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 nicole

Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

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

By carolcoen

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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November 27, 20090 found this helpful

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 Barbara Snyder from Shoemakersville, PA


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August 27, 20090 found this helpful

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?

Wonderfulone from Hamilton


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 Spencer

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)


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 Dee

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.


By CdnProf from Hamilton, too!

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

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

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)

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

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

Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

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

By Whitney

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

Cleaning Tomato Stains Off Plastic

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

By Dawn

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

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

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)


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

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May 14, 20090 found this helpful

How do I get tomato sauce stains from plastics?

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September 16, 20040 found this helpful

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

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