Removing Stains from Plastic Food Containers

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
April 9, 2020

Plastic Food ContainersI made a little discovery this morning and wanted to share it with you. It's quick, simple, easy, and cheap.

Kool- Aid stains all gone!

The tip is not free, though. You'll have to read (wade through) my 'Homespun' to get to it.


In the past year, I have had more health problems than most ninety year olds have in two lifetimes. Along with those problems came specialists and all the tests they require. X-rays, electrocardiograms, MRIs, nerve conduction tests, sonograms and deeper sonograms. The list goes on and on, including the dreaded colo-rectal. It was clear. However, I did have three cancers removed from my face. The scars are hardly noticeable. No, my medical history is not appropriate here, but I did want you to know why you've seen so little of me on ThriftyFun.

As you are asleep or near asleep during a colo-rectal, it is a breeze. No sweat, no pain. It's preparing for the test that really takes something out of you...pun intended. If you are not clean as a whistle from one end to another, you've just wasted your, and the doctors, time and the test will have to be repeated. (I know from personal experience).


Besides all the other stuff I had to drink, plus two days without food, I had to down a gallon of a certain liquid over a 24 hour period.

A powder was to be mixed in a gallon jug provided with the powder. The jug had a thicker wall than any jug I had ever seen. It also had a tight locking lid. I thought it quite nice and decided to keep it for making Kool- Aid. It works beautifully.

Kool- Aid stains plastic. And as I drink at least half a gallon every day (no sugar, just sucralose and maltodextrin), I am always trying to clean stains from that nice jug.

I have used bleach. It works fine, but it's so hard to get the chlorine scent from the container. I have to rinse and rinse and rinse. Then, I have to let it air dry several hours.

After all that, I have to go around the threads at the top with a toothbrush to get stains the bleach left. All that is in the past.

On a lark, this morning I decided to try something. I would clean my jug differently. I dumped about a fourth cup of household ammonia into the jug. Then I added about a fourth cup of peroxide. Then I shoved my dish cloth laden with suds down into the jug.


I capped the opening with the palm of my hand and gave the jug a vigorous shake. Within 30 seconds every stain was gone! I mean every one, even around the threads. I'm so glad I found this.

A note of caution. If you practice safety and thoroughly rinse the jug, this is a safe method. You will notice I said I capped the jug with the palm of my hand. I did this for a good reason. Mixing peroxide and household ammonia in a tightly sealed container could cause the container to explode. (One of the first things we were taught at the academy when starting hair coloring classes).


I think of all of you often and sincerely hope none of you nor your loved ones have had to endure the ravages beset upon our home; a tiny jewel traveling through the heavens, a spaceship we call Earth.



Ha Ha Ha

I get to end this tome (Jess calls them something else) on a lighter note.

It seems gmail doesn't like the way I spell 'colo-rectal'. It gave me several 'correct' options from which to choose, two of which were:

cool-rectal (I'm sitting here imagining someone picking up Vick's Vapo-Rub by mistake instead of the Preparation H and not discovering til it's too late. Zing!

loco-rectal (The next time you want to call somebody a 'crazy asse', say this instead. It sounds nicer. They won't know what you're talking about, but it sounds nicer).

I am in tears!

Source: Doug's Test Kitchens

A heart shaped Earth.
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4 Questions

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.

February 4, 2009

How can I get red enchilada sauce stains out of plastic containers?

Ginger from Bellingham, WA


February 4, 20090 found this helpful

I agree with the Plastic Booster. It comes in a tube like hand lotion, look for it with the dishwasher detergents. You add it with your regular detergent.


I was skeptical when I first tried it but it really works!

You can also set them out in the sunshine if you live where the weather is nice.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 138 Feedbacks
February 4, 20090 found this helpful

No need to buy special cleaning products. Soak stained plastic containers in warm soapy water with a little bleach added.

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By Angelina (Guest Post)
February 4, 20090 found this helpful

I have luck putting the stained plastic containers out in the bright sun. They come out like new. This truly is a very frugal procedure. I hope it works for you.

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February 5, 20090 found this helpful

I just wash mine well and ignore the tint, then when I use them for something else the pink has faded and then it's gone. Mostly for containers I use pint wide-mouth canning jars, they last forever, they're see-thru, easy to wash and no staining at all.

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By Chris from PA. (Guest Post)
February 5, 20090 found this helpful

I use automatic dishwashing powder. You can get this at any Dollar General or Walmart Store. You don't need to buy the expensive brands.


Just pour a little in your container, fill it with hot water and let it soak. Stains come right off.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 364 Posts
February 6, 20090 found this helpful

Next choice is to wash well and then only use the stained containers for staining food items.

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July 22, 2011

Any advice on getting tea stains out of a Rubbermaid juice container?

By neuroticmom from CA


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 138 Feedbacks
July 22, 20110 found this helpful

Bleach. Fill the container with warm soapy water and add a tablespoon or so of bleach. Let sit for a while and rub with a sponge. Repeat using more bleach if the stain remains.

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July 23, 20110 found this helpful

My Mother used to put any stained plastic containers out in the sun, or on a really sunny windowsill. It may take a few days, but it usually got out stains and odors.

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July 25, 20110 found this helpful

If it's tea, make a paste from water and baking soda, apply, and scrub with an old toothbrush. You may have to let it set a while before scrubbimg. After rinsing, most of the tea stain should be gone.

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July 25, 20110 found this helpful

Fill it with water and one half cup bleach. Let set for 15 min. Then rinse with vinegar water.

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July 25, 20110 found this helpful

I haven't tried it with plastic, but I use denture cleaning tablets to get coffee and tea stains out of mugs. It's worth a try--I get them at the 99 Cent store, so they're really inexpensive. And they also help clean the toilet... :)

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August 8, 2014

What can I use to get spaghetti stains out of my plastic food containers?

By Ruth S. from Newalla, OK


August 8, 20140 found this helpful

Removing I am not sure about but preventing I can help with. Spray the inside of the dish with non-stick cooking spray before putting the ingredients in it. Works like a charm every time.

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August 12, 20140 found this helpful

The best thing I have found is to put the containers in the sunshine. My kitchen window has sunshine pouring in and I just place the containers on the windowsill and in a little while the stains are gone.

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