04 March 2013

Pin Buster! Cleaning Stained Plastic Containers?

I recently came across a few Pins that were about cleaning stained plastic food storage containers. Since I have a few of these, I was curious as to whether or not it really worked. The pins & blogs claimed it worked really well - and the accompanying pictures did seem to show that it did work. (Although I was a bit skeptical - the original picture showed a lot of that white "bubbly" stuff inside the container. You know the stuff - I think it's where the food gets so hot it actually "melts" some of the plastic - which is gross, so I hope that's not what it is, but who knows? Nothing I've tried has EVER taken that white stuff off the inside of the container - and it feels rough to the touch, so I really feel the plastic has been compromised. Anyway, the "after" picture showed a perfectly clean, new-looking container. All that rough stuff was gone. Not sure how that happened, but hey, I'll give it a try. But still - color me skeptical.)

The instructions were to fill the container with water and a drop of dish soap, then add 1/2 c. bleach and microwave for 40 seconds (or until water boils). Let the container sit with the solution in it until the water is lukewarm, then wash out.

I used hot water to cut down on microwave time, and since I have concentrated bleach, I only used 1/4 c. (which actually works out to be a bit more than the original instructions say to use).

Since my container was large, I microwaved for a couple of minutes - but it ended up taking 11 minutes for the water to actually bubble. (40 seconds? Must be a super-duper zap-the-water-right-now microwave!)

I removed it from the microwave and let it cool for an hour or so until it was lukewarm. Then I washed it with dish soap.

Hmmm. Well, I think it might be a bit less stained. There are still rough, white patches inside.

The verdict: Not Pin-worthy. This didn't work.

Perhaps it depends upon your container (mine was Rubbermaid), or the stain (mine was spaghetti sauce). Or maybe it doesn't work on "old" stains. Maybe you have to treat it right after the stain occurs (ain't nobody got time for that!). But none of that was mentioned - and let's face it - I bet most of us have Rubbermaid containers with spaghetti sauce stains that have been there for awhile. So if it doesn't work on that, then what good is it? That's another hour of my life I'll never get back. Sigh. :-)

The search continues...