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Dealing with smelly plastic containers

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Plastic food containers and bottles are reusable and  convenient to use. Almost all kitchens have the much-loved reusable plastic storage container. It is available in different shapes, sizes and colors. They are usually the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to storing leftovers from dinner or for transporting delicious lunch to work the next day.

But with constant wear and tear, it’s not uncommon for food stains and unpleasant smell to appear. There are, however, several ways to remove the odor in your reusable plastic containers and bottles. Cleaning tools such as pipe cleaners, bottle brushes, soft bristle toothbrushes, or standard sponges would be required. In addition, you will need cleaning solutions such as mild dish soap, baking soda and hot water, or white vinegar. Immediately wash the bottle and container after use.  Always start with cold water rinse. Hot water will simply retain the pungent smell of the plastic container.

6 Tips for Containers and Bottles

1. Wash it with warm soapy water

Pour out any leftover liquid and remove all food particles. Add a few drops of dishwashing soap and some warm water, screw on the top, and shake for a minute or so. It’s best to invest in a bottle brush so you can scrub deep inside the bottle.  This would be very useful especially for bottles with a narrow mouth. Thoroughly clean the cap and straw and air-dry overnight. For containers, use a sponge to thoroughly clean the inside and the outside of the plastic.

2.Rinse them with vinegar

After washing with hot water and dish soap, fill the bottle/container with white vinegar. Let it sit for at least three minutes to remove the rancid smell. Pour out the vinegar and wash again with soap and water. For bottles, fill it one fifth of the way with white vinegar and the rest with water. Let it stand overnight and thoroughly rinse it out in the morning.

3.Expose them to direct sunlight

We might as well take advantage of living in a tropical country where sunshine is abundant. On a sunny day, place containers outside and air them out. Take advantage of the sun’s natural ability to fight odors.

4.Remove stains and odors with baking soda

Baking soda’s cleansing properties are nothing new. They work as a great stain and odor remover too. Simply make a thick paste of warm water and baking soda.  Rub the paste into the inside the container. Let it sit for at least one day, and then rinse it out thoroughly. Continue until no stains and smell remain.

5.Store them with a pinch of salt/ Store them overnight (or longer) with newspaper/ Coffee grounds

Add a large pinch of salt to containers.  This will rid of the last food you kept on the container. Make sure to wipe out the bottom and inside of the containers before using. Place a crumpled newspaper inside. Snap on the top of the container and store overnight or even longer. Remember to wash with soap and water after removing the newspaper. Place used coffee grounds (wet or dry) in the container and let it sit until odor is gone.

6.Charcoal

 

This is an old trick done inside your refrigerator. It also comes in handy with your containers. Place a piece of charcoal in the container. Seal shut and let it sit until the odor has been absorbed.

By Marita V. Pe Benito

Plastic food containers and bottles are reusable and  convenient to use. Almost all kitchens have the much-loved reusable plastic storage container. It is available in different shapes, sizes and colors. They are usually the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to storing leftovers from dinner or for transporting delicious lunch to work the next day.

But with constant wear and tear, it’s not uncommon for food stains and unpleasant smell to appear. There are, however, several ways to remove the odor in your reusable plastic containers and bottles. Cleaning tools such as pipe cleaners, bottle brushes, soft bristle toothbrushes, or standard sponges would be required. In addition, you will need cleaning solutions such as mild dish soap, baking soda and hot water, or white vinegar. Immediately wash the bottle and container after use.  Always start with cold water rinse. Hot water will simply retain the pungent smell of the plastic container.

6 Tips for Containers and Bottles

1. Wash it with warm soapy water

Pour out any leftover liquid and remove all food particles. Add a few drops of dishwashing soap and some warm water, screw on the top, and shake for a minute or so. It’s best to invest in a bottle brush so you can scrub deep inside the bottle.  This would be very useful especially for bottles with a narrow mouth. Thoroughly clean the cap and straw and air-dry overnight. For containers, use a sponge to thoroughly clean the inside and the outside of the plastic.

2.Rinse them with vinegar

After washing with hot water and dish soap, fill the bottle/container with white vinegar. Let it sit for at least three minutes to remove the rancid smell. Pour out the vinegar and wash again with soap and water. For bottles, fill it one fifth of the way with white vinegar and the rest with water. Let it stand overnight and thoroughly rinse it out in the morning.

3.Expose them to direct sunlight

We might as well take advantage of living in a tropical country where sunshine is abundant. On a sunny day, place containers outside and air them out. Take advantage of the sun’s natural ability to fight odors.

4.Remove stains and odors with baking soda

Baking soda’s cleansing properties are nothing new. They work as a great stain and odor remover too. Simply make a thick paste of warm water and baking soda.  Rub the paste into the inside the container. Let it sit for at least one day, and then rinse it out thoroughly. Continue until no stains and smell remain.

5.Store them with a pinch of salt/ Store them overnight (or longer) with newspaper/ Coffee grounds

Add a large pinch of salt to containers.  This will rid of the last food you kept on the container. Make sure to wipe out the bottom and inside of the containers before using. Place a crumpled newspaper inside. Snap on the top of the container and store overnight or even longer. Remember to wash with soap and water after removing the newspaper. Place used coffee grounds (wet or dry) in the container and let it sit until odor is gone.

6.Charcoal

This is an old trick done inside your refrigerator. It also comes in handy with your containers. Place a piece of charcoal in the container. Seal shut and let it sit until the odor has been absorbed.