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Stains, Stains Go Away

I always provide containers for all my clients because many are just looking for convenience. But there are an increasing amount that when I have suggested purchasing 2-3 sets of reusable containers, they have been extremely receptive.

Now, glass containers look pretty and encourage that 'fancy pants' feel when you reheat that lunch you've been waiting for through 2 meetings and 3 conference calls and make you feel transported to a restaurant for the 15 minutes you're going to wolf down your lunch.  Wait, is that just how New Yorkers feel?  But, they're heavy and cumbersome and when you reheat your meal with them they are very HOT to have to carry back to your office.

Enter... plastic containers.  They're light, you can throw them in a bag, if you drop them they bounce and they don't burn your hands.  All pluses in my book.  But then my email is raided by tons of clients asking how to keep them stain free as we swap them out week-to-week.

So I started experimenting, because believe it or not I make my meals to and store them just the same.  AND I DON'T WANT THOSE STAINS EITHER. Ewwww.....

Many industry professionals recommend a bleach mixture to remove the stains.  Not a fan despite the fact that it's used to sanitize food surfaces in restaurants just about everywhere. But using bleach on a porous material, and one that I'm going to eat out of, no less, doesn't sound WELL mmmmmmm.

 I've also seen suggestions of lemon juice and sun and… Isn't that what our mom's told us to do as teenagers to get our hair sun kissed?  So yeah... unlikely this is going to happen especially if I need to then line them up on my NYC terrace which is basically an invitation for pigeons, if you get my drift. 

So here are two that I have found helpful and food safe:

  1. First, fill your container with a mixture of 50 percent water and 50 percent white distilled vinegar. Let the container soak for 30 minutes or even overnight, until the stain fades.

  2. If that doesn't work, dump out the vinegar and try a gentle scrub: Sprinkle it with baking soda, let it sit a few minutes, and then use a cloth to work the baking soda into the stain. The gentle abrasion should lift the stain without harming the plastic.

If that doesn't work? Then it might be time to consider tossing the container, as it could be a sign that the plastic is starting to degrade.

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