How To Clean Your Plastic Storage Boxes


Plastic storage boxes are used in just about every walk of life, from storing items like food and clothing around the house to storing raw materials in a manufacturing facility. In order to get the most out of your plastic storage boxes, you need to keep them clean. In this article, I will discuss a number of different ways by which you can clean your plastic storage boxes, so that you can get more life out of them, along with ways that you can get rid of stubborn stains.

Plastic Storage Boxes Are Easy To Clean In Most Cases

In most cases, plastic storage boxes can be cleaned easily by scrubbing them with a cloth or a synthetic sponge in warm, soapy water. Rinse the boxes thoroughly to flush out all soap particles. When you do this, do not use a metal scraper or a steel wool pad, as these items might damage the surfaces of the box and leave behind plastic and metal particles. This is extremely important, especially if these plastic storage boxes are going to be used asĀ plastic food storage containers. You don’t want metal particles to end up in your food. Once you’ve done this, you can dry them off with a dry cloth or put them in a dish drainer where they can air dry. Remember that the box is only as clean as the towel that you use to dry it. It is quite odd, given how simple it is to clean most plastic storage boxes, that a lot of people will simply opt to throw the boxes away once they get dirty. This is a shame, because you can save money and reduce the amount of garbage that your household generates by just taking a couple of minutes to clean your plastic storage boxes so that they can be reused.


Ways To Get Rid Of Stubborn Stains On Plastic Storage Boxes

Dish Soap

Most stains on plastic storage boxes can be eliminated by simply covering the stains with dish soap and letting the box sit for about 30 minutes. This should allow enough time for the soap to get into the pores of the plastic and get rid of the stain. For soap, I prefer using Dawn or Palmolive-brand antibacterial dish soap. Once you’ve done that, just scrub the container with a soft cloth and thoroughly rinse it out.


Chlorine Bleach

You can also immerse the plastic storage container in a mixture of warm water and chlorine bleach. When doing this, use one tablespoon of bleach for every one cup of warm water in order for the bleach to have the right amount of potency. Let the container soak for about 45 minutes, and then rinse it out until all of the bleach is gone. For bleach, although the Clorox brand has a lot of brand recognition, bleach is a commodity product. So, I prefer to use the Great Value brand that can be purchased at Wal-Mart for a lot less money. However, I wouldn’t recommend using this method if you are using the container for food storage.

Great Value Bleach From Wal-Mart

Oven Cleaner

You can also get rid of really stubborn stains by using oven cleaner. However, before you try to use oven cleaner to remove stains on your plastic storage containers, you need to make sure that you are doing it in a well-ventilated area. You might even want to go outdoors in order to do this due to the fumes. When using oven cleaner, just cover the stain with the oven cleaner, and let it set for the recommended amount of time. This will vary from one oven cleaner to the next, so you need to read the instructions that are on the bottle. Once the container has set for the recommended amount of time, you can scrub the container with a cloth or sponge to remove the oven cleaner. Once you’ve removed the oven cleaner, you can wash the plastic storage box like you normally would, with warm, soapy water. When doing the final cleaning, do not use the same cloth that you used to remove the oven cleaner. For oven cleaners, I prefer to use the EASY-OFF brand.

Easy-Off Heavy Duty Oven Cleaner – Picture From Lunch.com

Baking Soda

If none of the above methods have worked for you in getting rid of those tough stains, then try using a mixture of baking soda and hot water. Fill the container with the mix and just let it sit for about an hour. After that, you can wash the container like you normally would without the stains. This method works best on stains that come from acidic substances like tea or tomato juice. It also works well on stains that come from substances like fat or grease. This is because the baking soda neutralizes the acid within the stain as it breaks the stain down. Like bleach, baking soda is a commodity product as just about any brand will do. I prefer the Arm & Hammer brand myself, but you can save money by purchasing a store brand.

By using one or more of the above methods to keep your plastic storage boxes clean, you can get more useful life out of them, requiring you to purchase fewer replacement boxes, and reducing the amount of trash that gets discarded into our environment.


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