Have you ever placed some left over tomato sauce into a plastic container and then found that when you went to clean it out the stain is still in the container? I have had this happen on several occasions and usually ended up just throwing out the container. I realized how much money I was just throwing away, and that I could find a way to remove the stains and re-sue the plastic containers.
One way to clean the stain from the container is to use a bit of vinegar mixed with water. I have found about a tablespoons of vinegar and a half cup of water works well for large container. For smaller containers you will obviously want to use less vinegar and water. Allow the container to sit and soak with this solution for about ten minutes. Make sure you use the entire ten minutes to ensure that both the stain and the odor is removed. After the ten minute make you can empty out the solution and use dish liquid to wash out the container. You will notice that the stain and the odor is removed from the container. To clean the top of the container you will want to place it inside of the container while the solution is soaking. This will help to remove any stains and smells form the top of the container.
If you don’t really like the smell of vinegar there is another solution that you may want to try. Bleach can be safely used on products such as containers if you use the right amount. Use about a cap full of bleach and a cup of water to soak inside of the plastic container. Allow this solution to soak for about five minutes. After it is done soaking you can wash with regular dish liquid and allow to dry. If the stain is not removed after five minutes you may need to allow it to soak longer.
One thing that I did notice when experimenting with different stain and odor removers was that the longer you let the stain sit the more difficult it was to remove. For example if you let the stain sit for a few days or even a week or longer you may not be able to get one hundred percent of the stain removed. You will definitely remove the odor with the solutions above but some of the stain will remain. Remember that once you have finished using the container it is best to soak it in the solution immediately, don’t wait. If you want to make sure that the container can be re-used you will need to start the cleaning process early. Remember that you don’t have to throw these items into the garbage just a little elbow grease and you will have them back to normal in no time.