We love having a fridge and freezer full of leftovers to help see us through busy weeks when making dinner from scratch just isn’t a possibility. But have you ever noticed how, when you store something with lots of tomatoes in it in a plastic container, the container ends up getting stained a weird yellow color? No matter how much soap and hot water we use, it seems like these containers are basically ruined, all because we wanted to save some marinara or creamy tomato soup to eat later on. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Martha Stewart’s food storage container cleaning hack clears up any questions you might have about how to remove tomato stains from plastic, and all you need are a couple of supplies you probably already have on hand.
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Apparently, the key to removing those annoying, orange tomato stains is baking soda. We love using a paste of baking soda and water to clean everything from our oven to our bathtub drain, and it turns out it’s the solution to conquering tomato stains once and for all, too.
According to Stewart, you need to make a paste of two tablespoons of baking soda, one teaspoon of water, and 1/4 teaspoon of dish soap (we like using Dawn blue dish soap for pretty much everything). Use this paste to scrub out the inside of your plastic food storage container, then let it sit for 15 minutes. You might need to repeat the process to get every last bit of the orangey stains out of your container, but that’s still better than assuming your container is ruined forever!
Of course, even easier than scrubbing away at those stains with a baking soda paste is avoiding them altogether. You can do this in two ways. First, let your tomato-based foods cool to room temperature before putting them in a plastic container, and never microwave them in a plastic container. Second, you can just use a set of glass food storage containers instead. The glass food storage containers are less porous than a plastic container, so they won’t absorb any of the food.
You’ll never have to consider throwing away a tomato-stained container again.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below: