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How To Clean Tomato Sauce Stains From Plastic Storage Containers

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Growing up with an Italian grandmother, a tomato-sauced based meal was pretty much the norm in my family. And although it's delicious, tomato sauce can present a very specific problem when it comes to leftovers. (Not that Grandma would allow us to leave leftovers, but that's another story.) Namely, that the acids in tomatoes can stain plastic storage containers. This is one of the reasons tomato sauce is sold in glass jars. So how do you un-stain your containers?


Photo from Flickr user Joost J. Bakker IJmuiden

One way -- probably the most obvious -- is to let the container soak over night in soapy dish detergent. But if this really worked, then you wouldn't be reading this piece. That's where baking soda comes in. Just making a thick paste of baking soda and water, and use it to scrub the container. The mildly abrasive mixture, plus the almost bleach-like power of the baking soda can remove the stain. Really, what can't baking soda do?

If that doesn't work, there is one last result -- letting the container soak in water overnight, except this time substitute the dish detergent with a few drops of bleach (or bleach-based kitchen cleaner). This will completely obliterate the stainage, but is best reserved for really extreme cases on high-quality containers and using the most minimal amount of bleach possible.

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