General Question

shilolo's avatar

How do I clean tomato sauce stains from tupperware (and other types of plastic storage)?

Asked by shilolo (17986points) August 7th, 2009

We have a recurring problem where we have permanently stained tupperware from sauces (usually tomato). This stems from the fact that when we make homemade pasta sauce or chili, we make a large batch and freeze some for future dinners (to make life easy). Then, of course, we end up microwaving the container, and in the end, it is so stained that lots of vigorous cleaning won’t get out the stains. Short of throwing out the items, is there any way to remove the stains and/or prevent them from developing?

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23 Answers

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Not sure, but this is a good question, as we have the same problem. You don’t even have to microwave it, sometimes the tomato acids seem to eat through the side of the bowl. I’ll be watching for answers, too.

dpworkin's avatar

I’m a victim, too. I hope someone comes up with something. Great question.

Response moderated
shilolo's avatar

@Zendo Thanks for copying and pasting from another site. Next time, try to give appropriate attribution.

Zendo's avatar

You’re welcome shilo. Thanks for being such a cool dude and jumping all over me for nothing. Perhaps the moderators should have pulled your question since it was so easy to google the answer.

shilolo's avatar

@Zendo Funny. You’re the plagiarizer, and from some random person on Yahoo Answers no less. Way to go. I’‘ll be sure to flag your answer for plagiarism.

Zendo's avatar

Flag away dude. You must be one of the real fun people to work with in the asylum hospital.

shilolo's avatar

Oh, you mean someone with ethics and morals? Must be unfamiliar to you shell.

Response moderated
shilolo's avatar

I don’t think truth is a personal attack. Here is the definition of plagiarism, in case you weren’t clear. Moreover, plagiarists lack personal ethics and morals, and your blatant disregard and abuse of the system needed pointing out. How you can even argue the point is beyond me.

In any event, you’ve successfully derailed the thread. If I wanted responses from Yahoo Answers, I would have asked there. I value the judgement of Flutherites. Period.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] A) Copy/paste answer removed.
B) Take this discussion to PMs people, and stick to the actual question from here on out.

Grisaille's avatar

@augustlan Seriously.

I want to know how to get the goddamned red stains outta my goddamned tupperware.

augustlan's avatar

All I can tell you is, I’ve tried everything… including bleach. Nothing works. Best bet in the future is to use glass containers for heating up anything containing tomatoes. I even use Ziplock freezer bags to freeze leftover spaghetti sauce. Just remember to let it cool down before you put it in the bag.

YARNLADY's avatar

You contact the Tupperware company and see what they have to say about it, and also try the other container site, such as Ziplock and Glad or Rubbermaid The best thing about contacting these companies is that they will send you free coupons for products.

chyna's avatar

I am sure I have seen plastic ware that says it is stain free, but I just tried to find it on google and couldn’t find it. But back to your question, I can’t find a way either.

SuperMouse's avatar

I can’t tell you how to remove the stains, but I do know that if you spray the containers with Pam (or some other non-stick cooking spray), it will keep them from getting stained. I’ve tried this and it really works.

chyna's avatar

@SuperMouse Making sauce tomorrow, so I will try this. Thanks.

Judi's avatar

Didn’t Tupperware have a lifetime guarantee like a million years ago? I wonder if they would replace it?
Honestly though, if @shilolo doesn’t know the answer, I don’t know who would!! He’s our resident science guy isn’t he?

Buttonstc's avatar

I used to be a Tupperware dealer and Manager years ago and they are well aware of the problem. The only thing that ever worked for me to any degree was baking soda. Add just a tiny amt. of water to make it into a thick paste and then scour like mad. You can also try toothpaste, but that’s more expensive to use a lot of than baking soda is.. Anything stronger than these like Ajax or Bon Ami will just make everything worse as it just abrades it too much.

But, the key here may be that it’s been microwaved and therefore embedded into the plastic. There is no way to get that out because it means that the plastic melted or softened enough to basically fuse with the sauce; not a pleasant thought.

However, there is a possibility that you may have another option to just throwing it out. You can just throw it back to the company and get shiny new back at no cost to you. This is the silver lining for you which is the bane of every dealer’s existence.

Tupperware carries with it a lifetime guarantee regardless of circumstance which every dealer is supposed to honor. This has been from the inception of the company which added much to their reputation and somewhat justified the much higher cost compared to other plastic products. In my time I replaced product which had been left on an electic burner and melted beyond recognition to stuff impaled by a carelessly wielded knife to stuff which had been frozen and shattered when dropped. You name it, I saw it.

and they don’t seem to be touting it as much now. Admittedly, when I worked for them it was many years ago , but afaik they have not changed their policy. Since swapping out damaged product and replacing it with free new stuff is not exactly a delightful adventure for your average hardworking Tware rep. they may tell you something like they can’t do it cuz it was microed to death, or whatever excuse springs to mind so you def. need to check with the company first about what is entailed in the lifetime guarantee. It’s worth a phone call to their 800 line to get the facts and proceed accordingly.

Hopefully the guarantee remains the same as those halcyon days of yore and you will soon have sparkling shiny new Tware replacing all those red stained ones.

Here’s a little word to the wise—instead of putting spag sauce in Tware, plastics have improved tremendously in recent times. Get thee to the supermarket and get the new hard, clear plastics from Rubbermaid which will not stain. It’s a totally different type of plastic and it really is impervious to stains. I have tried it and it’s great. Use your Tware for anything else.

And whatever else you do, stop microwaving food in plastic containers for the sake of your family’s health not the health of the Tware. Some rudimentary research should convince you of the dangers inherent in ingesting the toxins which leech out of melted plastic.

I just run the plastic cont. under hot water for a few moments so I can dump it into a glass or ceramic dish—only takes a few seconds.

Buttonstc's avatar

@Judi Hey, you took the words right out of my mouth while I was typing. You are correct and it remains to be seen whether things have changed regarding their policy. But if they replaced items melted on a regular stove, I can’t see that one melted in a micro makes much difference, so I’ll be interested to see. Obviously it’s been a looong time since I’ve bought (or sold) Tware. :)

BTW for anybody who is interested here is a link for the Rubbermaid ones which I referenced before-totally different type of plastic.

@shilolo After Judi’s reference to you as the science guy, I just realized that you are one of the resident Docs around Fluther.

So, what are you doing microwaving in plastic and then eating it.?...eeeew I presume you are not an Oncologist?


shilolo's avatar

@all Thanks for the advice.
@Buttonstc Yes, I am a doctor, but you can count me as a skeptic on the hype regarding various chemicals in food and plastics. Take BPA containers. The evidence for the toxicity of BPA is so meager as to be laughable. But, it is being banned.

emilyrose's avatar

try the pyrex tupperware….someone mentioned glass above. I know you’re a skeptic about the toxicity stuff, but better safe than sorry, right?

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