They are very convenient to take food from home with you and store supplies in the refrigerator. How can you make these containers last longer?
Be careful with microwave use
Even if the container says it's microwave safe, you shouldn't overuse it. So, bringing food to a boil, and even more so cooking raw foods in it, is not categorically worth it. Even if the container does not warp from overheating, odors and dyes from food can be absorbed into it. Therefore, you can heat food to a warm state, but if you want it hotter, it’s better to transfer food to glass or ceramic dishes.
Be careful with the dishwasher too
Make sure the plastic tableware manufacturer says it is dishwasher safe. Otherwise, container lids may not fit properly after washing.
If the containers are dishwasher safe
Place them on the top shelf of the dish basket and make sure that the lids of the containers do not fall down. If you place the lid at the bottom of the grate, one of the corners may fall between the bars of the grate during washing and touch the heating element in the dishwasher tray. Or just being dangerously close to him. In this case, the lid may melt or deform from excessive heat.
Prevention of stains from coloring products
When appropriate, you can use a simple trick to keep food from staining the container. So, if you are going to store tomato sauce in it, pre-lubricate the inside of the container with a thin layer of vegetable oil (using a paper towel or oil spray). The oil will create a protective layer between the food and the plastic. This technique will lose its effectiveness if you then reheat the contents directly in the container.
Plastic already painted? Soak the container in a mild bleach solution
A solution of a tablespoon of chlorine bleach in a glass of warm water. Make enough of the solution to make sure it covers all the stains inside. Soak for no more than 30 minutes, and then wash in hot soapy water. And since it's bleach, rinse with clean water a few more times. Finally, soak the container in clean warm water for the same 30 minutes and then drain it. There will be no smell of bleach.
Always rinse the container as soon as it is empty
The faster you wash an empty lunch box, the less smells will eat into it. Ideally, you should wash it with warm water and soap, but this is not always possible. At least just rinse off food debris, especially in the grooves of the lids.
Remove odors with baking soda
Already-smelling containers can be restored to their original state with baking soda. Wash the container with warm water and soap, then sprinkle with baking soda and leave for 5-10 minutes. Then gently, without making any effort to avoid scratching the plastic, wipe the baking soda with a very damp sponge. And wash off the remaining baking soda from the walls with water.
If it still smells, try newspaper or charcoal
In a clean, but smelly container, place a crumpled up newspaper or charcoal for barbecue. Close the lid and leave for a day or two, so that the smells are absorbed into the filler. Then wash the soap container again.
When it's time to admit that the container needs to be changed
After all, they don't have an infinite resource of use. If the container is deformed, the lid does not fit snugly, and stubborn stains and odors could not be removed by any of the above methods, then it's time to buy a new one.