Plastic glasses, bottles and pitchers make good drinking and water storage containers until you fill them with a different liquid that stains them and leaves a lingering odor. Tomato juices and tomato-based soups are a major culprit due to the reaction of the acid in the tomatoes with the plastic surface. In addition, food fats, such as grease from chili or chicken soup will leave a slick layer on plastic surfaces. Luckily, one common kitchen ingredient, baking soda, can restore your plastic water containers to a like-new condition.
Fill your plastic iced tea pitcher to the rim with hot water and sprinkle in ¼ cup of baking soda. Stir it gently and allow the pitcher to sit undisturbed for an hour. Pour out the water. Wash and rinse as usual. Your pitcher will be free from tea stains and the accompanying stale taste.
Go bubbly for a refreshing clean in plastic water containers previously used for soups or juices. Rinse away any debris and put one tablespoon of baking soda in the bottom of the container. Pour another tablespoon of white vinegar over the baking soda and watch the cleaning bubbles spring into action. Using a nylon sponge spread the mixture over the interior of the container and rinse well.
Get the toughest stains out of plastic by making a cleansing scrub from equal amounts of baking soda and table salt. Use a damp nylon sponge to scrub the surface. Let the container sit for a couple of hours before scrubbing again and rinsing away the discoloration and odor.
Soak away tea and other cola stains from your plastic glasses by filling the sink with water and adding an entire small box of baking soda. Pile in the glasses and let them soak overnight, submerged in the water.
Refresh white and opaque plastic by combining lemon juice with baking soda and applying liberally to the stained surface. When combined, baking soda and lemon juice act as a natural bleaching agent, whitening the plastic and banishing odors.
Make a quick baking soda rinse if you do your dishes by hand and you find hard water deposits on your plastic wear. Fill a small tub with clean hot water and add a ¼ cup of baking soda. After washing and rinsing your plastic as usual, dip them quickly into the soda rinse. Hard water spots will be a thing of the past.