How to Clean Mold Out of Plastic Containers

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Things You'll Need

  • Trash bag or can

  • Rubber gloves

  • Nose mask

  • White vinegar

  • Dishwashing soap

  • Hot water

  • Clean cloth or towel

  • Baking soda


Check the foods you place in your containers every three to five days, and throw out any food when you first see signs of mold.

To help keep your container clean, place a small piece of plastic wrap or a plastic sandwich bag in your container before storing your food in the container. When it is time to toss leftovers, just dump the food and plastic wrap from the container.

You love your plastic containers, but you don't love cleaning it. Stains, smells and mold are all enemies of plastic containers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends throwing out leftovers within three to four days so mold doesn't have a chance develop. With a few common kitchen items, you can safely remove mold—and any smells—from your containers.


Step 1

Dump the moldy contents from the container into a trash bag or can. Wear rubber gloves and a nose mask to avoid inhaling the spores.

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Step 2

Fill the container with white vinegar.

Step 3

Place the lid on the container, making sure it is tightly closed.

Step 4

Let the container sit for one week.

Step 5

Empty the container, and wash it with soapy hot water.


Step 6

Dry the container with a clean cloth or towel. If the container doesn't smell, put it away. If a moldy or odd smell is present, proceed to the next step.

Step 7

Pour 1 tbsp. baking soda into the container. Seal the container, and let it sit for one week.

Step 8

Pour out the baking soda, and wash the container with soapy hot water.

Step 9

Dry the container with a clean cloth or towel.


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