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Have Grandmas Everywhere Been Gatekeeping This Hack For Cleaning Stained Tupperware?

Go ahead and make that extra spaghetti — the stains can't hurt you anymore.

 A woman on TikTok shares her favorite hack for cleaning sauce-stained Tupperware.

Life is full of little frustrations, and stained food containers are one of the worst offenders. How many times have you grabbed your favorite piece of Tupperware only to discover it was left hopelessly discolored the last time you made pasta? Before you toss out yet another red-tinged container, you need to try this brilliant TikTok hack that promises to leave your favorite Tupperware stain-free.

Removing stains from Tupperware feels like one of life’s greatest secrets. Once you store your kid’s leftover SpaghettiOs in the last container with a good lid, you just know it will henceforth be known as the pasta container. Because if you can’t remove the tomato stains, you might as add to them, right?

Thankfully, intrepid TikTok creator @ariganja is passing on the wisdom of the elders — namely her friend’s grandmother — to help you remove container stains with ease. Read on for a breakdown of her simple hack, as well as a few other tips on how to save your stained Tupperware from being sent to the recycle bin.

In the video, @ariganja shows off her own stained food container before revealing her friend's grandmother's secret to bringing her Tupperware back to life. She starts by ripping a paper towel into a few different pieces. Then she fills her stained container up halfway with warm water. Finally, she adds a generous amount of dishwashing liquid, tosses in the towels, and pops on the lid.

You could do the next part with your favorite little helpers — they'll probably think it's magic. Once the lid is securely in place, you shake the container until the stains come off (it will take about a minute). Empty the water, and voila, you have clean Tupperware again!

While this seems like total sorcery, several commenters also confirmed it works for them. Have our grandmas been gatekeeping this secret?! It is worth noting, though, that some commenters pointed out this hack works best on fresher stains.

Are there other ways to clean stained Tupperware?

While the shake method looks both easy and fun for the kiddos, there are other ways to salvage stained food containers. If you're looking for more inspiration, try one of these methods:

  • Add a small amount of bleach (about a tablespoon or less) to a cup of water. Pour the mixture into the container and leave it for at least an hour. Depending on how badly it's stained, it could need to be soaked overnight. Dump the water and then give your clean container another wash, preferably in the dishwasher, to ensure all of the bleach is gone.
  • Pour a tablespoon of vinegar and a cup of hot water into your container. Soak for between an hour to overnight, and then rinse out thoroughly. This method is best for fresh stains. If you're dealing with older stains, try one of the other tips instead.
  • Liberally sprinkle the bottom of your container with baking soda, then add enough water to create a paste. Make sure the paste covers the stained parts of the Tupperware, and let it set. Check the stain after 30 minutes. If it's still there, leave the paste for at least another 30 minutes before rinsing.

Which food containers are the least likely to stain?

If you want to eliminate the dreaded stained Tupperware from your life forever, it might be time to ditch the plastic. While plastic containers are handy if you're sending food home with friends or family and fear you'll never see the container again, plastic deteriorates over time, and it's not the most environment-friendly option.

If you already have a ton of plastic containers and don’t want to ditch them just yet, try this trick from commenter @JaxJamN: “Rub or spray a tiny amount of oil in the container before adding contents. Clean up is a breeze and NO stains!”

But if you do a lot of meal prep or frequently have leftovers, it's time to upgrade to a stain-free option. Rubbermaid makes a microwave and freezer-safe glass set of food containers that won't stain over time. You can also try the stylish ceramic Frego brand if you frequently reheat your leftovers in the container. Overall, glass and ceramic containers are more expensive, but they'll also last longer and save you time and energy after a pasta or soup night.