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I like using microwaveable plastic containers to bring my lunch in as they are my lighter than the Pyrex/glass versions. However, reheating my food up creates unsightly stains.

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

After washing them, fill them with a mild bleach solution (one tablespoon for each cup of water) and let them out in the sun exposing the stain for a whole day. Make sure children and animals cannot reach the containers with bleach.

There used to be a product called Cascade Plastic Booster that you could add to your dishwasher that would remove the stains. It's no longer sold but its main ingredient was benzoyl peroxide at 5%, which you may buy in most drugstores.

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Interesting. Benzoyl peroxide is an explosive, perhaps this is why they stopped selling it. – Adam Shiemke Jul 19 '10 at 11:37
I have to say, the thought of using even mild bleach to clean a food container makes me a little nervous... – Aaronut Jul 19 '10 at 14:17
@Aaronut: Diluted bleach is routinely used as a sanitizer for food contact surfaces. And many dishwasher detergents have far more than a mild amount of bleach. – derobert Jul 19 '10 at 16:11

Start with equal parts white vinegar and water, perhaps with some lemon juice mixed in. Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your container. Pour in the liquid mixture. Scrub thoroughly. This should help lift the stain and baking soda is a natural odor neutralizer. You can also try drying it in a sunny spot, as sunlight is a natural bleaching agent.

You may also want to look into freezer-grade glass containers. Glass containers pick up smell and color much less readily than plastic.

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To prevent the stain in the first place, we usually spray the insides with Pam (or whatever cooking oil spray you use) before putting the food in.

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Ditto - works great to prevent stains on a number of cookware/dishware. – Jenn Oct 15 '10 at 17:04

I haven't tried it, but the answer from justkt got me might be able to use Bar Keeper's Friend to remove the stains.

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You can use it on plastic, and that stuff is amazing:…. I'd make sure to rinse especially well after using non-food-based cleaning products, though. – justkt Oct 15 '10 at 16:27

You can use baking soda to remove the stains. After washing your container, place some baking soda in the container then use a wet sponge (but not too wet)& scrub the container. This usually does the trick. Make sure the plastic containers are meant to be used in the microwave, otherwise, it's best to use glass containers.

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