Solutions for Eliminating Lingering Odors in Tupperware

Our lives simply wouldn’t be the same without Tupperware. Essential for everything from storing leftovers to packing snacks to eat on the go, reusable plastic food containers help streamline things both in and out of the kitchen. But as anyone who uses them knows, Tupperware and similar containers have one major flaw: they tend to absorb the smells of particularly flavorful and pungent meals. These lingering scents can stick around long after you’ve scrubbed your container clean.

According to Hunker, Tupperware and other reusable plastic containers hold onto smells because they are made from polypropylene, a porous type of plastic. This porosity allows the container to absorb properties of the food inside it, such as scent, especially when the food is kept in it for a long period of time.

Fortunately, just because your Tupperware container has the lingering scent of last week’s dinner doesn’t mean you have to throw it away.

How to get rid of old smells in Tupperware

Food in Tupperware

According to Allrecipes, the secret to deodorizing your plastic containers is probably already hiding in your pantry: baking soda. All you need to do, according to the site, is rinse out your container (as soon after eating as possible), fill it with water, and add at least one tablespoon of baking soda. Then, get the lid wet and top with baking soda as well. Let both parts sit for an hour before washing however you typically would — and the smell should be gone.

If that doesn’t work for you, Food52 has a few more tricks worth trying. If you’re not in a time crunch, exposing your smelly plastic containers to direct sunlight can help eliminate unwanted odors. Alternatively, after washing with soap and water, try filling them with white vinegar and letting them soak for about three minutes. Then, simply wash again with soap and water.

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For a more unusual solution, also from Food52, try stuffing your Tupperware full of crumpled-up newspaper. Pop on the lid, let it sit overnight, and wash your newly-odorless container with soap and water before using.

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