Tracking down—and maintaining—a set of airtight, sturdy, and stain-absolutely free foods storage containers feels like an difficult task for several, particularly individuals who meal prep. Just after all, how numerous of us have thrown in the towel and submitted to skirmishing away a modest mountain of mismatched ex-takeout containers in area of the real deal?
Regretably, all those flimsy plastic packing containers and lids aren’t just prepared to rain down from your cabinet and smite you, avalanche-fashion they are also not airtight, which means they are ineffective at trying to keep your food contemporary for as long as achievable. (And vital security reminder: Quite a few takeout containers are neither microwave nor dishwasher harmless, which suggests unsafe BPA could leach from the plastic into your food if you select to aggressively heat them no matter).
The superior information? So very long as you abide by the appropriate protocol, preserving a top quality set of plastic or glass foods storage containers in fantastic shape is super uncomplicated. Sure, you might stop up carrying out a little bit extra hand washing, but have confidence in me: It is well worth not owning to retail store anything in a stack of tomato sauce-stained containers (or worse, possessing to throw out a week’s worth of beautifully prepped dishes because of to untimely expiration). Obtain our most loved meals storage containers right here, then comply with the fuss-cost-free maintenance etiquette beneath.
Make absolutely sure your containers are microwave risk-free.
This is worth mentioning yet again, as heating plastic containers that aren’t labeled “microwave safe” is perilous. Microwave safety is also a feature a lot of are likely to assume applies to all storage containers, which simply just is not the case. Prior to you cook or reheat just about anything in the microwave, make certain to test the container’s packaging for the label, which is controlled by the U.S. Food stuff and Drug Administration (Fda). According to the Fda, “You need to not use some plastic containers because heated food can trigger them to melt. The Fda recommends employing glass, ceramic, and plastic containers labeled for microwave oven use.”
…But plate leftovers right before microwaving them in any case.
Even if you’re certain your meals storage containers are technically protected to go in the microwave, transferring leftovers (particularly vivid, very acidic and/or fatty foods like spaghetti and meatballs) will preserve your treasured containers from acquiring completely stained or degraded. Plating leftovers before you reheat them is a good way to be certain your container’s high-quality remains intact. Of training course, if your container is glass, you’re in the clear—just make sure eliminate the plastic lid.
Spritz the container with a gentle coating of cooking spray.
Here’s a slightly stunning hack for preventing stains on plastic containers: Spray a gentle coating of cooking oil on the inside of of the container ahead of you fill it with food. Even if you are storing the most saucy, soupy of leftovers, the oil types a slender barrier concerning the plastic and the meals that helps repel potential staining.
Make confident they are dishwasher safe and sound, and use the top rated rack only.
All over again, look at those people labels—and only thoroughly clean containers in the dishwasher that are obviously marked “dishwasher secure.” The large warmth of the appliance can in fact trigger lids to warp (goodbye, tight seal) even if they are dishwasher safe, so look at hand washing your most valuable plastic containers irrespective. But in a pinch, toss them on the top rated rack of the dishwasher only—the base rack is closer to the heating element, which signifies it’s a lot more probably to melt your plastic.
Give containers a speedy rinse as shortly as you vacant them.
Just like your cookware and meal plates, the lengthier you let foods sit and dry in a meals storage container, the much more hard it is to thoroughly clean it—and the far more most likely it is that you are going to see your roasted veggie remnants stain the area for months to arrive. As before long as you spoon leftovers on to a serving dish, give the container a rinse with hot h2o (and superior however, soap).
Take out stains with bleach, and odors with baking soda.
If you do spot stains on your plastic containers, basically soak them in a bleach solution—we advise 1 tablespoon bleach per cup of heat water—for 30 minutes. Make guaranteed to absolutely deal with the plastic with the option as they soak, then totally clean and rinse the container in very hot, sudsy h2o the moment they’re done. For lingering odors, wipe the exterior with a sponge that has been lightly dusted with baking soda, then clean very well.
Accept when it’s time to swap your set.
Even the very best of the best storage containers will not final permanently. The instant you notice any signs of degradation or warping, toss them in the recycling bin and get your self a new set. You could also contemplate generating the swap from plastic to glass storage containers, which have a much for a longer time lifespan (locate the best glass picks below).