How to Get Red Stains out of Plastic Containers

Things You'll Need

  • 1/8 cup baking soda

  • Bowl

  • White vinegar

  • Nylon mesh sponge

  • 1 tsp. hydrogen peroxide

  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

  • Kitchen towel

Plastic containers free of red stains are more desirable for food storage.

Red, tomato-based stains have a tendency to stick to plastic containers. Although dish washing detergent effectively removes most stains, tomato-based stains often persist, leaving behind an unpleasant orange or red stain. Rather than leave red stains to collect inside plastic containers, they can be removed with a few simple supplies and strategies. Timely removal of the stain can make it easier to lift, but even older red stains can be successfully removed from your plastic containers.

Step 1

Pour 1/8 cup baking soda into a bowl. Dampen a nylon mesh sponge with undiluted white vinegar. Dip the sponge into the baking soda to coat one side of the sponge.

Step 2

Scrub the inside of the plastic container, focusing on the red stains caused by tomato-based or other products. As the stains lift, rinse the sponge with water, apply more baking soda and vinegar and continue to scrub until you've removed as much of the red stains as possible.

Step 3

Mix 1 tsp. three percent hydrogen peroxide with 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar. Apply the natural bleaching paste to the remaining red stains on the surface of the plastic container. Gently work the paste into the plastic with the damp sponge.

Step 4

A lint-free kitchen towel is best for drying dishes.

Allow the peroxide and cream of tartar paste to remain on the surface of the plastic container for a few minutes to bleach the stains. Scrub with the sponge then rinse the container with water. Dry with a clean kitchen towel.


Whitening toothpaste can be used to scrub away red stains on plastic. Soak red-stained plastic in white vinegar for a few hours or overnight to remove the stains. Use a soft commercial cleanser containing bleach to remove tomato stains from plastic containers.


Don't use scouring powder or other abrasive cleansers on plastic containers. The tiny scratches caused by these cleansers tend to collect the residue that causes stains.