As the saying goes, all that glitters is not gold. It strikes home with your kid’s lunch box which looks shipshape with a polished interior but secretly concealing an underworld of bacteria. Machine-washing makes the task a breeze if recommended.
However, some lunch containers rip apart at the seams due to the rough spinning action of the machine. Before taking the first step to smarten up the lunch box, always read the care instructions.
You can mop off dirt from the exterior and interior of delicate containers with wet fabric. Scouring out lunch containers ensures the lining does not impart a foreign flavor or becoming a germinating ground for bacteria.
Knowing a thing or two about how to clean a lunch box will help slough off previous taste, maintain hygiene and eliminate stains.
8 Things To Consider About How To Clean A Lunch Box:
1. Things You Might Need
Tool up with dish detergent, warm water, sponge/cloth, toothbrush, soft towel, baking soda and other optional. Fill the sink with water and sprinkle some detergent and let it dissolve.
To slick down stubborn stains, use baking powder and water. Lingering odors require a weak bleach and water for a kick in the teeth. Antibacterial wipes provide a quick way to whip up daily spot treatment and neaten up the lunch bag.
A natural cleaner like vinegar in a spray bottle makes your lunch box as pure as the driven snow as a disinfectant and deodorizer. Hydrogen peroxide and water provide a food-safe and all-natural sanitizer.
2. Hand Washing
Hand-washing will tidy up the lunch box to make it as right as rain. Arm yourself with dish detergent, water, soft cloth or sponge and towels for a clean sweep.
Add some traces of the dish detergent to a sink filled with warm water and agitate to dissolve thoroughly.
Moisturize a soft fabric or sponge with sudsy water and gently wring it out for the liquid solution to seep into the fabric deeply.
Mop up the food remnants and grime with the wet fabric or sponge.
Submergible lunch boxes allow thorough scouring the whole nine yards drenched in the water for quicker outcomes.
Rinse and dry with a towel. Allow it to dry out completely to flush out water trapped in the insulating layer.
3. Deodorizing A Smelly Lunch Box
If you store perishables like fish in your lunch box, it will stink to high heaven and leach into the dishes packed later. To sound a death knell to the smell, you can try the following approach.
- Fill a spray container with a mild bleach and water.
- Squirt the interior of the container with the liquid solution.
- Sponge it down with a soft fabric and allow it to air dry entirely.
- You can also use baking soda which also acts as a disinfectant, coffee beans or a rind of lemon sealed off after a thorough cleanup to kill the stench.
4. How to Reduce Nasty Smells
You can lessen the development of reeking smells; you can implement or train your kids on a few things.
- Keep at hand two or more sandwich and salad containers so you can switch them to allow adequate time to deodorize naturally after cleaning
- Do not microwave curries or sauces as they leave baked-on stains on the interior and use a glass container
- Insulate with an aluminum foil to prevent the curries or sauces from staining the container
- Smear your box with butter or ghee and brush off with a tissue paper and then clean thoroughly
- If your box traps indelible stains that remain embedded, throw away and get a new set
5. Sources of Stubborn Stains
The most common stains found in lunch boxes emanate from certain types of foods, juices or liquids. We have matched these stains with cleansers that provide the killer bullet.
You can zero in dirty spots for treatment with baking soda, vinegar or warm water, detergent to remove stains and discoloration. Plastic lining has an ultra-porous that sponges off contents. Ensure you dilute bleaching agents with water.
- Typical food stains: denture tablets remove discoloration, sunlight, and OxiClean
- Food coloring: isopropyl alcohol and OxiClean
- Pen and marker: isopropyl alcohol
- Rust: lemon juice and white vinegar
- Mold: diluted chlorine bleaching agent and isopropyl
6. Ineradicable Tomato Stains
If your lunch containers become decolorized from microwave heat, it’s a wild goose chase attempting to remove the blemish. The heat radiated by the oven will leave the stains baked-in and subsumed to the surface of the container.
To avoid the fine kettle of fish created by tomato sauce and paste, do not use them to heat up these items. Use glass-based containers to store tomato products.
Glassware offers a nonreactive container that will not leach toxic substances into your food.
To remove the permanent food dyes and acids from tomatoes, let the container drench in a soapy liquid solution. Even top-of-the-line plastic kits lack immunity to the tough tomato stain.
7. Benefits of Proper Lunch Box Hygiene
Inhibits the proliferation of bacteria like Staphylococci and Enterococci which trigger food poisoning
Deodorizing prevents stench buildup and imparts of remnant flavor to subsequent dishes
Spit and polish cleanliness prevents contamination and infections
Frequent cleaning renders the containers reusable and trims the expenditure of replacements
Bacteria and germs remain hidden from the naked eye and only sterilizing spells death for microbial organisms
Removing stains, oily residues, and discolored portions keep lunch boxes spic and span for dining
Improves durability if you tidy them up regularly, especially a dishwasher
Prevents the buildup of stains, grime, and stench which may render the lunch box worthless
8. Trick or Treat Against Stains, Smell & Blemish
- Use antibacterial wipes for quick, frequent cleanups to diminish odors and stains
- Clean your lunch box after every use to curb the breeding of bacteria and microbes
- Wash your hands with a disinfectant before cleaning to prevent contamination
- Capitalize on all-natural disinfectants like the sun and vinegar
- Machine-washing forbidden lunch boxes expose the thermos layer to wrack and ruin
- Avoid chemicals as residues permeate the lining leading to food poisoning and severe health symptoms
- Follow care instructions recommended by the manufacturer in cleaning the lunch box
- If the plastic becomes irretrievable, replace them
You must know how to clean a lunch box like the palm of your hands to feed your face or keep your growing brood’s bellies full with sanitary kits.
A moist fabric helps plane off stains, embedded food remnants and stench. Dishwasher-safe neaten up like shooting fish in a barrel after a few rounds in the vortex. You should sense a dead cat on the line if you detect remnant tastes or stench.
Use all-natural disinfectants like vinegar and baking soda to pull it off and make your investment reusable. Inspect the interior for spills and leaks to spruce up your lunchbox before a new can of worms emerges.