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Clean tomato stains from plastic

By on August 6, 2010


If you have a spaghetti-sauce stain in your plastic bowl, try a vinegar-and-baking-soda paste or salt and lemon juice, and then set the bowl outside in the sun. Avoid stains by applying oil to the bowl prior to pouring in tomato-based soups or sauces. Or simply dedicate the stained bowl to holding sauce. I’m hesitant to use harsh chemicals on food containers, but I realize many people use a bleach-and-water mix to clean their plastic containers, so I’m sharing the first reader tip, which uses another cleaning product to remove stains. You might find it useful to remove the stain and use the container for nonfood items rather than toss it.


As a fluke, I used Windex on a spaghetti-sauce stain, and it took the red color out almost immediately. I could still see where it was, but after washing, it was completely gone. I was a little bit shocked! — M. Bakken, Wisconsin


I just tried this yesterday, and it worked. Mix the following ingredients together in an open jar or other container. (The quantities are relative to how many flies you’re trying to get rid of.)

1/2 quart water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
a couple drops of liquid dish soap

Leave the mixture sitting out in the infested area as long as needed. — Michelle S., Massachusetts


I made a funnel out of paper and taped it to the top of the jar. I used apple cider vinegar and caught lots of fruit flies over 2 days. They’d go down the funnel to get at the vinegar and then could not get back out because I taped the funnel to the jar and made the hole extra small. Eventually they fall in the cider and drown. — H.M., Michigan


I store some of my lesser-used kitchen gadgets on the top shelf. I also posted a sticky note saying what is on a shelf for each shelf. So I and anyone else will know where to look for the flour, sugar, etc. I put smaller items (Jell-O boxes, bottles of syrups, extracts, food coloring, sprinkles) in two small, square plastic baskets I purchased at a dollar store. I can easily slide out the basket to get to items behind. At the dollar store, I also found stacking baskets with the front open like a bin. I keep my chocolate morsels and baking chocolate in the top and icing bags/tips in the lower bin with some other small items. The use of movable baskets helps keep things from accumulating on the shelves and makes cleaning much easier. — Carol, Maryland


Sew a small pillow (about 3 inches by 5 inches). I used ordinary fabric that I had left over from making kitchen curtains. I filled it with dried lavender and trimmed the edges with lace. Instead of dryer sheets to make your clothes smell nice, toss the bag in your clothes dryer each time. My clothes smell wonderful! I’m not sure how much use you can get out of it, but I have been using it for about four months and it still smells like new. — Peterson, Pennsylvania


Easy to make and freeze ahead for busy mornings.

1-1/2 to 2 loaves of thick bread
1 cups melted butter
16 eggs
1-1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla
2-2/3 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut slices of bread into sticks. In a large bowl, mix together butter, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and milk. Beat well. Dip sticks into egg mixture and place on sprayed cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. (Turn them halfway through cooking time, and if you’ve got two pans in the oven, switch them around.) Cool and freeze. To reheat, place sticks on plate and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on your microwave. Or pop in a toaster oven. I put mine on a cookie sheet and flash-freeze them. This recipe makes a big batch, but you could cut it in half. — Brenda, New York

photo by armigeress

One Comment

  1. linda

    8/22/2013 at 10:36 am

    Can any one tell me how to get pizza tomato sauce out of a pair of milky white plastic pants like the kind babys wear over cloth diapers?[aka-rubberpants].My nine year old daughter made her first communion last may and had to wear the plastic pants under her communion dress.the rest of her outfit is all ready put away,but i am frustrated about not getting the spot out of the rubberpants.can anyone help me?

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