Do you know how sometimes we sit and ponder over those deep thoughts like how are clouds able to contain all that water? Or how did we come into existence? Or existential crisis questions such as whether the chicken came first or the egg? You get it.
This question pretty much falls under the same category but don’t you worry. If you’ve found this article, I’ll be able to break it down for you and how you can make sure not to put Tupperware in the dishwasher that isn’t safe.
Is Your Tupperware Dishwasher Safe?
Generally, the ideology that prevails is that any Tupperware produced after 1979 is dishwasher safe because it doesn’t contain elements that would deform the shape of the Tupperware.
However, our Asian moms will keep calling washing Tupperware in the dishwasher “slacking off,” right? Well, they aren’t entirely wrong with this ideology but wait to hear me out.
There’s more to than just owning Tupperware that is dishwasher safe. You need to make sure that your dishwasher doesn’t leave any white stains on your Tupperware, and sometimes even if certain Tupperware is dishwasher safe, it will never be heat safe; hence some plastic containers deform or melt under high temperatures that pertain inside the dishwasher.
How to Wash Tupperware in the Dishwasher Safely?
Before going into the steps of ensuring maximum safety of your best kitchen items, it is crucial to understand that just like how clothes come with their symbols of whether they are iron safe or washing machine safe, Tupperware comes with its own set of symbols as well.
The first thing to spot is whether there is a symbol of plates being sprayed on with water on the back or top of the Tupperware. If this sign is there well, then there’s your answer.
Essentially this means that your Tupperware is dishwasher safe and can be cleaned under extreme pressure of the dishwasher, however, I would recommend still taking the following precautions even if the symbol is visible:
1. Placement is vital!
Placing plastic Tupperware at the bottom is not a good decision because even if the symbol is visible and highlights the safety of the Tupperware, it still needs to be made sure to place any lightweight material at the top of the dishwasher.
After all, the lower part of the machine has high-pressure water jets that can sometimes displace the plastic Tupperware if it is light in weight. Once that happens, there’s a risk of plastic Tupperware falling onto the heating rods, which can melt the plastic and cause adverse damage.
A simple trick is to keep lighter-weight plastic Tupperware on the top shelf and the heavy crockery and cutlery on the bottom shelf to ensure that Tupperware doesn’t move around and hit hotter areas of the dishwashing machine.
Even if the water pressure jets below are pretty strong, they will hit the crockery or cutlery first, lowering the water pressure by the time it reaches the top shelf, automatically lowering the risk of misplacing the Tupperware. Feeling like a scientist yet?
2. Control the temperature
Depending on how modern the dishwashing machine is, there will be a wide range of commands to control the temperature on it if it is new (MACHINE SUPER 1000); hence there will be higher adjustability, and we all know that even though washing Tupperware by hand is safer however we don’t have the time to do that right?
Especially when stranger things season 4 volume II is on. Hence we recommend that adjusting the temperature on your dishwashing machine before starting will be more convenient, but make sure to follow the simple trick of placing your Tupperware on the top shelf to avoid the direct heat of the heating rods at the bottom side ends.
3. Dry down the plastic before it’s too late!
Another trick to washing and maintaining your Tupperware safely is to dry the plastic down as soon as you take it out. Why is this important? Some plastic containers cannot be dried down even in the high heat of the dishwashing machine; hence some drips and drops are still left behind.
If these are not dried immediately, these drops become white stains, essentially deposits of magnesium and calcium that make the Tupperware look more cloudy and leave clear marks.
Hence, to ensure the safety of your precious Tupperware, it is essential to dry the Tupperware down immediately after you take it out with a proper cloth as opposed to just leaving it to air-dry.
This might feel like too much science but taking these simple steps can ensure long-lasting Tupperware, and well, to be honest, it’ll save you a lot of cash.
Wrestle me this: Washing Tupperware by Hand vs Dishwasher
You know you’re an adult when watching those satisfying organizing videos of how strawberries go in one container while cheese slices and cucumber slices in another becomes entertaining. Then you place the Tupperware by order of size in your fridge.
It hits the spot, doesn’t it? If you’re anything like me, then Tupperware is your best friend, and maintaining vegetables and fruits in your Tupperware is probably your satisfying moment of the day.
Which is why it is imperative to make sure that you do not damage your Tupperware by constantly using the dishwasher since going around washing it in the dishwasher all day can lead to your Tupperware deteriorating.
Hence here the comes the long-awaited battle of whether to wash your Tupperware by hand or through the dishwashing machine.
- Washing your Tupperware via the dishwasher is undoubtedly convenient and saves us a lot of time. Whether you’re a mom getting late for work or dropping off your kids at school, your dishwasher is probably a more incredible friend than your Tupperware. Whether you’re a lazy dad who just got asked by his wife and kids to do the dishes for once in your life, the trusty dishwasher is the way to go; however, bear in mind that to “get one thing, you must lose the other.” Whoa! I guess that was too deep, but it’s true. Even though the dishwasher will save you ample time, it can also potentially damage your Tupperware because even though some plastics are dishwasher safe, they will not always be heat resistant. Additionally, if you’re not at home and the dishwasher is done, the tiny water droplets on the Tupperware can leave white stains damaging it. You’ll find yourself purchasing containers more often, which in the long run will cost you a lot but then again, the dishwasher does the job and saves time, so you need to check your situation of what matters to you.
- Washing your Tupperware by hand will make our Asian moms beyond happy, which I can guarantee. Washing your Tupperware by hand increases its longevity and, in the long run, makes you visit stores less and less, saving you money. However, the worst part about washing Tupperware with your hands is that it takes time; you need to ensure that you’re washing the Tupperware one by one to ensure no terrible odor is left and that it is squeaky clean to be used the next day. While this method may increase the longevity of your Tupperware, at the same time, it comes with its fair share of drawbacks as well. For example:
- You might be wasting water
- You might be wasting too much dish soap
- You might have dry hands due to excessive washing
But then again, everything comes with pros and cons, so assess your situation and decide which method might be more convenient for you at the end of the day.
How to Ensure Squeaky Clean Tupperware?
Whether you’re a college student trying to do the dishes for the first time or a family of 5/6 people who are foodies, then this is for you.
Your first and foremost motive is to clean your Tupperware so that the smell of today’s morning egg breakfast or the pickled carrots you kept in your container for seven days doesn’t come from your Tupperware, which is why even if you’re using the dishwasher alone, it is imperative to make sure that your Tupperware does not stink and is bacteria free.
Sometimes putting the Tupperware in the dishwasher directly with all the food particles and marks can not only leave a foul odor in your dishwashing machine but also potentially clog the drains and still leave your Tupperware smelling fishy.
If you want to keep your Tupperware clean, then here’s what we recommend you to do:
- Wash the Tupperware with plain water before putting it into the dishwasher. I know this may sound like a lot, and you probably don’t have time but trust me, this process will take less than 5 minutes. All you need to do is casually rinse the Tupperware with water just so all the sauce stains and excess food particles come off so that your dishwasher doesn’t get clogged.
- If there are any leftovers, then use one of the clean plastic containers to place the food in that because we need to be sustainable and make sure that we’re not contributing to any food wastage
- Once all the Tupperware is cleaned with water, place the Tupperware in the top section of the dishwasher
- Use a dishwashing pod to place in the soap section of the machine and then just hit start.
This will ensure that your Tupperware is clean and has no nasty odor. This method will also require less maintenance of your dishwashing machine since there won’t be as many clogged drains or unwanted smells from your precious dishwasher.
Use of Water to be Optimised
Being sustainable in using your water is also prudent in this entire process. Whether you are planning on doing the dishes by hand or whether you’re using your dishwasher.
It needs to be ensured that water is not being wasted, which is why no matter which method you decide to opt for, there is only one small trick to saving water and using only what is required for you.
A dishwashing machine is automatically wired to use a set amount of water, but when you’re doing the dishes by hand or pre-cleaning the Tupperware with simple water, make sure to do all the dishes with plain water first.
What does this mean? Generally, what people do is that they wash the dirty Tupperware with soap one by one while the tap remains turned on. It is far more optimized and convenient to wash all the dishes with plain water to remove all the excess bit of particles, sauces, or oil residues and then keep placing the Tupperware on the side shelf.
This is not correctly cleaning; instead, this is to get the Tupperware clean enough to close the water tap and then do all the dishes with soap.
Once you’ve cleaned the Tupperware with plain water, at this stage, you will close the water tap and then pour the dishwashing soap on your sponge and do all the dishes again one by one with soap.
This way, you won’t have you use water and soap again and again because you were already able to clean out all the heavy oil stains and sauces with plain water, so through this method, less water is being used and wasted.
Now for those using the dishwasher, simply cleaning the Tupperware beforehand with plain water and then placing the dishes in the machine automatically saves you water because the machine is wired only to use a set amount; hence water is used in an optimum manner.
How to Clean out Your Dishwasher?
If you’re seeing gunk and stains still left on your Tupperware even after having them washed, it’s a sign that your dishwasher needs a deep cleansing. Here’s a simple method we recommend that you follow.
Get a spare spray bottle and add the following items to it to make your DIY dishwasher cleaner:
1. Dish soap
3. White vinegar
Mix all these three items until a dilute consistency is formed, and then use a microfiber cloth to clean the inside of the dishwasher and the outside.
Dip in the cloth, squeeze out the excess water, and then rub the cloth on the shelves of the dishwashing machine and onto the water jets to make sure that they are pumping water perfectly.
You will notice that not only the outside of the dishwasher is sparkling but also the inside since you will be able to take off any hard residues left or any form of buildup clogging the water jets and drains.
As a result of this practice, you will notice that not only is your dishwasher smelling clean and fresh, but your dishes will be far cleaner now because the water jets will no longer be clogged.
Additionally, your machine will break down less often if you give it a deep cleanse now and then since it will be able to work at full speed since all the residue is gone allowing it to spray water and soap at the Tupperware without any inconvenience.
Sometimes, if dishwashers are more advanced, they come with their cleaning sanitize cycle option. If you see any sign or button that states the word sanitize, then this is used so that the machine can self-clean without you having to get involved, saving you time.
This method is pretty similar to how regular dishes are cleaned. However, the only difference is that in the cleaning sanitizing cycle, it takes the machine a little longer than an hour to clear itself, and the water temperature becomes even higher than the regular washing temperature because the purpose is to kill all the germs.
According to companies, this method can remove 99% of germs and other food-related bacteria. However, if your machine does not have this function, then sticking to the simple DIY method is equally effective and helps maintain your machine’s freshness.
Beware of the Tupperware Trouble
You’re probably wondering if Tupperware is dishwasher safe, then what is this Tupper-trouble I have mentioned.
Well, it’s not rocket science, but as already mentioned, some Tupperware comes with a symbol that showcases that they are dishwasher safe and can be used in the dishwasher to be cleaned; however, this doesn’t necessarily also mean that just because Tupperware is dishwasher safe, it is automatically heat resistant as well because it’s not.
Some dishwashers have a default temperature that it cannot go less than, which is why some plastic Tupperware in extreme heat can start to melt and, in some instances, chip off as well, which is why we recommend making sure to place the Tupperware on the top shelf.
If there’s even the slightest chance that a plastic container may not be heat resistant then washing it in the dishwasher may not be the best choice since if it melts and clogs the water and soap sprays, then it’ll cost way more than what you would have intended which is why to stay safe when it comes to plastic Tupperware.
Still, if the plastic is sturdy, it is dishwasher safe and can be used without damage.
Decode the Tupperware Code
Even though most Tupperware created after 1979 is assumed to be dishwasher safe, food safe, and freezer safe, you shouldn’t always assume so.
Many companies will always specify the type of Tupperware they create through several sets of symbols. These may sound like complex codes you cannot interpret but worry not! I will decode these for you.
1. Food Safe
Some plastic containers are not safe to store food in because placing food in them overnight can release toxins and make the food go bad in less than a few hours, which is why it is also ideal to check for a ‘food safe’ symbol at the back which is of a fork and a wine glass.
If any symbol has a diagonal line across it, then it indicates that the plastic container cannot be used for those purposes; so, for example, if the fork and the wine glass symbol have a diagonal line across it, it means it is not food safe however if it does not showcase any line then its safe to be used for placing storing any form of proteins to vegetables.
2. Dishwasher safe
Take this from experience: once you’ve damaged a few Tupperware and spent hours cleaning the clogged spray jets, you will never make the mistake of not ensuring whether your Tupperware is dishwasher safe.
The only thing you need to keep your eye out for in Tupperware before anything is to check whether it is dishwasher safe, and that can be done by looking for a symbol where dishes are being sprayed with water. If this is the case, it proves that your Tupperware is dishwasher safe and can be cleaned.
3. Microwave safe
While this is not directly relevant to dishwashing, sometimes our Garfield laziness prompts us to eat food in the Tupperware that we stored it in, so we just want to take out the food containing Tupperware from the fridge and place it directly in the microwave.
If you’re as lazy as I am, you’ll probably do this as well, but just make sure that your Tupperware is microwave safe.
Now there are two options, you’ll be able to locate a symbol showing a square box (microwave) with dishes being put in it or you might find three wiggly lines. Both symbols represent that the dishes are microwave safe unless they have a diagonal line across them.
4. Freezer Safe
One of the most troublesome issues that we now face is because of this intense heat wave. There was a time that placing food in a simple fridge would allow the food to remain fresh and eatable for a few days however now food items go bad in less than 15 hours even.
If they are placed in cold temperatures which is why many people and even a few restaurants have resorted to storing food in deep freezers and chillers hence looking for this symbol on your Tupperware has also become crucial.
If you see a symbol of a snowflake then it automatically highlights that the Tupperware can be used to store items and can be placed in the freezer for days on end.
Most Tupperware is generally dishwasher safe but with the codes that I have taught you, it’ll be easier to check now and be certain about these things.
Additionally, even if some Tupperware is dishwasher safe, do not place the Tupperware on the bottom shelf rather place it on the top shelf to avoid any melting.
It’s better to pre-clean the dishes beforehand to avoid bad odor and clogged sprays additionally, make sure to clean your dishwasher every other month to ensure maximum utilization and less damage.