We tried the popular TikTok hack for cleaning greasy plastic food containers

A TikToker shared a hack for cleaning greasy plastic food boxes, so we gave it a go ourselves - and it actually worked!

a hand holding pieces of torn up kitchen cloth, with a kitchen roll, bowl full of water, and olive oil too – all the essential for the tiktok cleaning hack for oily plastic food containers
(Image credit: Future)

Plastic food containers are always handy for storing leftover meals – who doesn't have a cupboard overflowing with them? But they're also prone to turning a lovely shade of orange, leaving remnants of our pasta or meat sauces.

Whether you wash them by hand or in the dishwasher, these boxes cling onto grease like nothing else – sometimes, even the best cleaning products can't help. But, one cleaning enthusiast shared a TikTok video showing how to remove grease stains from your boxes with just dish soap, hot water, a torn-up paper towel and lots of shaking. 

We put the kitchen cleaning hack to the test, and it worked! Disclaimer: we didn't have any stained boxes to hand (surprisingly), but we did find it much more thorough at getting rid of grease than washing with a sponge.

plastic container on countertop filled with soapy water, being cleaned with tiktok hack - with a jug of oil and plants in the background

(Image credit: Future)

The TikTok cleaning hack for greasy food containers

As I didn't have a stained box, I put two teaspoons of olive oil into a clean box, swirled it around a bit so it touched the sides, and then washed it with my trusty Dishmatic washing sponge. It took a long time to scrub off the oil and the box still felt a tiny bit greasy to the touch after a lot of washing.

So next, I dried the box and put another two teaspoons of oil in (at this point I'm seriously regretting using my nice olive oil, but decide against switching to a cheaper oil in case this variable affected the results of my experiment). Then I began following Adi Kempler's steps from the TikTok video, which you can watch below.


This hack has saved so many of my Tupperware friends. Try it!!!! ##fyp ##cookingvideos ##cookinghacks ##lifehacks ##hacks ##stainremover ##foryou ##foryoupage

♬ original sound - adikempler

It's a really easy and quick hack and doesn't create any mess. A couple of pumps of dish soap, some hot water, one square of paper towel torn up, and 50 seconds of vigorous shaking later, and the box was squeaky clean. Result!

The original TikTok clip has now been viewed 4 million times and received a lot of love.

'IT WORKED I CAN'T BELIEVE IT,' one commented. 'This has been the #1 most helpful TikTok I've ever seen,' said another.

plastic box after tupperware hack, with olive oil, a kitchen towel roll, and plants on the counter too

(Image credit: Future)

'It worked on a red chilli beef dish! I was amazed!' wrote a third. When it comes to how to clean the kitchen, I'm always here for a tip to make tasks less arduous – and even if we're always losing their lids, microwaveable food containers like these are some of the best food storage options.

This was definitely more efficient at removing olive oil than just washing it up, and I would try the trick again if I was cleaning out a particularly greasy old box. 

The simple hack solves a perennial problem in minutes – will you be trying it?

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.