Bleach and Plastic

@Trace86 (5043)
United States
June 11, 2008 9:42pm CST
Today at work I was talking to one of the girls about my reusable plastic bottle being very stained from my sugarfree drink mixes and how I just couldn't get it out. I said that maybe I would soak it in bleach water for a bit. She said, " You know Honey, you are supposed to use bleach on plastic." I have never heard this before. Why? Bleach comes in plastic bottles for goodness sake. What's the deal? Can I use bleach to get the grotty bits out or not?
2 people like this
11 responses
@lilybug (21183)
• United States
12 Jun 08
Here is what I found online. I hope it helps you. As another user answered, a dilute bleach and water solution will effectively sanitize the bottle. I use the same nalgene plastic water bottle to drink out of every day and have a less toxic cleaning method. If you are nervous about using bleach, you can sanitize a drinking bottle by dumping a pot full of boiling water into it and let it sit for a few minutes. It's a nice quick way to sterilize a daily use water bottle. When odor is an issue, I have found that a solution of baking soda and warm water (i never really measure it out, just enough to make the water cloudy) does the trick. I usually make enough to fill the entire container and then let it sit in the sink for 3 hours or overnight. Hope that helps.
3 people like this
@Trace86 (5043)
• United States
12 Jun 08
I totally forgot about the magical powers of boiling water! How silly of me. I will have to remember that for the next time it needs a good vigorous washing up. Thanks.
1 person likes this
@patgalca (12230)
• Canada
12 Jun 08
That's a tough one to answer since plastic is now said to be evil. The more you use a plastic item (water bottle, storage container) the more the chemicals in the plastic come out. I'm not sure they aren't just making a big deal out of nothing. There are "numbers" appointed to different plastics. Certain numbers are more safe than others, but still one should avoid drinking out of plastic containers. On the other hand, they say that the chemicals that are released are such minute amounts that they are harmless and you have to be using the same container a lot (more than possible) to get any harmful effects. My husband works in a plant that makes the liquid form of plastic that goes to other plants that make plastic products so I worry that one day he may not have a job. They will be phasing out plastics, but I think it will take several years and he could be retired by then. As for the bleach and the plastic... I would do the same thing. I would put a little bleach in the jug and then fill up with water or soapy water. However, it is just a plastic jug which can be replaced for a dollar. You can use your plastic jug for water plants or whatever and get yourself a new one. Are you washing it after every use for it to stain that way? It's your call. Like I said, I probably would do it. But we have 4 plastic juice jugs that we rotate through (my kids and husband drink a lot of fruit punch). They get washed often. I've never had them get stained from the juice, just the lingering scent of the juice.
3 people like this
@Trace86 (5043)
• United States
12 Jun 08
It is a bottle especially made to be reused. It was about 5 bucks. I haven't been especially faithful about washing it every night. Now that I have it clean, I will do better to wash it well every night. It seemed that the punch flavor clung to any debris left from previous flavors. Maybe it did me a favor so I could see it to wash out.
2 people like this
@kerriannc (4285)
• Jamaica
12 Jun 08
That girl is duff. There is no problem with putting little drops of bleach to get out the strain. Even when there are rawness in the kitchen you have to use bleach. This is why the leading brands such as Ajax make sure their products has bleach into them. May she is afraid of bleach because they says it can be poisonous but even when a hurricane pass the authorities let you know that you should put one drop of bleach to a gallon of water. She need to look up these things.
3 people like this
@drannhh (14680)
• United States
12 Jun 08
I just wonder if the drink mix does that to the plastic, what it might do to people's insides.
2 people like this
@lilybug (21183)
• United States
12 Jun 08
Not something I even want to think about. With all the dyes in things anymore I would not be surprised if we were all tie-dyed inside.
2 people like this
@Trace86 (5043)
• United States
12 Jun 08
lol
1 person likes this
@Sillychick (3283)
• United States
12 Jun 08
I wouldn't use bleach on a drink bottle because if you can't get the stains from the drink out, you may not be able to get the bleach out. Difference is, you wouldn't know because you couldn't see it. I agree, bleach comes in plastic, so I don't think it's specific to plastic, but specific to drinking bottles. What I would do is get a bottle brush and try that. You could also soak them in very hot water. Rinse them with clear water as soon as you finish drinking from them. If the stains just won't come out, maybe you should replace them more often.
2 people like this
@JoyfulOne (6243)
• United States
12 Jun 08
Personally, I never use bleach on any plastic food or drink container and would not eat or drink from one if I knew that bleach was used to clean it. (Glass and china, yes...plastic, no way!) It just seems too dangerous as bleach will eventually disintegrate plastic. Of course the bottles that bleach is stored in is a different type of plastic than that which we store food and drink in. Here's a link to one article about heat & plastic, and cleaning food/drink containers with plastic. The harsh bleach will make the plastic leach molecules of plasticizers...and who wants to drink that?! There are other articles on the web from universities, oncology sites (cancer) and other reputable articles that back this up. This link is not as detailed as one from a chemistry/health site, but it is easier to understand and it's from green living questions & answers. Read under #3: heat causes plasticizers to outgas, the bleach reference is in there. http://www.dld123.com/q&a/index.php?cid=3505 Maybe try using vinegar or vinegar and baking soda to get rid of the groady bits.
2 people like this
@stephcjh (32388)
• United States
13 Jun 08
I hasve never heard that you cannot use bleach on plastic. the only thing that I do know is, that you have to be so careful if you would like to store bleach in some plastic containers. It will eat right through it and leak out onto other things. I think that must be what she is talking about. I have never heard that you cannot use bleach on plastic. I have used ti many time myself.
1 person likes this
@jalucia (1435)
• United States
13 Jun 08
I wouldn't use bleach on anything that I drink or eat from. I see plastic as being very absorbent/porous, hence the stains from your sugarfree drink. I would never be comfortable enough to think that I got all the bleach out of the container.
@queenofarms (1665)
• United States
13 Jun 08
I use bleach on plastic containers all the time. I bleach out plastic koolaid containers,coffee cups,bowls and glasses. It doesn't them.
1 person likes this
@ladym33 (11012)
• United States
12 Jun 08
I don't see any reason not to use bleach, but you need to really make sure you rinse it out good. Plastic is a bit porouse, but as long as you rinse it our really, really good you should be fine. Personally I would try baking soda first to see if that works, but as long as you are careful the bleach should be fine.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Jun 08
I use vinegar. I just soak the bottle in vinegar. Or like one of the previous posters said, baking soda. You can put a bit of baking soda in the bottom of it, then pour a bit of vinegar in it, and watch it foam up. Instant stain remover! It'll work wonders! :-)
1 person likes this