Rubbermaid containers are known for their durability and convenience in the kitchen. Made from resilient plastic, they are among the most popular containers for food storage. The brand offers a myriad of types, each possessing unique features and designs to cater to different consumer needs. But can they withstand the heat and pressure of the dishwasher?
Fortunately, most Rubbermaid containers are dishwasher-safe, generally on the top rack. However, it’s crucial to check the product’s label or the manufacturer’s instructions to be certain.
In this article, I will discuss the compatibility of Rubbermaid with dishwashers, its pros, and cons, including the effects of heat and detergents, and the materials used in Rubbermaid construction. Let’s go!
Understanding Rubbermaid Containers
Rubbermaid containers are a well-known solution to our everyday food storage needs. They are made of high-quality, durable plastic materials and are designed for various purposes – from storing leftovers and packing lunches, to meal prepping.
- Food Storage: Rubbermaid containers are perfect for keeping your food fresh, as they create an airtight seal when closed. They come in various sizes that cater to different storage needs.
- Meal Prep: For those who value efficiency and health, Rubbermaid containers are a meal prep’s best friend. They help portion out meals evenly and keep them fresh for longer.
- Packing Lunch: Rubbermaid containers are also widely used for packing lunches. Their leak-proof design and sturdiness make them ideal for carrying meals to work or school.
- Storing Leftovers: Instead of sticking your leftover food in random vessels, Rubbermaid containers allow for more organized and safe storage in your refrigerator.
Different Types of Rubbermaid Containers
Moving on to the different types of Rubbermaid containers, let’s highlight some of the popular ranges — the Rubbermaid Flex & Seal and the Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids series.
Rubbermaid Flex & Seal
This range of containers stands out for its snug, leak-proof lids that “flex” to the shape of the container. This innovative design ensures food stays fresh for longer and minimizes the risk of leaks and spills. They come in a variety from small, perfect for individual servings, to larger options that can accommodate a whole meal.
Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids
Their name says it all. What sets this series apart is the lids, designed to snap to the base of the container and to each other. This thoughtful design helps mitigate the all-too-familiar problem of misplacing lids. This series offers containers in various shapes and sizes to cater to a wide array of food storage needs.
Can Rubbermaid Containers Go in the Dishwasher?
Addressing the central question of the article, yes, most Rubbermaid containers can go in the dishwasher.
The majority of Rubbermaid containers are crafted to withstand the high temperatures and the water force in the dishwasher. This means less time scrubbing and rinsing, and more time for you. However, it’s always a good practice to check the label or consult the manufacturer’s directions to ensure that your specific Rubbermaid model is indeed dishwasher-safe.
Remember, some Rubbermaid containers should only be placed on the top rack, further away from the heating elements. This helps prevent potential warping or damage. So, while they are generally safe for dishwashers, it’s still essential to adhere to the specific care instructions for each Rubbermaid product.
How to Correctly Wash Rubbermaid Containers in the Dishwasher
Knowing how to correctly wash your Rubbermaid containers in the dishwasher can save you from inadvertent damage and prolong their lifespan. Here, let’s break down the simple steps you can follow to do this safely:
- Start by removing any leftover food from your container. Empty containers enable the dishwasher to do its job more effectively.
- Next, if your Rubbermaid container is dishwasher safe, place it in the top rack of the dishwasher. This is typically the safest spot for plastic items as it’s further away from the heating element which could cause warping.
- Make sure the containers are secure and won’t be knocked loose during the wash cycle.
- Use a good quality dishwashing detergent and run your dishwasher on a standard cycle.
- Once the cycle is completed, let the containers cool before removing them. Directly handling hot plastic could potentially lead to deformation.
Precautions When Dishwashing Rubbermaid Containers
When it comes to dishwashing Rubbermaid containers, there are a few precautions you can take to protect them, keeping them in good shape for a longer time.
- After confirming that your container is dishwasher-safe, always ensure it is placed on the top rack. The bottom rack is much closer to heating elements, and the high temperature can cause the plastic to warp.
- Do not overcrowd your dishwasher. Make sure each item has enough space for the water and detergent to circulate around it. Overcrowding can lessen the effectiveness of cleaning and lead to unclean or damaged items.
- Always allow the containers to cool down in the dishwasher before removing them to avoid potential deformation.
- Be aware of sharp items in the dishwasher. Sharp knives or utensils can potentially scratch or damage the plastic during the wash cycle, so try to keep these separate.
Traditional and Alternative Cleaning Methods
Going beyond the dishwasher, there are several other efficient and traditional methods to clean your Rubbermaid containers. These alternatives come in handy, especially when dealing with containers not recommended for dishwasher use.
The easiest and most direct way is to wash your Rubbermaid containers by hand. Warm soapy water and a soft cloth or sponge will effectively clean it without causing any damage.
For tough stains or smells, a paste of baking soda and water can be an excellent solution. Simply apply the paste, leave for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
If your container has a persistent smell, a solution of one-part vinegar to one-part water can help. Allow the container to soak in this solution for a few minutes, then rinse and dry.
If allowed by the manufacturer, a bleach solution can be used for deep cleaning. However, this should be done sparingly and safely, ensuring adequate dilution to prevent any damage to the plastic.
Safe Usage of Rubbermaid Containers Beyond Dishwashing
Rubbermaid containers are not only dishwasher-friendly but can also be safely used in other kitchen appliances like microwaves and freezers, making them a versatile choice for your kitchen.
Many Rubbermaid containers are microwave-safe. This means you can reheat your leftovers directly in the container. However, always check the bottom of the container for the microwave-safe symbol and remember to loosen the lid to allow steam to escape.
Rubbermaid containers are freezer-safe as well. This makes them perfect for storing leftover meals or doing bulk meal prep. Do keep in mind that liquids expand when frozen, so don’t fill the containers to the brim to avoid potential deformation.
In conclusion, Rubbermaid containers are versatile and durable tools for food storage. Coming in various types such as Flex & Seal and Easy Find Lids, they offer unique features tailored to individual needs. One of their greatest advantages is their compatibility with dishwashers, which makes cleaning them a breeze. However, it’s essential to always check specific product details and take precautions such as using the top rack and ensuring the containers have cooled before removal. Ultimately, the right care and usage will significantly improve the longevity of your Rubbermaid containers, making them an excellent investment for your kitchen.