How should you store Tupperware?

Tupperware is a popular brand of plastic food storage containers that are commonly used to store leftovers and prepare food for later consumption. Properly storing Tupperware helps maintain its quality and extend its lifespan. There are several key factors to consider when determining the best way to store Tupperware containers.

Should Tupperware be stored with the lids on or off?

Many people debate whether Tupperware should be stored with the lids on or off. There are pros and cons to both methods:

Lids on:

  • Prevents spills if containers are stacked
  • Lid is less likely to get misplaced
  • Keeps food sealed and protected

Lids off:

  • Allows containers to dry out if wet or damp inside
  • Prevents odors from being trapped inside
  • Allows you to easily see contents

Most experts recommend storing Tupperware with the lids off or ajar. This prevents moisture buildup inside the containers that could lead to odors, staining, and bacterial growth. It also allows the containers to dry thoroughly after washing.

If space is limited, lids can be stored on top of containers. Just be sure to leave a small gap for airflow.

Where is the best place to store Tupperware?

When choosing storage locations for Tupperware, here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Avoid direct sunlight, which can damage and fade plastic over time.
  • Avoid placing near heat sources like ovens, dishwashers or radiators that could warp shapes.
  • Store in a cool, dry place. Moisture can encourage bacterial growth.
  • Choose a spot that is easily accessible for grabbing containers.
  • For cupboards, use lower shelves to reduce risk of containers falling when opened.
  • Avoid overcrowding containers or stacking too high.

Some of the best storage spots include:

  • Kitchen or pantry cupboards – Use shelves, racks or drawer organizers to neatly arrange.
  • Kitchen countertops or tables – Keep frequently used items handy.
  • Plastic storage bins – Hold and stack a variety of sizes.
  • Under the sink – Utilize vertical space with racks.
  • Kitchen island – Provides easy access from all directions.

If you have an abundance of Tupperware, consider storing lesser-used items in alternative areas like basements, garages, or closets. Just be sure to inspect them periodically for damage if storing long-term.

Should Tupperware containers be nested inside each other?

It’s common to want to maximize storage space by nesting Tupperware containers, or stacking them inside each other. However, there are a few downsides to this approach:

  • Can result in warping or deforming of shapes over time
  • Traps odors, moisture and bacteria
  • Makes it harder to organize and access specific sizes
  • Increases risk of scratching
  • Lids can get mixed up

For these reasons, it’s best not to nest Tupperware unless you are transporting or traveling with them. In general, storing them separately allows for better airflow and organization. It also extends the life of your containers.

If you need to nest, just be sure to keep an eye out for scratches, warping, and odors so you can replace any damaged items. Only nest the same shapes and sizes to reduce deformation.

What’s the best way to position lids and containers for storage?

When storing Tupperware, keep lids and containers separate but paired together in a way that makes the matching sets easy to find and access. Here are some approaches:

  • Group lids together: Store lids in a tray, rack or bin together sorted by shape/size.
  • Stack lids on top of containers: Line up lids on their matching bottoms. Make sure stacked items are same shape/size.
  • Position lids beside containers: Line up containers with corresponding lids beside them in rows.
  • Label lids and containers: Use stickers or marker to label lids and bottoms with matching numbers or letters.

Proper organization and labeling makes it easier to find the right lid during meal prep and after washing. Just be cautious about overstacking to prevent damage. With a system in place, you’ll always know what goes together!

Proper Cleaning and Maintenance

To get the longest lifespan out of Tupperware and ensure safe food storage, proper cleaning and maintenance is essential. Here are some key tips:

How should Tupperware be washed?

  • Wash in hot, soapy water using a soft sponge or dishrag.
  • Avoid harsh scrubbing that could cause scratches.
  • Use bottle brush or soft cloth to clean hard-to-reach corners.
  • Let air dry fully before storing to prevent bacterial growth.
  • For stubborn odors or stains, soak in warm water with baking soda or vinegar.
  • Place in dishwasher on top rack, avoiding high heat settings.
  • Don’t use abrasive chemicals or cleaners.

How can you remove stains and odors from Tupperware?

It’s common for plastic containers to pick up food odors and stains over time. To tackle these issues:

  • Wash with warm, soapy water then let containers sit outdoors in the sun for fresh air.
  • Soak in solution of warm water and baking soda for 15-30 minutes.
  • Sprinkle containers with baking soda and leave overnight before rinsing.
  • Fill with warm water and add lemon juice, let soak then scrub with brush.
  • Use diluted vinegar solution to wipe down walls and lid.
  • For tough grease stains, rub with toothpaste and rinse thoroughly.

What’s the best way to dry Tupperware after washing?

It’s important to fully dry Tupperware containers before storing to prevent mold and bacteria growth. Here are some drying methods:

  • Let air dry upside down on dish rack or towel.
  • Gently dry with clean cloth or paper towel.
  • Place components in dishwasher on “Dry Only” cycle.
  • Leave container lids off or ajar to promote airflow.
  • Use a fan to speed up drying time.
  • If dampness remains, leave containers open overnight to finish drying.

Avoid nesting until 100% dry, as trapped moisture can’t evaporate. Take care not to use high heat drying methods that could warp plastic.

How can you keep plastic Tupperware from becoming stained or faded over time?

To maintain a like-new appearance:

  • Wash thoroughly after each use.
  • Avoid over-stacking containers when storing.
  • Keep away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
  • Remove stains promptly with recommended cleaners.
  • Replace heavily stained or scratched containers.
  • Use non-abrasive scrubbing pads to avoid scratches during washing.
  • Hand wash instead of using dishwasher for delicate items.

With regular cleaning and care, Tupperware can look great for many years before replacements are needed. Prompt stain removal also helps.

Storing Specific Foods

To maximize freshness and avoid contamination when storing foods, follow these guidelines:

What foods should not be stored in plastic Tupperware?

While Tupperware is quite versatile, there are a few food items that shouldn’t be stored in plastic long-term:

  • Tomatoes/acidic foods – Acids can breakdown plastic leading to leaching.
  • Fatty foods – Fats absorb into plastic resulting in rancidity and odors.
  • Alcohol – Plastic absorbs alcohol odors and flavors.
  • Citrus fruits – Acids degrade plastic.
  • Spices – Essential oils absorb into plastic affecting flavor.

For these items, use glass or silicone containers instead. Avoid plastic if storing longer than 2-3 days.

What are helpful tips for storing produce in Tupperware?

To best preserve fruits and veggies:

  • Opt for produce-specific bin with ventilation.
  • Line container with paper towel to absorb moisture.
  • Rinse produce just before storing to reduce moisture.
  • Leave greens and herbs dry with paper towels.
  • Keep berries in single layer to prevent crushing.
  • Add slices of apple or lettuce to slow ripening of bananas, avocados etc.

Ideally use produce within 3-5 days for optimal freshness. Check regularly for molding items.

What are some tips for storing meats and cheeses?

To properly store deli meats and cheeses:

  • Use designated fridge bins for meats versus cheeses to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Opt for shallower containers to keep items cooler with more surface area.
  • Keep cheese stored in original wrapping until ready to serve.
  • Place wax paper between sliced meats and cheeses.
  • Keep cooked meats on upper shelves above raw meats.
  • Never exceed refrigeration times recommended on packaging.
  • Freeze any you won’t consume in time to extend storage life.

Proper separation and storage temperatures are key for food safety.

What are some recommendations for storing leftovers in Tupperware?

Storing leftovers in Tupperware helps save them for later while keeping food safe. Follow these tips:

  • Let hot foods cool completely before sealing in container.
  • Divide into small, shallow portions for faster cooling.
  • Ensure all containers are dated for easy tracking.
  • Use narrow containers to easily slide into refrigerator.
  • Fill 3/4 full to leave room for expansion if freezing.
  • Lay flat in freezer until solid the stand upright (or use freezer bags).
  • Don’t overcrowd refrigerator shelves.
  • Use older leftovers first.

Follow safe refrigeration and freezing times. Reheat leftovers to 165°F before consuming.


Properly storing Tupperware helps extend its useful life, retain its quality, prevent food waste, and keep foods safe. Follow the tips covered to maximize your Tupperware use, including:

  • Store lids off or slightly ajar for ventilation.
  • Choose cool, dry storage locations.
  • Avoid nesting containers.
  • Use systems to keep lids and containers organized.
  • Wash, dry thoroughly, and remove stains promptly after use.
  • Avoid plastic for acidic, fatty or alcoholic foods.
  • Follow food type-specific storage tips.

With the right storage methods, your Tupperware can last for many years to come while also keeping your food fresh and safe to eat. Proper use and care is key!

Leave a Comment