Is there a way to remove stains from silicone spatulas?
When silicone spatulas pick up stains from tomato sauce, turmeric, or pesto, often even an aggressive soapy scrubbing won’t get them completely clean. So we set out to find a better cleaner.
After staining one set of white silicone spatulas bright yellow with a turmeric-and-water paste and another set red with tomato sauce, we soaked each one in potential stain fighters: white vinegar, a slurry of dish soap and baking soda, 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, a bleach solution (made by diluting 2 1/2 tablespoons of bleach in 2 cups of water), and a control mixture of soapy water. After 24 hours of soaking, only the spatulas soaked in hydrogen peroxide or the bleach solution were back to their original white.
Our science editor explained that while soap can help break up and wash away oil, to remove intensely colored stains, the compounds that provide the color need to be broken down into colorless molecules. Hydrogen peroxide and bleach are both oxidants, a type of compound that excels at this task. Just remember to wash your stain-free spatulas in warm soapy water before use.