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June 17, 2014

Helpful Hints from joeeze: Spatula stain remover

Scan 6

True confession: a stained silicone spatula has never really troubled me or even struck me as a problem — but that just goes to show how out of it I am, that I could live with this sort of thing all these years and never even notice it, much less find it irksome.

The always informative "Notes From Readers" feature of Cook's Illustrated, in the July & August 2014 issue, led off with the question "Is there a way to remove stains from silicone spatulas?" submitted by reader Lila Tullock of New Haven, Connecticut.

Below, the response of Cook's Illustrated's Crack Research Team.


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% 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.

June 17, 2014 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


The Writing of Spatulas

A deeply embedded history reflecting eons of pancakes, latkes, grilled cheese sandwiches, salmon filets, lasagnes, falafels, enchiladas, science projects and Halloween cookies.

You keepa you hands off.

Posted by: Marianne | Jun 17, 2014 7:27:01 PM

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