How to clean silicone cookware: 5 'basic' remedies to banish 'tough' stains and odours
Silicone has lots of uses in the kitchen, from spatulas and ice cube moulds to baking trays and cupcake tins. While all cookware made from this smooth material is designed to repel sticky stains, colourful residue and pungent odours tend to cling onto the surface even after harsh scrubbing. Replacing stained utensils may seem like the only solution to this problem, though according to Vera Peterson, president of the cleaning service Molly Maid, you shouldn't discount the power of soapy water and other basic ingredients.
While the physical residue left behind on silicone utensils can be easily wiped away, the scent of cooked food can linger on baking sheets for weeks, while ice cube moulds can begin to take on the scent of the back of your freezer.
Getting rid of these unpleasant odours can be done after a few cycles in the dishwasher, but cleaning expert Vera Peterson warned that it is a "tough job" and will "most likely take time". Instead, she suggested using a combination of dish soap, water and some baking soda to revive your silicone kitchen items.
Start by filling up your sink with hot water and a few drops of mild dish soap. Wearing a pair of gloves will make the cleaning process much easier as it will keep your hands free of grease and oil.
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Vera noted that "the hotter the water, the better", particularly when it comes to older stains that you may not have had time to soak at the time.
She said: "Hot water can cut through tough messes. Just be careful not to make the water so hot that you'll burn yourself."
Leave the kitchenware to sit for between 20 minutes to one hour, depending on how pungent the smells are. You can add in a few drops of essential oils for extra freshness, though you will need to scrub the utensils before leaving them to dry.
After soaking, gently wipe over with a nonabrasive sponge and rinse in hot water. Leave the items to drain for a few minutes before patting them down with a microfiber cloth.
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Soaking items in a gallon of water and two teaspoons of bleach is another option you can try though according to Vera, it's better to stick to one method and give it multiple attempts rather than try a variety of different techniques.
She said: "If after so many attempts, the scent doesn't seem to let up, it may be time to accept defeat and deal with the smell or replace the product."
For extra strong odours, it could help to heat up your silicone cookware before soaking them in soapy water.
To do this, preheat your oven to 170C and bake your products for 10-15 minutes. Once cooled, soak and scrub in soapy water to neutralise odour-causing particles.
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Always check that the tools are safe to use around high temperatures beforehand to avoid melting or damaging them.
Vera said: "One hundred percent silicone products are capable of withstanding high temperatures, whereas anything less is susceptible to damage."
If you know your utensils are not pure silicone, the cleaning expert recommended using "less evasive and lower temperature cleaning methods" instead.
Boiling silicone items in water with a dash of white vinegar is another easy way to deep clean them if you act quickly after cooking with fragrant ingredients.
Grease can permeate silicone-based items and leave pungent smells behind on baking trays. When this happens, Vera suggested using baking soda as your first point of call.
She explained that mixing the neutralising powder into a paste with some water is the easiest way to blitz silicone tools.
Simply rub the paste all over the product and allow it to sit overnight. Gently scrub the paste off the next morning. Vera added: "If the smell lingers in the morning, repeat the process until it's gone."
Some lower quality products may not be able to withstand the abrasive texture of baking soda, so take care using it on delicate or older silicone kitchen items.READ MORE: Best ingredient to 'soak up bad odours' in an empty fridgeDON'T MISS:'Common sign' your bath mat needs washing to banish 'harmful mould' [REVEAL]'Important' bathroom hacks to stop paint peeling and 'repel moisture' [INSIGHT]'Best' method to clean damp walls to make mould 'disappear' [TIPS]READ MORE: Hair: The 'only' time you should wash your hair - expert tips