The Best Way to Clean That Cloudy, White Film Off Plastic and Silicone Cooking Utensils

updated Aug 19, 2021
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Plastic and silicone cooking utensils with a white, cloudy film.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Funny how some things can come out of the dishwasher looking dirtier than they were when they went in, no? Like, mysteriously dirty. I’m talking, specifically, about silicone and plastic cooking tools. How many do you have in a drawer right now that look like the ones in the picture above, with that cloudy, white film? While these tools are technically clean, there’s something off-putting about cooking with something that doesn’t quite look clean. 

First, let’s talk about what’s responsible here: It’s the combination of soap scum and hard water. Even if you’re washing these tools by hand, the film can still appear. And you can see it coat plastic and silicone spatulas, spoons, bakeware, etc. Not only does it not look nice, but it can also interfere with the nonstick properties of your silicone ware. Annoyingly, it doesn’t come off with the next wash.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

No, to get it off, you need something that will dissolve and lift away the stubborn soap scum and hard water veneer. Chances are, you already have what you need: Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda work perfectly. Bonus: The hydrogen peroxide will also help erase stubborn stains left behind from turmeric or tomato sauce on white, clear, or light-colored utensils. 

Read more: 7 Times Baking Soda & Hydrogen Peroxide Make a Stellar Cleaning Combination

Credit: Sarah Crowley

How to Clean That Cloudy Film from Plastic and Silicone Cooking Utensils

  • Give your utensils a soak: Soak your affected utensils in hydrogen peroxide for 24 hours. 
  • Scrub them with a paste: Make a paste with baking soda and water and apply it all around the utensils. 
  • Wash: Wash the utensils with soap and water. 

It is worth noting that Kitchn’s favorite silicone utensils from GIR are the best, utility-wise, and we find that they’re less susceptible to this white film. It does happen from time to time, but now you know what to do!

How do you clean off the cloudy film from your utensils? Tell us in the comments below.