How on earth do you clean a Yumbox?
Yumboxes make packing a lunch so much easier, don’t they? And they look good. And you’re reminded of the food groups you need to try and include. And they’re easy to open even for little fingers too. But, there is one problem with the Yumbox. How to clean them!
I Have a Clean-Yumbox Plan
You send your Yumboxes off looking amazing. High fives all round, you packed a good lunch. 🙂 But then it’s the end of the day and you’re confronted with tomato juice, yogurt slime, and congealed green stuff (even though you didn’t pack any green stuff). It’s tempting to just close the lid and leave it until later to deal with (and I have, although I don’t recommend it–peew!).
But I have a plan! Over much experimenting, mainly due to laziness, I have come up with the best way to clean a Yumbox with the minimum amount of time and effort, and with them still looking good at the end of it.
The Myth of the Yumbox
The big myth surrounding Yumboxes seems to be the belief that you can’t put them in the dishwasher. And when you’re used to just sticking everything in the dishwasher (guilty) being faced with some handwashing to do can really be quite the annoyance at the end of a working/school day.
I handwashed for ages before I ordered a couple of new ones and actually read that it’s only the outer box that you shouldn’t put in the dishwasher; and that’s the easiest to clean!
I really DO NOT recommend that you put the outer Yumbox in the dishwasher. This can play havoc with those rubber seals, and I know people who have had trouble with their boxes after continually dishwashing them. And those babies are too expensive to not treat right.
My Way of Washing the Yumbox
So, what I do when faced with the yucky end-of-day Yumbox is:
- Take out the inner tray and give it a quick rinse.
- Put it into the top rack of the dishwasher face down. Not at any kind of angle, just straight down.
- Rinse the main box inside and out. Give it a spray with some antibac spray (or a bicarbonate of soda and water mix) and leave it to dry naturally.
- When the dishwasher cycle is done you’ll be faced with some dirty water in the underside of the tray. Carefully remove the tray. Empty the water. Rinse underneath and leave to dry naturally.
This Sounds Stupid
It does sound stupid, but it works. Rinsing the outer box is no trouble at all, and the dishwasher can clean the tray much better than handwashing ever could. That dipping well is especially tricky, and it’s not always easy to clean into all the corners of the compartments.
The reason for putting the tray face down, and thus leave it open to accumulating dirty water, is that if you leave it at an angle, you’ll accumulate dried and dirty bits in hard-to-reach places. This way, you just need to rinse. And it’s the underside of the tray, not the eating side that is dirty, so it’s fine.
Still Dirty Under the Tray
If you still get some dirty bits underneath the tray, that won’t budge, then the best thing I’ve found to remove these dried bits that congregate between the compartments is a a kebab skewer. I’ll often put some disposable kitchen towel on the end so it doesn’t scratch.
And that’s how to clean a Yumbox perfectly, with minimal effort and time, ready to pack another yummy lunch in 🙂