rubbermaid collapsible containers - gummy residue

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Well-known member
Mar 17, 2005
Payson AZ
I bought a couple of each of the three sizes of the new Rubbermaid collapsible containers.  They seem ideal for a small motorhome.  I can stack all six with lids plus another microwave piece in the microwave for storage. 

Yesterday I heated a containerful of Safeway Signature soup tomato basil bisque flavor.  The soup is kind of creamy.  It left a gummy residue and, of course, red stain and odor in the dish that I can't even scrape out.  In fact when I try to scrape it, thin layers of the plastic seem to be coming off.  I have used the dish maybe a dozen times to microwave things, so maybe the plastic has reached a stage of disintegration.  They are, of course, advertised to be for microwaving.

I phoned Rubbermaid about the problem, and they said they'd be interested in seeing it.  The woman who answered for consumer services kept saying it was so new they had no complaints or info.  When I gave her the model number, she was mumbling to herself that "she didn't enter the numbers in here."  I guess the model # wasn't yet in their database; although, the product has been out for a couple months at least.  She said I would have to pay to ship it to them, for which they would, after receipt, refund the shipping cost and provide another bowl.  When I suggested they email a prepaid shipping lablel, she said her supervisor was standing there and told her it wasn't that important to them and that they were doing me a favor agreeing to refund the shipping after I paid out the money to send it. 

Guess I'm out a dish.  And a potentially great idea.  These things washed clean of berry juice stains and smells.  Most of the soups I've heated in them have washed off.  The tomato bisque is a bit spicy, so maybe something in that acidity reacted with the plastic in the microwave.  I tried boiling soapy water in it to no effect.  Soaking didn't help.  Soft Scrub had no effect.  In fact, the gumminess almost seems to be getting worse as I try to clean it.  Almost as if the plastic is peeling apart.  I had noticed little bits of the residue during previous washings and passed it off as food.  It seems the containers can't actually handle repeated microwaving.

Maybe I should mail it to Consumer Reports.  They have a good testing laboratory.


Thanks for the update on the Rubbermaid bowls. I was thinking about buying them to use in the motorhome but may have to rethink the idea. Sounds like the space savings isn't worth it if they don't hold up to repeated use.
I'm not sure about the containers but I'm really concerned about the tomato bisque! ;)
There are three sizes of the containers.  I have two of each.  I love the collapsing aspect, but they certainly aren't for continued microwaving.  99.9% of my cooking is in the microwave, so I'll have to find other cookware.  I already got rid of my old stuff.  I don't really use storage dishes much.  I just microwave in something and toss the same container with leftovers into the fridge.  Reheat in same for the next meal.

Even if they replaced the bowl, a new one wouldn't hold up for more than a couple dozen trips through the microwave anyway.  I guess they'd be good for storage, if they can hold up when hot food is placed in them.  They're only in Target and Walmart; although, I found only two pieces in Target.  Seemed like they were phasing them out already.  All Walmart had was a zillion of the medium size and only a couple small and large.

I'm currently in Fred Meyer country.  I didn't see them there.  I'm talking with Tupperware to get a set of cookware.

Pat said:
Guess I'm out a dish.? And a potentially great idea.?

I have two sizes of Pampered Chef microwave "pans".? They are a hard black plastic material with a handle like a? saucepan and it comes with a lid with holes in it for easy draining.? They go from microwave to my refrigerator, clean up easily and have never stained. You have to order them from a Pampered Chef dealer and they? will be mailed out to you.? One is a 2 quart size, the other is? 4 cup size.? They are made in the USA and I think ran me about $30.? Seems pricey but not if you consider all of the? things I have not ruined and had to purchase again. They hold boiling water well and steam veggies to perfection with just the right amount of holes in top. The name of my dealer is Sue and here is her email address  [email protected]
Betty:  I'll be checking out Pampered Chef.  My small microwave oven has exactly one foot of diameter it can accommodate.  Tupperware's great hard plastic microwave cookware was close to $40 a bowl plus lid years ago.  I use the stuff as serving dishes, if you will.  Basically what that means is I heat and eat out of the same bowl.  And store the leftovers.  Don't own a set of dishes, and even when I had a large condo I lived out of the Tupperware stuff.  I forgot I was going to check also.  Have to try to get back on the wifi here.  It's been as slow as dialup when it has a connection to the internet available. 


That plastic I believe once it has disintegrated to that point is no longer healthy to ingest the food in it.

Could you get some Pyrex bowls instead because they go from microwave to fridge and never break or melt.

Pauline:  There are truly hundreds of bowls I could use, but I have limited storage space.  Also, Pyrex is heavy for my wobbly turntable. 

Speaking of collapsible, I saw the strainers at Bed Bath & Beyond the other day and was almost tempted.  However, the long handle was a deterrent.  Love this collapsing stuff.  I think Cook's Illustrated reviewed the collapsing strainer and didn't love it.  Shall have to go back and reread it.  The strainer part is a very soft material, so using it in a smaller bowl wouldn't work, I don't think.  Still need to find space to keep a small strainer.  Cook's Illustrated reviewed them.  I'll have to reread that.

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