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weird film on silicone utensils

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I bought a couple of silicone spatula/stirrers, and I'm plagued by an inability to clean them properly. Tossing them in the dishwasher gets off all of the obvious gunk, but I'm left with a greasy film, as well as a persistent odor of detergent. I've tried hand-washing, and it yields the same results. You can get rid of the dull, greasy film if you agressively scrub, then vigorously dry with a rough towel, but I find that these tools seem to retain the scent of the detergent. Has anyone else experienced this? I do realize that a microscopic film of "stuff" probably remains on all of my non-metal utensils, but the wooden spoons don't seem to give off that "Dawn" odor like the silicone.

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  1. Sorry, I don't have any solution to your issue.

    I've noticed with the silicone ice cube trays we have that the trays seem to impart an unpleasant odor to the ice. I've tried coating the receptacles with cooking oil but it didn't help. They say that silicone is completely safe but I have to wonder because of the odor issue. There are other agents aside from the silicon and oxygen that are used as filler in its production.

    1. Most of what you describe is normal for silicone tools. There is nothing strange about what you observed.

      1. I agree with Chemicalkinetics. Although I haven't noticed the odor problem you describe, my silicone utensils always have a kind of strange "greasy" feel to them even when they are perfectly clean.

        1. I've bought a few silicone utensils and stopped using them specifically because of this problem. Tried different soaps, baking soda, vinegar, freezing ... everything. No success. Finally ended up throwing them out, or actually donating them to charity.

          1. I've noticed this too. I have a silicone muffin pan that I've used to make small quiches in, and it's become very nasty indeed. It seems to be uncleanable; despite my best efforts...sticky and horrid.

            At this stage I'm still using silicone spatulas, but that's about it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: SherBel

              Oh thank goodness! I've noticed an off-taste to things I've made in my silicon muffin tins for a while...it wasn't noticeable with things like cupcakes...but the Yorkshire puddings taste and smell peculiar. I thought it was detergent ...but repeated clear-water scrubbing didn't help. My husband kept insisting that I was imagining things.I am tremendously relieved that other 'hounds have also noticed the phenomenon. Does anybody have a suggestion to alleviate the problem, or are these stupid things going into the trash? (I do like the way stuff pops right out of them, but not at the expense of good taste!)

            2. I've noticed same problem.Hand washing and using the scrubby side of the sponge removes this film pretty good.

              2 Replies
              1. re: MOSFET

                The "shiny" textured silicone tools w/plastic handles are long gone @my house...they absorbed the detergent odor & retained a yucky film no matter what I did to them. On the other hand, I rec'd two matte-textured, wooden handled spatulas in a goodie bag, and both are great. No sticky film, no odor, and they clean up easily. So maybe the particular composition of the plastic matters a bit.

                1. re: Hungry Celeste

                  I've noticed this, too. It's like having a self-oiling spatula. I wash it, it's fine for a few hours, and then the oily film comes back.

              2. I just found this thread doing a search as to why my silicon tools and bakeware have the tacky feel to them. It just doesn't seem safe to me. I'm glad to know that it's not just me, so I have just thrown out my silicone muffin pan and cake pan, as well as a spatula and a spoonula. I will just resign myself to buying my spatulas (spatulae?) more often as I do like the heat-resistance of the silicone. Everything else, I'm going with other materials.

                1. My experience has been that a good wash with a little bit of dish soap and a lot of baking soda keeps the silicon spatula (a Cuisipro with stainless handle) feeling fine. I don't wash it in the dishwasher because it does seem to hang onto the dishwasher detergent smell.

                  That spatula is one of my favorite utensils, and I'm also fond of the silicon poaching pods, but I'm not drawn to silicon ice cube or baking containers.

                  1. Silicone is hydrophobic (water beads up and rolls off) and oleophilic (oils cling to the surface). In the dishwasher silicone will even pick up stray grease washed off other dishes.

                    Soaking silicone utensils in boiling hot water with some dish detergent or baking soda will help remove oily films. Follow that by soaking in vinegar to remove smells.

                    1. Crap. Silicone spatulas are some of my favorite kitchen tools. I've never noticed any of the problems suggested on this thread. Now I expect a plague of similar problems.

                      About half the time I pull the silicone 'head' off the wooden handle and put it in the dishwasher flatware basket and have never had a 'film' that I noticed. We exclusively use blue Dawn when washing dishes by hand. If it's good enough to wash a duck, it's good enough for us.