Can you wash your bento box at work?

Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 22 weeks ago.

I'm having lunch at work now, I had it on my husband's office before, and he was the one in charge to wash the boxes after lunch and bring them back home (i have to carry my laptop to work so it's very uncomfortable for me to carry my purse, my laptop case AND the bag with my bento).
Now, I can leave my laptop in my office, so i carry my bag with my bento ^^

In my office lunch-zone, we have a small room with a sink, and some washing gear but it's quite disgusting as everyone uses it. I mean, the same swab!!! Maybe I'm very picky but that is very disgusting to me. And, (which is the most disgusting thing to me), the people that clean the office will probably not have any care on where the swab stays... or even if it falls to the floor... so... yuck.
Also we are provided some detergent but it's not a good one and it doesn't wash properly.

So i just rinse it with hot water and wash it when I'm back home.
This made me cuirous, so I had to ask! What do you people do? :)

____________________________________

My bento blog: http://justbento.com/blog/1305
My art blog: http://jizaacaso.deviantart.com

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Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 22 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

EXACTLY the same thing happens at my work. I just prefer to DIE to wash my cute and safe bento boxes with that filthy sponge >_< YUUUCKKKKKK

Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 44 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

If you don't want to go out to coffee I might suggest a sealing travel mug. I keep one at my desk for tea that I bring home regularly to run though the dishwasher and it is far less cumbersome than you would think as long as you carry it without anything in it.

Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 44 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

I use the kitchen facilities at work much the same way, as a place to rinse my bento. I accept that the kitchen and all washing utensils at work are filthy (they wipe down the counter with the dish washing sponge, which is never sterilized to my knowledge) so my main concern is getting the main part of whatever my lunch was out so it does not by chance end up in my bag and make it easier to clean the container when I do get home.

another_amanda
Bento-ing from: › USA
Joined: 12 Aug 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 30 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

My bentos get washed at home, but my teacups get washed in the public restroom.

I keep a bottle of detergent and a clean dishtowel in my desk. I go to the restroom with cup in hand and towel over my shoulder. I make sure that the cup doesn't touch ANYTHING but water while I'm washing it. After it's dried, it goes straight back to my desk without touching the counter and the towel gets frequently washed at home.

You might find it useful to get a small basin for doing dishes in the office, if it's convenient for you to wash bento at work. You'd have a clean surface for letting your bento dry, you could keep it in your own workspace, and you could store your own sponge/detergent in there as well. I kept such a basin with a dishrack in it when I had nasty roommates who left filthy dishes all over the kitchen.

Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 22 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

I'd love to do that but... i work in consultancy, which means most of the staff at the office do not have their own desk with the name label on it. We are provided laptops and a little lock (wich is wide enough for the laptop but for nothing else!!) in which we receive drafts or our cellphone bills and so on. We have free-to-use desks that we can use for one day, and change for the next day, and so on. (this makes me think the desks are more important than us, the staff ¬¬)
This is because we do not have to work at the office every day (we usually spend several weeks or months at our client's office).
So i can't keep my own sponge and detergent because i have no place for it!!
I can't even have my own mug ._. (but it's ok, since i can go outside for my coffee, teehee! ^^)

We are lots of people so we cannot buy gear for the sink room or for the lunch zone... So my only solution is to rinse the box and wash it at home! ^^

Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 22 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

I know! I just love going out for my coffee. Home made coffe is not as good as the coffe made at the cafeteria :D

well it's also a cultural thing in spain. When we have a lot of work we can't do it but when we can, we go in a little group and chat for some time ^^it's nice :D

bronwyncarlisle
Moderator
Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 5 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

I could quite easily wash mine at work, but mostly I just take it home dirty. If it wasn't going to spill on the way to work, it's not going to spill on the way home!
We have a kitchen at work with a dish brush that would be absolutely no use to wipe benches with, so you know it's only been used for dishes, but we also have a dishwasher, a boiling water dispenser, and a cleaner who comes in and cleans about three times a day.

____________________________________

Bronwyn

My blog is Food and Shoes

Sassia
Bento-ing from: Colchester › UK
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 24 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

I have a similar sink at work to how yours sounds! I wash my bento out using the sponge and washing up liquid there, but always do it again once I get home. I wash it at work simply so it doesn't stain or smell whilst sitting in my bag waiting to go home.

Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 44 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

We go out to coffee here too, good excuse to get out of the office and socialize a bit. Plus the coffee in the office is a bit weak, good quality but the receptionist does not use nearly enough coffee, so when I want it I break down and make a pot or two at the proper strength.

Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 22 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

coffee in my office is the one that you can buy at vending machines. It's POISON. So if i can't go out for coffee i just don't have coffee (unless i had been working the whole night which fortunately happens once per year or less!!!). But that's a usual thing in other offices I've been working at. None of the receptionists, secretaries or whoever can make proper coffee :_(

Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 22 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

wow you are so lucky :)
the rest of the office is cleaned twice a day, but the lunch zone is in another building so it's not cleaned that often ú_ù

Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 44 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

You are quite lucky our office is cleaned maybe once a week (I usually only see vacuum marks on the carpet that often) and I doubt our kitchen is ever really cleaned. Our kitchen is "self-service" so the only thing that really means is that supplies are replenished and the dishwasher emptied (all by the receptionist for the floor).

Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 22 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

ONCE A WEEK???? O_OOO
gawd >_<

bronwyncarlisle
Moderator
Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 5 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

My office is only vacuumed once a week, it's just the kitchen and loos that get constant attention. But we have ~300 staff and lots of students in and out, so they need it. My office just has me.

Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 44 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

I know the lack of cleanliness really bothers my clean freak side, I am constantly wiping down my desk (I keep some cleaning wipes in my desk) and washing my hands. But since my company has about nine employees and we share the floor with several different small companies, we do not have any other cleaning service than the one provided by the building. So really they empty garbage and recycle bins almost every day and vacuum once a week, but other than that we are on our own.

Pat
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

I bring the dirty bento box home to wash. Never trust the shared sponge at work. It would be okay to pre-wash with it, and wash again at home, if you only have 1 container to use. I have several bento boxes, so I can soak the dirty one overnight. We have a dishwasher at work but it's really for office items like mugs and some plates and utensils.

dorayaki
Bento-ing from: Wellington › New Zealand
Joined: 7 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 35 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

Our work kitchen is quite clean, I usually wash my box at work, or at least rinse it.

____________________________________

My Japanese/bento blog:
http://undefeatedbykanji.blogspot.com/

new2bento
Bento-ing from: Miami › Florida › USA
Joined: 4 Jul 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 22 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

I try to wash my bento immediately after my lunch break. We have a full sink with dish rack and dish soap always available. I think the boxes will last a lot longer and not stain as rapidly if you can give them a good wash.

____________________________________

new2bento

avlor
Bento-ing from: Sioux Falls › South Dakota › USA
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 19 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

Jiza you could pack travel wash set: a tiny bottle of dish soap and a portion of a sponge that you cut in say 4 pieces with you in a purse or work bag. Put them in a baggie or plastic soap container so leaks are kept to a minimum and the sponge doesn't wet other things down. Be sure to set the sponge out to dry at night.

Just a thought.

____________________________________

Blog and Shop: http://ojami.etsy.com and http://ojamiya.com

Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 22 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?
avlor wrote:

Jiza you could pack travel wash set: a tiny bottle of dish soap and a portion of a sponge that you cut in say 4 pieces with you in a purse or work bag. Put them in a baggie or plastic soap container so leaks are kept to a minimum and the sponge doesn't wet other things down. Be sure to set the sponge out to dry at night.

Just a thought.

Hey good idea!!! o_o thanks! :D

Alice
Bento-ing from: Leicester › UK
Joined: 9 Jun 2008
User offline. Last seen 3 years 4 days ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

I bring mine home and wash it. There is a sink in the departmental common room but I don't know if I'm allowed to use it because I've only seen staff use it (same goes for the microwave, and the kettle).

edna lewis
Bento-ing from: washington › Washington D.C. › USA
Joined: 3 Jul 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 24 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?
avlor wrote:

Jiza you could pack travel wash set: a tiny bottle of dish soap and a portion of a sponge that you cut in say 4 pieces

Or... you can dab a paper towel with dish soap and wash at the office. It seems I've reverted to a 5 y.o. with my bento boxes: two... three... or even four days later I remember that my bento box is in my backpack. So I always wash my box.

Folly
Bento-ing from: San Francisco
Joined: 5 Jul 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 4 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

Just last night I asked my husband to NOT wash his bento box at work. I use several different containers for his bento, all depending on what I am assembling. I began noticiing that these boxes were scratched in a way that made me think that it happened when cleaning. I know that these are just plastic, and most are in the $1.50-$3.00 range, but I had just splurged on a $19 two-tier Hakoya box for him and couldn't stand the thought of it getting scratched. And Heaven help him if one of MY favorite bento boxes went to work with him and got marred.

I find that it is easier to wash the bento boxes at home -- even if it comes home several days late -- than to lecture him on how to wash them. Although I always tell him to remove the lid before microwaving his bento, he didn't really get it until the clamp-style bento box exploded and the lid cracked.

landshark
Bento-ing from: Chicago › USA
Joined: 5 Nov 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 10 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

There's 3 different sinks at work between our lunchroom and kitchenette, and all have sponges and dish soap readily available. I easily could wash my boxes there, but the idea of using the shared sponges there really grosses me out. Especially when they have that musty water smell... For now I just try to rinse them really well.

phoxx47
Bento-ing from: Signal Mountain › Tennessee › USA
Joined: 29 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 48 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

I keep a roll of good quality paper towels and a spray bottle of windex at my desk. Does a great job of pre-cleaning my bento box or jar until it gets washed at home.

____________________________________

jfox

zombi
Bento-ing from: oklahoma city › USA
Joined: 24 Jan 2010
User offline. Last seen 2 years 15 weeks ago.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

I work in a hospital, and in the last one I worked, there was a big kitchen in the break room -- well, at least a sink -- and I would use it to rinse the bento box out before taking home. Now I worked in an ICU and the break room has no sink, so I must either wash my bento box in the toilet sink, or I should wash it at the main sink at the nurses' station. I cannot decide how I should do this. I like to rinse it out before I pack it back up to take home, though, as I don't like to have to really scrub if things... sat in for a while? eeehh.

____________________________________

if that which you seek you find not within -- you will never find it without.

Spross-Lee
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

I wash my bento box at uni - in the toilet sink. I don't feel comportable with carrying around my boxes the whole day without washing them, so I just try to ignore the strange looks of my colleagues and teachers :)

anon.
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

I just recycle chinese takeaway boxes, they can go straight in the bin afterwards, particularly since they don't always survive and most of them end up cracked by lunch time anyway...

Cauldron
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

I work in the mall so I just rinse in the restroom

Sara
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

disposable wipes, and then wash them at home. It's always the smell of old food that gets me. Being at uni means there aren't any kitchen facilities so it's good to give them a wipe and then bin it

lillielil
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

If there's nothing left but a bit of rice residue, I just take it home dirty. Otherwise, I give mine a brief wash in the sink at work using a paper towel and the provided dish soap. There is a sponge, but it grosses me out and leaves my hands smelling like old dirty sponge if I touch it, hence the paper towel. I wash it for real when I get home... or the next morning... or several days later.

Eileen
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

I can't stand the thoughts of carrying around a dirty bento box, so I wash it wherever I am after use. I do not use filthy sponges or brushes, instead just running the water as hot as I can get it, using a little liquid soap, and using my fingers a bit too. I can wash my hands afterwards, so a little yuck on my fingers won't kill me. Use paper towels to dry the components and it is good to go.

meimei50
Re: Can you wash your bento box at work?

I am lucky enough to work in an office with a lot of M.D.s and people in Health fields, so the break rooms are always extremely clean. Even so, I have my own brush that I keep in my desk (people "donate" dishsoap, so there is always some soap around). I always wash my bento boxes thoroughly because I have such a terrible memory that I can't trust myself to get the bento home the same day. I usually plan about 5 minutes into my my lunch break to wash my bento thoroughly. My problem is that we have such a tiny space (bar-sized sink and minimal counter (about 3'x3') that I really feel I'm blocking traffic. With some of the simpler boxes it isn't so bad but today I brought my Ms Bento, with three containers, three lids and the thermos portion that needed a rinse and dry, plus the spoon/spork and my chopsticks.
I majored in bacteriology a number of years ago, and for a project I was working on in school I did some (library) research on kitchen and workplace bacterial contamination - two things I've retained: If you microwave a sponge (full size and pretty wet) in the microwave on high for 3 minutes, this effectively sterilizes the sponge. Works for dishcloths too. the other little bit of trivia was that the most common source of bacterial contamination in the office is actually the can-opener: the blade tends to collect lots food bits, and that creates a nice little nest area for bacteria. I usually try to clean the work can-opener as often as possible to save my colleagues, and I actually keep my own can-opener at my desk. Hope that is helpful !

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