More about our products
What kind of stainless steel do you use?
All of the stainless steel used in our lunchboxes and snack containers is high quality, food safe, corrosion resistant and independently tested.
Our ECOlunchbox Oval and yogurt cup and the Blue Water Bento collection with non-toxic 100% silicone lids are made in China of high-quality, food-grade 304 stainless steel.
All other ECOlunchbox stainless steel bentos are made in India with high-quality, food-grade stainless steel 201. For more information about our steel, click here.
Why are silicone lids better than plastic?
From a human and environmental health perspective, we believe that silicone is currently the best material available for snap-on, leak-proof food container lids because it's long-lasting and free of estrogen-mimicking chemicals commonly found in plastics, like bisphenol-A (BPA).
Silicone is a synthetic polymer made from the Earth's element silicon, which is the second most abundant element in the earth's crust and makes up about 27% of the average rock. When mixed with oxygen, silicon becomes silica and is present in nature as sand and quartz that are commonly used in making glass.
Non-toxic and rubber-like, the silicone material used in our products is much more durable and longer lasting than plastic and it does not contain petroleum. Silicone resists degradation resulting from prolonged use as well as exposure to extreme temperatures and can safely be put in the dishwasher, the oven or the freezer. Although silicone is not biodegradeable, scientists believe the material is not hazardous to the environment nor toxic to aquatic or soil organisms. To learn more about why we use silicone in our Blue Water Bento collection lids, click here.
Please wash all products with warm soapy water prior to first use.
How do I wash my stainless steel food containers?
With hot soapy water and detergent - or in the dishwasher! Do not use bleach, harsh chemicals, abrasive cleansers or pads. With proper care and cleaning, your stainless steel lunchboxes may be used for years and years to come.
The sticker is a bit difficult to remove, what can I do?
We are actively working with our manufacturing partners to find the right amount of glue on our stickers. Previously there wasn't enough glue and the stickers fell off, now we have a bit too much glue and the stickers can be difficult to remove. We are working to solve this problem.
In the meantime, we have found a few solutions that work well for us.
- Soak the container in hot soapy water. Rub with a cloth soaked in vinegar.
- If that doesn't work, soak the label with vegetable oil, then gently scrape off.
- Soak the container in boiling water, allow to cool slightly until you can handle, then scrub sticker off. (See video below)
Does stainless steel corrode or stain?
Stainless steel is a material that is used extensively in the kitchen due to its general resilience against things like heat and corrosion, along with a pretty good level of stain resistance.
Usually, the chromium within stainless steel reacts to oxygen in the air and forms a protective film, preventing problems like rust and reducing the risk of permanent marks. With gentle care and regular cleaning, stainless steel will often last for many years and resist developing rust or stains!
However, while stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion, it's not completely impervious.
If it’s treated with harsh chemicals, like bleach, or its surface is coated with grease or dirt and not regularly cleaned, the stainless steel is more vulnerable to corrosion and wear. Regular gentle cleaning is required to preserve the appearance and integrity of its surface. In fact, stainless steel actually thrives with frequent cleaning, and, unlike some other materials, it is impossible to "wear out" stainless steel by excessive cleaning.
Cleaning Tips & Tricks for Stainless Steel
- Wash by hand or in the dishwasher with detergent will clean stainless steel safely and thoroughly. Follow with a hot water rinse.
- To remove food stuck to your lunchbox:
- Soak the container in warm soapy water and then clean with hot soapy sponge.
- For more stubborn cases, a Nylon non-abrasive pad with detergent should be adequate for dealing with most deposits.
- Another gentle but tough approach to removing deposits and stains is to use a baking soda paste. Simply mix a tablespoon of soda with a little water into a thick paste. Coat the problem area and leave for half an hour. Then rub with a damp cloth, rinse and dry.
- Please note: Water with a high mineral content tends to leave water spots, so in this case, it is recommended you wipe the surface completely dry with a clean, dry cloth.
No Bleach... and Other No-nos
- Bleach will stain and damage stainless steel, do not use cleaning sprays or solutions that contain bleach.
- Never use steel wool or steel brushes. They will scratch the surface of your stainless steel and make it more susceptible to rusting and staining.
- Abrasive cleaners will scratch the surface and should always be avoided.
- Dirty water and cleaning solutions can leave a residue that can stain and damage the surface, so don’t forget to rinse and dry.
- Long-term exposure to table salt and salt and vinegar mixes can damage stainless steel.
- In order to reduce chance of staining, do not allow the following acidic food items to remain on stainless steel surfaces for hours: ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and salad dressing.
Are the silicone lids dishwasher safe?
The silicone lids used in our Blue Water Bento collection are dishwasher safe. They can also be hand washed. Avoid harsh chemicals like bleach. In case of food odors, wash the lids with a paste made from baking soda and water. Simply mix a tablespoon of soda with a little water into a thick paste. Coat the problem area and leave for half an hour. Then rub with a damp cloth, rinse and dry.
How do I wash the bags and napkins?
All of our ECOlunchbox bags are 100% cotton. Machine wash cold. Tumble dry medium. Hand washing and air drying are OK, too. For best results with the ECOlunchbag and ECOlunchette, pull the lining of the bag loose from the inside of the bag to expose any food-stained areas. The lining will then wash more effectively and dry more quickly. Dyes are color fast. However, repeated washing will gradually soften the colors.
NOTE: The lining of the bag pulls loose from the inside of the bag. In case of small stains, the bag can be spot cleaned easily at the sink with a damp dish towel and air dried overnight.
How do I wash bamboo utensils?
Wash in hot soapy water. Towel dry. Bamboo is not dishwasher safe. Do not soak.
Hot or Cold
Are your lunchboxes insulated?
Our ECOlunchboxes are made with the traditional single layer of stainless steel and do not function as a thermos. ECOlunchboxes will keep food warm for about an hour. Remember the stainless steel container will take on the temperature of your food, so if you put hot scrambled eggs in, your ECOlunchbox will become hot as well!
ECO TIP: Food will keep cool in an ECOlunchbox tucked inside an ECOlunchbag. Here are a couple of strategies to keeping food cold – pack a stainless steel water bottle with ice and top off with water to use as an icepack inside your lunchbag. Alternately, we suggest wrapping an icepack in one of our ECOnapkins and adding it to your lunch! This will keep the container cool and catch any condensation from the icepack.
Are your machine washable ECOlunchbags insulated?
Our ECOlunchbags & ECOlunchettes have three layers of 100% artisan cotton. The middle layer is thick to help insulate your lunch, but keep in mind cotton breathes and will not keep foods warm or cold for long periods of time.
Can I warm food in ECOlunchboxes?
Yes, but be careful! Stainless steel is oven safe and foods can be warmed in our ECOlunchboxes up to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. A toaster oven also works great! Use over a camp stove is also acceptable. Keep in mind that metal is conductive and will get hot. We recommend using a pot-gripper to retrieve your lunchbox from your toaster oven.
Stainless steel is not for use in the microwave.
Adjusting Clips and Straps
How do I make clips tighter or looser?
The clips on our Three-in-One, Three-in-One Giant, and Tri Bento can be adjusted! We do NOT recommend adjusting the clips of the Oval. The clips are very rigid and trying to bend them could break the weld.
Some people like a hard tight snap when they clip shut their ECOlunchbox. But little people often like a less tight clip, so it's easier to open and close our lunch boxes all by themselves.
Regardless of how tight the clip is, we recommend pushing open the clips of our stainless steel food containers with your meaty part of your thumb. Learning to open/close a Tupperware container may take a bit of practice and, in the case of small children, some basic instruction. The same is true with our ECOlunchboxes. Typically, children and adults fumble a bit with the clips the first two or three times and then the opening/closing becomes very intuitive and easy!
For easy step by step instructions, please click here, or watch the video below.
If your Three in One clips falls out, no problem. It's easy to put it back. Check out this how-to video for a demonstration.
How do I adjust the backpack-style ECOlunchbag?Our ECOlunchbag has a very unique design that can be adjusted to carry in various ways.
How do you want to carry your lunch to work or school? As a hands-free hip bag? As stylish over-the-shoulder messenger bag? As a purse with two straps over your shoulder? As backpack so you can ride your bike to school or work?
Adults taller than 5-foot-7 will probably find the strap a bit too tight for comfortable wearing as a backpack. We recommend that these taller adults carry their ECOlunchbag as a shoulder handbag, messenger bag or single- strap hip bag.
Small children, ages 3 to 5, can easily carry the bag purse-style on their shoulder or the strap length can be reduced by double-buttoning the strap on the wooden button. There are three button holes on the strap so it can be adjusted to fit and easily lengthened as the child grows.
Fun Fact! Our ECOlunchbags come with a wooden button inside making your bag completely REVERSIBLE!
Lost & replacement parts
I've lost a part. Can you help me?
Longevity of use is important to us at ECOlunchbox. That's why we provide lids and clips for those that may get lost!
You can find extra lids and clips for our ECOlunchbox Three-in-One and Three-in-One Giant under accessories.
Please note: Clips are made from a heavy duty wire that is hinged on the ends of our lunchbox. The wire isn't welded shut, so sometimes the clip can get bent open and come off the hinge. Don't worry, the clip can be squeezed shut and put back on the lunchbox for continued use as shown in the video featured in our FAQ Adjustments section.
Additionally, we're sorry but due to the varying molds and hand-finishing techniques used in our ECOlunchbox classic line, we are unable to provide replacement lids for our 100% steel containers at this time. We can't guarantee the steel lids from one batch of molds will fit a lunchbox from another batch.
Shipping and Returns
How much does shipping cost?
We ship via UPS or USPS Priority Mail. Shipping costs can be calculated from the shopping cart before proceeding to checkout.
Shipping costs for the contiguous United States are as follows:
- Purchases up to $5.50 will cost $3.00 in shipping.
- Purchases from $5.51 - $24.99 will cost $5.00 in shipping.
- Purchases over $25.00 will ship for free.
I just placed my order, when will my items ship?
Your order will ship out from CA within 3-5 business days. For domestic orders, we usually ship USPS Priority Mail but you can also select UPS services. We ship from California so most orders shipped via USPS will arrive within 3 business days once it leaves our warehouse. Orders shipped via UPS ground can take 5-7 business days depending on your location.
We do offer expedited shipping options, please call or email us to place your order if you need a quicker turn around.
The map below provides estimated shipping times for the USPS Priority orders after the 3 day fulfillment window.
Do you ship internationally?
Yes, we ship to most international countries via USPS First class or Priority Mail. It can take up to 2-5 weeks to have your order delivered, depending on the shipping service selected. Please be aware that some countries can impose custom duty taxes (VAT) depending on the order amount.
Can I return my ECOlunchbox if I don't like it?
Yes we accept returns. If you're not happy with your ECOlunchbox, please click here to see our return policy for items sold through our Web store www.ecolunchboxes.com.
If you purchased your ECOlunchbox from another retailer, such as Amazon.com, please return the item to that retailer.
Tracking confirms delivery but I don't have my package. What can I do?
Sometimes packages get lost or stolen. This is disappointing, but fortunately most of our retail orders are shipped USPS Priority Mail (check your packing slip to see what service was used for your shipment) and insured up to $100. In instances of lost or suspected stolen packages, ECOlunchbox suggests that customers first contact their mail carrier (leave a note on your mailbox to seek contact, speak to carrier in person or reach out to your local post office branch) to confirm delivery and seek information about where exactly the package may have been left at the delivery address. Sometimes the carrier will be able to help you locate your package.
But if the carrier confirms it was left at your delivery address and you still can't find your ECOlunchbox shipment, please use your invoice and tracking number to file a claim with the US Postal Service online. Please let us know if you need documentation from ECOlunchbox to support your claim.
It Takes a Village...
Why was ECOlunchbox founded?
ECOlunchbox was started by eco mom Sandra Ann Harris, who lives in Lafayette, Calif. with her husband and two school-age children. Sandra wanted to make available lunchware for families that would help them reduce their dependence on plastics for health and environmental benefits. Plastic is a petroleum-based material that leaches chemicals in our food, our bodies and the environment.
How can I submit new product ideas to ECOlunchbox?
ECOlunchbox strives to make available everyday "tools" for the green family. We believe that by going green at lunchtime and using our no-waste, no-plastic products families can save their health, the environment & their pocketbook! Our ECOlunchbox lunch waste study shows that a typical family using conventional throw-aways generates approximately 4,320 pieces of trash annually and the disposable packaging costs more than $400 annually!
If you have a new product idea that dovetails with our mission to help families reduce their dependence on plastics, especially at lunchtime, we'd love to hear from you. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.