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6 tips on how to properly clean reusable bottles and mugs

The lifespan of a drinking bottle or a vacuum mug depends heavily on its quality, but it also depends on its maintenance. If you only rinse your bottles with water instead of cleaning them thoroughly, you will eventually encounter unpleasant smells and even mold. But how do you clean your bottles properly? We’ll show you 6 useful tips and tricks on how to properly clean your reusable bottles & mugs!

1. Basic cleaning with hot water

There is no rocket science in the basic cleaning of a drinking bottle: hot water, a little bit of dishwashing liquid and a practical bottle brush are enough to clean your bottle. To prevent any germs from spreading afterwards, always let your opened bottle dry completely before closing it.

2. Chemical cleaning with tabs

Dishwasher tabs or powder as well as denture cleaners are excellent helpers when it comes to dirty bottles and mugs. They are especially helpful for removing any coffee residue from thermo mugs – just fill the mug with water, add a dishwasher tab to it and let it rest overnight. Afterwards, rinse it carefully and voilá – everything is clean and odor-free again!

3. Boiling

Warning – this method should only be used if your drinking bottle and its parts are suitable for temperatures above 80-90°C. This usually does not include plastic or tritan bottles.

To guarantee that germs and bacteria are completely killed, you can regularly boil your water bottle with hot water. Grab a large pot, fill it with water and heat it up to at least 80 ° C. Then put your drinking bottle and its parts into the hot water bath for about 3-5 minutes – done!

4. DIY cleaners as an alternative

In addition to dishwasher tabs there are other, more sustainable alternatives that you definitely have at home. However, it should be noted that they are not equally suitable for all materials.

Baking powder or soda

Thanks to its alkaline and cleaning properties, baking powder has become a universal household remedy – it fights unpleasant odors or limescale deposits and even gets rid of unpleasant coffee residues.

Add 1-2 packs of baking powder to your drinking bottle or mug, pour over with hot water and let the mixture rest for at least one to two hours, ideally overnight. The result after rinsing will blow you away! This method is equally suitable for drinking vessels made of glass, stainless steel or tritan.

Caution: Do not close your bottle with the baking powder inside, as it dissolves gas and could damage your drinking bottle by creating pressure on the lid.

Vinegar or citric acid

Due to its pH value, vinegar has preventive effects against mold and can help to remove limescale deposits. To clean your water bottle, fill it up with a mixture of vinegar (preferably no vinegar essence or acetic acid) as well as hot water and shake it thoroughly. Depending on how dirty the bottle is, you can also let it rest for 2-3 hours before rinsing it out with clear water.

Caution: Drinking bottles made of plastic, aluminum and glass do not always tolerate this method and could be damaged.

Coarse sea salt or rice

Caution: Using sea salt or rice is a purely mechanical cleaning of your drinking bottle. This should be your very last option for cleaning, since almost all materials, but especially plastic and glass, can be damaged by it.

Fill your bottle with a small amount of sea salt or rice (approx. 2-4 tablespoons) first and shake it vigorously – the friction creates a mechanical abrasion that will remove stubborn residue. Add a little hot water afterwards and shake it all over again before rinsing everything out with clear water – your bottle should be clean now.

5. The bottle lid

To make sure every part of your drinking bottle gets clean, you should, if possible, dismantle the lid or mouthpiece into its individual parts, including the seal rings. Grab a small brush, take a little dishwasher liquid and clean the lid with hot water. To prevent mold from forming, you should make sure that the disassembled components of the lid are completely dry before you reassemble them afterwards.

Tipp: Make sure to remember exactly how seal rings and other parts should be assambled. Even the slightest change in the position of a ring can result in your bottle leaking or the lid not functioning properly.

6. Allow to dry properly

If you close your water bottle immediately after cleaning, the left-over moisture inside can not only create an unpleasant smell, but the perfect growth conditions for bacteria and germs. Your bottle and all parts should therefore completely dry before putting them back together.


If you are a proud owner of a BODDELS bottle or mug, click here to find instructions on how to clean each of our products!

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