Ask TSL: How Should I Clean My Stainless Steel Bottle?

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I bought a reusable stainless steel water bottle.  Now I’m wondering what the best way to clean my bottle is to make it last as long as possible?

Purchasing a BPA-free stainless steel bottle isn’t a small investment, but the great news is that there’s a safe, easy way to clean your bottle that will make it last longer.

Most of the stainless steel bottles offered at The Soft Landing are dishwasher safe, but many manufacturers recommend hand-washing for greater longevity.  I know – it sounds like a pain, but you can use ingredients you already have in your kitchen for pennies per cleaning!

General cleaning for the bottle interior

  1. Gather the following supplies: bottle brush (I use a baby bottle brush), vinegar, baking soda, water
  2. Pour 1 – 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of baking soda into the bottle
  3. Use the bottle brush to swirl the vinegar/baking soda, then scrub the inside of the bottle
  4. Add water to the mix until about half-way full, screw the cap on and shake
  5. Pour out the contents and rinse thoroughly with cold water

Cleaning the lid and/or spout

  1. Scrub the cap with the vinegar and water
  2. Rinse well with clean water
  3. With more complicated caps (such as one with a valve or sport cap) you may need to soak it in  enough vinegar and baking soda and water for a while (you can even use the mixture you just finished using for the bottle cleaning)

Additional Tips

  • If you need a little extra abrasion, use a little more baking soda
  • If you’re cleaning a bottle with logos/graphics on the outside, you probably won’t want to scrub it, but rather wipe clean with vinegar water mix
  • Vinegar is an amazingly powerful chemical-free cleaner and sanitizer:  it kills bacteria, germs, mildew and mold (my favorite vinegar cleaning resource is Vinegar Tips)
  • I soak my new water bottles in water and vinegar overnight, as it helps get reduce the chances of a metallic taste during the first use
  • Vinegar breaks up dirt and grease, leaving  a nice shine

If you’re inclined to extend the life of your bottle, hand-washing is best.  But if life’s just too hectic, the dishwasher will be fine for most bottles.

>> Ask TSL: Send us your burning questions about toxic materials or eating gear and we’ll do our best to answer them!

P.S. Need to remove heat stains from your stainless steel cookware and cutlery?  Try  cleaning surfaces by scrubbing with vinegar and salt.  Mix 2oz vinegar with 2 tablespoons of salt and scrub the stained area.  Rinse well with clean water and repeat.  It may not be perfect but if you keep working at it extreme discolorations  will begin to lessen.

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  • Kay

    Thanks for the cleaning tips. Here's another one: don't soak/immerse the Klean Kanteen flat cap or loop caps. Water gets inside the encasement and it's really hard to get it out.

  • Kay

    Thanks for the cleaning tips. Here's another one: don't soak/immerse the Klean Kanteen flat cap or loop caps. Water gets inside the encasement and it's really hard to get it out.

  • Rissa88

    Thank you for all the cleaning tips! keep up the work.

  • Len of Fagor Pressure Cooker

    Vinegar and baking soda are really great alternatives to cleaning just about anything in your kitchen. It is better than using the store bought cleaners as they are safe, cheap and free of chemicals…and of course, effective.

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