So you bought a reusable stainless steel water bottle and now you're wondering the best way to clean it so that it lasts as long as possible, huh? It's no 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 stainless steel bottles 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
- Gather the following supplies: bottle brush (I use a baby bottle brush), vinegar, baking soda, water
- Pour 1 – 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of baking soda into the bottle
- Use the bottle brush to swirl the vinegar/baking soda, then scrub the inside of the bottle
- Add water to the mix until about half-way full, screw the cap on and shake
- Pour out the contents and rinse thoroughly with cold water
Cleaning the lid and/or spout
- Scrub the cap with the vinegar and water
- Rinse well with clean water
- 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)
- 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.
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.
Photo Credit: Flickr