I have gathered 10 different methods to clean the smell out of bottles and some great tools for cleaning. I hope this solves this problem for you too! Lets reduce waste together!
Before trying any of these methods, first try using hot soapy water. Using the classic method- Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
Hot water and baking soda (1/4 c baking soda and 1 c. water) Shake it vigorously for a minute. Let it sit overnight. Shake for one more minute in the morning and follow with a soap and water rinse.
Fill with 1 cup of hot vinegar that has been warmed in the microwave. The temperature will speed up the cleaning process. Shake it vigorously for a minute. Let it sit overnight. Shake for one more minute in the morning and follow with a soap and water rinse.
You can use crushed ice, kosher salt and a lemon wedge. The acidity, salt and ice turns into a great scrub for the inside of the bottle and helps to make it taste fresh and clean.
A new method I have heard about is Polident Denture Cleaner. Drop in the tablet, add water, let it sit for an hour or so and rinse it until you can’t smell the minty smell.
Crumple up news paper inside the water bottle (assuming its a widemouth), put the lid on overnight. The newspaper should soak up the aroma.
Add Real Vanilla Extract to the bottle, (see post on how to make your own vanilla here) enough to roll around and coat the inside and let it sit overnight. The vanilla alcohol content will clean and if you are using this on a thermos, will make your first cup of cocoa taste yummy.
The one of the best things that I have tried, is storing containers without the lids on. For some reason, after washing and drying them, if I put the lid on, the next time I drink out of that bottle I can still taste what was in there before. Leaving the lids off in the cupboard helps a ton!
This tip is great for cleaning out a smelly water bottle while on a backpacking trip or while camping. You can use gravel! The abrasiveness of the pebbles and the fine dirt can scrub away the film along the inside of the water bottle that is starting to smell. Then once it is all clean, you can fill it with fresh filtered water. (I use this filter while camping.)
Lastly if the bottle can take some heat, BOIL it. Works like a dream. Most water bottles will say if they can hold hot liquid or not.
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