How to Clean a Stainless Steel Water Bottle

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Things You'll Need

  • Water

  • White vinegar

  • Bottle brush

  • Towel

  • Clean cloth


If juice, milk or other liquids (besides water) have been stored in the bottle for a while (long enough to get moldy or crusty), it may need cleaning with regular dish soap to loosen dried-on particles, followed by a vinegar cleaning.

Look for bottle brushes in the baby supplies section or household cleaning supplies section of your local supermarket.

Avoid a musty smell by emptying the bottle and cleaning it after each use. Always let it dry with the cap off.

You can use baking soda as a substitute for vinegar.


Avoid abrasive cleaners or pads because these may scratch the bottle’s surface.

Stainless steel water bottles are becoming more common. These bottles are more durable than plastic water bottles and they are easier to keep clean. Plastic bottles sometimes impart an unpleasant scent and flavor to liquids. While this flavor and scent can also occur in improperly cleaned stainless steel bottles, it is easier to remove. If you use a few common household products after each use, you can keep your stainless steel water bottle clean, fresh and odor free.


Step 1

Remove the bottle's cap and set it aside. Pour 2 tbsp. white vinegar into the bottle. Replace the cap and shake the bottle. This spreads the vinegar over the interior surface.

Step 2

Take the cap off again and, leaving the vinegar inside, add warm water until the bottle is 1/2 full. Push a bottle brush through the mouth of the bottle. Gentle scrub the interior surfaces with the brush. Next, take the brush out and replace the cap. Shake the bottle again vigorously, and then pour the contents out.

Step 3

Rinse the inside of the bottle, and then place a small amount (1 tsp. or less) of vinegar on a soft cloth. Wipe down the outside of the bottle with vinegar; then, rinse under water.


Step 4

Wash the cap with a clean, vinegar-soaked cloth. If the cap smelled musty before you began cleaning, let the vinegar remain on the cap for up to 15 minutes; otherwise, rinse it off after 1 to 2 minutes.



Corey M. Mackenzie

Corey M. Mackenzie has been a professional freelance writer for more than two decades. She received a B.A. with honors from Wichita State University. Corey specializes in writing about pets, interior decorating, health care, gardening, fashion, relationships, home improvement and forensic science. Corey's articles have appeared in Garden Guides, Travels and other websites.