Promo University

How to Clean Your Reusable Water Bottle or Travel Mug

Alyssa Mertes

Published: July 23rd, 2020

It's super easy to clean your reusable water mugs and travel mugs. All you need is soap, baking soda or vinegar, and patience to get your sports bottles and tumblers squeaky clean.

You probably have a collection of water bottles, tumblers, and travel mugs in your cabinet. Between community events and job fairs, it's extremely easy to collect a hodgepodge of promotional drinkware. These are always useful to have on hand, especially if you have a house full of kids who shuffle between school and soccer practice.

Time for a bit of spring cleaning! Head to the kitchen, grab your custom water bottles and travel tumblers, and let's dive into how to clean your drinkware.

See how easy it is to clean your reusable drinkware in this informative video:

How to Clean Reusable Drinkware

As we all know, the dishwasher makes cleaning up after a meal ten times easier. Unfortunately, a lot of reusable drinkware isn't safe to clean with this handy kitchen appliance. That's why we have to go old-school and clean our water bottles and travel tumblers with a bit of elbow grease.

What You'll Need: Before you roll up your sleeves and start cleaning your promo drinkware, it's important to get all your ducks in a row. All you need is a few basic items you likely already have in your cabinet.

    Cleaning Supplies
  • Pipe Cleaner
  • Bottle Brush
  • Soft Bristle Toothbrush
  • Sponge
    Baking Soda
  • Bake Soda or White Vinegar
  • Hot Water
  • Disposable Latex Gloves
  • Teaspoon
  • Measuring Cup

The Cleaning Process:

Now that you have everything you need, let's get started. Follow these simple steps and your drinkware will seem like it's brand new in just a few minutes!

  1. Step One: Add vinegar or baking soda to hot water.
  2. Step Two: Pour the solution into the bottle.
  3. Step Three: Let the bottle sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Step Four: Put on rubber gloves and clean it out with a sponge and hot water.
  • Step 1: Add the Vinegar or Baking Soda
  • inegar

    Option A:

    Dilute 1-2 tablespoons of the vinegar with a cup of hot water.

    Baking soda

    Option B:

    Create a paste by mixing the baking soda with the hot water.

  • Step 2: Pour the Solution
  • Pour solution

    Add the solution from Step One into your water bottle or travel mug.

  • Step 3: Take a Break
  • clock

    Let the cleanser sit idle in your drinkware for 15 minutes.

  • Step 4: Protect Your Hands
  • Gloves

    Put on rubber or latex gloves.

  • Step 5: Clean it Out
  • sponge

    Use a bottle brush, toothbrush, or sponge to scrub the bottle and rinse it out with hot water.

    What About the Lids?

    Of course, there's one key detail we can't forget when it comes to cleaning your drinkware. The lids are just as important as the container, keeping our beverages from spilling during our hectic days. Fortunately, cleaning those caps is just as easy as cleaning the inside of your water bottles and tumblers.

    What You'll Need
    You're already cleaning your drinkware and might as well take it a step further by doing the lids. It's extremely easy to clean your bottle's lids.

      Cleaning Supplies
    • Bottle Brush
    • Pipe Cleaner
    • Cotton Swabs
      Cleaning Solutions
    • Dish Soap
    • Hot Water
    • Isopropyl Alcohol
    • Disposable or Latex Gloves
    • Giant Bowl
    • Heavy Plate

    The Cleaning Process:
    It's time to get down to business and clean out those lids. Take it a step at a time and your caps will be as good as new!

    1. Step One: Fill a bowl with hot water and baking soda.
    2. Step Two: Soak the lids and caps for 2-3 hours.
    3. Step Three: Rinse out the lids with hot water & dish soap.
    4. Step Four: Use a Q-tip to clean hard to reach areas.
    5. Step Five: Rinse again with hot water.
    • Step 1: Bring in the Bowl
    • Baking soda

      Fill a bowl with hot water and baking soda and soak the lids and caps for 2-3 hours; weigh it down with a heavy plate.

    • Step 2: Rinse it Out
    • Lids dish soap

      Remove the lids and rinse them thoroughly with hot water and dish soap.

    • Step 3: Swab the Decks
    • Rubbing alcohol swabs

      If possible, remove any excess parts from the lids and clean them out with a cotton Q-tip soaked in alcohol.

    • Step 4: Rinse Again
    • Lid

      Rinse out your lids thoroughly with hot water and let dry.

    • Step 5: Clean Your Straw (If Applicable)
    Straw pipe cleaner

    Pour dish soap onto a pipe cleaner and rinse out with hot water.

    More Tips on Cleaning Drinkware

    The cleaning process listed above works for a wide variety of custom drinkware of different materials. However, there are some other important pieces of advice for washing your promotional drinkware.

    Washing Aluminum or Stainless Steel
    The vinegar or baking soda doesn't work as well for colored aluminum bottles. If you scrub hard enough, the color will come off and the silver metal will peek through. The better option is to preserve your water bottle's color by hand-washing with soap and hot water instead.

    Stainless steel tumbler

    Avoid Using Bleach
    You may stumble across articles that encourage the use of bleach. However, this is strongly discouraged. Bleach is a dangerous, harsh chemical that can damage your bottle's color and custom design. Save the bleach for your mid-life crisis. You'll need it to recreate the frosted tip hairstyle boy bands liked in the 90s.


    Some Are Dishwasher Safe
    It's not all dark skies when it comes to using your dishwasher. Some sports bottles are able to go on the top rack. Still, it's a good idea to always dedicate some time to handwashing your drinkware. It may seem tedious, but it gets your water bottles, tumblers, and travel mugs a lot cleaner in the long run. Not to mention, the custom imprint will be less likely to come off the bottle.

    Dishwasher safe

    Why Should You Clean Your Reusable Drinkware?

    Bacteria likes to hide in your water bottles, tumblers, and travel mugs. Even if you think you're cleaning them thoroughly, it's still a good idea to do a deep cleaning at least once a week. If not, you could let gross germs and buildup accumulate in your favorite drinkware.

    Stats About Drinkware

    Stats 1 icon

    There's an average of 300,000 bacteria cells per square inch in a water bottle after one week without cleaning.

    Stats 2 icon

    An athlete's water bottle has roughly 313,499 colony-forming units per square centimeter.

    Stats 3 icon

    Over 60% of the germs found on water bottles could make you sick.

    Stats 4 icon

    Your water bottle could be harboring more germs than a dog bowl.

    The Bottom Line

    We know you have a special connection to your custom drinkware. From family reunions to company trade shows, each water bottle and travel tumbler has a story. That's why you can maintain their custom design with this easy cleaning process. All you have to do is organize your kitchen cabinet and follow the simple steps above. Worst case scenario, if you don't feel like doing it yourself, it's always a good chore for the kids at home!

    Alyssa Mertes

    Alyssa Mertes

    Alyssa is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products. As a promo expert, she's uncovered the world's first custom tote bag, interviewed the guy behind rock band ACDC's logo, and had a piece published by the Advertising Specialty Institute, a leader in the promotional products industry.