Various methods for cleaning stainless steel water bottles

clean stainless steel water bottles

Cleaning stainless steel water bottles is a piece of cake. Just fill it with warm soapy water, put the lid on, and give it a few vigorous shakes. Empty the bottle and then rinse it with warm water. Put it in the colander to dry. If you need to do a deeper clean, use equal amounts of baking soda and bleach, or fill it half full with vinegar and half full with water and leave it on overnight.

Clean water bottle by hand

1. Fill the bottle halfway with warm water and a soapy solution. The easiest way to clean the stainless steel water bottles is to fill them halfway with water and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Cap the bottle. Shake it vigorously for several seconds. Unscrew the bottle and pour out the liquid.

2. Rinse and dry the bottle. Immediately fill and empty the bottle several times with warm water. Put it upside down in the dish drainer to dry it.

3. Use a bottle brush. If the mouth of the bottle is too narrow for you to reach the bottom with a conventional sponge, you can use a bottle brush to do the cleaning. This brush is an elongated tool that will be used to clean the deepest recesses of your bottle. These utensils are especially useful if you have filled the bottle with liquids other than water. 

  • Some stainless steel bottles come with their brush. But if yours didn’t come with one, you can get one online or at your local outdoor supply store.

4. Scrub the thread fillets. If your bottle is a screw cap, it is important to clean the fillets around the mouth. To do this, just moisten a sponge with soapy water and grab the inside and outside of the bottle’s mouth with the sponge. Rub the sponge down the length of the bottle’s mouth several times to clean it.

Use alternative cleaning methods

1. Put your water bottle in the dishwasher. If you have a dishwasher, you can simply put the bottle in there with the rest of the dishes when you’re ready to wash a load. Put the bottle in the dishwasher upside down and uncapped. Also put any removable parts, like the lid or straw, in the dishwasher.

  • Add the proper amount of dishwashing detergent, close the dishwasher, and start a regular cycle.
  • Before you put the stainless steel bottle in the dishwasher, make sure the product is dishwasher safe. For example, the bottom of the bottle might say, “Dishwasher safe.” Painted or insulated bottles are probably not dishwasher safe.

2. Use vinegar to clean the bottle. Fill the bottle 1/5 full with white vinegar. Fill the rest of it with water. Let the vinegar act overnight. In the morning, throw away the vinegar and water mixture. Rinse the bottle well with water, then place it in the drainer upside down to dry naturally.

3. Use baking soda and bleach to clean the bottle. Add 1 teaspoon of bleach and 1 teaspoon of baking soda to the water bottle. Fill the rest with water. Leave the mixture to act overnight. Empty the liquid the next day, then rinse the bottle well. Put it upside down to dry. 

  • This cleaning method is effective for very foul-smelling stainless steel water bottles.

Choosing the right stainless steel water bottle

1. Look for a bottle with a removable bottom. Many of the newer stainless steel bottles have screw cap bottoms. This way you will have better access to the bottom and inside of the bottle, which could be impossible in bottles with narrow necks and mouths. 

2. Choose a wide-mouth bottle. Bacteria can hide in the bevels of narrow-mouth water bottles. A wide-mouth bottle will limit the curvature of its internal surface, which will minimize the surface area that bacteria prefer. The interior of wide-mouth bottles is easier to see and access, which will make cleaning easier.

3. Make sure the bottle is made of food-grade stainless steel. Not all stainless steels are the same. There are various types of stainless steel alloys. Before purchasing a bottle of this material, check the label or the bottle itself to make sure it is made of 18/8 or 304 stainless steel. These are the two food-grade stainless steel indexes.


  • Do not heat or freeze the stainless steel bottle, or you may damage it.
  • Keep the bottle away from heat. Stainless steel is quite strong, but if you leave your bottle in high temperatures (for example, in a hot car) for too long, it could warp.
  • Clean the water bottle at the end of each day. If you have used it during the day, you will have to clean it. 

Nancy Myers

I look forward to sharing my discoveries, comments, tips, and suggestions to improve the quality of your Home. My purpose is to recommend only high-quality products, which help you live better.