Introduction: 5 Ways to Clean a Funky Water Bottle

About: I've worked for Instructables off and on since 2006 building and documenting just about everything I enjoy doing. I am now the Creative Programs founder and manager for Autodesk and just finished building out…
Here are 5 effective ways to get funky smells and odors out of your Klean Kanteen, or any other water bottle for that matter.

Klean Kanteen has a website that covers these methods - some of the suggested tactics work better than others.  Check out the following methods and learn which ones work best.

Step 1: Take Me to Funky Town

Funky water bottles can happen any time you put anything besides water into them.  The equation for the perfect funky water bottle storm is something like this (+/- a few variables):

juice and or coffee + hot car + time = FUNK 

In the image below we left this insulated Klean Kanteen in the car for a few days with tea in it.  When we opened it up there was mold everywhere growing on not only the tea bag, but the walls of the water bottle themselves.

Step 2: Wash With Bottle Brush

We're specifically not going to cover simply washing the bottle - I'm pretty sure that everyone can figure that one out without an Instructable. 

First up - wash the bottle using a bottle brush with hot water and soap.

The bottle brush physically removes the funk from the water bottle with scrubbing action.

Step 3: Wash in Dishwasher

Stainless steel water bottles are dishwasher safe.  Put the water bottle into the dishwasher for a full "hot" cycle.  The high temps and strong(er) dishwasher detergent may result in success.

If you've still got funk, read on.

Step 4: Overnight Boiling Water Soak

If the dishwasher didn't work, or say you don't even have a dishwasher (like me), pour boiling water into the bottle and let it sit overnight.  

At the end of the soak, add soap, wash vigorously and reassess.

Step 5: Baking Soda and Water Soak

Another method that works really well is to add one or two heaping teaspoons of baking soda and warm water into the water bottle and let that soak for a few hours.  

After the soak wash vigorously with soap and water and reassess.

Step 6: Overnight Vinegar Soak

I found that this is the most effective method when dealing with a funky water bottle and perhaps the most simple. 

Fill the water bottle with regular white vinegar and let it soak overnight.

(make sure you've removed all of the baking soda first otherwise you'll have a mini 2nd grade DIY volcano on your  hands)

In the morning wash with soap and water.  The bottle will have a slight vinegar odor for the first few minutes, but that will quickly dissipate and the water bottle should smell fresh and clean.

I'm sure that there are other methods to clean a funky water bottle.  Leave comments with them and I'll test them out and upload them as additional steps to the Instructable in the future.

Good luck getting rid of the funk!