How to Clean a Coffee Thermos: Do’s and Don’ts

crazy by Editorial Staff | Posted on February 24th, 2021

People on-the-go are definitely familiar to the wonders of having a coffee thermos to keep their coffee warm for longer as they go through their day. But, it would be no new information for these people that thermos can easily trap unpleasant smells and stains. In this article, we’ll let you know how to properly clean your thermos to level up your coffee experience.


Cleaning 101

Generally, you can use the cleaning ingredients you use in cleaning your coffee maker when cleaning your thermos. Here are some methods you may choose from:

coffee thermos

Denture tablets

Denture tablets

Things you need:

  • 3-6 cups of hot water (check your thermos’ capacity)
  • 1-2 denture tablets
  • Bottle cleaning brush

How to:

  1. Pour in hot or lukewarm water at least halfway up.
  2. Let the water sit for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Throw in the denture tablets and close the lid.
  4. Let that sit for 2-3 hours to allow the solution to soften the stains.
  5. Scrub away residue with the use of a bottle brush.
  6. Rinse with clean water until all signs of the denture cleaner are gone.
  7. Let it rest upside down and uncovered until it dries. 

Salt and ice

Salt

Things you need:

  • Ice cubes
  • Kosher or sea salt

How to:

  1. Crush enough ice cubes to fill a quarter of your thermos.
  2. Add 2-3 tablespoons of sea salt.
  3. Close the lid tightly and shake the thermos.
  4. Take the solution out and rinse with water.
  5. Let it dry uncovered and upside down.

Vinegar and baking soda

Things you need:

  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • ½ cup distilled white vinegar
  • Bottle cleaning brush
  • Hot water

How to:

  1. Preferably done on your sink, add white vinegar and baking soda into the thermos.
  2. Wait until the fizzing chemical reaction calms down.
  3. Fill the thermos with hot water.
  4. Let that sit uncovered for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Scrub away using the bottle brush targeting any remaining buildup.
  6. Rinse with hot water twice or until the vinegar smell disappears. 

For tougher stains, you may opt to use hydrogen peroxide instead. Just ensure to rinse it extra well!

Dishwashing powder detergent

Dishwashing powder detergent

Things you need: 

  • 1 tablespoon of dishwashing powder detergent
  • Hot water
  • Bottle cleaning brush

How to:

  1. Add 1 tablespoon of dishwashing powder into the thermos.
  2. Add 2-3 cups of hot water.
  3. Close the lid tightly and shake for 30 seconds.
  4. Fill the thermos with hot water.
  5. Let that sit uncovered overnight.
  6. Scrub away in the morning.
  7. Rinse the thermos properly.
  8. Let it dry uncovered and upside down.

Lemon juice

Lemon juice

Things you need:

  • 1 lemon
  • Bottle cleaning brush

How to:

  1. Mix lemon juice with water in a 50:50 ratio.
  2. Pour the solution into the thermos.
  3. Let that sit for 30 minutes.
  4. Scrub away with a bottle brush.
  5. Rinse the container with clean water until the lemon scent disappears.

Eggshells

Eggshells

Things you need:

  • Eggshells
  • Sun
  • Bottle cleaning brush

How to:

  1. Let the eggshells dry under the sun.
  2. Crush the dried shells and put them into the thermos/
  3. Add boiling water and close the lid tightly. 
  4. Shake the thermos.
  5. Let that sit for 15 minutes.
  6. Scrub away using a bottle brush.
  7. Rinse thoroughly.

Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide

hydrogen peroxide

Things you need:

  • ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda

How to:

  1. Mix hydrogen peroxide and baking soda together.
  2. Pour the mixture into the thermos and stir.
  3. Shake the thermos gently with no lid on.
  4. Let that sit for 30 minutes.
  5. Rinse thoroughly.

Antacids

Antacids

Things you need:

  • 3-4 effervescent antacid tablets (such as Alka-Seltzer)
  • Hot water

How to:

  1. Drop 3-4 tablets into the thermos.
  2. Add hot water. The hotter, the better!
  3. Let that sit overnight with the lid off.
  4. Rinse thoroughly in the morning.

Don’ts

  • Don’t throw your thermos into the dishwasher as this can be too abrasive.
  • Don’t use harsh abrasives such as Comet.
  • Don’t use bleach.
  • Don’t stop rinsing until you get rid of the smell of whatever cleaning agent you used.

Final words

The key in keeping your thermos smell- and stain-free is by cleaning it regularly. It’s no rocket science but it’s easy to set it aside. Some of the methods we’ve discussed are very quick to do so don’t skip out on cleaning from now on!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links. Remember to support us by purchasing through the Amazon/Walmart/Impact Radius links provided. Last update on 2024-06-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.

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Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.