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Thermos Needs Cleaning

Anyone have any suggestions on how best to clean the interior of a stainless steel thermos. My objective is to clean out the layers of tea stains and grunge as well as to make it as odor free as possible.

Thanks. Bryan

11 Replies
brandy3392 said

Try putting some powdered dishwashing detergent in it. Add hot water, shake, and then let it soak for a while. I did this with my very stained travel mugs, and it got them looking good as new.

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greenmanza said

You might want to get a bottle brush. Sometimes places that sell kitchen supplies or baby bottle supplies have them available. If you get a brush that is narrow enough to fit in the bottle, and has bristles at the top so it can clean the bottom of the bottle as well as the sides, that can help the tea stains come off.

You might want to use a non-scented dishwashing soap or other type of soap when you do it. Nature Clean makes an unscented dishwashing soap that I like. You can also try an acid like vinegar or citric acid powder mixed with water.

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Uniquity said

My route would be vinegar…It cleans everything. Cut it with water if you’re concerned about a smell, then rinse well with hot water. As a good stand-by, plain old boiling water can do wonders. : )

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elemental said

Uniquity is correct, use white vinegar diluted with hot water and let it set over night. The tea stains will wipe off with a paper towel. You can also use denture cleaning tablets — again, use warm water and let set over night.

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If you have a local home brew beer store go pick up some citric acid… that’s what zojirushi recommends for all of their water boilers as a cleaner/descaler agent. Vinegar in my experience works pretty well too but citric acid works better.

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brandy3392 said

Vinegar never seemed to work for me – maybe it is something in my water supply?

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I have a glass interior thermos, but I really like to use warm water and a couple of spoonfuls of baking powder. It will foam up a bit which acts a bit like a natural scrubber. Then I close the lid and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds. Open, let sit for a bit and then rinse well. This seems to deodorize things pretty well and doesn’t leave any weird odors behind either.

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I’ve got a feeling it’s going to take all of the above to get the caked on black tea out of my thermoses. Thanks much for all your suggestions. I’m on a quest to make the best tasting Earl Grey teas possible and I don’t want anything in the thermoses to alter the taste.

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LauraR said

I might suggest the vinegar and then follow up on the tougher spots with some baking soda and a brush?

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Ricky admin said

I’ve tried the baking soda, vinegar + dish detergent, no luck with the stains. Nothing seemed to work for me, that is, until I started placing it into the dishwasher. A few washes later the stains were removed.

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