So you’ve got your hands on a shiny new hydro flask that keeps your drinks icy cold on hot days and toasty warm during the cold ones. The only downside to your purchase: it won't stay clean forever. This leads to a commonly asked question: what’s the best way to clean a hydro flask? In this article, we’ll look at six methods of cleaning your prized bottle so that it looks as good as new again.
Before cleaning you’ll need to disassemble the flask. Unscrew the lid and remove the straw so that you can get into every corner of the vessel. Now you're ready to clean.
Related article: How to get food coloring off your hands.
6 methods for cleaning a hydro flask
Here is a selection of simple cleaning options that use common household items.
1. Use the dishwasher
This is almost always the first question that gets asked – can I wash a hydro flask in the dishwasher? The answer is yes and no. The lid and straw are suitable for the top rack of a dishwasher. Keep in mind that a dishwasher will cause more wear and tear than regular hand washing. But if you want to give these parts a good clean without the hassle of doing it by hand, this is a good option.
The actual flask is not dishwasher safe. Heat can damage the insulation and also discolor the external powder coating. So don’t do it.
2. Hot soapy water
This is the way most “hydro flaskers” clean their bottles. Fill a sink with hot water and detergent then add vessel, lid and straw to the water. Use a bottle brush if you have one to give everything a good scrub then rinse with clean water and place on a rack to dry.
Be sure to place the flask on the rack upside down so that all the water drains out.
Special note: Don’t leave the bottle in hot soapy water to soak as it can cause damage to the insulation.
3. Warm water with baking soda
For decades, baking soda has been used in homes as a safe method to remove stubborn stains on the inside of the flask. Use baking soda if your flask has any unwanted stains that regular cleaning won’t get rid of.
- Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to a small bowl then add a little water so that it turns into a paste.
- Use a bottle brush or pot scrubber to spread some of the paste over the affected area then scrub it thoroughly.
- Repeat step two until the stain disappears.
You won’t want to use baking soda every time the flask gets washed. It isn’t necessary.
4. White distilled vinegar
Distilled white vinegar can be used if you don’t have any baking soda at home. Once again, it’s useful for removing stains on the inside of the flask but not necessary for everyday cleaning.
- Add about ½ a cup of vinegar to the flask and swirl it around so that all the insides get a good soaking from the vinegar.
- Leave the hydro flask to sit for 5 minutes with the vinegar inside still.
- Tip out the vinegar and rinse with clean warm water.
- If necessary, repeat the process again until clean.
5. Lemon juice
The acidity of lemon juice makes it an effective cleaning agent. Not only does it remove stains, it’s also good for removing unpleasant odors.
- Pour the juice from half a lemon into your hydro flask.
- Add a half cup of boiling water and then swirl the liquid for a few seconds.
- Allow the liquid to work its magic inside the flask before tipping out and thoroughly rinsing with fresh water.
6. Hot water
In a hurry? No time for serious cleaning? A quick rinse with some boiling water will be fine for cleaning your bottle. It won’t sanitize the hydro flask though; this option is a good everyday cleaning method to keep your bottle clean and to reduce stain buildup.
Tips to keep your hydro flask in pristine condition
- Always hand wash a hydro flask before its first use.
- Avoid harsh cleaning agents like bleach or chlorine as they’ll rust stainless steel
- Never expose a hydro flask to extreme heat from a stovetop or microwave.
- Do not wash the entire hydro flask in a dishwasher. The cap and straw is okay though.
- When storing, leave the lid slightly off to allow air to circulate and avoid mold growth.
Why it’s important to keep your flask clean
To help avoid medical bills
Your hydro flask probably covers a lot of miles and can end up in some less than sanitary places. Even if it never leaves home though, it will come into contact with your mouth, hands, and maybe other people’s mouths too! Needless to say, no matter how careful you are, it will get dirty and unless you are okay with potentially harmful bacteria, you really do need to clean it frequently.
To keep the bottle looking like new
If you add drinks other than water, such as coffee of juice, the materials will start to discolor and get stained If they aren’t washed. Regular washing will ensure your bottle shines like it was straight off the store shelf.
To avoid unpleasant odors
This won’t happen overnight, unless of course you drink durian juice or lutefish broth. But if you consume these ingredients, it’s likely that odors aren’t a big pain-point for you. For everyone else, odors can develop over weeks of use so we’ll include a section on this page for removing unwanted odors.
Frequently asked question
What drinks can I use in a hydro flask?
The interior of the hydro flask is made of food grade, BPA free material that is suitable for most beverages including: water, soup, juce, soda, hot chocolate and alcohol such as beer or moonshine even! The limit is your imagination.
Did you know?
Placing a hydro flask in the freezer is pointless as the walls will insulate the liquid from the cold temperature. Instead, simply drop an ice cube or two into the bottle and it will keep the beverage cold for 24 hours.
You know it’s time to clean your hydro flask when you catch yourself staring into the water trying to figure out what you’re actually looking at. To avoid this scenario, give your bottle a regular clean with soapy water. For any persistent stains and odors, consider using lemon juice, baking soda or white vinegar. All three are safe and very effective.
What’s your preferred cleaning method, in the kitchen, for getting rid of stubborn stains on metal? Let me know in the comments below.