Cleaning a Thermos

To clean a thermos easily, drop in four Alka Seltzer tablets and let soak 1 hour or more, then rinse.

By Monica from Cortez, CO


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September 13, 2013

I contacted the company that makes "Simple Green" and was told that their product will not damage a stainless steel thermos.

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12 Questions

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February 11, 2010

I have a pop top thermos that doesn't come apart, but I need to clean it. I use it everyday and I need to figure out how to clean this. I don't want to buy a new thermos. Can you help me? Thank you.

By Yvonne


February 11, 20100 found this helpful

Use a bottle brush & soapy water and a bit of bleach.

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February 13, 20100 found this helpful

You can also add alittle salt & chopped ice & shake, let sit and shake again comes out crystal clean! Also works good for your glass coffee pot.

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February 13, 20100 found this helpful

I purchased a baby bottle brush and have found it to be very useful.

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February 15, 20100 found this helpful

Add some uncooked rice & a little water & shake that should break up any sort of residue that formed. The chipped ice works really well on coffee pots.

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February 15, 20100 found this helpful

Maybe a denture cleaning tablet and warm water placed inside the thermos could clean the inside.

Those denture tablets are not expensive at the dollar-type stores. They can be used to clean a number of items; such a a vase, even to cleaning the toilet bowl. (I learned about these denture tablets right here on Thrifty Fun!)

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October 16, 2011

Does anyone have some tips on cleaning a dirty (coffee) thermos?

By Sushila


October 16, 20110 found this helpful

Let it soak in hot water and dish soap in the sink, then scrub.

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October 17, 20110 found this helpful

Get "white magic". Available for a few dollars from supermarkets. With that and just water you'll be amazed at what you can remove without the need for scrubbing.

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October 17, 20110 found this helpful

Put a small amount of soapy water in it. Then add about a teaspoon of dried rice in the thermos. Cover and shake well. This usually gets all the residue out.

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October 18, 20110 found this helpful

Most thermos's come apart. If yours does then take it apart and wash it in hot soapy water. Use sponge on a stick to get down inside to scrub there good.

If it doesn't come apart, then fill the sink with hot soapy water and soak it for a while. You can pour some vinegar inside and shake it up good first if it has built up coffee residue in it. After you get all the residue out of it, put some baking soda in it and let it sit for about an hour. That will get the vinegar smell out. Then wash it good with hot soapy water.

After you get it cleaned good, be sure and wash it after each use. If it can't be washed right away (if you're on a trip) then pour hot water (almost boiling but not quite--like what comes out of a commercial coffee pot at convenience stores or truck stops) in it and shake it up real good, then empty it.

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October 14, 2005

My son left a new stainless steel thermos in a friends car for several days with a small amount of hot chocolate in it. I cleaned out the mold by soaking with bleach but some odor still remains. How do I get out the remaining moldy odor?

Kim from Canada


By Linda W. (Guest Post)
October 14, 20050 found this helpful

Try a heavy mixture of boiling water and 1/4 cup dishwasher soap and let it soak overnight, then rinse thoroughly the next day, until all smell of the soap &/Or mold is gone. This may take a few times to completely clean it out.

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October 14, 20050 found this helpful

Kim, from Canada; I use baking soda and water,to get odors out of my thermos, it works everytime. Let it sit, for a while.

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October 16, 20050 found this helpful

Try filling the thermos with plain white vinegar and let it set overnight. Then empty it out in the morning and rinse well.

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By Kim (Guest Post)
October 19, 20050 found this helpful

Thanks for the tips. I'll give them a try and will let you know what works.

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By (Guest Post)
November 22, 20080 found this helpful

What is the best way to remove coffee stains from my thermos?

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March 11, 2017

How do you get the hot chocolate flavor out of a thermos?

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May 9, 2011

How do you remove a metallic taste from a stainless steel thermos?



May 10, 20110 found this helpful

The taste is probably not coming from the stainless steel. It is probably coming from the cap or plug which is lined with plastic or rubber. The best thing to do is not cap the thermos between washings. Leave it opened and the plug and cap opened to the air.

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May 11, 20110 found this helpful

I have the same problem with a stainless steel thermos, and it is a stainless steel taste, not plastic or rubber. I'm hoping someone posts a good solution.

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May 12, 20110 found this helpful

I have used a stainless steel thermos for years, and have no problem with metallic taste. I have found that decaf coffee doesn't keep a fresh taste and taste metallic, but that is the nature of the coffee. Regular coffee is fine. My son has a stainless steel water bottle; he has no trouble with off taste. What are you carrying in your thermos?

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May 13, 20110 found this helpful

I have a new stainless water bottle that I recently used to put iced coffee in. I ended up dumping it out because it tasted so bad, bitter & metallic. This was a new bottle I'd never used either. I washed it & air dried it without the lid on it too. I'm disappointed, hope someone else has an idea on it, I just figured I wasn't going to be able to put coffee in it.

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April 21, 2012

How do you thoroughly clean the pop top (pourable) lid to a stainless steel thermos? I don't see any way to take it apart, but it smells and needs some serious cleansing.

I have tired soaking in dishwater, bleach, and dishwasher detergent. I have wedged it open and put it through the dishwasher. Nothing helps.

By Marnie L.

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October 14, 2014

I used baking soda and ice cubes to clean the coffee residue from inside my glass lined thermos. Within thirty seconds of swirling it exploded, what did I do to get that?

By TV from Spring Hill, FL

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My thermos has black scale in it and I hope someone out there can help solve my problem. How can I remove this?

By Julie Z. from Kamloops, BC

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November 20, 2014

My husband has a flourishing thermos, but somehow the lid with spout now smells and tastes like burnt coffee. How do we get rid of it?

By Suzie D

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June 1, 2016

This is a page about cleaning a stainless steel thermos. Tea and coffee are common beverages kept in a thermos. Both can leave stains inside.

Stainless Steel Thermos against white background

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