If you’re anything like me, cleaning your water bottle at the end of the day is just about the last thing you want to do.
The problem is, letting it go for days (or weeks) on end without a proper cleaning can lead to mold growing and your bottle not working as well as it should.
This is especially true for Contigo Bottles. The lids have lots of small spaces where mold can grow and lots of moving parts that can jam up with gunk.
So how exactly do you clean a Contigo Bottle properly to remove mold, prevent stains and odor, and keep your lid working for as long as possible?
To properly clean a Contigo Bottle, rinse out the bottle, scrub with hot soapy water using a bottle brush, and let it air dry.
When washing the lid, make sure you’re thoroughly scrubbing all cracks and crevices, paying particular attention to the drinking spout. Every so often you need to full disassemble your Contigo lid to treat for mold in otherwise unreachable areas.
Alternatively, Contigo Bottles are top-rack dishwasher safe. Open the spout on the AutoSpout lid or flip open the flap on the underside of the AutoSeal lid before placing them bottom down and the bottle itself mouth side down.
Contigo makes some really innovative lids. But unfortunately, that’s also why they’re harder to clean than many other bottles.
Learning how to wash your Contigo properly will help make your bottle last as long as possible and prevent you from getting sick.
Before Washing Your Contigo Bottle
Before washing your Contigo Bottle, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Make sure to avoid cleaners that contain bleach, chlorine, or any other abrasive or harsh chemical. You may damage your bottle.
Dish soap or distilled white vinegar (if you prefer something more natural) both work great.
A bottle brush isn’t completely necessary to wash your Contigo (there are a few other effective methods), but a small bottle brush set is more or less mandatory to properly clean the lid.
Contigo makes their own bottle and spout cleaning set, but any bottle cleaning kit should do the trick. I personally like this 3-in-1 bottle brush set from Amazon as it's affordable and the large brush is great for my bottles and straw cleaner and smaller brush is great for cleaning it lids.
Three tools in one. Includes a long bottle brush, straw brush and detail cleaner (great for cleaning inside lid gaskets). Comes with organizer ring and storage hook,
How To Clean The Bottle Itself
Contigo Bottles are top-rack dishwasher safe. Just be sure the bottle stands upright and upside down on the rack to allow water to pass through the bottle during the wash cycle.
If you prefer to hand wash your bottle, the most effective method is to use a bottle brush. I’ve used this brush for a couple of years now and it’s worked perfectly.
- Rinse the bottle under hot running water.
- If there’s any stubborn residue or stuck-on smoothie, soak the bottle in hot, soapy water for 15 minutes or so to loosen it.
- Using hot water and dish soap (or whatever natural cleaner you prefer), thoroughly scrub all surfaces of the bottle — the outside with a sponge or washcloth and the inside with a bottle brush.
- Rinse out the bottle with hot running water, making sure to remove all soap.
- Air dry the bottle upside down on a drying rack, slightly angled to allow more airflow into the bottle.
- Store with the lid off.
How To Clean Contigo Lids
Washing the lid properly is even more important than washing the bottle itself.
If you slack off and don’t clean it as often or as thoroughly as you should, mold can grow in the cracks and crevices and make you sick.
If you’re drinking coffee, tea, or anything other than water from your bottle, the spout will collect residue and gunk and will eventually stop working.
How To Clean A Contigo AutoSpout Lid
Contigo AutoSpout lids are top rack dishwasher safe. Before placing it in the dishwasher, remove the straw, open the pop out spout, then place the lid bottom-down on the top rack.
If you’d rather hand wash your AutoSpout lid:
1. Remove the straw and open the spout.
2. Soak in hot, soapy water for 10 minutes.
3. Scrub all surfaces of the lid with a sponge or washcloth and a mild detergent.
4. Using a small bottle brush set, scrub the interior of the straw, inside the spout, in the straw hole on the lid
Also make sure you scrub the threads, and the lip around the underside of the cap.
Rinse under warm running water, making sure to run plenty of water through the spout, straw hole, and straw until all detergent is removed.
Air dry the lid on a drying rack or clean dishcloth with the spout open and straw removed.
How To Clean A Contigo AutoSeal Lid
Contigo AutoSeal lids are also top rack dishwasher safe. Before placing your lid in the dishwasher, flip open the flap on the underside of the lid (as seen in the video above), then place bottom-down on the top rack.
If you’d prefer to hand wash your AutoSeal lid:
- Flip open the flap on the underside of the lid (as seen above).
- Soak the lid in hot, soapy water for 10 minutes.
- Scrub the body of the lid with a sponge or washcloth and a mild detergent.
- Use a small bottle brush set to scrub the lip around the underside of the cap, under the flap, and as far into the drinking spout as you can manage (while holding the AutoSeal button).
- Rinse under warm running water until all detergent is removed. Don’t forget to hold the AutoSeal button to allow water to run through the drinking spout as well.
- Air dry on a drying rack or clean dishcloth with the flap still open.
How Often Should You Wash A Contigo Bottle?
So now we know how to properly clean a Contigo Bottle, but how often does a Contigo actually need to be washed?
In a perfect world, every day.
But let’s be honest. That’s probably not happening.
If you’re only drinking water from your bottle, you can probably go a few days between cleanings with no real problem. Just dump out the bottle every night, rinse it (letting water go through the spout as well), and leave the lid off to air dry.
If you’re drinking coffee, tea, smoothies, or anything other than water, you really should be washing your bottle daily.