How To Clean Aluminum Water Bottles

August 29, 2022
Fitness & Lifestyle

Why does my Aluminum Water Bottle Smell?

There are many reasons why your aluminum water bottle may have an off-putting odor. For one, the liquid that you placed in the bottle may have a smell of its own: like coffee, teas, and fruit juices. These beverages contribute to the smell of your bottle. However, there are other reasons for a smell in your aluminum bottle as well:

  • Mold - A musty odor indicates the presence of mold and mildew in your bottle, particularly if you have a habit of storing your bottle while it’s still moist. Look around the cap and silicone areas of the bottle for any black, brown, or green spots that will indicate mold. 

  • Coffee Stains - Almost everyone knows that coffee tends to stain surfaces, but the odor of coffee stains smells nothing like a good morning. The smell of stale coffee can linger in your aluminum bottle, causing a foul odor to emit from the material.

  • Stagnant Water - If you’ve left your water in too long, then you might have the clammy smell of stagnant water in your aluminum bottle. The smell, similar to canals and sewages, is emitted by water-borne bacteria. The bacteria is generally harmless, but you certainly wouldn’t want to drink it. 

  • Cleaning Products - did you clean your bottle recently but noticed it took on a bleach or soap-like smell? The bottle may have absorbed the smell of your cleaning products, causing it to emit an odor. You may have not completely rinsed the bottle either.

To remove these smells, simply wash your aluminum bottle using a neutral-scented soap, water, and add some baking soda. For mold and bacteria, you may want to pour hot water to kill off any remaining organisms from your water bottle.

How to Clean Aluminum Water Bottles

Aluminum stainless steel water bottles are becoming more and more popular, as they're much more durable than plastic bottles and are usually much easier to clean. Most aluminum stainless steel bottles come with insulation, keeping the drinks you put in them hot or cool for longer. 

However, improperly cleaned aluminum stainless steel bottles can sometimes add an unpleasant scent or flavor to your drink. Also, as part of the oxidation from the bottle's contact with air and water, bumpy residue can also collect on the sides and bottom of your bottle.

Thankfully, cleaning your aluminum bottle is an easy task. The key to keeping your aluminum bottle clean is with regular washing using soap and warm water, as well as regular use of cleaning tablets and a bottle brush.  Here's a step-by-step guide on how to clean an aluminum water bottle:

Step 1

Once every couple of days, pour 2 tbsp. of white vinegar into the aluminum bottle, shaking well and making sure the vinegar spreads all over the inside of the bottle.


Step 2

Remove the steel water bottle's cap and add warm, soapy water until the bottle is half-full. Scrub the interior of the bottle with a brush, removing any residue. 

With persistent oxidation bumps, you can use one aluminum bottle tablet  to help wash them out. Paired with the aluminum brush, they should completely eliminate any residue left on the bottom and sides of your container. 

Also, remember not to use the abrasive types on your bottles, as it could cause damage to the inside coating.  Both the tablets and the brush should be readily available in department and grocery stores, or in the store where you bought the bottle.


Step 3

Rinse out the liquid in the bottle. By now, your container should be like new. If a smell persists, you can mix some baking soda and vinegar in the container and shake it vigorously to remove any lingering smells and residue. Rinse the bottle out thoroughly before proceeding to wash it with dish soap.


Step 4

To wash the cap, you can leave it in hot water mixed with vinegar for around 15 minutes. This should remove any strange smells that emanate from the cap. Rinse the cap thoroughly before cleaning it regularly with dish detergent.


Step 5

For cleaning the exterior of the bottle, you can place a small amount of white vinegar on a clean cloth and use it to rub down the exteriors of your container. Leave it there to sit for one minute before rinsing it out.


How to Remove Rust in an Aluminum Water Bottle

When aluminum is submerged in water, or is constantly exposed to moisture, it can rust as a result of the chemical reaction between the aluminum material and water. While rust isn’t directly dangerous, it is not safe to drink from a rusty aluminum water bottle. 

Fortunately, there are ways to remove rust from aluminum. One is through the use of lemon and baking soda. Lemon dissolves the rust, while baking soda lifts away the rust from the metal material, and provides an abrasive action.


Step 1

Make a paste out of baking soda and lemon juice. Apply the paste directly onto rusted areas. Leave it on for 10 minutes.


Step 2 

Take some steel wool or scouring pad and start scrubbing at the rusted areas. Be sure to go gentle and slow, and work in circular motions to avoid scratching the aluminum.


Step 3 

For the bottle interior, you may need to use a bottle brush to clean out the rust. Keep scrubbing until you no longer see the rust on the bottle. 

Step 4

Rinse the bottle, and let it completely dry before storing. Avoid keeping water or moisture in the bottle for extended periods, and repeat the process if rust spots remain. 


Final Word

A few common household products should be all you need to keep your stainless steel water bottle in tip-top shape for longer. After each use, remember to wash it thoroughly and ensure that none of the drink residue collects and accumulates in the interiors. If you've neglected your tumbler for quite a bit, then simply follow the steps above to get it squeaky and shiny like new again!

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