Cleaning a well used travel mug

A Clean Travel Mug is a Beautiful Thing

I enjoy drinking a cup of tea almost every day. In fact, I have a Contigo travel mug that I use to brew my tea in the morning and take to work. I prefer making my own tea at home where I have many choices instead of at work where there is only the cheap work supplied tea. I also feel that the temperature of the water when brewing the tea is important, and it can be difficult to get boiling water at work.

There is a downside though to using the same travel mug over and over again. Even though I wash the mug out every day, scrub it with a brush and use soap on it, I still get a dark, brown buildup in the mug.


Travel Mug Ready to be Cleaned

Travel Mug Ready to be Cleaned


While researching different ways to clean this residue off the mug I found the following method.

  1. Place the travel mug in a sink.
  2. Add a tablespoon of baking soda.
  3. Add a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide.
  4. Add boiling water to the mug until it reaches the top.

This could not be any easier! I was amazed at how clean my mug turned out. After adding the boiling water the liquid will fizz up and may run over the edges, however, that is normal. In fact, you’ll be able to hear the sound of the peroxide and baking soda interacting together and forming thousands of little bubbles.

I could actually see the liquid and bubbles go from clear looking to a dark brown in less than a minute.

Fizzing Travel Mug

Fizzing Travel Mug

After about 5 – 10 minutes add cold water to the mixture in the mug. Then, carefully, pour out the liquid into the sink and down the drain. After my first attempt on my mug, which I have been using almost every day for a year, almost all of the residue had come off. I took a bottle brush and scrubbed on what was left and almost all the rest came off. I’ll admit my first try I was a bit impatient, and probably should have left it soaking for a few more minutes. I redid the process and the remaining residue also came off. The result? A travel mug interior that looked brand new. The inside of my travel mug is stainless steel and I could not see the steel before starting this cleaning process.

Clean Travel Mug

Sparkling Clean Travel Mug

Since this process was so effective and easy I then proceeded to clean the other travel mugs in our house. They all came out sparkling clean and looking like new. I don’t know about you, but if I can get something super clean without having to scrub on it for hours at a time, I’m all for it.

On a side note, this work for coffee stained travel mugs as well. So whether you enjoy tea, coffee, or hot chocolate, give this a try.

Enjoy a clean mug!

– Jason Snell