While you may just be using your Hydro Flask bottle for water it can still build up hidden mold and generally speaking you want to clean your bottle well every day or two to ensure that it is clean.
So how do you clean your Hydro Flask bottle properly every time so you can ensure there is no mold, no stains and it is completely clean?
To clean Hydro Flask bottle properly you must wash it in warm soapy water, ideally with a bottle brush. To clean the lid properly you must remove the rubber gasket and scrub it to get rid of any mold. Failure to do this can lead to hidden mold and health problems.
In this article I'll show you step-by-step exactly what you need to do to give your Hydro Flask a solid clean. The good news is it doesn't take very long.
First we are going to look at how to clean the main bottle of your Hydro Flask. This is the easiest part to clean and honestly it's pretty difficult to get wrong.
The lid however is a bit more intricate and needs some more attention to detail and this is something that people often overlook.
How To Hand Wash Your Hydro Flask Bottle
Step 1: Rinse
First, make sure you tip out any remnants of your drink left in your bottle (whether it be water, coffee, tea, soda or whatever) and then give it a good rinse with hot water.
Hot water is more effective at dissolving any residue left over then cold water. So this will help to get rid of any bits of dried drink stuck inside your bottle. However cold water can work too if you prefer that.
If you're like me and occasionally leave an old smoothie in your Hydro Flask for a couple of days and forgot to clean it (and now it's all dried and gross) then you may need to fill up your bottle with hot water and leave it to sit for 10 to 20 minutes.
This will allow the dried residue to absorb the water, become wet and soggy and when you go to wash your bottle it will come off much easier this way.
Step 2: Fill Up Sink With Warm Soapy Water and Wash With a Bottle Brush
Once you've rinse your bottle out fill up the sink with warm soapy water and give your Hydro Flask a good solid wash with a bottle brush. See the best Hydro Flask bottle brushes.
Bottle brushes aren't expensive and they allow you to get inside the bottle and give it a good scrubbing which you just can't do with a dish cloth as your hand won't fit in the bottle.
If you don't want to use detergent then some people like to use a more natural cleaning products like vinegar or even baking soda to clean out the insides of their bottles.
Whatever you personally prefer to use when it comes to cleaning your bowls, dishes and cups should be fine for your Hydro Flask.
DO NOT soak your Hydro Flask in warm water for long periods of time as this can cause discoloration of the outside coat of paint.
Step 3: Rinse Out
Once you've thoroughly cleaned your bottle and giving it a good scrub make sure you rinse it out well to remove any of the detergent or other cleaning products you have used.
If you miss this step then you can still have detergent residue in your bottle and when you fill it up with water your water is going to taste funny.
So just give it a quick rinse under a running tap and tip out the excess water.
Step 4: Leave To Air Out and Dry
Once you've cleaned and rinse out your Hydro Flask you want to leave it to dry.
For best results you wanted to be upside down so any excess water can drip out. But you also want to make sure that air can still get into the bottle.
Put your Hydro Flask on a drying rack or put it on a slight angle so air can get in. Don't put it completely upside down on the bench as this will block off any air flow.
Above you can see me drying my 18 oz Hydro Flask which I absolutely love (and so do my kids). In future I may get a bigger one but for now this does the trick for me. Click here to see the latest price of 18 oz Hydro Flask bottles at Amazon.
Are Hydro Flask Bottles Dishwasher Safe?
Hydro Flask bottles are NOT dishwasher safe and if you put them in the dishwasher you can compromise the vacuum seal as well as discolor the outside paint.
If the vacuum seal gets compromised then your bottle will no longer insulate properly and it won't be able to hold ice or hot drinks for long periods of time.
Read the full article: Are Hydro Flask bottles dishwasher safe?
Well some Hydro Flask lids can be put in the dishwasher the dishwasher will actually NOT effectively clean the lid. This is due to the fact that the lid has a rubber gasket which can collect moisture and can grow grow hidden mold.
How To Properly Clean Your Hydro Flask Lid
If you don't clean the lid of your hydro flask properly then the lid will start to grow hidden mold under the rubber gasket which is not good for your health.
This occurs in all of the Hydro Flask lids and can be a bit tedious to clean, but it's important that you do it on a regular basis.
Mold can build up quite quickly if you're not careful. While I will wash my Hydro Flask daily, I might only wash the lid this thoroughly once every 1-2 weeks. You may want to do it more than me if you're worried about it.
The below video shows a doctor talking about mold buildup in a Yeti Cup lid. While these lids are different from Hydro Flask lids the same build up can occur.
Step 1: Remove Rubber Gasket With a Knife (Be Careful Not To Cut It)
In order to clean the litter properly your first need to remove the rubber gasket from the lid.
While the rubber gasket is in a different place for the standard mouth lids compare to the wide mouth lids the process for removing and washing the gasket is the same.
These rubber gaskets aren't really designed to come off easily and I wasn't able to remove them with just my hands.
To remove them use a dull butter knife to pry the gasket away from the lid but be careful not to cut or break the rubber as you do so.
Step 2: Scrub The Plastic Lid Making Sure You Remove All Mold From All The Grooves
Given that most hydro flask lids are black it can be difficult to see if you have mold buildup on your lid.
Make sure you scrub your lid thoroughly paying close attention to the plastic that is usually under the rubber gasket.
Scrub well using a dish cloth or your bottle brush to brush away any mold.
Step 3: Clean The Inside Of The Rubber Gasket
The rubber gasket is where the majority of the mold will build up.
I like to start by rubbing the inside of the rubber gasket using a dish cloth. You can also use a paper towel if you prefer.
When it's wet you should see the mold come off quite easily.
Step 4: Clean The Outside of The Rubber Gasket, Making Sure To Get In Every Crevice
For most Hydro Flask lids the rubber gasket should just be one solid piece of rubber and so cleaning the outside is quite easy.
However, if you're using a press in straw lid or a Tumbler lid you will need to take more care as there are some parts sticking out more than others and you'll need to make sure you get in the crevices to clean out any mold build up.
Step 5: For Straw Lid Use Straw Brush To Clean Straw
If you have a straw lid then the straw should detach from the lid and cleaned in the warm soapy water with a straw brush.
If you don't have a straw brush make sure you get one as otherwise straws are very difficult to clean inside of.
Step 6: Straw Lid Also Requires Further Cleaning Under Spout
If you have a straw lid then there is further clean required.
You must first remove the spout you drink from by pulling it forward till it pops off. Clean it well and also clean the rubber gasket under the spout.
Step 7: Dry and Then Place Back Together
Leave the different parts of your lid to dry separately to each other.
You can dry them with a tea towel or paper towel or just leave them on a drying rack or on the bench to dry in the air.
Once dry reassemble your lid, gasket and any other parts before putting the lid back on your Hydro Flask bottle.
What Cleaning Products NOT To Use On a Hydro Flask
Hydro Flask bottles are made from stainless steel and the exterior is powder coated. While these bottles are durable there are some chemicals and cleaning products you should not use on your Hydro Flask.
You need to be especially careful of the exterior of your bottle as the wrong cleaning products can discolour the paint or scratch the paint off completely.
Rough Steel Wool or Steel Brushes
Using rough steel wall or steel brushes especially on the exterior of your bottle is highly likely to cause scratches to both the paint and the stainless steel.
Fine steel wall can be good for removing stains on the inside of your bottle but I never recommend it for the outside of your bottle as it will scratch off the paint.
Abrasive Cleaners Will Scratch The Stainless Steel
Some cleaning products, especially the ones that are designed to remove difficult stains, have abrasive cleaners in them.
Just like the steel wall mentioned above these abrasive cleaners could potentially scratch your Hydro Flask bottle and remove the paint.
This isn't a huge deal on the inside of your bottle but be very very careful on the outside.
Bleach With Stain or Damage Stainless Steel
What bleach can be a good cleaning products for removing mold and other bad smells stainless steel is susceptible to corrosion when exposed to bleach.
Bleach can cause permanent damage to your Hydro Flask bottle and the stainless steel can react with the bleach and become completely stained and ugly looking.
So definitely avoid bleach at all costs.
How To Remove Stains From The Inside of Your Hydro Flask Bottle
Lastly let's look at how to remove intense stains from the inside of your Hydro Flask bottle.
From time to time I have left tea, coffee or smoothies in my Hydro Flask for longer than I'd like to admit. Over time stains build up on the interior that a basic wash just won't get rid of.
But because hydro flats are made from stainless steel you can actually bring them back to a near perfect shine with the proper cleaning ingredients.
PLEASE NOTE: I am currently talking about cleaning the inside of your Hydro Flask not the outside. Using the below cleaning methods could scratch or remove the paint from the outside of your Hydro Flask so be careful.
Use 0000 Steel Wool
0000 Steel Weel is an ultra-fine steel wool. Using a coarser type of steel wool can show big obvious scratches to the stainless steel but this ultra-fine wool is more like giving it a polish.
Rip off a bit of steel wool and push into the inside of your bottle. Then use your bottle brush or a stick to rub the wool around on the inside of the bottle, making sure to pay close attention to the stained areas.
Once complete remove the wool and give your bottle a good wash and rinse using the methods talked about up above.
Use a Magic Eraser
Another alternative to steel wool is a magic eraser which can be great at removing stains.
I talked about this in my article on removing tough stains from your Yeti cooler. Magic Erasers are made of melamine foam which acts like a SUPER-fine sand paper.
The abrasive structure of the foam is great for polishing away hard stains and leaving the inside of your bottle looking shiny and new.
What If My Hydro Flask Smells Like Mold?
If your Hydro Flask smells like mold then you'll want to take some extra steps towards cleaning it and getting rid of any mold or residue that may have built up.
Cleaning ingredients like vinegar and bicarb soda are great for this and making sure you clean the lid and maybe even replace the gasket or the lid itself may be needed.
Need a New Hydro Flask Lid?
If your lid is too dirty it may be time to throw out the old one and buy a new one. Hydro Flask have a variety of lid options available for you to choose from.
Standard Mouth Flex Cap
The Standard Mouth Flex Cap is the standard screw cap that comes with all Standard Mouth Hydro Flask bottles.
It screws on to create a waterproof seal and screws off when you want to drink
Standard Mouth Sports Cap
The Sport Cap is a push top cap that fits Standard Mouth bottles. Push it down to seal it off and make it water proof. Pull the rubber out to drink. Much quicker and easier than the Flex Cap.
Wide Mouth Flex Cap
This is the standard lid that comes with all Wide Mouth Hydro Flask bottles (except the Kids bottles).
It screws on to create a waterproof seal and screws off when you want to drink
Wide Mouth Flex Sip Cap
The Flex Sip Cap fits Wide Mouth Hydro Flask bottles and has a rotating top that can be rotated closed to make it water tight or rotated open for drinking.
Wide Mouth Straw Lid
The Wide Mouth Straw Lid comes with two straws and a straw brush. This makes drinking a breeze and can be closed to make your bottle water tight.
You can also use without the straw similar to the sports cap.
The Hydro Flip is specifically designed for the Hydro Flask coffee flasks but can also be used on any wide mouth bottle.
This cap has a flip lid to open and close it but be careful as it's not 100% water tight when closed. Best for use in the car or at work, not in your backpack.
Time To Upgrade Your Hydro Flask?
Maybe your Hydro Flask has seen better days or like me your kids keep taking yours or you want a bigger one.
If thats the case click here to see the latest prices on new Hydro Flasks at Amazon
Or if you need help picking the right sized Hydro Flask for you click here to see my Hydro Flask Sizes Chart.