How To Remove a Coffee Smell From a Thermos

pineapples and tumblers

Reusable stainless steel thermos flasks can be great. They’re portable, durable, good for the planet and keep your drinks and soups nice and hot. But, one thing many people struggle with is removing that pesky coffee smell from stainless steel. Luckily, we’re here to tell you the 3 best methods for removing the lingering odour.

3 methods to remove the coffee smell from your travel cup

These 3 methods on how to remove the coffee smell from your thermos are quick, simple and something you can easily do in the comfort of your own home and with products that you may have just lying around the house!

Vinegar and baking soda

What you’ll need:

  • White distilled vinegar 
  • Baking soda
  • Hot water

First, you’ll need to pour around 4oz of vinegar into the thermos, then add 1tbsp of baking soda. With a spoon, mix the solution around until it starts to fizz and froth.

Once the fizzing has stopped, fill the thermos to the top with hot water and then leave it to stand for about 10 minutes to dissolve both the coffee stains and the smell. But, be warned, don’t put the lid back on as the solution is extremely reactive. 

After the 10 minutes is up, use a small bottle cleaning brush and scrub the inside of the thermos. Give the thermos a good rinse out with hot water and ensure no vinegar or baking soda remains. Then either wipe it dry with a clean cloth or leave it to air dry.

Dishwasher powder

What you’ll need:

  • 1tbsp of dishwasher powder
  • Hot water

This method is super simple and is something that can be done on a regular basis. To begin, put the dishwasher powder into your travel mug and then pour the hot water in it. Put the lid back on and give the bottle a good shake.

Then, fill the thermos to the top with warm water and leave it to soak for a couple of hours, or even overnight if you can, with the lid off. Lastly, pour out the majority of the solution and scrub the inside of the bottle with a small brush. Rinse it out a couple of times until no dishwasher powder is leftover and let it air dry.

Salt and ice

What you’ll need:

  • 3tbsp of salt
  • Ice cubes

Fill the thermos a quarter of the way with the ice cubes and then add 2 or 3 tablespoons of salt depending on the size of the mug but be quick as you don’t want the ice to melt! 

Secure the lid and shake the bottle vigorously, both the ice and the salt will exfoliate the inside of the mug removing both the smell and any stains. Once you’re happy with the results, rinse the thermos out and again leave it to air dry.

How to remove coffee stains from stainless steel thermos

Man drinking from a tumbler in a car

All of the above methods are also effective ways to remove coffee stains from your thermos. However, if you have an extra tough stain that just won’t budge try the following:

  • Mix 8tbsps of hydrogen peroxide with 2tbsps of baking soda in a small bowl. 
  • Stir the mixture and then pour it inside the thermos.
  • Give the bottle a shake and leave it to soak for around 30 minutes.
  • Rinse the thermos out with hot water and if, necessary, repeat the process until the stains have completely disappeared and your bottle looks brand new again.

How to maintain a good smelling stainless steel coffee mug

The best and easiest way to keep your thermos coffee odour free is simply to clean it after every use. Always rinse out your bottle either immediately or a few hours after so the liquid inside doesn't linger or get moldy. Take a look at our tips on how to clean a stainless steel travel mug.

Got a stainless steel water bottle that needs a deep clean? Check out the 3 best methods to clean your reusable steel bottle.