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Oct 9, 2012 07:25 AM

mold and naglene

I live in a very, very old and humid house and it seems that I several of my nalgenes that I mistakenly left half full of iced tea for a few days have been colonized by a lovely population of slimy mold. I rinsed them with boiling water and sent them on a trip in the dishwasher on the high-heat/pots and pans/sanitize cycle but now the mold just appears to be dried on to the inside of the bottle. Is there anyway to salvage them? Would a soak in a bleach solution (with a thorough rinse of course) work?

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  1. Try putting a couple denture tablets in there with water and let it soak for a day or so. The denture tablets use enzymes to clean, and I've found they work well for drink jugs when I can't get to the dirty spot with a bottle brush.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MelMM

      OK, great will try that. Any thoughts on why even after only 1 day there seems to be some mold growth? I imagine it must be my house or is it that expected?

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        To be expected if you put anything in the bottle besides pure water.

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          sweetened or not? If sweetened, it's totally expected. I almost never put anything but water in my water bottles for cycling. If I do, I dish wash them immediately, if I forget...slime.

          I HAVE had an unsullyed water-only bottle grow mold in the tube(camelbak bottle) one time when I took it down to charleston, SC. THAT, i believe, was humidity related. It's never happened again, though, even in charleston. a slight discoloration remains that I haven't worried about.

      2. Are you using any mechanical action to clean it? If not, either use a soft scrubbie or sponge and scrub down the insides. If the mouth prevents you from using your fingers to mechanically scrub the entire container, including bottom, then use the end of a spoon.

        1. I use a bottle brush to scrub mine out, then fill with a few ounces of bleach and then fill completely to the top with hot water. Let soak overnight - I usually soak for a while upright, and then stand it upside down and soak for a while to make sure all of the areas of the bottle get hit. After emptying, I wash in the sink and then run through the dishwasher, and have never had any residual bleach odor.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jw615

            +1. I scrub with soap and a bottle brush, then fill it 3/4 full of hot water, and top off with bleach. Let it sit overnight, then wash again with soap and the bottle brush. Sometimes I throw it through the dishwasher at this point, but usually not.

          2. I usually rinse it out and let it air dry. Should I dry it with a towel instead? It's actually unsweetened tea usually.

            1 Reply
            1. re: fldhkybnva

              Brings back memories of cleaning nalgene water bottles after 2-4 week trips. Both khuzdul and jw615 are doing what I'd recommend. Dishwashers often fail at getting the water stream into containers that are so much more tall than their mouths are wide.

              Soap scrub like you MEAN IT to remove the visble matter. Use a tool to reach all the way into the bottle. Submerge in a bleach rinse to disinfect - particularly in cap threads, spouts, etc.. Hot rinse to remove bleach .

              We'll probably get some responses regarding what might be released during the interaction of chlorine and some plastics, but (1) the quantity won't be enough to matter; (2) the mold is real & present enough that it matters more.

              Air drying afterwards should be okay if the containers & caps are upside down and are not resting directly on a surface, so that the water can drip off completely.

            2. I use a bit of bleach and soap in the water, let it sit for the day, add a few tablespoons of small white beans or legumes. Then SHAKE it like a "shake weight", LOL!

              Rinse with very hot water to get out the bleachy smell and air dry.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sedimental

                The suggestion I would make follows this one, I have used sand or fine gravel (can be found with pet supplies, aquarium sand/fine gravel) to get out hard water marks from vases and other hard to reach areas. The gravel has enough texture to give it that good scrub, and you can reuse it.