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Getting rid of soap taste from bottles

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So here's a problem I haven't been able to find a solution to and don't really know where to look.

I have two Contigo thermoses that I bought from Costco. I put them in the sink to be washed/soaked and for some bizarre reason my roommate decided to fill them with soapy water, close them, turn them upside down and then leave them on the counter. They were left like that for about a month before I needed to use one again and discovered that they were still dirty. I rinsed them both out thoroughly but when I used one I could taste the burn of the soap residue (probably) in the cap. I used bottle cleaner and rinsed them both out again but I can still smell the soap.

So.. anyone know of any solutions to this, or are both bottles pretty much destined for the trash?

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  1. Is the inside surface (what touches the liquids) stainless steel, glass, or plastic? If it's plastic, they may be goners.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mcsheridan

      The bottle part is all stainless steel, but the cap is pretty much all stiff plastic. It normally wouldn't have been a problem if it wasn't for my roommate turning them /upside down/ ...

      1. re: aylnine

        Both caps are goners; elements of the soap have soaked into the plastic - you're never going to get that out. If you can replace the caps, then you may be able to save the bottles.

        What happened? Plastics are what's called "gas permeable" - they may keep water out or in, but they're not recommended for long-term storage. Flavors of foodstuffs and beverages contained in plastic will degrade over time, and carbonated beverages will go flat, all because gas slowly but surely will pass through the plastic.

    2. Before you throw them away, try soaking the lids in some water with a little white vinegar. Might not help but nothing to lose, I'd say.

      1. In addition to the plastic problem, it is possible that the bottles are still not clean. Coffee, especially if there was dairy in it, can leave a film that won't come off just with a soapy soak, and even a bottle brush. I learned from a colleague to use a tbsp of powdered dishwasher detergent and boiling water.
        Cap the thermos, shake vigorously, and let it sit for at least an hour before swishing with a bottle brush, then rinsing several times. Whether or not this would help de-soap the caps, I have no idea.

        1. I can tell you that vodka will strip essential oils from glass bottles. Not sure about plastic.

          1. vodka and dry white beans in a ceramic or glass bowl