Coffee taste out of plastic?
October 10, 2008 6:05 PM   Subscribe

Coffee taste stain? My travel mug's lid is plastic, and has picked up the taste of old, bad coffee (from, no doubt, the new good coffee I drink each morning). How do I get it out?

I have tried:
Soaking it in very hot water; scrubbing with dish soap; leaving it in a baking soda solution overnight.

I have found many, many webpages about taking the plastic taste out of the coffee—help me take the coffee taste out of the plastic.
posted by klangklangston to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
How about leaving it in a solution of bleach overnight? (Then run it through the dishwasher twice...)
posted by Class Goat at 6:24 PM on October 10, 2008

I use about 10% bleach on mine and then wash well.
posted by bjgeiger at 6:44 PM on October 10, 2008

Denture cleaning tablets. For real. Just follow the directions (you know, one tablet to however much water). They also happen to work on cleaning your coffee pot.
posted by dancinglamb at 6:46 PM on October 10, 2008

A soak or scrub with vinegar, perhaps? I know vinegar can be used to deodorize other things, strange as that seems since vinegar is quit odorous itself...
posted by ktpupp at 6:46 PM on October 10, 2008

Vinegar works. Soak overnight, wash well.
posted by SaintCynr at 6:46 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

Lemon juice has done the trick for me.
posted by bdk3clash at 6:51 PM on October 10, 2008

Acid is the trick, be it vinegar, lemon juice or one of those orange acid based cleaners.
posted by toodles at 6:55 PM on October 10, 2008

A little baking soda and water, as a mild abrasive, easily removes all coffee and tea stains from mugs and hard plastic.
posted by Brian B. at 7:16 PM on October 10, 2008

I'd suggest getting a metal mug. This one is probably going to keep on picking up the flava.

Metal's easier to clean.
posted by zippy at 7:36 PM on October 10, 2008

if it's just the lid, then the old coffee is crusting up under the slidey thing that covers the sippy part (I believe those are the technical terms). If you can easily pop off the slidey part, you can clean it with regular methods and pop it back on. That's what I did when my coffee started tasting like sour milk and week-old coffee.
posted by dogmom at 9:20 PM on October 10, 2008

Response by poster: The bottom is metal, the lid is plastic (which is why I can't run the bottom through the dishwasher, though the box just said that the whole thing wasn't to be dishwashered).

I have washed the flippy part normally, and nothing happens. Since I've tried baking soda before, tonight, I try vinegar.

I'm wary of bleach, especially at a 10% solution.
posted by klangklangston at 9:47 PM on October 10, 2008

Cascade plastic booster should help, although it has become impossible to find in my neck of the woods.
posted by TedW at 10:36 PM on October 10, 2008

If you're not keen on using bleach, try using sterilising fluid (it's the stuff you use to clean baby bottles - I don't know if it's called something different in the US). Make a solution with hot water and a capful of sterilising fluid, then leave it to soak for about half an hour. Then just rinse it well, and you're good to go.
posted by spockette at 2:02 AM on October 11, 2008

Do you put milk in your coffee? Does it taste of stale coffee, or nasty spoiled milk? If it's the milk, soak in a some water & dishwashing deterg., which has some bleach in it. I suppose it would work for any nastiness.
posted by theora55 at 8:53 AM on October 11, 2008

I asked this question years ago and got some good responses.

White vinegar does work (including starting it out at a very hot temperature). But as majick said in the thread, plastic has a limited shelf life when it comes to odors. At some point, ya just gotta replace the lid.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 9:00 AM on October 11, 2008

Soak it in vinegar. Also use it in your coffee pot, carafe, etc. It really is the best to get oils out of materials.
posted by Black_Umbrella at 11:18 AM on October 11, 2008

Response by poster: No, no milk.

I am worried that I may just have to replace the lid, but, y'know, I got this for my birthday, hardly three months ago, and while I've used it every day since, it would seem insane to have to replace something that often. But it's bad enough that I can't drink just water out of the mug, even after scrubbing the hell out of it with dish soap.

But it's soaking in the vinegar now.
posted by klangklangston at 12:27 PM on October 11, 2008

klang, how are you storing this mug? Here are a few other tidbits that might help:

1) Immediately after you're done drinking whatever, scrub it clean with soap. DO NOT let the lid remain uncleaned for hours (every second that coffee is touching the lid is a moment for the plastic to weaken and take in the odor/discoloration).

2) White vinegar the lid once every few weeks, instead of once every three months.

3) Make sure to let the lid airdry in a well-ventilated place.

(By the way, no offense, but if it's only been three months, that lid was probably made of some pretty crappy plastic. Try Nissan, Thermos, or even Starbucks. There are some tried and true players out there in the mug business who know how to do it right.)
posted by SeizeTheDay at 1:03 PM on October 11, 2008

Does the lid have moving parts? My mug lids with sliding plastic parts get all coffee crusty if I don't pop them apart and clean them.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 3:12 PM on October 11, 2008

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