Zojirushi travel mug: nonstick coating or electropolished steel
July 17, 2017 10:02 AM   Subscribe

I'm about to order a Zojirushi travel mug for the commute. They have models with nonstick "polyflon" teflon-type interior coating, and models with a "Slicksteel" electropolished steel interior. Is there any risk to using the nonstick coating? Will it leech or flake off over time (on a timeline of multiple years), and is there any danger from that? If anyone has tried both, are the benefits of nonstick worth it?
posted by stopgap to Shopping (10 answers total)
I wouldn't get either; teflon at least loses it's slipperiness over time.

What's the reasoning behind getting the coating? If it's oil buildup or ease of cleaning, I would suggest getting at some purocaffe. 1/4 teaspoon of that in the bottom of your mug, filled with hot water, left to sit for a few minutes (I dunno, 5? 15?) will get those nasty coffee-oil-demons out of a mug so well you can actually drink other liquids in that same mug. It's one of those 'right tools for the jobs' that coffee shops use, but is easy enough to obtain as a civilian.
posted by furnace.heart at 10:07 AM on July 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

My teflon pans (that I mostly use to cook eggs) wear out after about a year of using them really carefully. I'd just buy the steel version.
posted by cnc at 10:32 AM on July 17, 2017 [4 favorites]

I've had both versions. In my experience, the coated versions simply do not flake under normal use and they are definitely easier to keep clean. With no flaking and temperatures far below the 500F that destabilizes PTFE you should be OK.

If you think xflon is a bad idea in the larger sense (and of course it is), the functionality of the stainless is just as good. A little Urnex a couple times a year keeps it good as new.

FWIW I've been a daily travel mug user for 30 years. I have tried a great many varieties and nothing compares to the Zojirushi.
posted by quarterframer at 10:44 AM on July 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

I have both, the health risks for Teflon are mostly around the fumes when teflon cookware is overheated, for a travel mug I think it's a non issue.

The Teflon version is a little easier to clean, but it doesnt really make a huge difference, you still have to clean it. One thing with the S/Steel is that being brighter you can SEE when it needs cleaning.

The old design of Zojirushi (SM-KHE48XA) has a larger head which is easier to clean. The screw top version (SM-LA60AD) is even easier to clean but perhaps less convenient when on the move. The new Teflon design (SM-SA60-BA) is available in a larger 20 ounce size.
posted by Lanark at 11:04 AM on July 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

All coatings flake, just matter of the time scale.
I'd go steel.
posted by SaltySalticid at 11:22 AM on July 17, 2017 [4 favorites]

We have the steel ones. They're all stain-free after a couple years of daily use. We handwash them only (as Zojirushi recommends).

I use Puro as a cleanser for most of our coffee stuff, including other brands of steel mugs. It does indeed work excellently. However, I've never had to break it out for the Zoji's. They're all still mirror finished and unstained. And we're not particularly fussy with them either---there have been a few instances where ice-caps have been in them for a few days.

I see no need for the coated ones.
posted by bonehead at 12:25 PM on July 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

I've had my zojirushi nonstick travel mug for I think 4 years now and I have zero complaints. There is no hint of peeling whatsoever and it keeps stuff hot and cold for hours and hours. I think zojirushi must have a better nonstick adhering process than american manufacturers because I also have their rice maker and its nonstick surface is incredible and very durable. One of the best purchases I've made.
posted by zug at 8:23 PM on July 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

We have the uncoated (slick) version and they are the best travel mugs in history by a mile. Easy to clean, totally leak-proof, and they keep things hot or cold more than all day. Never had any problem cleaning them with occasional help from a bottle brush. If I wanted a Teflon/plastic lining, I wouldn’t have bought a stainless bottle!
posted by musicinmybrain at 6:50 AM on July 18, 2017

Nthing going with steel, but I'm pretty paranoid about Teflon. We've had one of our mugs for almost a decade, with good care and handwashing only. I get the tea stains out with a Magic Eraser and honing steel (to get the eraser all the way down in the mug). Takes about 10 minutes and a bit of elbow grease, but our mugs look like brand new. I only do that once every few months, when they start to show stains again. I'd never heard of Puro before this thread, but it sounds great.
posted by onecircleaday at 10:18 AM on July 18, 2017

OK, I'm going with steel. I had been leaning that way, and I suspect that for just coffee, steel should be fine. Plus it's a little more worry-free since I don't need to worry about scratching off a coating. Although I can understand that Teflon should be inert and therefore completely safe at these temperatures, it can't hurt to minimize my exposure for something that could be used daily at high (for humans) temperature over decades. Still a little curious if I will notice any metallic flavors from the steel, but that hasn't been too bad in previous bottles -- more noticeable with plain water than coffee in my experience.
posted by stopgap at 11:50 AM on July 18, 2017

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