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How to Clean Swell Bottles? The Ultimate Guide

Last Updated on March 11, 2024 by Tina Shao

S’well bottles have become a staple in the daily lives of health-conscious and environmentally aware people. These sleek and durable bottles are designed to keep your drinks at the desired temperature for hours and offer a sustainable alternative to single-use plastic water bottles.

However, the design that insulates your drinks can also create an environment conducive to bacterial growth if improperly cleaned. Moisture and warmth are trapped inside after each use, which can lead to odor and mildew if the bottle is left sealed between uses.

In the following sections, we’ll delve into the specifics of daily and deep cleaning routines, tackle common cleaning challenges, and provide you with all the dos and don’ts to ensure your S’well bottle remains in pristine condition, inside and out.

Preparing to Clean Your S’well Bottle

Before you begin the cleaning process, assembling all the tools and materials you’ll need to clean your S’well bottle effectively is important. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Warm Water: Warm water will serve as the base for your regular and deep cleaning solutions. It helps to dissolve soap for a regular wash and activates baking soda or vinegar for deep cleaning.
  • Mild Dish Soap: A gentle, non-toxic dish soap is perfect for everyday cleaning. It will help remove residues and odors without damaging the bottle’s material.
  • Bottle Brush: A long-handled bottle brush with soft bristles is essential for reaching all the nooks and crannies inside your S’well bottle, ensuring no spot is missed.
  • Vinegar/Baking Soda: White vinegar or baking soda can effectively neutralize stubborn odors and break down residue buildup for deep cleaning.
  • Rice (Optional): Some people find that adding rice to a vinegar/water solution can act as a gentle abrasive, helping to scrub the interior surface without scratching it.

Once you have your cleaning materials ready, you should disassemble any parts of the bottle that can be removed. This typically includes the cap, and if your bottle comes with any infusers or additional components, those should also be taken out. Cleaning these parts separately ensures that you can reach all surfaces where bacteria might hide.

Daily Cleaning

Daily Cleaning - How to Clean Swell Bottles? The Ultimate Guide

Establishing a daily cleaning routine is essential to maintain the freshness and longevity of your S’well bottle. A quick, effective wash after each use can prevent the buildup of bacteria and odors. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide for your everyday cleaning:

  1. Empty the Bottle: Ensure that your S’well bottle is empty. If there’s any leftover liquid, pour it out before cleaning.
  2. Rinse with Warm Water: Fill the bottle halfway with warm water, secure the cap, and shake it well. This helps to loosen any residue inside the bottle. Pour out the rinse water.
  3. Apply Dish Soap: Squirt a small amount of your mild dish soap into the bottle. A couple of drops should suffice if you’re using a liquid soap.
  4. Scrub with a Bottle Brush: Fill the bottle again with warm water, and use your bottle brush to scrub the interior thoroughly. Be sure to reach the bottom and scrub the sides in a circular motion.
  5. Clean the Mouth and Cap: Don’t forget to clean the mouth of the bottle and the cap. Use the brush to clean around the threads of the bottle opening and the cap to remove any buildup where bacteria can thrive.
  6. Final Rinse: After scrubbing, rinse the bottle thoroughly with warm water to remove all soap suds. Ensure that the water runs clear and that no soap bubbles are visible.
  7. Air-Dry Completely: Invert the bottle to a drying rack or a clean towel to let it air dry completely. Ensure the bottle is completely dry before you close the cap or use it again.

Tips for Quick Rinsing:

There may be times when you’re on the go, and a full wash isn’t possible. In such cases, a quick rinse can help until you’re able to do a more thorough cleaning:

  • Rinse with Hot Water: If you’ve had a beverage that might leave a residue or odor, such as coffee or a smoothie, fill the bottle with hot water, shake it vigorously, and empty it. This can help prevent immediate buildup.
  • Use a Rinse Station: If you’re at a gym or office with a water cooler with a hot water option, use it to rinse your bottle quickly.
  • Keep it Open: If you can’t dry the bottle immediately, leave the cap off to allow the interior to air out, preventing the growth of mildew and odors.

By incorporating these simple steps into your daily routine, you can ensure your S’well bottle remains clean, hygienic, and ready for your next refill.

Deep Cleaning Your S’well Bottle

Deep Cleaning Your Swell Bottle - How to Clean Swell Bottles? The Ultimate Guide

While a daily cleaning routine is crucial for maintaining your S’well bottle, periodic deep cleaning is necessary to tackle stubborn stains, odors, and any potential buildup that regular washing might miss.

This is especially important if you use your bottle for drinks other than water, such as coffee, tea, or smoothies, which are more likely to leave residues and lingering smells.

When to Perform a Deep Clean:

  • After storing the bottle for an extended period.
  • If you notice persistent odors even after a regular wash.
  • When there are visible stains inside the bottle.
  • If the bottle has been used to store beverages other than water, particularly sugary or acidic drinks.

Deep Cleaning with Vinegar: Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer, perfect for deep cleaning your S’well bottle.

  1. Prepare the Vinegar Solution: Mix a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. Fill the bottle with this solution, leaving room at the top for the solution to mix.
  2. Soak: Let the vinegar solution sit inside the bottle for about 15 minutes to several hours, depending on the intensity of the stains or odors.
  3. Shake: After soaking, seal the bottle and give it a good shake to allow the vinegar solution to reach all parts of the interior.
  4. Use a Bottle Brush: Open the bottle and use your bottle brush to scrub the inside thoroughly. The vinegar solution will have loosened the stains, making them easier to scrub.
  5. Rinse Thoroughly: Empty the vinegar solution and rinse the bottle with warm water to remove any remaining vinegar taste and smell.

Deep Cleaning with Baking Soda: Baking soda is another effective, natural cleaning agent that can help remove tough stains and odors.

  1. Create a Baking Soda Paste: Mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with a small amount of water to form a thick paste.
  2. Apply to Stains: Use a bottle brush to apply this paste to any visible stains inside the bottle. If the stains are near the mouth or exterior, apply the paste directly with a cloth.
  3. Let it Sit: Allow the baking soda paste to sit for about 15 minutes to give it time to break down the stains.
  4. Scrub and Rinse: Scrub the interior with your bottle brush, focusing on the areas where the paste was applied. Once scrubbed, rinse the bottle thoroughly with warm water to ensure all baking soda residue is removed.

For both methods, letting your bottle air dry completely after the deep clean is important. If any moisture is left, it could lead to new bacterial growth.

Cleaning the Cap and Accessories

Cleaning the Cap and Accessories - How to Clean Swell Bottles? The Ultimate Guide

The cap and any additional accessories of your S’well bottle require as much attention as the bottle itself. These parts often have crevices and seals where moisture can accumulate, creating ideal conditions for mold and mildew to develop. Here’s how to clean them effectively:

  1. Disassemble the Parts: If the cap has multiple components or if there are accessories like straws or infusers, disassemble them as much as possible.
  2. Soak in Soapy Water: Fill a bowl with warm, soapy water and submerge the cap and accessories. Let them soak for a few minutes to loosen any grime.
  3. Scrub Thoroughly: Use a small brush or a sponge to clean each component. Pay special attention to threads, seals, and any nooks where mold could hide.
  4. Rinse with Warm Water: After scrubbing, rinse all parts thoroughly under running warm water to remove any soap residue.
  5. Sanitize with Vinegar (Optional): For a deeper clean, especially if you notice a smell or visible mold, soak the parts in a vinegar solution (equal parts vinegar and water) for about 30 minutes, then rinse again.
  6. Dry Completely: Before reassembling, ensure all parts are completely dry. This might mean leaving them on a towel or drying rack for several hours.

Addressing Common Cleaning Challenges

Even with regular cleaning, S’well bottles can sometimes develop stubborn stains or retain odors from beverages like coffee or tea. Here’s how to address these common issues:

Dealing with Coffee or Tea Stains:

  1. Baking Soda Scrub: Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the stained areas inside the bottle. Let it sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing it with a bottle brush. Baking soda is mildly abrasive and can lift stains without scratching the interior.
  2. Vinegar Soak: If the baking soda scrub doesn’t do the trick, fill the bottle with a mixture of one part vinegar to three parts water. Let it soak for a few hours, or even overnight, for tough stains. The acetic acid in vinegar can break down stains without harming the bottle’s material.
  3. Lemon Juice Rinse: Lemon juice is another natural stain remover. Rinse the bottle with lemon juice and water, or rub a lemon slice on the stained area before washing as usual.

Removing Lingering Smells:

  1. Charcoal: After cleaning, place a piece of activated charcoal inside the bottle and seal it. Leave it overnight. Charcoal is highly porous and can absorb odors effectively.
  2. Coffee Grounds: Fresh coffee grounds can also help neutralize odors. Fill the bottle with dry coffee grounds, seal it, and let it sit overnight. Rinse thoroughly the next day.
  3. Baking Soda Air-Out: Fill the bottle with baking soda and water, shake it well, and let it sit for several hours or overnight. Baking soda neutralizes strong odors effectively. Afterward, rinse the bottle out and let it air dry completely.
  4. Regular Vinegar Rinse: A rinse with vinegar, as mentioned earlier, can also help eliminate odors. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer that can often eliminate smells that soap and water can’t.

Using these methods, you can tackle the most common cleaning challenges associated with S’well bottles. Remember that regular maintenance is the key to preventing stains and odors, but when they do occur, these tips can help restore your bottle to a like-new condition.

Are S’well Bottles Dishwasher Safe?

S’well bottles are not dishwasher safe. The high temperatures of a dishwasher can damage the vacuum seal and the exterior finish of the bottle. Additionally, the dishwasher can be harsh on the paint and protective coating, leading to discoloration and reduced insulation capability.

Therefore, it is recommended always to hand wash your S’well bottle with warm, soapy water, using a bottle brush to clean the interior gently.

Frequency of Cleaning

To prevent smells and the buildup of bacteria and mold, it is recommended to clean your S’well bottle after every use, especially if you have been drinking beverages other than water. For water-only use, a thorough rinse at the end of the day followed by a proper drying out should suffice, but a full cleaning with soap should still be done regularly.

Additionally, if the bottle has been left sitting with a liquid inside for more than a day, or if there’s any sign of staining or smell, a deep clean should be performed as soon as possible.

S’well Bottle Cleaning Do’s and Don’ts

Swell Bottle Cleaning Dos and Donts - How to Clean Swell Bottles? The Ultimate Guide

To ensure the longevity of your S’well bottle and its effectiveness at keeping your beverages at the desired temperature, here are some key do’s and don’ts:


  • Do clean after each use To prevent buildup and maintain hygiene.
  • Do air dry completely To prevent mold and bacteria growth.
  • Do perform regular deep cleans, Especially after storing sugary or acidic beverages.
  • Gentle Cleaning: Use a soft, damp cloth to clean the outside of your bottle. A little mild dish soap can help remove grease or dirt if necessary.


  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Harsh cleaners or abrasive scrubbers can damage the paint and finish of your bottle. Stick to gentle, non-toxic cleaning agents.
  • Don’t put in the dishwasher: Unless specified by the manufacturer, the dishwasher can damage the bottle.
  • Don’t use abrasive scrubbers: They can scratch the bottle’s surface.
  • Freezing: Placing your bottle in the freezer can damage the vacuum seal and cause the exterior to crack.


Keeping your S’well bottle clean is not just about aesthetics but health and functionality. Regular cleaning prevents the growth of bacteria and mold, while proper maintenance ensures that your bottle continues to provide the thermal benefits it’s known for.


To ensure the accuracy and helpfulness of this guide, please refer to the following sources:


  • Tina Shao - How to Clean Swell Bottles? The Ultimate Guide

    Tina Shao, a renowned entrepreneur in the drinkware industry, founded Homii Bottles in 1995, specializing in custom stainless steel vacuum flasks. Tina's passion for innovation and commitment to quality have positioned her company as a leader in providing bespoke drinkware solutions, allowing brands to personalize a diverse range of products to their unique specifications, ensuring client satisfaction and premium quality in every piece.