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How to Get Rid of a Coffee Taste in a Thermos

Coffee taste and its accompanying odour can build up in a Thermos or travel mug. The taste becomes more pronounced if the build-up has occurred over a long time, especially if you leave the Thermos in a warm place, such as a car, every day. The lingering taste of stale coffee can ruin the flavour of your freshly brewed coffee or other items you put in the Thermos, such as tea or juice. Because you drink out of the Thermos, avoid cleaning out the taste and odour with bleach or other harmful chemicals.

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  1. Combine three parts baking soda with one part water to make a paste. Scrub the inside of the Thermos with this paste using a nylon brush. This removes coffee stains and the source of the lingering coffee taste.

  2. Mix one part baking soda and one part boiling water. Pour it into the Thermos. Let the Thermos sit overnight. Wash and rinse the Thermos well the next day.

  3. Fill the Thermos with white vinegar and let it sit overnight. Rinse well and let it dry.

  4. Place the Thermos in the sink. Put 2 tbsp baking soda in the empty Thermos. Add 59.1 to 88.7ml. white vinegar. The mixture will foam. After the foaming stops, put the lid on the Thermos and shake it for a minute or two. Hold the Thermos away from your face and remove the lid; some additional foaming may have occurred and built up under pressure. Rinse the Thermos well and let dry.

  5. Tip

    If your Thermos has a plastic lining, replace it with one that has a glass or stainless-steel lining. Plastic is more porous and absorbs tastes and odours more readily than glass or steel.


    Never use caustic chemicals, such as bleach or ammonia, to clean a Thermos or any other item from which food and drink are served.

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Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Nylon brush
  • White vinegar

About the Author

Karren Doll Tolliver holds a Bachelor of English from Mississippi University for Women and a CELTA teaching certificate from Akcent Language School in Prague. Also a photographer, she records adventures by camera, combining photos with journals in her blogs. Her latest book, "A Travel for Taste: Germany," was published in 2015.

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