We all know and love the convenience that is a travel tumbler. They keep your cold beverages cold, your hot beverages hot, and you can take it everywhere you go, from the car to the airport and beyond. It’s the best invention since, well since whatever beverage its holding, as far as I’m concerned.
There’s just one little problem with these travel tumblers. They can easily trap mold without you even knowing. And that can cause you to get sick. And no one likes that.
The problem lies not necessarily in the mug itself, but in the plastic pieces attached to the outside of the mug, more specifically, the lid. Many times, these parts of your mug can get water trapped inside of them, which can then lead to the production of mold, which breeds in damp, dark areas.
You might think, “oh, well if there’s mold, I’ll just clean it!” But you don’t necessarily always see the mold hiding unless you’re looking for it, which is the problem for many people who get sick and don’t know why.
Don’t worry, we’re not telling you to swear off your favorite travel mug. The main takeaway here is giving it a thorough cleaning (and drying) after you use it to hamper the growth of mold as much as possible.
Many times people just pop their mugs in the dishwasher to clean them, but that can trap water even more. It’s important to wash them by hand.
“While the dishwasher is great, it can’t do everything, and it can’t clean under these seals. In fact, water from the dishwasher can actually get trapped in there, which causes mold to grow,” says, Carolyn Forte, Director of the Home Appliances and Cleaning Products Labs at the Good Housekeeping Institute.
That said, you might still benefit from both–washing the mug in the dishwasher first, and then scrubbing it by hand. Just as long as you do wash it by hand, and dry it thoroughly afterwards.
“To get rid of all the residue and resulting mold, you should totally disassemble the tumbler and scrub all the pieces by hand in hot, soapy water to be sure they are clean,” she explains. “These cups and thermal carafes have removable seals for a reason.”
Note: for those who drink coffee or tea with added milks or sweeteners, you have more of a risk of your tumbler developing mold. You might even find that your tumbler gets a little stinky or even causes your drink to taste a little off. These are sure signs you need to clean it even more thoroughly!
For a real-life example of how mold from a tumbler can affect your health, check out this video below where a sports chiropractor in California named Dr. Beau Pierce talks about how one of his patients became so ill from mold underneath his popular brand Yeti tumbler lid. It’s really eye-opening!
A little care and cleaning can go a long way when it comes to reusable mugs! Do you use a travel tumbler and have you ever gotten sick from mold in it? How do you wash it? Do you just stick it in the dish washer, or do you clean under the lid separately as well?