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Moldy Mishap | How to clean mold from a bottle #bleachitaway


If you are a mom and have a car, chances are pretty good you have found the occasional rouge bottle, sippy cup, sports bottle or coffee mug left in the car since…..who knows when.  And when you DO find it, it’s full of mold!

Mold in bottle

Moldy Mishaps

That’s what happened recently when our oldest daughter cleaned out her car………she found one of my favorite sport bottles that she “borrowed” weeks before. 

Did you know that in general it only takes about 24 to 48 hours for this type of fungus to take root and begin creating stomach-turning mildew stains and odors. 

I was headed to the trash with it, until it occurred to me to try soaking it in hot water with a little Clorox Bleach!……couldn’t hurt right?  A little mold isn’t going to stop this MOM!

Clean mold with Clorox and water

I filled the bottle about 2/3 ‘s full of hot water and about a teaspoon of Clorox Bleach – put the lid on it and gave it a good shaking, then let it sit for a few hours.  To my excitement, when I came back, the mold was all gone below the water line, so I tipped it upside down, gave it a good shake again, and let it sit upside down for a few hours. -this way, the bleach water was able to get into the lid as well.

Clean moldy bottle with Clorox Bleach Water TidyMom

By dinner time, my favorite water bottle was mold free!! I rinsed it in hot soapy water and placed it in the top rack of my dishwasher, just to give it one more good clean wash, and to be sure I got all the bleach out.

Even inside the lid is mold free!

Clean thanks to Clorox Bleach TidyMom

Lost and moldy is clean and new again thanks to Clorox Bleach! 

Have you ever had one of these moldy mishaps with forgotten items?

Share your Life’s Messiest Moments with Clorox for a chance to win!

 Share your messy moments with  Clorox Bleach It Away

Clorox created the Bleach It Away program to help make sure you are prepared to tackle the next messy moment you face. If you share your messiest moment at www.bleachitaway.com then you have a chance to win $15,000 and more! Daily prizes of a $50 gift card will also be awarded. In addition, every entrant will receive a coupon for $.50 off any bottle of Clorox® Regular-Bleach via email for the first moment they submit.


Be sure to get to know Clorox a little more like I do. I’ve always been a fan of their products that make my life easier. TidyMom and Clorox make a great partnership don’t you think?

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Disclosure:  I am being compensated by The Clorox Company to talk about life’s messy moments as part of the Bleach It Away Program. 

@TidyMom or scan my HR code with your camera

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more by Cheryl »

Cheryl Sousan

A self-proclaimed neat freak, Cheryl chronicles her journey through homemaking on her blog, TidyMom.net, where she shares recipes, tutorials, crafting and her ever-growing love for photography. This St. Louis mom juggles her passion for life, her daughters and her tiger-loving husband, all while her obsession with tidiness cleans up the trail blazed behind her. Google+

25 Responses to “Moldy Mishap | How to clean mold from a bottle #bleachitaway”

  1. Mique posted on February 18, 2013 at 1:42 pm (#)

    Good tip Cheryl! I used to find the grossest milky bottles in my car. Blech. Now, it’s usually some kind of moldy water bottle like yours. I always throw them away. I’ll have to try your tip out. xo

  2. Diane {Created by Diane} posted on February 18, 2013 at 1:50 pm (#)

    I go through gallons of bleach, I like everything all clean and white :) and yes always seem to find a random bottle the kids have left in the car or backpack that they forgot to tell me about so bleach is certainly the way to go :)

  3. Amy Huntley posted on February 18, 2013 at 1:55 pm (#)

    Great tip!! I constantly find sippy cups with mold in them from the kids. This will come in handy!!

  4. Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke posted on February 18, 2013 at 3:02 pm (#)

    Great tip! I generally just throw it away, but this seems easy enough!

  5. Sally posted on February 18, 2013 at 3:23 pm (#)

    This is a wonderful tip! Did the bleach-smell really wash away in the dishwasher?

  6. Cathy Afable posted on February 18, 2013 at 3:37 pm (#)

    we just used this trick last night – sure does work!

  7. Jeanette posted on February 18, 2013 at 3:51 pm (#)

    I’m afraid to look in my kids’ car but I’m sure there are several items that could use some Clorox Bleach to clean and sterilize them. Definitely keeping this post in mind for future reference.

  8. Lana @ Never Enough Thyme posted on February 18, 2013 at 6:34 pm (#)

    Yep. bleach has dozens of uses around the house. We use it for cleaning everything from dirty sidewalks and driveways to vinyl siding to the inside of the refrigerator and freezer. I just have to always be careful to wear old clothes when cleaning with it!

  9. nest of posies posted on February 18, 2013 at 9:58 pm (#)

    i could have used this tip a million times with the twins’ sippy cups! they always seemed to roll underneath the sofa & were found days later. so gross!

    bleach is a miracle worker!

  10. jen@tatertotsandjello posted on February 18, 2013 at 10:58 pm (#)

    That’s an awesome time Cheryl!! We have so many water bottles here – will try that for sure!!


  11. Heidi @ Bits of Sunshine posted on February 19, 2013 at 2:51 am (#)

    Great tip! Does it remove the odour as well?

  12. Carolyn posted on February 19, 2013 at 6:19 am (#)

    I so need this for my travel coffee mugs. Guilty!!!

  13. Sommer@ASpicyPerspective posted on February 19, 2013 at 7:24 am (#)

    Cheryl, I’m not willing to admit how many bottles I’ve just thrown away! I’m definitely going to try this.

  14. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies posted on February 19, 2013 at 8:07 am (#)

    I never would have thought of this! I have to admit, I would have probably just thrown the bottle away. Thanks for the tip!

  15. Maria posted on February 19, 2013 at 9:20 am (#)

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Brenda posted on February 19, 2013 at 10:57 am (#)

    Clorox is a lifesaver! I would like to add one more tip … tell your older children that drive about this tip so they don’t throw away your Tupperware that has mold … I was too late :)

  17. Emily@Decorchick posted on February 19, 2013 at 9:37 pm (#)

    Oh goodness yes that has happened. Um, helloooo sippy cups! Thanks for the tips!

  18. Tina@GottaRunNow posted on February 27, 2013 at 3:10 pm (#)

    Your tip about turning the bottle over is a really good one. I just cleaned one bottle and I’m soaking a second one now. Thanks for the tips!

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  20. Suzy posted on August 29, 2014 at 8:57 am (#)

    Oh my gosh! You have made my day!! Maybe even my week. I have two water bottles (the exact same one that you show here – Contigo is amazing!) at home that I love that have little tiny mold spots that I can’t get to and clean and its been driving me crazy. I have run them through the dishwasher with no success and have been bracing myself to have to toss them. Now I don’t have to!! Thank you!! I am trying this tonight!

  21. Ryan posted on April 21, 2015 at 10:12 pm (#)

    Why did you not disclose you are being compensated by Clorox earlier in the article? Nice that it’s in the fine print but for a baby bottle is it really safe? In my mind that was pretty deceiving!

    • TidyMom replied on April 22nd, 2015 at 9:30 am

      Baby bottles, nipples, dishes and high chairs can be easily sanitized using bleach. Soak washed items for 2 minutes in a solution of 2 tsp of bleach per gallon of water. Pour solution through nipples. Drain dry. 

  22. Donna Jennings posted on May 1, 2015 at 1:43 pm (#)

    Using bleach on porous plastics like baby bottles and nipples. So now we have a baby sucking on a nipple and drinking out of a bottle laced with sodium hypochlorite. But yet we still wander why Autism birth rates are through the roof.

    • Camarillo replied on July 3rd, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      Bleach linked to autism? Yikes, since when?? Please back up your claims with scientific research before posting statements like this. We have enough people already misled by the erroneous MMR connection :(

  23. Meg Lund posted on July 13, 2015 at 5:48 pm (#)

    I always just throw away my water bottles if they ever grow mold in them. I never thought that they are useful after this, but it starts to get expensive if you have to start replacing your water bottles often. I really like your suggestion to use bleach to clean your water bottles and get rid of the nasty mold. I will definitely start using this tactic instead of initially throwing them away!

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