The biggest complaint appears to be cleaning the lid of stains and odors. From Contigo's Website comes the following cleaning instructions, see below. The key steps to a clean lid seem to be; clean often, use a baking soda soak, soak for long periods of time, rise well.
Care & Use
What is the best way for me to care for my new Contigo® product?
Avoid cleansers containing bleach, chlorine, and/or other harsh chemicals. Always store the mugs and cups with the lids removed. This will prevent moisture from becoming trapped in the mug or lid, which can lead to the growth of mold.
To maximize the life of your new Contigo® product, we recommend hand washing because it is gentler than using the dishwasher as dishwashing detergents can be abrasive. For specific information on whether your mug or cup is dishwasher safe, please read the Care & Use Instructions for your product. All of our lids are dishwasher safe.
We recommend the following method for hand washing your mug and/or lid:
1. Fill your sink with warm water and add dish soap or dish detergent. Agitate the water to form suds. 2. Place the cup and/or lid into the soapy water so that it is completely submerged. 3. Allow the cup and/or lid to soak for several minutes up to several hours. For cups or lids that are especially dirty, a longer soak will be more effective. 4. Use a soft cloth or sponge to wash the inner and outer surfaces of the mug. Use a bottle brush as needed to remove any residue from the inside and bottom of the mug. Use a smaller, pipe-cleaner-style brush to clean inside the lid, if desired. Refer to lid cleaning instructions below for additional brush cleaning tips. 5. Rinse thoroughly and either towel or air dry.
If hand washing does not get the mug or lid completely clean, or if the mug or lid develops stains or odors, we recommend the following:
1. Fill your sink with a solution of 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 quart of warm water. 2. Place the cup/lid into the water so that it is completely submerged. 3. Allow the cup/lid to soak in the baking soda solution for several hours. 4. For stains or odors that persist after several hours of soaking, try soaking overnight in the baking soda solution and/or scrubbing with a small amount of baking soda on a clean damp sponge. Use caution to avoid scrubbing outside surfaces of painted mugs as this can remove the paint. 5. Rinse thoroughly and either towel or air dry.
What is the best way for me to thoroughly clean my AUTOSEAL® lid?
All AUTOSEAL® lids are dishwasher safe. If you would like to clean the lids outside of a dishwasher, you may use the hand washing methods listed above and you can try the following:
Always rinse the lid immediately after each use. Store with lid removed to allow parts to dry completely.
Rinse drink spout and lid vent immediately after use, prior to putting into the dishwasher:
1. Turn lid so the underside is facing up and fill lid with hot soapy water. 2. Tilt the lid back and forth first towards the drink spout and then towards the button while pressing the button to allow the soapy water to rinse through both the drink spout and the vent hole. 3. Repeat 1 and 2 a few times for best results.
Additional Cleaning Tips:
To clean the top of the lid:
1. Use a non-abrasive sponge or brush head/swab to clean the drink spout in the open and closed position. 2. Rinse while pressing the button to allow the soapy water to rinse through the drink spout.
Clean the underside of the lid with a non-abrasive sponge or swish in hot, soapy water.
If desired, a small, pipe-cleaner-style brush, small arts and crafts paint brush, or a cotton swab can be used to clean the inside of the AUTOSEAL® mechanism. Turn lid so the underside is facing up and fill lid with hot soapy water. Run brush head or swab along the following areas to ensure complete cleaning:
1. Underneath and along both sides of the center plastic piece of the lid. Reference "A" and "C" below. 2. Along both the inner and outer walls of the threading. Reference "B" below. 3. The underside of the spout. Reference "D" below.
Rinse repeatedly while pressing the button to allow the soapy water to rinse through the drink spout.
Great information! I hope the people who have concerns see this.
Personally, I have never had a problem keeping mine clean. I just wash it with hot water and soap, opening the spout several times to allow the soap then clear water to run through it, rinse well, and put into the dish drainer to completely dry.
Crud really builds up in these lids.They are to hard to keep clean, I rinse mine out all the time with soap and water and there is still a brown gooey crud in there. Put baking soda in it and shook it really well and then dumped it out through the drink hole while shaking it and I couldn't believe the junk that came out.Did this several times and still not clean. I like the mug but this is a bad design for keeping it sanitary. I wonder if it was mold!!
Sorry to hear you are having issues with this fine mug, I have yet to experience these issues. If you wish to sanitize your mug reach for WHITE VINEGAR. Add 1/4 cup white vinegar to your mug and fill with very warm water. Screw on the top and shake vigorously several times, then let stand on its top for 15, 30 or more minutes. Pour out contents and rise well. If needed, repeat. If you feel the need, let soak overnight, just be sure the mug is standing on its top. Dry-uncooked rice can be added to a shaking session as an abrasive, remove rice as soon as you're done shanking. Vinegar is a powerful natural disinfectant, stain remover and deodorizer, it will kill mold. Read up on the uses and benefits of cleaning with white and cider vinegar.
I am certain mine was mold. It was the rubbery, semi-solid grayish-greenish gunk that is resistant to scrubbing away. I have been using hot water and soap every day, every time, sometimes with a small nipple brush, with the full jet of my faucet on it for about six months after each use, and suddenly I saw a solid piece of gunk come out. So, then I tried soaking and then boiling in white vinegar and water, and more came out. It was gross. Finally, I read the suggestion about using a water pik, and that seemed to make a huge difference. It could get in the holes, under the center piece, etc., and when I propped the lid open (which can be done by snapping it slightly upward toward the top of the lid when you hold it upside down), the amount of stuff that came out was positively nauseating. I only drink coffee with half and half in this thing, but I am beginning to think it had turned into a biohazard. I think I am now satisfied that it is clean, because six or seven more rounds with the water pik seem to have gotten all of it. But, this is a nightmare in terms of being unsanitary. They really need to make it so that it can come apart to be cleaned. This pipecleaner thing is not sufficient. I am somewhat reluctant to let a week go by without using the water pik again. I like that this cup is foolproof in terms of being spill proof, but I am not sure it is worth risking mold and crud in your coffee.
I too only drink coffee with half and half out of mine. Just ran the lids thru the dishwasher and haven't had a chance to inspect them yet. If I find the least bit of crud in there I am throwing the mugs in the trash. I got a good deal on them as a two pack at Costco. I really think these mugs should be taken off the market.
I think the worst part is that you can clean it as they suggest, and still not realize how dirty it is until you reach a point at which some of the crud dislodges. I shudder to think of what I have been consuming for the last few months. I just threw one away because it seemed to start leaking after hitting it with so much hot water. I agree, these things should be recalled.
Same Problem here with stuff in the cap...I am trying the white vinegar and hot water idea to see what happens, then if that does not work I will try each idea and see what happens, if none work out to the trash goes both cups, wife usually takes a tooth pick and gets the junk out...good cups,,, but not worth the agravation.