For a particularly unique type of obsessive, bottle cleanliness is life. I am that type of obsessive. In all my years of cleaning dirty, streaked bottles, I have found only one solution that works perfectly. Sure, some Dawn and elbow grease will get you pretty far, but this gentle scrubber takes a minute of your time and turns even the worst post-gravel, sweat fiesta, grease bomb of a bottle into like new.
What you need
Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser — this miracle-worker is a kitchen staple, and the soft, liquid version can be found at most stores for about $3 (or Amazon for $9). I’ve found it won’t scratch off the bottle paint, but clears the grease, dirt, and detritus with ease. It’s the secret weapon in this process.
Scotch-Brite Non Scratch Sponge — also gentle yet strong, these are my sponges of choice. Once my dish sponge is a little worn, I bring it over to the bike side. (Reusing a sponge for dishes after cleaning bottles isn’t my type of clean.) Any sponge will likely work, but I like these blue beauties best.
1. Rinse your bottle to remove large bits of dirt and grime.
2. Wet the sponge, then wring it out. You want a bit of moisture in the sponge, but not much (too much water will dilute the Bar Keepers Friend).
3. Apply a squiggle of Bar Keepers Friend to the sponge.
4. Scrub the dirty areas with the sponge, working in circles and with good pressure.
5. Rinse the bottle with water. Depending on the grime, you may need to repeat steps 3 and 4 a few times. The less water, the more potent the scrub, so aim to keep things relatively dry.
6. Dry the bottle, fill it up with liquid, and go for a ride!
Keep in mind: this process won’t make a five-year-old bottle brand new. But — it does keep new bottles looking new longer. And, if you’re like me, bottle game is key (my favorites are from The Radavist, Team Dream, MFF, and After School Projects). Go shine out there every ride like the bottle cleaning superstar you are.
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