Cleaning Coffee Mugs & Water Bottles with ClO2

If you or someone in your family is a regular consumer of coffee or tea, or is fond of carrying around a travel cup of water or coffee, then you have certainly noticed that these vessels can become beyond gross. They can harbor some of the most harmful of bacteria.

Pumping Bacteria into Your Body While Pumping Iron or Caffeine?

coffee and tea cup stains are signs of hidden bacteria

Lime deposits, biofilm, and bacteria build-up are common issues that can arise in water bottles and travel mugs if proper cleaning and maintenance are not carried out regularly. Lime deposits typically occur when water with a high mineral content, such as calcium and magnesium, is repeatedly stored in the container and evaporates, leaving behind a residue. These deposits can not only affect the taste and appearance of the water but also clog the bottle's mouthpiece or straw, making it difficult to drink from. Chlorine Dioxide solutions is excellent at breaking the bond of mineral deposits.


Biofilm, on the other hand, refers to a thin layer of microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and algae, that can develop on the surfaces of water bottles and travel mugs. This biofilm often forms when the containers are not thoroughly cleaned and dried after each use, providing a moist and nutrient-rich environment for the microorganisms to thrive. Over time, the biofilm can become thick, sticky, and mucous-like, creating an unpleasant odor and making it harder to remove.


The combination of lime deposits and biofilm can further exacerbate the growth of harmful bacteria in water bottles and travel mugs. Bacteria can easily cling to the rough surfaces created by lime deposits and biofilm, making it difficult to eliminate them even with regular cleaning. These bacteria can pose a risk to one's health if consumed, potentially causing gastrointestinal issues and other related illnesses. Aqueous ClO2 breaks down both the protein (in biofilm) and mineral deposits so cleaning becomes a breeze!

It is not always possible to stay on top of cleaning out one's travel mug or water bottle, so thankfully, there's Envirotab! Here's how easy it is to clean with our solution!

Cleaning Water Bottles, Coffee, Tea and Travel Mugs

stained tea mug

A tea-stained ceramic cup

a stainless steel coffee mug is ready for cleaning

A coffee-stained travel mug

As we savor our morning brew or indulge in a comforting afternoon pick-me-up, we often fail to consider the residue left behind. The dark, stubborn stains form due to the accumulation of tannins and oils present in coffee. These stubborn marks, overlooked for longer periods, can become home to numerous microscopic organisms waiting to wreak havoc on our health.


Within the hidden crevices of those coffee mug stains, bacteria like Staphylococcus, Escherichia coli (E. Coli), and Streptococcus can thrive and flourish. These germs can cause a plethora of illnesses ranging from minor infections to severe gastrointestinal issues. If left unattended, the concentration of germs can multiply exponentially, posing a higher risk for illness transmission.

Furthermore, a filthy coffee mug serves as a perfect environment for molds and yeasts, the fungi that thrive in dark, moist areas. These organisms enjoy feeding on the remnants of your morning beverage, allowing them to flourish and pollute your mug further. Inhalation or ingestion of the airborne spores released by these molds and yeasts can lead to respiratory problems and allergic reactions for susceptible individuals.

Step 1 - Set out the water bottles and mugs to be cleaned

Step 1 - Set out the water bottles and mugs to be cleaned.

a single 1g Envirotab tablet is added to a water bottle

Step 2 - First fill the water bottles with warm water and deposit (1) 1g tablet.

water bottles being cleaned with chlorine dioxide

Step 3 - Allow these to set for just 1-2 minutes, with caps on, shake gently halfway through.

Step 4 - Transfer contents from water bottles to travel & coffee/tea mugs and set 2 minutes.

Step 4 - Transfer contents from water bottles to stained mugs and let set 2 minutes.

Note 1 - The staining in ceramic will almost instantaneously disappear.

Note 1 - The staining in ceramic will almost instantaneously disappear.

a cup just cleaned with mild chlorine dioxide solution

Finished Product - dump contents from all items, rinse and enjoy clean cups!

Shop Envirotab Tablets and Get the Best Value in Cleaning & Deodorizing Available

Who Needs Envirotab Tablets & What Size Fits Your Applications Best?

To put it simply EVERYONE needs the simplicity, efficiency, power and efficacy of our Simply the BEST Chlorine Dioxide Tablets Available Anywhere!

  • Homeowners: Take a quick look at all of the applications below to see what you can do with just our 1 gram tablets and be AMAZED!.
  • Contract Cleaners: Every contract cleaner should stock and use our 4 gram tablets for cleaning, odor remediation, toilet reclamation, mold & mildew .
  • Hotel Housekeeping: Deep cleaning rooms after a long-term stay or pet stay will eliminate odors, freshen the air and reduce pet stress from past tenants.
  • Auto Dealers & Detailers: Detailers use the 1 gram tablets for washing down the dash, doors, headliner and upholstery, then gas the car with 20g.
  • Marinas & Campgrounds: Resell 1g tablets & 20g kits for deodorizing musty tents, campers and boats. Eliminate the odors and keep mildew from forming.
  • Veterinary Clinics & Kennels: 1 gram tablets are perfect for cleaning exam rooms while 10 gram tablets make a great 3 gallon solution for kennels.
  • Farmers & Homesteaders: The uses around the farm are endless! 1 gram tablets for udder wash before milking, removing black spots from plant follage and cleaning tools. 4 gram, 10 gram and 20 gram for treating water, cleaning greenhouses and sanitizing stalls after cleaning.