Professional organiser shares her top tip for cleaning mould from stainless steel drink bottles

Anita Birges showing mouldy drink bottle before clean, and spotless drink bottle after
Drink bottles can be a pain to clean - but with a simple kitchen staple, scrub no longer. Photo credit: Anita Birges / TikTok

A professional organiser has shared her top tip for removing built-up mould hidden inside reusable, stainless steel drink bottles - without any elbow grease. 

Sydney-based Anita Birges, the founder of organising and decluttering service Mise en Place, took to TikTok to dish out her ultimate homeware hack, which includes a surprising ingredient. 

Birges first acknowledged that bottle brushes, which you can pick up inexpensively at most major supermarkets and retailers, are a great option for keeping the stainless steel squeaky clean - but for those who don't have a brush to hand, a pantry staple could be just the ticket. 

"How often do you check the inside of your stainless steel water bottles? You'd be surprised and shocked at the amount of mould that can build up inside," she said in the clip, which has been viewed almost 60,000 times. 

"Take a look, it's really quite gross. But how are you supposed to get inside? It's such an awkward place, especially if you don't have a bottle brush. Well have I got the ultimate cleaning hack for you."

Birges started by pouring half a cup of uncooked rice into the bottle, before adding a small amount of dishwashing liquid and topping it up with half a cup of water.

"Put the lid on and shake, shake, shake... It's that simple and easy," she said.

Birges then used a sieve to catch the foamy rice over the sink before rinsing the bottle thoroughly. 

"[A] spotless clean water bottle. No mould," she said, showing the camera the gleaming inside of the flask.

Many viewers have described the cleaning hack as "genius", praising Birges' unique method.

"Mine was so gross and I was about to throw [it] out, now thanks to you, clean!" one rejoiced.

"Genius! Thank you!" said a second, while another added:  "I did this and it worked so well."

"Shared [this] with my 24-year-old daughter who never cleans her water bottle," one mum admitted.

Meanwhile, some offered their own cleaning solutions.

"Denture tablets do a pretty good job at keeping them clean as well," one advised.

"Or stick the cloth [on] the end of a wooden spoon," another suggested.

Others recommended adding lemon, vinegar or baking soda to supercharge the technique, or using boiling hot water instead of the tap.

But critics panned the tip as wasteful, while others questioned how a bottle would end up so mouldy in the first place.

"I clean mine every couple of days at least, every day mostly though… what is wrong with people?" one wrote.

"That's just a waste of rice," a second said.

"When there's mould, it's time for a new one," said another.

"I would never clean mould from something I drink out of and especially no way I'd give it to my children," a fourth added.

In 2020, self-proclaimed 'Queen of Clean' Lynsey Crombie shared her top tip for keeping a clean and tidy home - just three areas, a timer, and 15 minutes total.

And last year, one TikToker shared the secret to a squeaky clean air fryer, while another revealed how we've all been cleaning our toilets wrong for years.