Are Contigo Travel Mugs Dishwasher Safe?

By | June 28, 2017

Kind Of… Let Me Explain

I’ve used many a travel mug in my day and there’s always one thing I wish I could do with my mugs – I want to be able to throw them in the dishwasher without damaging them.

I have plenty of experience in putting cheap mugs in the dishwasher and finding them not too long down the road leaking. Some seams on some mugs have started separating and you start getting weird swishing water accumulating in between the walls of the mugs. This water never comes out for some reason. It’s pretty disturbing.

Well with Contigo mugs, although the build quality is far higher than normal run of the mill travel mugs not a lot is different. if you want the thing to last you should probably hand wash it. However this is not a hard and fast rule across the board.

The Lids Are Dishwasher Safe But That’s It

If you want to throw your Contigo travel mugs in the dishwasher Contigo recommends you only put the lids in the top rack of the dishwasher. The lid is largely made of plastic and it opens up in many of the newer models to allow for deep cleaning. Without a bottle brush like the set pictured below this can be pretty hard. It may be best to clean your Contigo by hand but it certainly isn’t the most convenient in all situations.

How To Clean A Travel Mug

if you are going to clean your travel mug by hand then make sure you have a good set of bottle brushes. It will make your life much easier. The big brush can get all the way down to the bottom of the tumbler and scrub it on all sides far easier than you can shove a sponge down there to clean. And the nooks and crannies of the lid are basically impossible to get to without the tiny brush included in the set above.

Assuming you have the brushes or something relatively similar then all you really need is warm soapy water. Just lightly scrub them down periodically and all will be well. You don’t want coffee oil residue from building up and this is really all it takes to keep the residue at bay.

If you want to minimize coffee odors the occasional soak in a 95/5 mixture of water and white vinegar will do the trick but you’ll have to do this periodically because once that coffee smell sets into the plastic lid it can be virtually impossible to get rid of. It’s what many people recommend buying two mugs. One dedicated to coffee and the other dedicated to everything else. Why else do you think Contigo sells their popular Autoseal line in packs of two anyway?

Cleaning The Lid By Hand

Here’s a good demo of hand washing the auto-seal lids although it’s worth noting that older models have a different lid that doesn’t open up like this one.