I have been in the broadcasting industry for the past 18 years.  Every morning of those 18 years during the morning show I have sipped coffee out of a thermos.  Recently, as I was taking my thermos out of the dishwasher and the light hit it just right, I discovered something that made me exclaim, "EWWWWWWWW"!  Has this happened to you?


I've never really looked down inside my thermos all these years that I've washed it, never really paid attention.  But you can bet that I will now.  How the heck long has that been there????  I joked that I was self-medicating with home made penicillin.  I've never gotten sick and I'm thinking that the heat of the dishwasher killed anything that might be living in my thermos, but to see IT made me squeamish.

moldy thermos
Cathy Kates

According to ehow.com you can actually kill mold in a thermos, but I chose to purchase a new one and be a little more cautious.  Here's what they say:


  • Rinse the thermos with hot water to keep the mold wet. This will prevent spores from flying into the air while cleaning and will make the mold easier to remove.
  • Mix a little bit of bleach with water and let it sit in the thermos for five to 10 minutes. This will kill the mold.
  • Empty out the bleach/water solution and rinse out the thermos.
  • Wash the thermos with dish detergent and water, using a sponge or scrub brush to scrape away any mold that's still inside the thermos.
  • Dry the thermos thoroughly, making sure there's no leftover mold. Your thermos is ready to use again.

Would you buy a new one or try to kill the mold a save a few bucks?

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