After seeing some of the items we were showcasing for our rollout of the Team Run Smart rewards program at MATS, I really took a liking to the spill-proof coffee mug that was among these items.  Being that we spend a lot of hours on the road and a lot of us drink at least one cup of java a day, it is only fitting that most of us would have a favorite mug.  After all, how long will a styrofoam cup really keep your coffee warm for?  Not to mention that the little plastic lid on those C-store cups doesn’t really do the best job of thwarting off spills on the bumpy highway.  Last night I was cleaning out my favorite mug when I discovered that I was getting a little extra surprise in my coffee.
It had happened once before on the same kind of mug, so it was not something I was oblivious to.  With my last set, I would run lids through a sanitation cycle on the dishwasher, as recommended by the manufacturer.  I happen to drink flavored creamer with my coffee, which I noticed started to build a film inside the mug.  Deeper inside however, where there are springs and small moving parts for the spill-proof action, the film gathered and turned black into some sort of nasty goo!  I disposed of this set and bought the current ones, which I pay special attention to clean thoroughly with a tiny baby-bottle brush while hand-washing.  Last night while cleaning I found that this set, even with the new deeper cleaning regimen, was doing the same thing!
Be sure to pay special attention to this buildup in your favorite mug, as this is common in a lot of brands.  I am not sure if this goo poses any health hazard, but it just seems disgusting to have black chunks unknowingly floating around in my coffee (If you look close enough in this picture you will see some that I captured on a paper towel).  If it becomes a recurring problem you may have to do what I have done, in where I now plan to just replace them every six months, or as soon as a film starts to develop from the creamer.  Darn…I knew I should have grabbed that new one from our MATS display after the show ended!

Comments (11)

Jimmy Nevarez

Jimmy Nevarez is the Owner/President of Angus Transportation, Inc., based in Chino, California.  Jimmy pulls a 53' dry van hauling general dry freight for his own small fleet, operating on its own authority throughout all of Southern California and Southern Nevada.

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Awesome tips! I will give the 1/10 solution a go to keep my ATBS mug clean and make the change to disassemble it upon cleaning as well. BB&B is such a great place for stuff like that, I can't believe it didn't come to mind. If I go into Bed, Bath, and Beyond I get into a lot of trouble though! There is far too much cool stuff in there for a gadget person such as myself!

April 12, 2014 20:38:25 PM

Ewww! I had the same thing happen with one of my favorite water bottles. I ended up throwing it away, but there are some good cleaning tools that you can get at Bed Bath & Beyond made specifically to clean water bottles! I like Tom's advice below too - seems like a good step to take.

April 11, 2014 9:56:00 AM

Jimmy has that problem with my Bubba Kegs that I use for water. It is basically mold/mildew. One way to combat it is to soak the mug in a sanitizing solution once a week for about 20-30 minutes. 1 part clorox to 10 parts water. My stainless steel mugs do not seem to have that problem either. Well the one does occasionally on the rubber gasket. As Henry mentioned disassembling can work wonders. If your like me and do not like to disassemble the Lysol wipes also work if your not able to use the 1/10 solution

April 10, 2014 21:30:50 PM

I like that philosophy for a cup Craig! The less dishes the better! I usually only have one cup in the morning, followed the same 3:1 ratio on either Gatorade to water or Vitamin Water to water. As it is heating up here in California lately, the heat makes it so that I don't even finish my whole cup in the morning.

April 10, 2014 21:09:32 PM

I don't seem to have that problem either Jimmy. My mug consists of a Styrofoam cup at breakfast in fire camp. Toss it in the trash on the way out of the mess tent. The rest of the day it's water and Gatorade in a 3:1 ratio of 3 waters to every Gatorade. Another benefit, no dishes!

April 10, 2014 19:16:38 PM

Many cup lids need to be disasembled to be cleaned properly.

April 09, 2014 9:09:09 AM

Oh Linda! I get so much crud because I drink coffee with my I was just using my blue ATBS mug around the house on weekends, so that it wouldn't get subjected to the brutality I put my mugs through during the course of the day. I am now using it after I saw what happened to the inner workings in the lid of my Contigo with the creamer build-up. I'll have to hit you up for another one if I beat this one up too bad!

April 08, 2014 21:07:24 PM

Jimmy you have an ATBS mug! Where is that photo? Isn't that one your favorite? :)

April 08, 2014 16:48:49 PM

@ Jeff Clark, Good idea -- I'll make sure Jimmy gets an ATBS coffee mug!

April 08, 2014 13:09:16 PM

My ATBS mug is stainless steel on the inside. It cleans up really nicely.

April 08, 2014 11:27:26 AM

Do not seem to have that problem with black coffee..... Just teasing you Jimmy it does pay to keep the cup clean. I have been using a Contigo coffee cup and they are the best. In three hours my coffee is still hot, it is spill proof and easy to clean. My cup of choice.

April 08, 2014 4:12:35 AM