Let’s be real for a second: have you gotten a whiff of your protein shaker bottle lately? As you probably know from personal experience, they can get pretty gross and an almost “perma-stink” similar to the type that afflicts our favorite gym clothes. But the good news is that you don’t have to throw it away. There are ways you can prevent the stink in the first place—and get rid of it once it sets in. We called upon the expertise of cleaning expert Jolie Kerr, author of the New York Times bestselling book My Boyfriend Barfed In My Handbag … And Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha, to find out exactly how. (Her book has advice for cleaning everything from those perma-stinky gym clothes we mentioned to sex toys, so it’s no surprise cleaning a protein shaker doesn’t faze her.)
“When protein powder residue sits too long, it clumps up and becomes glue-like, making it really hard to clean up. It also starts to stink,” says Kerr. The best thing you can do to maintain your protein shaker, if you can’t wash it right away, is to rinse it out with hot water as soon as you can after finishing your drink, she says. So, make use of the locker room sink if you’ve just taken down a shake post-workout before you toss it in your gym bag.
But what if you forget or “don’t have time” to take this important step? “If the shaker is left for too long with protein powder residue, filling it with very hot water and a few drops of dish soap and allowing it to soak for 10-15 minutes before washing as usual will help,” assures Kerr.
For extra stubborn buildup, she suggests dropping a denture tablet (you can get them at the drugstore) in the shaker and filling it with hot water. Let it soak for 15 minutes then dump the tablet water and wash as usual. “The fizzing action of the denture tablets will help to remove caked on protein powder,” explains Kerr.
If that doesn’t work, it’s probably time to get a new bottle. At least now you know how to take care of it!