Tip Of The Day: Get Abrasive
A few months back I started adding Crystal Light and other assorted mixed packet drink flavors to my narrow mouth Nalgene Bottle. After awhile of doing this I noticed a pretty nasty funk build up inside of the bottle. I tried to take the easy way out and I ran out through the dishwasher several times, but it couldn't remove the gunk. I kind of gave up on cleaning the bottle and more or less just forgot about it.
While inventorying gear for an upcoming trip I remembered my nasty bottle. I thought of how much I would like to have my narrow mouth bottle with me, and considered running to the store and buying a new one. Then I thought of how gross this was. Not the bottle, but the thought of just getting rid of it and buying a new one. I didn't want to waste money and take the easy way out, in this day and age we do this far too often.
I found a wire brush and started scrubbing away. This was working, but taking forever. Even though the brush was bendable, it was still really hard to reach certain angles of the bottle. Then I remembered an old trick, abrasion! I first filled the bottle about halfway up, then I found several small rocks around my yard and added them to the bottle. The next step was to quickly rotate the bottle creating a fast swirling motion with the rocks. The abrasive texture of the rocks against the sides of the bottle scraped the gunk off after about 5 minutes of forceful shaking and rotating. Viola! I managed to clean my favorite bottle and save a few bucks in the process.
This works great for cleaning cookware and all sorts of other containers. Try it on your next camping trip, but don't use this method on nonstick surfaces.