How to clean your protein shaker

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We’ve all done it. Made a delicious protein shake, downed it, and put the shaker on the side with the hope of remembering to clean it out later on.

The reality is, most of us forget. We only notice 2 or 3 days later when we take the lid off and it stinks to high heaven. This stench is caused by bacteria that forms from the protein.

So, how do you clean it properly, so it doesn’t continue to stink and affect the taste of your next protein shake?

Read our top tips on how to clean your protein shaker below.

  1. Rinse it out with (very) hot water

The gymgoer’s lament: after each workout you load up your trusty shaker with protein powder, but even after repeated washes it’s smelling a little… off. Or worse: you forgot to wash it out after you used it, and hours (or days) later it smells like a dumpster next to a sewage farm. What to do?

First step: rinse it out with hot water. The closer to boiling, the better (FYI, boiling water can warp cheaper shakers). Let the water stand in the shaker for five minutes or so (and be careful not to burning yourself — don’t shake it up with dishwashing liquid when it’s full of scalding water, because it’ll likely explode open from the increased pressure).


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2. Scrub with steel wool

Protein shaker pong is often caused by residue from the protein sticking to the container’s insides. A regular sponge might not be enough to scrub it off. Make the switch to steel wool with a bit of elbow grease.

3. Shake it up with baking powder

If scalding water and a bit of soap doesn’t do the trick, and steel wool hasn’t worked, turn to one of the most reliable cleaning products there is: baking powder, which is great at neutralising stink. Fill your shaker with warm water, add a teaspoon of baking powder, and go full Taylor Swift on that thing.

4. Soak it in vinegar and water

Another staple of clean freaks: white vinegar. Fill your shaker with hot water, pour in a bit of vinegar, stir it around and let it sit for a little while. For best results, follow a baking soda shake with a vinegar soak.

5. Freeze it

A protip on Reddit advises filling your protein shaker with water, then leaving it in your freezer overnight. “The next morning I washed it out and it smelled normal — not like a dead animal.”

6. Switch to non-dairy milk or protein powder

If you’re mixing whey protein (derived from cows) to regular milk (derived from cows), that could be a reason for the lingering stench in your shaker. Team Coach has found that using almond milk or a plant-based protein powder doesn’t seem to smell quite as funky — especially if you’re prone to drinking your shake then forgetting to wash it straight afterwards.

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7. Switch to glass

A glass or ceramic container is just less likely to hold onto bad smells than a plastic one. Downside: it’s less practical to carry around (and more expensive to replace if you drop it), so you need to decide if the bad smell is bad enough to justify the switch.


We hope you found these tips useful. Just remember, to save the hell of opening a stinky shaker, clean it immediately after use – you’ll regret it otherwise!

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