Black stains on water bottles


New Member
Jan 29, 2003
Anyone noes how to remove those black stains left on light colored bottles ? tried using soap n even degreaser but just cant seem to get them all off....
I have the same problem on clear bottles, do you think bleach will work there too?
If the stains are on the inside it's probably algae if the bottles were not washed out straight after use. Fill about quarter full with sand, add to half way with water and give a "cocktail" shake. Rinse with clean water. Make a mental note not to leave them again!:D
Its not algae, Its on the outside, and it looks like grease. But washing doesn't seem to take it all off.
i doubt its grease, if its where the bottles rub against your cages and you have aluminium cages its probably aluminium oxide.

your chances of getting that off are pretty low since its the second hardest thing on earth
yeah man its at the areas where there is contact between the bottle cages.... Any ways to get rid of those stains? or are there bottles which will not get such stains?
aluminium oxide is very tough stuff, you might get it off with caustic soda (which is a bit nasty to use) but other than that you would have to sand you bottles back which might make them look a bit messy

perhaps your best option is to buy some darker bottles
The cheapy cages are normally painted aluminium - the paint wears off and the aluminium stains your bottle.

The more expensive cages are anodized (a much harder coating) - eventually the coating peels off but at least is doesn't stain your bottle....
oh man so the shop gave mi cheapppyyyy cages then when i got the bike no wonderrrrr he was so cooool bout it when he said hes gonna give me 2 bottle cages sheezz
yeah well no bike shop is going to hand over a pair of really good cages for nothing....

there is nto much you can do except get some different cages or darker bottles. You can't get rid of aluminium oxide from the cages since it forms instantly when polished aluminium is exposed to air and forms a hard protective layer on the surface that stops them corroding further
Darker bottles is not really the answer. They stain as well. I use sunlight liquid and those green pot sponges and that cleans them quite nicely. I have bottles that I use for more than two years now and just clean them after every use.
well if you want to go all the way you can pay hundreds of dollars for carbon fibre cages

but good cages cost like $30-40 AUS, or you can get plastic cages which won't stain
Hi Guys

Been a while... When washing bottles be sure to sterilize the bottlles AS WELL AS THE MOUTHPIECES very carefully. You do not want somebody elses stomach on ARGUS morning!!!!!! Use Milton or normal UNSCENTED bleach (you do not want your water to smell like a spring garden or apple blossom!!!!) Leave the bottles upside down to dry, close the mouthpieces and put the caps back on. Be sure to rinse the bottles carefully to get rid of the Milton/Bleach. Anybody with babies out there this should almost be routine!!!!! The sand idea to get rid of Algea spots will work. Just remember sand can carry a lot of bacteria (flea eggs, faeces etc) Sterilize the bottles very very meticulously after scouring with sand. On the black spots....learn to live with it....millions of other cyclists do. Also dump your bottles regularly and get new ones. They are cheap enough. You can use the old ones to pre-race hydrate when you stand in the starting blocks. Be sure to dump the bottle in a garbage can.

Keep those wheels spinning

Big H
yeah i agree, especially if you put any sports drinks in your bottles even a day or two and they will start to grow bacteria.

Personally i use an industrial dishwashing detergent and hot water in my bottles, kills everything and keeps them sparkling clean. then i store them opened up so they dry out.
Tried Sunlight Dishwashing liquid and a scrub last night and it worked perfectly:)

Did not even take the pictures off...mind you was a delicate operation:D :D

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