A few of my water bottles have developed the smell of dead animals of late and I've had to ditch them. I've only used them for water, and tried cleaning them by hand with detergent, in boiling water, with vinegar, and in the dishwasher - all to no avail. 

Does anyone have a tried and true method?

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Sure thing, the danger comes from booze being cheaper than water. Now I know why the riders of old used to fill their bidons with wine! Added benefit - the alcohol stops bugs growing in your bidons :-)

Ha, ha.   Mate that climb up CP-5702 was massive.  I looked at it on Street view.  17% !!!    Lofty will be a mere speed hump.

just use clean water, empty and air it out(turn it upside down) after every use.

Having lived in Adelaide in the past, I am very aware of the water quality issues. Since living in WA, and now for the last five years in Tasmania, I have never had a problem with bidons / water. It really does depend on what you put in that determines what happens next ! 

What others said about the inside. For cleaning those black cage marks off the outside of a white bidon, Gumption works a treat.

I have carbon fibre cages on all of my bikes, and find that they do not leave marks.

Cheers Terry, getting carbon cages on my new ride, so looking forward to no more annoying black scuff marks

Gold!

I use steradent and it works really well. You can buy it at your supermarket. It is used for cleaning dentures but I use it on all of my watwer bottles.

i use a cheap clear one made in aus and havent had any problems.. i use rain water and rinse it off once to get rid of road gunk/grease, then rinse the inside with hot, then cold.. havent had any problems.

 i was looking at some kind of anti-bacterial bottle recently, may have been on chainreaction.

I had a camelbak podium for almost 3 years till it got ran over by the car and cracked. I just use a dish brush to clean it. I take off the rubber mouth piece cos it gets dirt in it when xc riding. 

The camelbak I use now I found on the side of the road in Brisbane last October. If I put any fruit juice in there, I clean it out with a brush in the garden that night. I don't eat dead animals nor like my bottle smelling like em either. 

a spoonful of bicarb, a couple of tablespoons of uncooked rice, half a cup of water and shake vigorously. the rice acts as an abrasive and cleans in all the nooks and crannies. hey presto! one clean and fresh bottle.

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