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I don’t clean my water bottles enough… or my coffee thermoses… or my retainer… or my mouth guard. In lieu of dismissing this behavior as “lazy,” I try to remember that I’m stretched thin from taking care of household tasks while working full time, and that makes it even more difficult to will myself into completing chores I already dread.
Enter the antibacterial Efferdent cleaning tablets, which I swear by as a budget hack for cleaning my retainers, mouth guards, water bottles and coffee thermoses. They’re so cheap, they basically pay for themselves.
I drink out of my two Nalgene water bottles religiously, for example, and carry one of them on me at almost all times. Yet water bottles are trickier to clean than people may think, thanks to their narrow mouths. Even cleaning my retainers and mouth guards, which I wear near-nightly to help retain orthodontia and counteract grinding, is a tricky task.
I’ve found that these Efferdent cleaning tablets — originally designed to deep-clean dentures — help get rid of icky bacteria-causing odor, stains, buildup and food particles on these frequently-used objects. All you have to do is fill your water bottle with warm water — or a cup with your retainer inside — plop a tablet in, soak and rinse. They’re designed to work in three minutes, but I like to let the tablet do its work for an hour. Afterward, my bottles and retainers are sparkly clean, and any sludge or grime slides right off.
These tablets make a chore I hate doing way easier and more manageable, plus are exceptionally cheap: a whopping 90 tablets for less than $4. They’re a fraction of the price of products like Bottle Brite cleaner, which costs $8 for a mere 12 tablets.
This version leaves a minty flavor, but I find that it goes away with a rinse (and an unscented version is available, too).
Check out how a few Amazon reviewers have put these tablets to good use, or just scroll down to add these tiny miracle-workers to your cart.
“I use these to clean my bike water bottles. Work great and a lot cheaper than dedicated bottle cleaning tablets. The can be used for cleaning a whole lot of things.” — John
“I use these to clean tea and coffee stains out of my favorite mugs and also to clean out my metal water bottles!!!” — Diane
“I had a similar product in my cart for ages, but it was WAY more expensive so I never went through with purchasing. Happened across these one day and they were so affordable I figured it would be worth a shot. SO happy I bought these! I’ve been using the same retainer for a while now and it looks BRAND NEW, I really can’t believe it. I let it soak for a while, because it was so gross and I didn’t even have to brush it after - every bit of gunk and discoloration is gone (really should’ve taken before and after pictures). I’m so mad at myself for not finding these sooner!” — Ann
“I didn’t even know I needed this product until I used it!! I wear a mouth guard to bed and had to brush it everyday. The thing is, you are never certain if you got all the bacteria off. Ick!! Then I saw this Efferdent for retainers and thought I’d give it a try. I love it. Just warm water and the tablet (make sure your container of water is deep enough to cover your retainer) fizzes away all the bacteria and stains. Instructions said three minutes but that wasn’t quite enough with mine....so I did it again for fifteen minutes. My retainer looks brand new. All the yellowish color is gone. The flavor is nice and fresh. I’m completely sold and VERY glad I bought this product! Highly recommend!” — Kristen Crawford