Could Your Insulated Cup Have Potentially Harmful Bacteria If Not Cleaned Properly?

Insulated cups have taken over social media, but some people say they’ve gotten sick after using them when not cleaned properly.

Insulated Stanley cups have become the rage on social media and sales have skyrocketed as a result. However, some people have been getting sick after using them when not cleaned properly.

Stanley cups have taken over social media but so have videos showing them covered in grime after they have been used.

Country singer Emily Zeck posted a video of her Stanley cup on Tiktok.

“I’ve been very much shamed into cleaning my Stanley more often,” Zeck says. “Much to my dismay, it was harboring quite a bit of mold,” Zeck says.

Can bacteria on a cup potentially make you sick?

Travel blogger Alex Miller says she started getting sick after drinking from her water bottle.

“I was just really feeling quite unwell every single day and I was like, ‘I don’t think it’s the food,’” Miller says. “Around the ring, and then also in the mouthpiece, there was like this little layer of mold.”

To test the cleanliness of some tumblers, Inside Edition swabbed several Stanley cups, as well as other brands from people who admitted they do not clean them enough. The tests were sent to Micrim Labs for testing.

In one of the cups, results showed two types of bacteria, one that can lead to serious inflection. In another, three different types of bacteria were found, one of which was E. coli.

An Inside Edition producer's Simple Modern cup was the dirtiest of the cups tested. Her cup had a bacteria count of over a quarter of a million. Her cup had six different types of bacteria, all of which could cause an infection or cause sickness.

Microbiologist Dr. Susan Whitter reviewed the lab results.

“Honestly, toilet seats are cleaner than what we found from that one container,” Whitter says.

Manufacturers say people should take their cups completely apart and wash each part thoroughly with water and anti-bacterial soap after each use.

"The health and safety of Simple Modern customers is extremely important to us," Mike Beckham, Simple Modern founder and CEO tells Inside Edition. "Simple Modern wholeheartedly agrees that our products… should be cleaned regularly. Because a product is reusable, it also means that it needs proper cleaning, even if it is only used for filtered water. We instruct customers on the product insert to hand wash vessels and lids before the first use. Simple Modern also has full cleaning and care instructions on its website:"

Stanley Senior Hydration Product Manager Kyle Casteel tells Inside Edition, "Ideally, your Stanley Quencher or other favorite Stanley should be washed after each use. Keep your Stanley clean both inside and out for sanitary sipping. This is especially true if you are drinking a beverage other than water."

If your cup has flexible rubber parts, it is important to be careful about getting them clean. 

All cup manufacturers include cleaning instructions.

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