Travel mug woes

My life over the past couple of years has been fraught with one “coffee cup woe” (TM) after another.  Travel mug, coffee cup, beverage container, or what have you — I need them, and I can never find one that suits my fancy.  You see, the issue is that my car (an early 90’s Saab 900 Turbo) doesn’t have cup holder, unless you count the slightly raised rings in the glovebox. <insert picture here>  Those are difficult to use while driving.  Actually, they’re pretty useless while you’re parked too, come to think of it.  In fact, there aren’t a LOT of great solutions for a cup holder in a car like mine.  Rather, I opt to find a good travel mug that won’t leak.

Easy enough, right?  Not so much.

I tried a few Starbucks mugs — typically plastic cups (or mugs) with a threaded lid and a closeable top.  I went through (4) of their mugs before giving up.  They nearly all would leak — some worse than others — and all ended up broken at one point or another.  The “clear plastic around inner plastic” models typically develop a crack between the handle and the lid, and become totally nasty when a little water gets in between the plastic layers.  One of my cups had mold growing.  That’s sick!

One cup to rule them all.  One cup to save them!

I thought I’d found the be-all-end-all of travel mugs.  Those wacky folks at OXO — makers of the Good Grips brand — have a pretty decent reputation.  When I found one of their LiquiSeal (TM) travel mugs, I figured that my search was over.  Nice looking, well-shaped drinking lid, no handle (I don’t like handles on my coffee cups), and virtually leak free!  Observe…

(Pretty handsome, eh?  If I was single again…)

Well, the Good Grips love ended last week.  Let me explain:

Shortly before leaving for work, I happened to glance down into the spout of the travel mug and notice some “crud”, if you will.  Looked like it wasn’t cleaned very well.  Mind you, either my wife or I would handwash this cup every single evening, so it should’ve been fine.  Regardless, I unscrewed the top to drink my coffee that day, with a promise of “looking into things” that evening.  I kept my promise, but I wasn’t happy about what I found!  First of all, the drinking spout had quite a bit of gunk and crud in it.  Using a Q-Tip (TM), I attempted to clean it out pretty well.  Next up, the underside of the lid where the stopper and seal reside.  Guess what?  You can’t unscrew it.  In other words, except for the 1/4″ of space that you have to around the seal, there is no real way to get in there and clean.  Busting out my trusty Q-Tips again, I attempted to clean what I could.  Not pretty.  About 20 Q-Tips later, I still had rings and chunks of dried nastiness falling into the palm of my hand.  Each Q-Tip was covered with brown dried or slightly gelatinous gunk.  Know what?  Amazon reviews tell me that others have been finding the same thing…

I couldn’t use that cup any longer.  (Well…. *that* and the fact that I ruined the lid trying to boil it and loosen the gunk.)  No more OXO Good Grips LiquiSeal cup!

So… I’ve purchase a new cup today, and it looks promising.  It’s the ThermoPerfect 16oz Vacuum-Insulated Travel Mug.  More or less similar to the picture below.

Know what else!  It looks like you can *actually* CLEAN this thing!  A novel idea.

Anyhow, the “verdict” is most certainly out on the new cup, but I have high hopes.


5 Responses to “Travel mug woes”

  1. 1 Alex July 26, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Hello, can you please tell me how you
    Clean the gunk out of the lid of your ThermoPerfect mug??

  2. 2 Connie November 6, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I felt as though I was reading my story, down to the 20 Q-tips ! I also tried using bamboo skewers to get around those tiny rubber rings. I don’t know that you will read this since the reply is comming 2 1/2 years later. If you do, I would love to know what you have found best spill-proof travel mug.

    • 3 yipcanjo November 7, 2011 at 11:26 am

      Yeah… it’s been awhile, but thanks for your comments! I saw someone with the Good Grips mug a few weeks ago, and all I could do was cringe at the thought of what was growing inside. Yuck! 😦

      Anyhow, I’ve long since settled on an awesome stainless steel mug from Starbucks. They come in a few different colors, but the design and build is the same. I’ve dropped it, tossed it around, washed it in various ways, and I use it on a daily basis — it just works great and never leaks. Honestly! It also keeps my drinks warms for a couple of hours. Amazing. My wife has one as well, and I would highly recommend them to anyone who’s in the market for a great travel mug.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  3. 4 coffee mug holder April 17, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Hi There Yipcanjo,
    On a similar note,, Over time, my coffee travel mug has accumulated water that is trapped inside the thermos walls. When I empty the travel mug and let it dry; and then shake it; I can hear water inside the mug. It’s an expenisve travel mug and don’t want to throw it out. There’s gotta be a way to get the water out without breaking it. Can anyone help?

  1. 1 Oh, coffee cups…why do you mock me? « Y.I.P.C.A.N.J.O Trackback on May 1, 2008 at 11:10 pm
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