Titanium is by far the lightest and strongest material for your outdoor gear. Titanium is not only a durable precious metal but because of its unique properties, it can be used for a lifetime. But, as with anything you buy, you need to invest in quality products. And more so look after your gear.
My Grandfather an avid outdoorsman said to me as a child, “always pay for better quality gear and maintain it well, you never know when it will look after you.” This ethos has always stuck with me and because of this as an adult, I now have gear that is a decade-plus old.
Not only does maintaining, caring, and cleaning for your gear bring better value, but it reduces consumption and the need for excess stuff. So without further delay let’s delve into the best way to clean and care for your SilverAnt gear.
Below is a rough guide of what we'll cover:
- Why clean your gear?
- Materials needed for cleaning titanium gear
- The general titanium cleaning guide
- Cleaning in different situations
- Product specific cleaning
- Tips for maintaining titanium gear
Why Clean Your Titanium Gear?
Maintaining and cleaning your titanium outdoor gear is important for several reasons. Firstly, titanium gear is known for its durability, but even the strongest materials can suffer from wear and tear. By properly cleaning and maintaining your gear, you can help prevent scratches, dings, dents, and other damage that could compromise its integrity and performance.
Titanium outdoor gear is built to be used in challenging environments, but even small amounts of dirt or debris can affect its performance. By cleaning your gear regularly, you can ensure that it remains in top condition and performs as intended.
Backpacking gear can become a breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms, especially if it is not cleaned regularly. By cleaning your gear after each use, you can help prevent the spread of germs and maintain good hygiene. I know titanium is naturally antibacterial but there are certain limits to this and cleaning is just good practice.
Additionally, we all want our gear to look good! By keeping your titanium gear clean and free of dirt and debris, you can ensure that it looks its best, whether you're out on the trail, in the office, or just storing it at home.
So now with the essential reasons to clean your gear explained let’s get into the basic materials you will need.
Materials Needed for Cleaning Your Titanium Gear
To properly clean titanium outdoor gear, there are a few materials you'll need. First, you'll want to use a soft-bristled brush or sponge/cloth to scrub away dirt and debris or leftover food. You'll also need a mild detergent or soap. Dish soap, washing-up soap, or castile soap are all suitable alongside warm water.
Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers, as these can scratch the surface of your gear.
It's important to note that for the majority of titanium outdoor gear, you should avoid using a dishwasher to clean it. Dishwashers can expose your gear to high temperatures, harsh detergents, and abrasive cleaning methods.
Opt for handwashing, using gentle materials to ensure that your gear remains in top condition.
For soap whether at home or on the trail, I recommend Dr. Bronners. It’s organic soap that’s mild without any harsh chemicals. When backpacking I’ll have a little bottle of this ill use and carry with me. This is perfect for cleaning outdoors as no chemicals will impact the local environment!
As regards cloth I love to use either basic linen cloths or one of these sponges. they work great and clean food residue like oatmeal perfectly.
Now let’s proceed with the general steps for cleaning the majority of your titanium gear.
The General Titanium Gear Cleaning Guide
Just to note the below steps for cleaning are just a general overview of cleaning at home. Below this section, I detail product collection-specific advice as well as cleaning outdoors. If you want to know exactly based on the product you can scroll down below.
Before cleaning you want to rinse and remove any dirt or debris from your gear. Use a soft-bristled brush or sponge to gently scrub away any surface dirt or grime.
Fill a bowl or sink with warm water and add a small amount of mild detergent or soap. As mentioned Dr. Bronners is fantastic! Again don’t use anything abrasive as these can scratch the surface of your gear.
Dip your titanium gear into the soapy water and use your sponge or cloth to wash away any remaining dirt or stains. Be sure to clean all surfaces, including hard-to-reach areas like crevices or corners.
Rinse your gear with clean water to remove any soap residue. If necessary, repeat the washing and rinsing process until your gear is completely clean.
Dry your gear with a soft, clean towel, or allow it to air dry. Avoid using a heat source to speed up the drying process.
Once your gear is dry, inspect it for any signs of damage or wear and store ready for your next adventure.
Cleaning in Different Environments
Cleaning your titanium gear while camping and backpacking require a different approach than at home. When on the trail, you may not have access to all the materials and tools you would normally use to clean your gear. Additionally, outdoor environments can present unique challenges, such as exposure to dirt, sand, and other debris.
One key difference between cleaning your gear at home and while camping is the use of water. While camping, you may have access to running water at a fixed site. But backpacking or hiking you won’t. For this, you may need to conserve water for drinking or cooking. In this case, you can use a damp cloth to wipe away surface dirt and grime. If you do have access to water, be sure to use biodegradable soap and dispose of any wastewater properly to minimize your impact on the environment. Always dispose of wastewater away from natural water sources like rivers and lakes. LEAVE NO TRACE!
Another consideration when cleaning your gear while camping is the use of abrasive materials. While at home, you may have access to soft-bristled brushes and sponges, but these may not be practical to bring on a camping trip.
The best practice for hiking, backpacking, and thru-hiking where there is no available water source is to always leave a bit of hot water from boiling or cooking. You can eat your meal and then use the leftover water to wash any cups, pots, or pans. Add a drop of organic biodegradable soap (Dr. Bronners) and then clean. If you have many items to clean wash one titanium pot then pour the water into the next. Water conservation is key! After everything is clean you can then rinse and dry each item ready for later.
Product Specific Cleaning
Now with the cleaning differences explained for both at home and on the trail its important to impart some specific information to help you even further clean your titanium gear.
Titanium Water Bottles
For your titanium water bottle, the most difficult part to clean will be the silicon seal or O-ring. This ensures the water bottle is completely leakproof. Unfortunately, silicon seals need replacing after a few years as they are not quite the super material that titanium is. With the silicon seal if not cleaned often they can grow mold or trap dirt.
The best practice is at home to remove the non-integrated seal and clean it separately if it’s looking a bit dirty. If the titanium water bottle seal is integrated no worries. You can clean it well and then ensure it’s completely dry.
For on the trail depending on the duration to keep your water bottle fresh use a little hot water and secure the lid. Give the water bottle a good shake and pour the water out. When backpacking you don’t want to wash your titanium water bottle with soap as water is limited and you don’t want soapy residue left inside. Instead, clean the lip of the bottle and rinse with hot water as mentioned.
Titanium Camping Cookware
Titanium cookware is pretty simple and easy to clean. You can use a non-abrasive cloth both on the trail and off-trail with soapy warm water. Clean and remove all food residue and rinse before drying.
One note is that with cooking on a campfire you can produce black soot on the outside of the titanium cookware. If your fire isn’t hot enough or there isn’t dry wood available black soot is inevitable. This is very stubborn and hard to clean. The best thing, in this case, is to wash at home. Personally, I prefer using a gas-powered stove where I can control the flame and ensure even heat distribution when cooking. This completely removes the worry of black soot marks.
Titanium Cups and Mugs
With SilverAnts titanium cups and mugs you can follow the same process as titanium camping cookware. Once again using a large titanium cup to cook food with on a campfire can leave black soot marks.
If you are using the titanium mug to drink coffee you can easily rinse the cup without using any soapy water for a few days on the trail. Due to the titanium cup’s simple design, it is easy to clean with a cloth and warm water. Ensure you wash the bottom of the cup well and rinse before drying and storing it in the SilverAnt drawstring case.
Titanium Hip Flasks
All SilverAnt titanium hip flasks have an integrated silicon seal O-ring. This is to make sure you don’t lose a drop of your favorite liquor. To clean your titanium flask you will want to do so at home. On the trail there is no real reason to do so. At home use warm water and a mild detergent. Shake the hip flask with warm soapy water inside and then rinse under running water. Clean with a cloth the O-ring and then leave the hip flask to completely dry. You can use this exact method to interchange between alcohol varieties.
Next, we come to the easiest item amongst our titanium gear to clean. A wipe with a cloth, the bottom of your shirt, or pouring a little bit of hot water onto your titanium cutlery and utensils will suffice while on the trail. When returning home you can wash it in the kitchen sink and dry it. You can also for SilverAnt’s titanium cutlery and utensils wash in a dishwasher. However, we still recommend hand washing for all our titanium gear.
Titanium Coffee Ware
When cleaning titanium coffee gear there is only one product to discuss. This is our titanium coffee french press. At home, you can wash the coffee press in the kitchen sink placing the leftover coffee grounds in the trash. Followed by rinsing the plunger thoroughly removing all grounds and leaving it to dry.
On the trail backpacking, the same is required but water is often in need of rationing. The main area to clean is the titanium coffee french press plunger. To do this pour some saved water over the titanium filter removing any grounds. If a coffee ground is particularly stubborn use your hand to remove it. You want to remove all coffee grounds before the next use as leftover grounds can leave a bitter taste in future cups of coffee. Rinsing the main coffee press is simple. Never throw coffee grounds near natural water sources and practice the leave no trace mentality. For your titanium french press on the trail never wash with soap, rinsing with boiling or warm water is sufficient.
Titanium Tea Ware
SilverAnt with its rich heritage in China and Asia produces the best titanium teaware on the market. Although we predominantly are a titanium outdoor company the popularity of our titanium teaware is only growing. Thank you, Tim Ferriss, Venture Capitalists, and Silicon valley for your love of tea!
Personally, as a man that loves to drink green and oolong tea daily, I can reveal the exact way to best clean your titanium teaware. Never clean any item of teaware with any form of detergent EVER! It’s a cardinal sin in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean tea ceremonies.
All teaware whether titanium or ceramic is cleaned and rinsed with boiling hot water before serving. At SilverAnt for all our titanium teaware we recommend the millennia-long tradition of cleaning too!
In SilverAnt’s range, we sell 2 varieties of titanium stoves. We have a titanium alcohol multi-fuel stove and a wood-burning stove. For our multifuel stove, you will never need to clean it. The best practice with any multi-fuel stove is to always regardless of fuel let it completely burn. With alcohol wait till none is left, the same with petrol or diesel. For a fuel tab, some residue can be left after burning and this can be removed with a few tissues and then disposed of.
Never clean a multi-fuel stove as the chosen fuel source can contaminate water sources.
To clean our large wood-burning stove as well as any similar stove you never need to wash them. The best practice is to sweep the ash after the titanium stove is completely cool. Other than removing the ash before collapsing and folding down nothing more is needed to clean a titanium wood stove.
Titanium Tent Stakes
In 2023 SilverAnt’s most recent product addition is our titanium tent stakes. You will never need to wash them with soapy water but they most certainly do need cleaning and maintenance.
To best maintain and care for the tent stakes remove any dirt or debris, after pulling from the ground and packing up your tent. When home, you can take the dirty tent stakes out and brush them removing all loose soil and debris. You can also use a jet washer to get them super clean before leaving them to dry and placing them in the drawstring case. This washing isn’t necessary but for those that want super clean tent stakes, you can.
Unlike stainless steel or aluminum, you can wash the titanium tent stakes as they won’t rust or corrode.
Tips for Maintaining Titanium Gear
With your gear now clean and dry the next step is maintenance. And this basically means storing the titanium gear properly. At SilverAnt every single product we sell comes with a drawstring case for storage. This is invaluable for functionality as well as to keep the titanium gear clean. You can also easily wash the drawstring case after backpacking in the washing machine to keep it clean too.
When not in use, store your titanium gear in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing it in damp or humid environments.
Next, inspect for damage. Regularly check your titanium gear for signs of damage or wear, such as scratches, dents, or dings. If you notice any issues, take care to address them promptly to prevent further wear.
Finally, always follow the specific cleaning and maintenance instructions for your titanium gear. If the titanium product is wholly titanium then no worries. If for example titanium hip flasks or titanium water bottles the silicon seals will need replacing every few years. Doing so can help you keep your gear in optimal condition for years of reliable use.
Cleaning and maintaining titanium gear is an essential part of caring for your outdoor gear. And as you can see, taking care of your titanium outdoor gear is simple and straightforward. Regular handwashing with biodegradable soap, a non-abrasive cloth, and proper storage with regular inspections, will help keep your gear in top condition for years to come.
Whether at home or on the trail, with proper care you can ensure your titanium gear is always in great condition.
If you have any questions or product-specific cleaning questions please contact us for further advice.
To your next adventure!