Find out how to keep yourself safe from mug mold.

By Meghan Overdeep
January 30, 2019
MilanEXPO/Getty Images

It turns out that the thing you love most about your favorite travel mug (its magical ability to keep your beverage either hot or cold) could also be making you sick.

Unfortunately, even regular runs through the dishwasher won’t properly clean the removable seals many travel mugs have to trap in heat or cold. And as Veronica Lucas recently learned the hard way, these seals can become breeding grounds for mold and bacteria if they aren't thoroughly cleaned and dried.

Lucas, of Asheville, North Carolina, recently went viral after she took a closer look at her Yeti travel mugs and discovered an alarming amount of mold hidden beneath the removable seals of their lids.

“Seriously y’all...go check your lids! (This applies to ALL brands of cups...not just Yeti.)” Lucas wrote on Facebook alongside four alarming photos of the mold she discovered.

That’s right: you could be drinking mold.

According to the USDA, consuming mold can make you very sick. "Some molds cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems,” the organization’s official website explains. “And a few molds, in the right conditions, produce 'mycotoxins,' poisonous substances that can make you sick.”

And Yeti mugs aren’t the only ones that pose a threat. Any tumbler with a removable seal could be harboring mold.

WATCH: Is It Dangerous to Eat Moldy Bread?

Carolyn Forte, Director of the Home Appliances and Cleaning Products Labs at the Good Housekeeping Institute, recommends hand-scrubbing any and all areas that your dishwasher can't reach to keep your beloved mug mold-free. "To get rid of all the residue and resulting mold, you should totally disassemble the tumbler and scrub all the pieces by hand in hot, soapy water to be sure they are clean," she explained to Good Housekeeping. "These cups and thermal carafes have removable seals for a reason."

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