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3 Ways to Clean Your Reusable Water Bottle
Published: July 15, 2021
Drinking lots of water every day is beneficial for your health and hydration since 60% of our body is composed of water. Drinking increases energy, helps maximize physical performance, improves digestion, and prevents constipation and dehydration.
For that reason, having a reusable water bottle with you at all times is a good reminder that you should be drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day. However, if you haven’t cleaned your water bottle in a while, you know that not washing it gives germs a chance to grow in it.
To clean your water bottle, wash it with soap, or fill it with baking soda or vinegar. If you use vinegar, fill it evenly with water and vinegar. Shake to mix the solution well and let it sit overnight. Be sure to rinse the water bottle properly with warm water the next day to remove all leftover vinegar.
Day after day, we refill our water bottles and carry them with us anywhere we go since it’s important to keep our body hydrated. But how often do we think about cleaning them? More importantly, how do we efficiently and effectively clean our water bottles?
To help you with that, let’s check out some of the most effective and convenient ways and steps to clean your reusable water bottles.
3 ways of cleaning your reusable water bottle
When you clean your water bottle, use cleaning agents to get the job done, such as soap. Whether your water bottle is made of stainless steel or plastic, it’s important to sanitize it at the end of each day. Let’s further discuss the most common, yet effective ways to clean your reusable water bottle.
- Liquid soap and water
This is the simplest way to wash your bottle. Washing it by hand, with dishwashing soap and warm water, is a safe and effective cleaning method. Add a few drops of dish soap and warm water to your water bottle, place the cap of your water bottle, and give it a few shakes.
Don’t forget to wash the exterior and bottom of the bottle as well. Once you’re done scrubbing, rinse your water bottle with warm water until you don’t see any soap residue anymore, and let dry completely.
- White vinegar
The acidic nature of vinegar is so powerful. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and great cleaning agent for killing germs and bacteria. So, make use of that bottle of vinegar you have in your pantry.
Use this method to clean your water bottle by filling half of the bottle with vinegar, and the other half with water. Return the bottle’s lid and give it a few shakes. Let it sit overnight and rinse out in the morning. You can also use dilute vinegar, which helps kill most bacteria.
This method is a particularly good way to clean a stainless-steel water bottle.
- Baking soda
If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, a similar, effective cleaning method is to use baking soda. Mix two or three tablespoons of baking soda into your bottle and fill it with warm water. Place the lid, and shake it well to mix, then leave the bottle to sit for a few hours.
Rinse the reusable bottle with hot water —we suggest running it through a cycle— until the baking soda paste is completely removed from the bottle, and let it completely dry.
If you want your water bottle to be extra clean
Freezing your water bottle can kill any remaining bacteria. So, after washing and drying your bottle, store it in the fridge. Fill it for reuse, so that the water will stay cold a little bit longer.
Whichever method you choose to use, it’s important that your drinking bottles, whether plastic or metal, dry completely before you store them for future use. Also, make sure to store the bottle without the lid. This will prevent bacteria from growing before you are ready to refill and maintain a clean, hygienic container.
3 steps to clean your reusable water bottle
Bacteria love moist environments, and when you leave your water bottle unclean, germs can grow. So it’s important to know the few steps to disinfect your water bottle, so that germs can’t easily make their way into your system. Follow the steps below to have a clean reusable water bottle.
The items you’ll need:
- Dishwashing liquid
- Vinegar (optional)
- Baking soda (optional)
- A bottlebrush
- Straw cleaners
- A paper towel or clean dish towel
For daily cleaning
- Check if your water bottle is dishwasher-safe
First, check if your water bottle’s label to see if it is dishwasher-safe. Then, place it on the top rack of the dishwasher, and choose the hottest water setting.
If your water bottle is not dishwasher-safe, just use common cleaning agents, such as dishwashing liquid, baking soda, and vinegar to get the job done.
- Wash your water bottle
The next step is to wash your reusable water bottle (at least once per day). To do so, add a few drops of dishwashing liquid and fill the bottle with warm water. Using the bottle brush, scrub the walls and bottom of the bottle. Make sure to clean the lid and the inside of the bottle as well. Finally, rinse thoroughly.
- Dry the bottle with a towel
Lastly, it’s a good idea to dry the bottle with a paper towel or a clean dish towel because bacteria thrive in moist environments—or you’ll risk spreading fresh bacteria onto the clean water bottle. If you prefer to let the bottle air-dry, just make sure to leave the cap off, or else the trapped moisture will create an ideal environment for germs.
Remember to also wash the cap of your water bottle thoroughly with warm water and dishwashing liquid every day. If your bottle is made of several parts, separate them before cleaning to make sure there isn’t grime lurking in the crevices.
Also, clean the reusable straws if you use them to drink from your bottled water. Using a solution of warm water and dishwashing liquid, let the cleaners scrub away any gunk that may be inside each straw. Then, rinse with warm water.
If the water bottle has a bad smell (for thorough cleaning)
If your water bottle has a funky smell, it’s time for a deeper cleaning. For that, fill the bottle halfway with vinegar, then add cool water. Let the mixture sit overnight, before rinsing thoroughly or placing it in the dishwasher.
If you prefer not to use vinegar, add one teaspoon of baking soda to the bottle instead, then fill it with cool water. Let sit overnight, then rinse thoroughly before following the drying instructions mentioned above.
How often should you clean your water bottle?
When it comes to cleaning your reusable water bottle, a wash at the end of the day is recommended. No matter what type of reusable water bottle you own, whether it’s a stainless or plastic one, you should clean it regularly—ideally daily if used every day—since bacteria grow in moist environments, and therefore, in water bottles.
Include the drinking nozzle as well since it is their prime breeding grounds for bacterial growth.
Risks of using an unclean water bottle
A reusable water bottle is part of the solution toward a greener world. Also, having a water bottle with you may help you drink an adequate amount of water. However, it could also make you sick since several bacteria can live in water bottles if you don’t clean them on a daily basis.
- May accumulate germs and bacteria
Whether plastic or metal, screw-top or squeeze, bottles that you use for days without cleaning them can carry germs with every drink. Unwashed bottles can indeed accumulate bacteria and become dirtier than toilet sinks or dog bowls.
Apart from that, bacteria make their way onto your reusable bottle in multiple ways, such as through dirty hands touching the screwcap, your mouth on the opening, the straw of a water bottle, or through the backwash of saliva as you drink.
For example, when you go to the gym and you’re exercising and sweating, you drink water from your water bottle after touching some unclean stuff around you. Germs can remain on the bottle unless you clean it after each use.
- Contaminated water bottles
Reusable bottles that haven’t been washed after usage or after days of usage are unsafe because they contain dangerous bacteria. Drinking water from contaminated bottles may cause serious health issues such as diarrhea, urinary tract infections (UTI), sepsis, or staph infections. Bacteria can thrive and multiply at a fast rate if left unwashed.
After familiarizing with and understanding the importance of cleaned water bottles, you should now go with a clean water bottle with you at all times. Make sure to apply the methods and steps we’ve discussed above to maintain the cleanliness of your water bottles and keep it free from germs.
Change that wrong thinking that there’s no harm in using a water bottle you’ve neglected to disinfect since it looks clean and you’re just refilling it. Remember that the more bacteria present in that water bottle, the greater the chance you’ll get sick.
Therefore, you better clean your reusable water bottles regularly. This way, you’ll be protecting your health while helping the environment at the same time.