Bacterial accumulation and even mold could be lurking in your water bottle. It can be difficult to know how to clean reusable water bottles because there are so many different types. To find out, use our helpful guide. Is there anything more underappreciated than a water bottle? This convenient item, similar to My Own Water, can accompany you to the gym, your desk, the grocery store, and daily dog walks. It could be your favorite color, and it could keep iced water cold for hours. What your water bottle can't do, though? It is self-cleaning.
According to experts, you should wash your water bottle after each use. In addition, on average, athletes' water bottles contain 313,499 colony-forming units (CFU) per square centimeter. The average pet toy contains only 2,937 CFU per square centimeter. That is a lot of bacteria. Plus, we all know that mold thrives in warm, damp environments. Check out our water bottle cleaning tips below to ensure you're drinking from a safe, clean vessel.
The Three Common Ways
Some water bottles can be washed in the dishwasher. If that's the case, throw yours in the dishwasher after each cycle. Even if the bottle's base can be washed in the dishwasher, the lid may not. If your water bottle isn't dishwasher safe, try one of these common cleaning products.
1. The Use of Liquid Dishwashing Soap
For everyday washing, warm, soapy water will suffice. Add a few drops of liquid dish detergent to the empty water bottle and fill it with hot water. Replace the cap and shake it vigorously—the water should start to bubble inside. Dump out the suds, then scrub the bottle all the way to the bottom with a bottle scrub brush. Don't forget to clean the bottle's exterior and bottom. After you have finished scrubbing, rinse your water bottle in warm water until no soap bubbles remain, then thoroughly dry it. Inside and out, brush the lid, paying special attention to the spout opening or mouthpiece. Rinse and dry it.
2. The Use of Vinegar
Vinegar is our go-to cleaning solution. To clean your water bottle, fill it halfway with equal parts vinegar and water. Replace the cap and shake it a few times before leaving it overnight with the solution. To eliminate any leftover vinegar, thoroughly rinse both the bottle and the lid with warm water the next day. Allow them to dry. This is an excellent method for cleaning a stainless steel water bottle.
3. The Use of Baking Soda and Bleach
Consider cleaning your water bottle with bleach to remove stubborn grime and mildew. In your bottle, add a teaspoon of both bleach and baking soda, separately. Fill the container halfway with water. Scrub the inside and outside of the cap with the solution. Allow your water bottle to sit overnight, then rinse thoroughly in the morning with warm water. If your bottle is dishwasher safe, run it through a cycle and then let it air dry.
Cleaning Water Bottle Lids of All Varieties
- Water bottles with built-in straws and a soft plastic bite valve are ideal for preventing spills during a workout. However, that convenient feature can also harbor harmful bacteria and mold. Experts recommend removing the soft plastic bite valve from the lid before cleaning it. Place the bottle's individual components in the dishwasher and run them through a cycle. Reach inside the valve with a cotton swab or straw brush and warm, soapy water. Allow it to dry completely before reassembling it after cleaning.
- Most water bottles can be cleaned in the dishwasher or with the above-mentioned water bottle cleaning methods. Reusable straws, on the other hand, require special attention. A set of straw brushes is highly recommended. When you're ready to clean your tumbler straw, rinse it with warm water, then use your straw brush to scrub both the interior and exterior with a small amount of dish soap. If that doesn't work, you can try adding baking soda, which acts as an abrasive.
- Although travel mugs are typically used for hot beverages, the same flip-top lid is used by several water bottle manufacturers. Use the top rack if you plan to wash your travel mug in the dishwasher. If it's insulated, however, you'll want to wash it by hand. Remove the rubber seal around the base of the lid and scrub it with warm, soapy water. Make sure to clean every nook and corner of the lid, as mold can thrive there.