Foolproof Hacks to Keep Your Water Bottle Squeaky Clean
With the average human saving 1,460 plastic bottles each year by using a reusable bottle, the popular alternative is a step in the right direction when it comes to fighting plastic pollution. That said, while reusable water bottles are a great way to help the environment, keeping them clean and hygienic is a necessity in preventing bacteria from forming, which could lead to illness. Fortunately, cleaning your bottle doesn’t have to be difficult, and you don’t need any fancy tools to do so.
Empty it daily
Whether you’ve finished the contents of your water bottle or not, you should still empty it each day, especially if you use it for fruit-infused water or a beverage besides water. This is because if left for too long with the same liquid inside, it can leave your bottle with a smell and lingering taste. Even worse, if left long enough, mold can even grow. For example, if your smoothie-filled bottle is left in the heat, you may have to worry about removing the mold or bacteria that will have undoubtedly formed. This can quickly turn into a health hazard, as it is obviously unwise to consume anything that contains bacteria. However, washing it regularly can play a big role in keeping your bottle as clean as possible and avoiding this hazard.
Even if you only use your reusable bottle for drinking water, it’s still important to wash it after each use. This can easily be done with warm, soapy water. After washing it, you should leave the bottle to air dry. Investing in a cleaning brush made for reusable bottles can be a great way to make sure you’re getting every nook and cranny while washing, too. Some bottles may even be dishwasher safe (most are clearly marked with washing instructions on the container itself), which makes regular cleaning even easier. Regular washing is especially important if you take your water bottle everywhere you go, like work or school and especially in public bathrooms.
If your water bottle has an unpleasant smell, seems discolored, or just needs a thorough clean, there are a couple of ways you can deep clean it. One method is to use vinegar, which can kill some (but not all) germs and bacteria. Fill your bottle with a small amount of white vinegar, add water, and let it stand overnight. The next day, rinse your bottle and let it dry. Another deep cleaning method for your water bottle involves a weak bleach solution. By filling your bottle with the solution (one tablespoon of bleach mixed with one quart of water), let it stand for two minutes, you’ll effectively kill any germs. Deep cleaning is especially important if your bottle contains mold or other bacterial buildup. As always, make sure you thoroughly rinse your bottle and let it dry completely before using it again following a deep clean.
Reusable water bottles offer a great way to help the environment and cut down on unnecessary plastic use, though it’s important to know how to take care of them properly. By emptying your bottle out daily, washing it regularly, and deep cleaning it on occasion, you’re sure to have a clean and hygienic source of hydration.
By Jess Walters