I’m all for doing my part and being eco-friendly. Reusing water bottles, plastic or otherwise is a popular way to help, but one of the big problems with water bottles is mould build-up. So keeping them clean is key.

The word ‘bacteria’ can send many people reaching for the hand sanitiser, and while some bacteria are not harmful, it is probably better to be safe than sorry and keep your water bottle clean.

Plastics are by nature extremely sanitary materials. However, capping a nearly empty water bottle traps humidity inside and provides a perfect growing medium for bacteria.

These bacteria generally come from your hands and mouth, or any dirt that comes in contact with the mouth of the bottle. Bacteria are better able to form a colony if they have a place to cling to as they multiply, and the threads on the mouthpiece of a water bottle provide a perfect place by trapping moisture and providing a safe environment — right where you put your mouth.

Here are a few ways to keep your water bottle clean and safe to use.

Sanitising your water bottle

Soap and water is a simple and easy way of keeping your water bottle clean. If you have visible bacterial slime or mould in your water bottle, you may like to sanitize your water bottle using one of the following methods.

Dishwasher: Load up bottle and top separately in the regular dishwasher cycle. Some bottles are not dishwasher-safe, so check the bottom of your bottle or the brand’s website to make sure. As well, some stainless steel bottles are not dishwasher safe and should be cleaned with a brush that can reach inside and wash the bottom of the bottle.

Use vinegar: An all-natural cleaner, vinegar is great for killing many germs and bacteria. After washing with soapy water, rinse well and fill your bottle one fifth of the way with white vinegar. Fill the rest with warm water, let it stand overnight, and in the morning thoroughly rinse it out.

Use baking soda: Place about a half inch of baking soda in the bottom of the bottle. Fill most of the way up with hot water. Secure the lid. Shake the bottle vigorously for about a minute, and then let it sit for about a half hour. Empty the bottle and rinse it thoroughly.

Use Hydrogen Peroxide 3 Percent: Mix a solution of one part hydrogen peroxide and one part water. Fill the water bottle and allow the bottle to sit for about an hour and then empty the solution. Rinse the bottle thoroughly.

Use a weak bleach solution: If you’re really worried about germs, nothing stands a chance against a little bleach. It is safe to drink from a bottle that’s been cleaned with a weak bleach solution, just make sure you thoroughly rinse it and allow to dry.

 

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