Do You Clean Your Water Bottle?

Nalgene TriColorReusable water bottles are a wonderful thing. They help you stay hydrated and keep plastic bottles out of landfills. Paying a few dollars on a reusable bottle will also keep you from spending a buck (or even more for “artisanal water”) each time you’re thirsty, which will save you money. Considering everything your water bottle does for you, you should show it a little TLC every once in a while.

Think about all the places you take your water bottle. You take it to the trail, the office, the campsite, and everywhere else you’re bound to get thirsty. By now, you’ve have collected several states worth of gunk and grime on, or in, your water bottle. If you aren’t already in the habit of cleaning your water bottle regularly, you should be.

Even if you fill your bottle with nothing but fresh clean water, germs and bacteria can develop and start to grow inside of it. Germs love damp dark places, and a sealed water bottle is germ heaven. Over time you may notice an odd taste or smell coming from your favorite water bottle. That’s a good indication that you need to clean out your bottle, but you shouldn’t wait until the need arises. They say you should drink water before you thirsty because thirst is a sign of dehydration. Well, you should clean out your water bottle before it starts smelling funny because slurping from a bottle full of germs is gross.

Your bottle should be cleaned regularly. What does regularly mean? Some people say you should wash it every day, but this might be a little excessive. At least rinse your bottle and allow it to dry every few days, and do a proper cleaning every week or two. This might be challenge for those of us who like to keep our bottles filled constantly, but you can clean the bottle before bed and let it dry overnight.

There are a few different ways to go about cleaning your bottle. You can scrub it clean with some warm water and soap with a long handled brush. Companies like CamelBak make brushes specifically for cleaning bottles and reservoirs. These brushes are crucial, unless you’re looking to get your hand stuck in a bottle.

You can also clean your bottle by adding a teaspoon of bleach and a teaspoon of baking soda. Fill the rest with water and let it sit for a few hours. Rinse it thoroughly, and let it dry completely.

Many companies also make cleaning tablets. These tablets use chlorine dioxide, and work essentially like the baking soda and bleach solution.

You can also toss many drinking bottles into the dishwasher. Check the label and keep it in the top rack.

 

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