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Cleaning Your Reusable Water Bottle

Congrats! You've switched to reusable water bottles. You're doing something great for the environment by not adding to the plastics in landfills. And the fact that they're nearly impossible to clean leaves you vulnerable to the bacteria that can breed in there. But here's the dirty little water bottle secret: Even when you switch to reusable bottles, bacteria and fungi can build up.

Where does the bacteria come from? Well, it's, uh, you and your backwash. Every time you take a sip, you're spreading your germs to the bottle. And the damp recesses of your water bottle can allow fungi to grow. Don't abandon your bottle yet: Use these 5 easy ways to keep your reusable water bottle clean:

1. Start with Steel

aluminum-water-bottleStainless steel water bottles are easier to clean than plastic reusable bottles because plastic can crack, get scratched and harbor bacteria in those nicks. Stainless steel is a much stronger material and is naturally anti-bacterial.

2. Have a Big Mouth

aluminum-water-bottleNarrow-mouth water bottles and those with lots of bevels and crevices are harder to clean, and bacteria can build up in those nooks. Try a wide-mouth water bottle like Klean Kanteen's Wide 18oz. and SIGG's Wide Mouth 1.0L reusable water bottles. The SIGG bottle sports both a wide opening for filling with water and ice and a small opening for swigging. We're also big fans of straws for easy sipping on the go. Nathan and CamelBak make great wide-mouth water bottles with straws. Just be sure to clean the straws (more on that in a minute).

3. Come Clean

h2duoFor thorough cleaning, soap and warm water or even an occasional vinegar and water solution work well. We also love Skweet sport bottle wash because it's made of 100% food grade ingredients and doesn't leave any film. It's perfect for a quick clean, since there's no need to rinse and rinse. If you don't need your reusable water bottle right away, let it air-dry upside down on a drying rack to prevent fungi.



4. Don't Forget to Brush

h2duoIf you have no idea when the last time you cleaned your bottle was, invest in a bottle brush. We like OXO's Bottle Brush with Nipple Cleaner and Stand for its non-slip grip and nipple cleaner for tight spots like straws.

5. Break it Down

h2duoFor the easiest cleaning ever, we love the H2Duo reusable water bottle, because the upper half screws off. Bonus: the top and bottom can also be used as two separate cups for easy sipping and sharing.




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