Aside from the fact that plastic water bottles can introduce harmful toxins such as BPA into your body. Also, their widespread use continues to contribute significantly to the world’s pollution level. As a result, it’s safe to say that purchasing a reusable water bottle is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint and do the right thing for both the planet and your body.
Still, if you ever take a sip from your reusable water bottle and discover that your beverage tastes more funky than fresh, your decision may feel a little less triumphant. Not to worry because I am here for you. My handy guide on how to clean water bottle with vinegar and baking soda will keep both your conscience and your on-the-go drink container clean.
Why Should You Wash Your Reusable Water Bottle?
We don’t need to tell you why you should wash your water bottle in between uses if you have an insulated water bottle that you fill with coffee in the morning and water for your afternoon run. However, if you only use your trusty canteen for water, you may be wondering if frequent washing is really necessary. Yes, it is, my friends.
Water bottles provide a moist, often dark environment in which bacteria, mold, and mildew can grow. The parts of your trusty canteen that come into regular contact with your mouth, in particular, are major bacteria magnets, and the trend of fruit-infused water can also be. It’s problematic because it adds more organic material to your water bottle.
But there’s no need to toss your neglected water bottle (or forgo the slice of lemon)—just use one of the following methods to thoroughly clean your water bottle, and then repeat the process on a regular basis. (Think about it after each use.)
How Does Your Reusable Water Bottle Get Dirty?
Bacteria thrive in the warm and moist conditions found inside a water bottle. But how does it get there to begin with?
When you’re out and about, you pick up bacteria from everything you come into contact with. When you unscrew the cap to drink or refill your bottle, the bacteria on your hands transfer to the bottle. Bacteria can enter the bottle through your mouth as well.
Stainless steel bottles do not develop bad odors unless drink residue is left inside; however, bacteria can still lurk in a clean-looking bottle. Although failing to wash your bottle will not result in the growth of new germs, it will allow any existing bacteria to thrive.
What to Do If You Notice Rust-like Spots?
If you have not cleaned your water bottle in a while, you might notice some rusting. This should not rust because most bottles are made of stainless steel, which does not corrode as easily as other metals.
Pitting refers to these rust-like spots that are only surface deep. They are easily removed by cleaning or scrubbing. Use water bottle cleaning tablets to thoroughly clean your bottle and remove all pitting spots.
These products are available from companies such as Bottle Bright, Efferdent, and SIGG. They are easy to use. Simply fill your bottle with water, drop the tablet in, and let it dissolve and sit for 15 to 30 minutes. After the tablet has dissolved, rinse your bottle thoroughly, and you are ready to drink again!
How to Clean Water Bottle With Vinegar and Baking Soda
If you haven’t cleaned your water bottle in a while, if you’ve filled it with something other than water, or if you’ve noticed stains and bad odors, it’s time to do so. Here are some simple deep-cleaning methods:
- Vinegar & Hot Water: Fill one-quarter of the bottle with vinegar, then fill to the top with hot water, mix, and leave to sit overnight after washing with soap and water. In the morning, empty and rinse.
- Baking Soda & Hot Water: Fill the bottle halfway with hot water after washing it with soap and water. To combine, put on the cap and shake. Remove the cap and set it aside for several hours. Then, rinse with soap and water once more.
- Bleach & Cool Water: If your water bottle has an unusual odor, bleach is an effective disinfectant. Fill your bottle halfway with cool water, mix, and set aside overnight. In the morning, empty, clean with dish soap, and thoroughly rinse.
How to Clean a Water Bottle With a Bite Valve
New water bottles come with reusable straws, BPA-free materials, insulated double-wall interiors, and other features. These features, however, have unique cleaning requirements. When traditional cleaning methods fail, here’s how to clean water bottles.
To clean a soft plastic bite valve, remove it from the lid first. Place the bottle’s individual components in the dishwasher and run a cycle. Warm, soapy water should be swabbed inside the valve with a cotton swab or straw brush. Allow it to dry completely before reassembling after cleaning.
Water bottles with straws and a soft plastic bite valve are ideal for preventing spills while working out. However, that convenient feature can also be a breeding ground for harmful germs and mold.
How Often Should You Clean Your Water Bottle?
Reusable water bottles are better for the environment than disposables, and stainless steel bottles are healthier than plastics if kept clean! After purchasing a reusable water bottle, you will want to use it every day. It’s easy to forget to wash it at work, at the gym, or while traveling. Most people do not clean their water bottles as frequently as they should.
At the end of each day, you should wash your reusable water bottle with soap and hot water. This is true for both plastic and stainless steel bottles, even if they have only been filled with water.
Bacteria are more likely to grow in your water bottle or a stainless steel tumbler or a coffee mug if you use it for non-water beverages like coffee, smoothies, alcohol, or homemade iced tea. In that case, a thorough cleaning will keep your stainless steel flask as good as new.
Best Water Bottle
- Yeti Rambler 26 oz. Bottle with Chug Cap
Yeti is a multi-purpose water bottle brand that comes in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. This 26-ounce Rambler is a great everyday option that is easy to drink from and comfortable to hold, thanks to the perfectly sized cap. The lid of this water bottle is just like all of the other Yeti’s Ramblers. It has an oversized handle that is easy to hold and unscrews smoothly.
The lids on the various Rambler bottles, which range in size from 12 ounces to 64 ounces, are all interchangeable. My favorite feature of this water bottle is that it is dishwasher safe, which is not always the case with insulated water bottles
- Dishwasher-safe nozzle for easy drinking.
- Larger sizes are bulky.
- CamelBak Eddy+ BPA Free Water Bottle
The CamelBak eddy+ is an excellent value at around $15. Made of dishwasher-safe plastic in a range of colors ranging from lavender to sky blue. With its easy-to-carry two-finger loop handle and 25-ounce capacity, this water bottle is the perfect size to carry around all day — it even fits in most car and bicycle cup holders.
The bite valve straw allows for easy on-the-go sipping and prevents spills and splashes (though we don’t recommend throwing it in a bag because it isn’t leak-proof). CamelBak is so confident in their products that they provide a lifetime warranty.
- Made of BPA-free, dishwasher-safe plastic.
- Straw with a bite valve for easy sipping.
- The straw does not fold down.
- Nalgene Sustain Tritan BPA-Free Water Bottle
For good reason, Nalgene water bottles are legendary. This water bottle is a favorite of both customers and the GH Institute. This 32-ounce wide-mouth bottle is simple to drink from and transport anywhere; it’s lightweight, with a plastic loop that easily hooks onto any bag; and its screw top creates a tight seal, so you can toss it in without fear of leakage.
I like how the side measurement markings allow you to keep track of how much you’re drinking throughout the day. It’s dishwasher-safe, and the colors remain vibrant even after numerous washes, though the markings fade over time.
- Transportable and lightweight.
- The screw top keeps the bottle from leaking.
- Does not perform well in terms of temperature regulation.
Is there anything more underappreciated than your water bottle? This useful item travels with you to the gym, your office, the grocery store, and on daily dog walks. It could be your favorite color, and it could keep ice water cold for hours. But you know what your water bottle can’t do? It will clean itself.
The average athlete’s water bottle contains 313,499 colony-forming units (CFU) per square centimeter. The average pet toy contains only 2,937 CFU per square centimeter. That’s a lot of bacteria. Furthermore, we know that any warm, damp environment is a breeding ground for mold growth. You must clean the vessel to ensure that you are drinking from a safe.