How to: clean your reusable water bottle

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Going for an afternoon walk more closely resembles driving in peak-hour traffic than a relaxing stroll these days. The streets and parks are packed with joggers, walkers, cyclists and for some reason, rollerbladers. Have I missed something?

This COVID-inspired resurgence of exercising means that you may find yourself using your reusable water bottle a whole lot more than you were just a few months ago. While all this extra use is great for your hydration and health, it’s important to keep it clean. When they aren’t cleaned regularly, bacteria can build up in water bottles and make you sick.

Don’t risk the machine:
Unfortunately, many reusable water bottles aren’t dishwasher safe, due to the paint or coating on the outside of them. Unless the manufacturer states otherwise, it’s best not to machine wash your bottle – it might not survive.

How to rinse your water bottle:

Add a dash of dishwashing liquid to your water bottle, add hot water until the bottle is around three-quarters full. Put the lid firmly back on the bottle and shake it for around a minute. Empty it out, fill with cold water and shake again to rinse. Empty the bottle and let it air-dry upside down.

Fill one fifth of your bottle with white vinegar, then fill the rest with water. Leave your bottle to soak overnight. In the morning thoroughly rinse your water bottle and leave it resting upside down to air-dry.

How to deep clean your water bottle:

Baking soda
Mix one cup of baking soda with one cup of hot water and stir until the solution dissolves. Pour the mixture into your water bottle and let it sit overnight. In the morning thoroughly rinse the bottle and leave it to dry.

If you see rust:
If you see rust spots don’t panic. As most bottles are made out of stainless steel and don’t rust like other metals, these patches are surface level and are known as ‘pitting’. While most of these can be scrubbed away, there are bottle cleaning tablets you can purchase. Fill your bottle with water and drop in a tablet. Let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes (depending on instructions) to allow the tablet to dissolve and work. Rinse out the bottle and allow it to air-dry.

If you haven’t washed your bottle in a while, you can use a dish or bottle brush to scrub the inside of it thoroughly, just in case any bacteria or algae have taken up residence.

It’s also important to remember to wash the lid of the bottle with whatever solution you used to clean the rest of it. If you don’t think your bottle is heat resistant, use warm instead of hot water.

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Written by Liv Gardiner


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