Reusable water bottles
are eco-friendly, easy-to-tote and just all-around awesome – until
that smell (you know the one) gets so strong, you can’t bear to bring it near your nose for a drink.
People everywhere are asking,
“Why does my water bottle smell?”
The answer is plain and simple: wherever water gathers, bacteria will too.
And unfortunately, those bacteria are smelly little critters. So you scrub with hot soapy water, again and again – but nothing’s powerful enough to cut through the funk.
Before you get fed up and toss your reusable water bottle, try a few of the following at-home cleaning solutions to eliminate odors – and leave the funk to Bruno Mars.
How to clean water bottle odors
While we all should
regularly clean our reusable water bottles with soap and water (or in the dishwasher
if they’re dishwasher safe), often, gentle cleaning doesn’t stand up to a stronger, stinkier odor. In this case, you need to find more powerful cleaning solutions to eliminate foul smells. If you’re at your wit’s end trying to get rid of the ‘stank,’ try these methods below to deep clean your water bottle.
Vinegar’s natural acidity cuts through bacteria, grease and grime, making it an effective natural cleaning solution for your water bottle.
- Add ¼ cup white vinegar into your empty water bottle. Screw on lid, then shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
- Remove lid, then fill the bottle with warm water until it’s half full; scrub the inside with a bottle brush.
- Pour out vinegar and water mixture, rinse with hot water and allow to air dry.
boasts all the antimicrobial properties of vinegar – but without that infamous vinegar smell that some people find offensive. This makes it a great (odorless) bacteria killer for your water bottle.
- Combine 3 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 tablespoon water to create a paste. Using a bottle brush, apply the paste to the inside of the water bottle and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Rinse out your bottle with hot water, then allow it to air dry.
Food-grade hydrogen peroxide
is used by professionals in the food industry to kill bacteria and microorganisms that find their way into food packaging. Likewise, this makes it a safe solution for cleaning water bottles.
- Rinse water bottle out with hot water, then pour ¼ cup food-grade hydrogen peroxide into a bowl.
- Dip your bottle brush into the hydrogen peroxide, then scrub the inside of your water bottle, making sure to get into all the cracks and crevices.
- Rinse out bottle with hot water, then allow to air dry.
Salt, lemon, soap and ice
For an all-natural abrasive and acidic cleaner, you can’t beat this DIY cleaning combo. The salt and ice will scrub away any larger particles, while the lemon juice and soap will kill bacteria in your water bottle.
- In your water bottle, add a scoop or two of crushed ice, ¼ cup rock salt, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of dish soap.
- Screw on lid tightly, then shake vigorously (take care as this can be VERY loud) for about 30 seconds.
- Dump out mixture, rinse with hot water, then allow your bottle to air dry.
Don’t forget to clean the lid!
Bacteria doesn’t just grow inside of your water bottle. As mentioned above, wherever moisture is (such as inside a lid’s cracks and crevices – and especially on that plastic gasket), bacteria can breed.
Sprinkle lid with baking soda
Soak in Diluted Vinegar
- Pull apart all components of the lid, then sprinkle with baking soda.
- Allow pieces to sit for 15 minutes, then wash with hot, soapy water.
- Rinse, and allow to air dry.
- Take apart lid, then let sit in diluted vinegar (1 cup water to ? cup vinegar) for 10 minutes.
- Wash with hot soapy water, making sure to scrub each piece with a dish cloth.
- Rinse with hot water, then allow to air dry.
Once components are dry, try placing them in the freezer for some extra bacteria-killing power!
How often should you wash your water bottle?
aim to clean your reusable water bottles with hot, soapy water once per day.
However, if you’re like us and can’t ever seem to find the time, you should at least try to wash your bottles every other day.
Then, you should ‘deep-clean’ your water bottle with one of the above methods at least once per week – or at the first whiff of that ‘uptown funk’!
What’s the best reusable water bottle?
If none of the above worked to get rid of that smell, or you’re itching to buy new, there are three main materials you can get for reusable water bottles: metal, glass and plastic.
Let’s take a glance at the pros and cons of each so you can find the right reusable water bottle for you!
Stainless steel water bottles
There’s a reason stainless steel is the material of choice everywhere from hospitals to restaurant kitchens: it’s extremely durable and its non-porous surface can withstand harsh cleaning chemicals – making it highly sanitary. It is a heavy material, however, making it not as easy to carry around stainless steel bottles
, and some people complain it adds a metallic taste to their water.
Glass water bottles
Glass water bottles
are also very sanitary. Because glass is a natural material, inorganic chemicals can’t leach into your water, and it also doesn’t add any tin or chemical taste. Glass is, however, glass
, and so is very susceptible to breaking. It’s also the heaviest material and typically the most expensive reusable water bottle.
Plastic water bottles
Disposable plastic water bottles may come to mind, but that’s not what we mean! There are a number of BPA-free plastic water bottles – like this New Wave Enviro Bottle
– that are both durable and lightweight. Some people do, however, complain that reusable plastic water bottles also carry a chemical taste.