Water bottles may contain germs: Tips to clean it and stay safe

Water is a necessity that we can’t live without, so we carry water bottles everywhere we go. While it seems like the best way to complete your daily water intake, what if we tell you it is not the safest? Turns out, even your water bottle is not immune to germs. A US-based blog for water treatment and purification recently found that reusable water bottles can harbour 40,000 times more bacteria than your toilet seat.

How dangerous are the bacteria living on your water bottles?

Researchers found two species of bacteria, Gram-negative rods, and bacillus, when they swabbed parts of different water bottles thrice, each with a spout lid, straw lid, and squeeze-top lid respectively. Gram-negative bacteria can cause infections that are growing increasingly resistant to medications, while specific forms of bacillus can lead to gastrointestinal disorders. They found that bottles can transfer four times as much bacteria as a computer mouse, twice as much as the kitchen sink, and 14 times more than a pet’s water bowl.

side effects of reusable water bottles
How dangerous are the bacteria living on your water bottles?. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Speaking to the New York Post, a microbiologist at the University of Reading, Dr Simon Clarke says that the human mouth contains a wide variety and several bacteria. So, it is not unexpected that water bottles are covered with germs. Even though bottles may serve as a breeding ground for high quantities of bacteria, microbiologist says that they may not be as harmful.

At the end of the study, researchers revealed that the squeeze-top bottles are the cleanest of the three bottles used for testing.

Things to keep in mind while washing water bottles

Here are some things you should keep in mind while cleaning your water bottles to keep bacteria and infections away.

1. Wash your reusable water bottle at least once a day. You can clean it using warm water and dishwashing soap. Scrub the bottle with a bottle brush properly and clean the walls, bottom, inside, and cap thoroughly.
2. Don’t forget to dry the bottle with a paper towel or dish towel to keep bacteria from thriving on your water bottle. You can also let it air dry with the cap off.
Never forget to clean the cap of the water bottle. Like the bottle, clean your water bottle using warm water and dishwashing liquid every day.

Water bottles
Water bottles may contain germs: Tips to clean it and stay safe. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

3. If you haven’t washed your bottle in a while, and it needs a more intense clean, try vinegar or baking soda to clean it. These two products might help you get rid of the odour as well.
4. If you use baking soda, add two teaspoons of baking soda with warm water and leave the mixture in the bottle overnight. Clean the water bottle the next morning properly.
5. You can fill the water bottle with diluted vinegar, shake it and leave it overnight. You can discard it the next morning and rinse out the water.

Make sure you clean your water bottle regularly to avoid any bacteria infestation in your body. Also, make sure to talk to a doctor to avoid complications.

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