During the past decades, plastics have posed severe threats to the existence of both human beings and wildlife. Serious issues such as land erosion and sea pollution have triggered offer a series of chain reactions, which thankfully attracts our attention in time. In the fight against plastic pollution, people have gradually adopted sustainable and reusable items in place of disposable plastics, and drinking with a reusable stainless steel water bottle has become our first option.

It has been well recognized that compared to plastic water bottles, stainless steel 18-8 (SUS304) water bottles are much more sanitary as they contain no BPA or BPS, harmful chemicals that do harm to our body. But, do you know that your reusable stainless steel water bottle also brings about negative effects if not cleaned regularly and thoroughly? Therefore, in this article, Simple Flask will share you some tips about cleaning your reusable water bottles.

I. Why is it important to wash your water bottle?

Drinking certain amounts of water with a reusable water bottle brings about a lot of benefits and showcases people’s environmental conscious. In fact, if you are not careful enough, the seemingly harmless bottle may make you sick. Here Simple Flask presents several facts that may surprise you and scare you into washing your bottles.

According to an article published in USA Today, a water bottle that has been used for a week is tested 300,000 bacteria cells per square centimeter, a number that is greatly larger than that concluded from a pet bowl.

This research does not tell a lie. In reality, it has pointed out a cruel truth that people are likely to ignore the importance of washing water bottles, and may underestimate the severity of a bottle left uncleaned. Just like you will not use your silverware without a complete cleaning, you should not keep refilling your reusable stainless steel water bottle void of a proper maintenance. But the fact is that most people just enjoy hydration before, during and after exercise or work and keep using that bottle without cleaning for even 6 months in a row! It is expected that bacteria, mold, fungi and germs may have already thrived in the bottle thanks to the ideal environment. As a result, the water is contaminated and your health affected negatively.

It is a must for us to wash our reusable water bottles, but how often and how should we clean them? In this blog you will find these answers.

II. What happens if you don’t wash your reusable water bottle?

Again, Simple Flask aims to further emphasize the importance of washing water containers from another aspect – what happens if you don’t wash your reusable water bottle? Reusable stainless steel water bottles are by themselves considerably clean. However, if they are used for hydration without being washed regularly and thoroughly, they may contain germs and bacteria and even become relatively gross. Let’s see what happens if you fail to clean your sustainable water bottles:

A reusable stainless steel water bottle without deep cleaning s expected to crawl with for up to 300,000 CFU/sq cm (colony forming units per square centimetre)! A really astonishing number! Guess what? You pet bowls only have an averagely 43,000 CFU/sq cm. Yes, it would be much better for you to drink water from your pet bowls if your water bottle is left uncleaned.

Also, according to an authoritative test, the cleanest reusable stainless steel water bottle is only mildly cleaner than the average toilet seat. And plastic water bottles are home to the most harmful germs. Simple Flask hopes that all of you can cultivate the habit of washing your bottles regularly and seriously in case of illnesses resulted from bacteria, mold and germs.

III. How often should you clean your reusable water bottle?

“Do I need to clean my reusable water bottle every time after use?” Well, the answer is no if you use that bottle for drinking water. Once you have finished hydration, just refill the bottle at ease. Simple Flask suggests you clean the bottle on a daily basis. For example, you may drink 6 bottles a day and after you reach the daily hydration goal, you can start to wash it with warm water. And once you have used the bottle for about a week in succession, you are advised to clean it with one of the above introduced cleaning tips for your own health.

“Do I need to clean my reusable water bottle after consuming liquids such as soft drinks, tea or coffee?” Yes, you must then clean the bottle thoroughly after each use. Compared with plain water, these drinks contain an excessive amount of sugar, which offers a breeding bed for bacteria to multiply. And this time, you should adopt cleaning solutions to do the washing job as water only fails to remove all the residuals in the stainless steel water bottle effectively.

IV. How to clean a reusable water bottle

In this part we will share with you tips for cleaning your loved reusable water bottle. In fact, the cleaning job is quite easy and can be finished quickly, and here are some really helpful methods for your reference:

  • Wash your bottle with soap and water. This method is the most common and easy way to get rid of bacteria and germs in your bottle. If it is a bottle with a wide opening, you can use hand grasping a wet cloth dipped with soap to remove all the harmful things. So what about a bottle with a small mouth such as a cola-shape stainless steel water bottle? Well, you can turn to a bottle brush for help. This useful tool allows you to reach every corner of the bottle including all nooks crannies. It is also advisable for you to clean the pipe with a pipe cleaner!
  • Clean your bottle with vinegar, cleaning tablets or baking soda. Kitchen solutions like vinegar and baking soda are conducive to eliminating bacteria and germs as they are antibacterial liquids. You are supposed to pour one or two teaspoons of vinegar into the bottle and let it sit for at least 6 hours. Shaking the bottle filled with water and white vinegar mixing solutions further helps to make the bottle clean.

I know some of you may dislike the smell of vinegar, but it is really good at removing dirt in the bottle. Baking soda solutions can be made easily, and the only thing you need to do is mix soda with water appropriately. The exact mixing ratio depends on how gross your bottle is. Dirty bottles need more soda in water. Tired of cleaning by yourself? Well, if that happens, you can simply use dental cleaning tablets for cleaning. Drop one or two tablets into a bottle contained with water and let the bottle stand for at least 30 minutes before rinsing them out. This method also functions well yet costs you a lot compared with the above introduced cleaning ways.

  • Apply hydrogen peroxide to the cleaning task. Hydrogen peroxide can kill mold efficiently and effectively. This cleaning approach is quite ideal if your stainless steel water bottle has a smell, more exactly, an odor, or is slimy. When that happens, you need more than soap and water. Here is what you should do:

First, you need to wash the bottle with soap and water to complete the basic cleaning job. Then, rinse the bottle with hot water and seal it shaking for at least 5 minutes. It is quite tiring, I know. After that, you are supposed to pour about 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide into the bottle before sealing it and then shaking it vigorously for at least 5 minutes. Take a rest and wait for 30 minutes before rinsing the bottle for the last time. Now you have a brand-new bottle!

  • Wash your bottle with bleach is also recommended. Simple Flask recommends a 1-to-9 ratio of bleach to water. You should firstly use a bottle brush to get rid of film and dirt inside of the bottle as bacteria will stick to the inner stainless steel wall firmly. Therefore, you need some friction to fight against the annoying ones. Then, pour a certain amount of bleach into the bottle with hot water, and all you need to do is wait for the magic. Bleach offers a deep cleaning yet is not edible! In other words, you must rinse the bottle thoroughly before getting hydrated.

All these cleaning tips function well and help a lot. Hope you can bear them in mind!

V. How to further maintain your water bottle

In the previous part Simple Flask has introduced several practical cleaning methods. However, you still need to do other things regularly to improve the cleanliness of your sustainable water container. So, what are they?

  • Buy a stainless steel water bottle. Reusable water containers can be a ceramic bottle, a glass bottle or a stainless steel water bottle. However, a stainless steel one overshadows a ceramic bottle and a glass bottle in many aspects.

Take Simple Flask stainless steel water bottles as an example. Our bottles are durable, anti-scratch and anti-impact, whereas both ceramic and glass water bottles are vulnerable to impact. When it comes to cleaning, Simple Flask stainless steel water bottles are easier to clean as they are light-weighted and quite portable. In contrast, glass water containers as well as ceramic water bottles are heavy to carry and hold, and you may even crack them during cleaning hurting yourself! What’ more, in an ideal situation, stainless steel is naturally antiseptic offering no incubators for germs and bacteria. Thus, it is quite understandable why you need a reusable stainless steel water bottle for hydration.

  • Dry your bottle. The drying process is always ignored by most people after they have cleaned their reusable water bottles. And that’s why some people may complain about the cleaning effects of the above listed washing tips.

If the bottle is left with water without a complete dry, it provides bacteria and germs a perfect condition for growing, and your labors are thus wasted. So make sure that you have dried the bottle before storing it away. It is advisable for you to dry your reusable water bottle in the shade instead of being exposed to the sun directly. You can also put some desiccants into the bottle that better absorb moisture.