Give yourself a pat on the back for using a reusable water bottle. You’re taking care of your body and the environment, staying hydrated and reducing plastic waste. (Here are 10 easy ways to boost your water intake.)
But let’s be honest: You really need to wash it. Reusable water bottles are wonderful, but just like your kitchen sponge, they tend to pick up a lot of bacteria. And that slightly musty odor? Rinsing it with more water isn’t going to make it go away.
Don’t toss that water bottle! Here’s a way to effectively clean your water bottle and restore it to a clean-smelling, bacteria-free accessory!
Step 1: Make the Cleaning Solution
Fill your water bottle with around 4/5 water and 1/5 white vinegar: Leave some space at the top and add some baking soda—not enough to make the mix foam out all over the bottle, but enough so that the baking soda gets spread around. Don’t use any other type of vinegar, in case the smell gets trapped inside the bottle (you don’t want your water smelling like apple cider vinegar).
You can also use a tablespoon of bleach instead of vinegar—just don’t combine the two. Some people prefer to avoid bleach because it can leave an unpleasant odor behind, but it can thoroughly kill bacteria, and the baking soda should help remove odors.
Step 2: Let It Sit
Put the bottle in the sink and let it sit overnight. This will give the mixture time to thoroughly kill any bacteria hiding in the edges of the bottle, as well as dissolve any odor particles that are lingering there.
Step 3: Rinse It
In the morning, pour the mixture down the drain and clean out the water bottle. If you can run a dishwasher cycle, put the bottle in upside-down and use your dishwasher for a thorough cleaning. (Psst: Is your dishwasher clean?)
If your bottle has a particularly small mouth, rinsing with hot water in the sink may be better. If you really need to clean the gunk out, an old toothbrush can be a useful tool here.
Step 4: Dry It (Thoroughly!)
Let the bottle dry out. Air drying is the best (and really only) option here, so be patient and wait for the water to evaporate before you use the bottle again. Don’t forget to give the bottle a thorough smell and sight test before refilling it with water, just to make sure that all odors and build-up are gone.
Now it’s ready to use again! May we suggest one of these amazing infused waters?