You're Probably Not Cleaning Your Reusable Water Bottle Often Enough

What's not to love about a reusable water bottle? They make hydrating easy; they're great for the environment; and they come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. You may even have that One Special Bottle — the one that you keep with you at all times, whether you're working, working out, or just hanging at home. In fact, you're so attached to that one bottle that you'd probably have to think super hard if someone asked when the last time you washed it was — are we right?

Regardless of the material that makes up your water bottle, it's important to remember that it has to be cleaned at least once a day. California gastroenterologist Rudolph Bedford says that a regular clean is important because "bacteria can build up within the water bottle in a moist environment and nobody wants to drink bacteria laden water." (via Health)  

And he doesn't just mean giving it a rinse with cold or hot water.

Your water bottle needs a daily wash with soap

Forgetting to wash your bottle daily can spell the difference between staying hydrated in a healthy way and ending up with a bug. "Many people go weeks without washing their water bottles because they don't look dirty, but looks can be deceiving," cleaning expert Leanne Stapf tells Delish. "Bacteria grows in dark, moist environments, which makes the inside of a bottle the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. If you notice a slimy film or a bad smell, it's time to clean your bottle."

Cleaning expert Leslie Reichert tells Today that screw-top bottles (regardless of the shape) are easy to clean because they can be stacked on the top rack of the dishwasher — just make sure the bottle dries out properly. Another easy way to get your water bottle clean is by washing it with warm water and detergent, using a bottle brush on the inside to make sure you've dealt with any sections that might have gotten slimy. 

And if your bottle still doesn't smell fresh, try sanitizing it by soaking it in white distilled vinegar or hydrogen peroxide for 10 minutes. Then rinse and let the bottle air-dry overnight. Luckily, this super-soak is only required on an as-needed basis.