Since I work in a healthcare environment, I consider myself somewhat of a ‘slight’ germaphobe. In fact, for over 5 years, I managed the hand hygiene initiatives in over 80 outpatient clinics. So, I know a thing or two about how to wash your hands. In addition, I have an automatic tendency to watch people who cough or sneeze without covering their mouth. Yuck!
However, I have an embarrassing confession – I don’t clean my water bottle every day. Disgusting and gross! Yes, I know. BUT… I am not alone. I bet some of you reading this don’t wash your bottle daily either.
Why You Need to Clean Your Water Bottle Now
Like many of you, I know I need to do it, but I get a little lazy at night after a long, hard day at work and simply neglect to do it. With that being said, take a peek at this article by Treadmill Reviews.net on Water Bottle Germs Revealed and promise this will put you on the straight and narrow immediately. Talk about disgusting. Possibly more germs on a water bottle than a toilet seat or the kitchen sink? Wow, I can’t even imagine. In fact, I don’t even want to think about it.
Well, fear not. Here are the steps you need to take to clean your water bottle.
1 – Wash After Every Use
So this goes without saying that you need to wash your bottle after every use. Even if you only had water in your bottle, think about where you’ve had your hands and the number of times you touched it. Don’t forget about the surfaces you sit your bottle down on, too. That counter at the gym may not be as clean as you think. And for the love of all things holy, please do NOT sit your bottle down on the public bathroom floor! If you need to place it down somewhere in the bathroom, get a paper towel first. Otherwise, leave your water bottle outside the door.
2 – Wash by Hand or the Dishwasher
Depending on the type of bottle you have, you may be able to pop it in the top-level of the dishwasher. Of course, take the bottle completely apart before cleaning it so that every crevice can be reached. Most bottles tell you on the bottom if it’s dishwasher safe. If not, then you can certainly hand wash it using hot water and liquid detergent.
3 – Scrub and Scrub Some More
If you need to wash your bottle by hand, make sure you are really scrubbing the outside and inside of the bottle especially if are drinking other things besides basic water. A good non-abrasive kitchen sponge will work, or you can use one of the special water bottle scrubbers like these. Once you scrub it, rinse all the parts very well and let them air dry overnight.
4 – Need Extra Cleaning Power?
Flu season is still around and there is definitely a really bad head cold going around, which means you may want to add a little extra power to your cleaning. You can accomplish this by either adding vinegar or bleach to your bottle. If you use vinegar, add about a 1/5 of the bottle with vinegar and the rest with water. Mix and let sit overnight. Rinse thoroughly before use. If you decide bleach is a better choice for you (for killing the flu virus), add about 1 tablespoon per quart, mix, let sit for a bit (an hour), then rinse very well and air dry overnight.
5 – Choose Your Bottle Wisely
If you find that your bottle is challenging to clean, you may want to look for a new one. From the article above, they mentioned that stainless steel versions have fewer parts and crevices than other types of bottles. Personally, I’ve used all kinds of water bottles and right now, I love my S’well bottle. It’s easy to clean, but I do have to hand wash it (hence the reason for being lazy).
Call to Action
So, are you thinking what I’m thinking? Yep, it’s time to get serious about washing my bottle daily. No more excuses. And I think I’ll try the bleach trick about once a week just to be on the safe side.
What kind of water bottle to you use? Do you wash it daily or do you like how easy it is to clean? Tell me. I would love to know if it’s easier than mine.
Be well everyone (literally)!