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Drinking from a reusable water bottle is a great way to use less plastics and help the environment, but if you aren't cleaning your water bottle the correct way, you could be drinking bacteria and exposing yourself to mildew. Gross, right? Most people think that simply rinsing your water bottle is enough to keep it clean, but that's not the case. Over time, bacteria from saliva and moisture can build up in your water bottle as well as the cap or straw and cause you to get sick.
How to Clean Your Water Bottle
For dishwasher safe water bottles, your water bottle can be cleaned in the dishwasher on the top rack. Just make sure it isn't in the way of your dishwasher's spray arm.
To hand wash your water bottle, simply use a bottle brush to clean the inside and out of your water bottle with hot, soapy water. Rinse with water and make sure to dry the bottle with a cloth or paper towel to be sure no moisture is trapped inside of the bottle.
How to Clean Water Bottle Straws
If your water bottle has a straw attached to it, it's super important to get it clean as well. You can purchase a straw cleaning brush. Clean it by hand after each day of use using hot water and a little dish liquid. Sit the straw upright in a dish drainer or on a towel to dry.
How to Clean a Rubber Water Bottle Lid and Seal
Most water bottles have a rubber seal under the cap, and some also have a rubber mouthpiece. It's very important to get them clean, because they are the most likely place for mildew and bacteria to build up. Use a small scrub brush or dish cloth to clean them thoroughly with hot water and dish liquid.
How to Clean Water Bottles and Parts That Have Mildew on Them
You should check your water bottle and parts for mildew often. If your water bottle, straw, rubber mouthpiece or seal have signs of mildew buildup, then you will need to sanitize them before using them again. Mix 1 tablespoon of bleach with 4 cups of water and soak the water bottle and parts for five to six hours. Rinse with hot water and dry thoroughly.