The research found that reusable water bottles contained an average of 20,800,000 CFUs, or colony forming units. That might sound like a lab technicality, but it's actually a calculation of the number of viable and reproducing cells in a sample. To put it in perspective, an unwashed reusable water bottle had 40,000 times the bacteria of a toilet seat, 14 times that of a pet bowl, and even five times the amount found on a computer mouse.
But it's not all grim news. The study also revealed that the proper cleaning of your water bottle will significantly reduce the amount of bacteria found on them. Indeed, the research illustrates the importance of incorporating the regular cleaning of your reusable water bottle into your routine. For example, it's recommended that you clean your water bottle daily, giving it a hot soapy wash and a sanitizing treatment of at least once a week. As a general rule of thumb, wash your bottle after every use.
But what do you do if these measures don't do the trick? If, after regular cleaning, your bottle still smells less-than-fresh, try employing a sanitizing technique. Fill with either a mild bleach/water solution (one teaspoon of bleach to one gallon of water), letting it rest for five to fifteen minutes, and then rinse until all traces of bleach are gone and leave to air dry. Alternatively, you can also try using straight white distilled vinegar or straight hydrogen peroxide, but do remember to rinse and air dry.
Follow these necessary steps for a cleaner water bottle - they might seem small, but they're significant for maintaining your health and hydration.