Reusable water bottles – we all use them, plastic and metal.
They are refilled day after day and go everywhere with us. They are convenient, cost effective and a great way of stopping the never ending trail of plastic into our already busting at the seams landfill areas. How often, though, do we clean or even think about cleaning them? More importantly, how do we clean our drink bottles effectively and efficiently?
Stored in the car, on the kitchen bench or in the garden shed with the lids on may keep the creepy crawlies out but unfortunately, when left for long periods (or even short) of time, they can develop unpleasant tastes, odours, bacteria and mould. These nasties thrive especially well in dark and moist environments.
Even though we may be doing the right thing by ensuring that our drink bottles are BPA free or using a metal bottle as an alternative, if we are not keeping it properly cleaned we are exposing ourselves and our families to all sorts of germs. With metal bottles, remember to ensure that if you are using aluminium that the liner and lid are also BPA free. Stainless steel bottles don’t need a liner.
So, what are the best, cheapest and most effective ways of keeping plastic and aluminium drink bottles clean and germ free?
The easiest way would be just to toss it in the dishwasher upside down at the end of every day. If you don’t have a dishwasher, or yours just isn’t cleaning them out sufficiently, then try some of these alternatives below.
If your drink bottle is especially yucky then try using Gumption to bring them back to new. Fill up your sink with super-hot to boiling water and add a spoonful of Gumption and mix it around. Pop the bottles in and leave to soak for at least thirty minutes. The special soap formulation breaks down grime and gently removes dirt particles to leave them sparkling and clean. Rinse with clean water and allow them to dry.
Give It A Scrub
Another top tip to give your bottles a good clean is to use a Chux cleaning cloth on the end of a toothbrush or bottle brush. Just fill up the bottle with hot water and a little dishwashing detergent then give it a good scrub. Old toothbrushes are especially good for getting into the crevices in the lid or screw top.
Around The House Remedies
Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and is very effective with cleaning drink bottles. Wash with soap and hot water first, then refill the bottle with hot water, adding a couple of tablespoons of white or cider vinegar. This can be left to soak overnight and is great for killing most germs and bacteria. Just rinse out and either allow to dry naturally or refill to go again.
Baking or bicarb soda found in most pantries can also be used to clean your drink bottles. Use a couple of heaped teaspoons of baking soda and warm water, mix together, and let soak for a few hours. Then rinse out with hot water and mild dishwashing detergent.
After washing and drying your bottle, freezing it can kill any remaining bacteria. You may also store your bottle this way if you have room in the freezer, then when you fill it for reuse the water will stay cold just that little bit longer.
Whichever method you choose to use, it is important that the drink bottles, whether they be plastic or metal, be allowed to dry completely before storing for future use. Also, store without the lid on. This will prevent bacteria growing before you are ready to refill and maintain a clean, hygienic container