And yes, how to clean those reusable straws, too! 

By Katie Holdefehr
October 18, 2019
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Reusable water bottles are better for the environment. Check! And are way more stylish than plastic bottles. Check! And are good for your health and hydration. Check—well, if you wash them correctly, that is. While keeping a reusable water bottle close at hand during work and when you're at the gym is an easy way to stay hydrated, if you fail to clean your water bottle, it could be exposing you to germs and bacteria. And if we're being honest, many of us likely aren't cleaning our water bottles often enough. The ideal frequency? Every day if you use your water bottle regularly. But don't worry, this task doesn't have to be a dreaded chore. Following the simple steps below, you can clean your reusable water bottle (and those reusable straws, too!) in less than five minutes. 

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What You'll Need:

  • Dishwashing liquid 
  • Bottle brush (like this one
  • Straw cleaners (like these
  • Bleach (optional) 
  • Vinegar (optional)
  • Water bottle cleaning tablets (optional, such as these
  • Paper towel or clean dish towel 

Follow These Steps: 

1. For daily cleaning: Wash your reusable water bottle at least once per day. Fill the bottle with warm water and a squirt of dishwashing liquid. Using the bottle brush, scrub the walls and bottom of the bottle. Be sure to clean not just the inside, but also the lip of the bottle. Rinse thoroughly.

2. Because bacteria thrives in a moist environment, it's a good idea to dry the bottle with a paper towel or a clean dish towel (or you'll risk spreading fresh bacteria onto the clean water bottle). If you prefer to let the bottle air-dry, just be sure to leave the cap off, or else the trapped moisture will create an ideal environment for germs. 

3. If your water bottle is dishwasher-safe (check the label for care instructions), place it on the top rack of the dishwasher and choose the hottest water setting. 

4. For thorough cleanings: If your water bottle has a funky smell or you've neglected it for a little too long, it's time for a deeper cleaning. Add one teaspoon of bleach to the bottle, then fill it with cool water. Let sit overnight, then rinse thoroughly before following the drying instructions above. 

5. If you prefer not to use bleach, fill the bottle halfway with vinegar, then add cool water. Let the mixture sit overnight, before rinsing thoroughly or running through the dishwasher. 

6. For a deep clean, no scrubbing required, use these water bottle cleaning tablets, which reviewers swear by for removing odor and grime. 

7. Don't forget the cap: Remember to also scrub the lid or cap of your water bottle with warm water and dishwashing liquid every day. If your bottle is made up of several parts, separate them before cleaning to make sure there isn't grime lurking in the crevices. 

8. Clean those reusable straws: If you're a fan of reusable straws, you'll definitely want to invest in a set of straw cleaners. Using a solution of warm water and dishwashing liquid, let the cleaners scrub away any gunk that may be inside each straw. Rinse with warm water, or if the straws are dishwasher-safe, run them through the machine in the cutlery basket. 

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