There is no doubt which dishes need to be washed and which do not while you are tidying up after a meal in the kitchen.
What about your reusable water bottle? Typically, anything that has been used goes into the sink or dishwasher for washing after that one meal.
What about the one you take to work every day or the one you keep in your gym bag? How often do you clean these?
Reusable water bottles may or may not need to be washed after each use, depending on the brand. There is no need to clean the bottle because it is merely water, and we drink from it for a week without even thinking about it.
Water bottles that don’t have any stains or residue make it more difficult to decide whether or not to wash them. It can be tough to tell what’s inside some colored or patterned water bottles, but if you only knew what could be lurking in there…
Enter, Black Mold
Microorganisms classified as fungi include black mold, which is both a plant and an animal. There are about 100,000 different kinds of mold, some of which are benign and others which are harmful.
It is one of the most dangerous mold species known as Stachybotrys chartarum. One of the culprits that could be residing in your reusable water bottle is the fact that you aren’t cleaning it properly.
As the name suggests, black mold emits a musty and earthy scent that is sometimes likened to the smell of decaying leaves or dirt when it is present.
In a dark, moist environment like that provided by your water bottle, mold thrives. A large enough concentration of mold spores makes them visible, even though individual spores are microscopic (meaning they are so small they cannot be seen with the human eye).
By the time you see a black film on your mouthpiece, there are already a considerable number of spores in the air.
About mold in a water bottle
More than 100,000 types of fungus (microorganisms), known as mold, exist. Mold, which is neither a plant nor an animal, has a wide range of toxicity and innocuity.
Toxic mold species include the black mold Stachybotrys chartarum. As the name suggests, black mold is greenish-black in color and has a musty and earthy odor that is sometimes likened to the scent of decaying leaves or soil.
Mold might grow within your portable water purifier if it isn’t cleaned properly and often.
In order for mold to grow in your reusable water bottle, you just need three factors, according to microbiologist Jason Tetro: Over 60 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for plants to thrive. You’ll be more likely to see growth as the weather warms up, as well.
Water is the second most prevalent element.
Sugar and salt are okay, but that’s where it gets yucky—when that’s it gets nasty. Your cheeks and nasal cavities will also provide a good source of organic matter for mold, germs, and fungi to thrive on. Each of those components will be contained within a water bottle. Cool.
You can feed bacteria and fungi using the backwash from your cheeks and nasal cavities, as well as other organic materials. As Jason Tetro points out, this is not the case.
How can you avoid mold in the water bottle?
Use the two-step method below to clean your reusable water bottle.
Before using your portable water purifier for the first time, thoroughly clean it using a bottle cleaning brush, hot water, and soap or washing-up liquid. It’s just that simple!
Dish soap and hot water in the sink. After soaking your reusable water bottle for some time, use the brush to thoroughly clean the interior of it.
You may need to use your fingers instead of a brush if your bottle’s opening is very small, because mold can grow there.
Use hot water to clean your bottle and let it dry thoroughly before reusing.
Mold cannot be completely removed by running it through the dishwasher. There may still be a spore under the seal that needs to be removed.
Afterwards, the bottle is disinfected by pouring boiling water into it. This is especially important if you’re using metal bottles or thermoses, which can harbor mold.
When water goes beyond 160 degrees Fahrenheit, “the mold bacteria and fungi will not grow—they die,” Jason Tetro adds. “It’s that simple.” Because of this, boiling water and putting it directly into your bottle is the best way for you to hydrate yourself.
If you like, you can add a little vinegar to help break down some of the clumps. Wait for about three minutes before serving. That’s going to be the end of everything. When the biofilms have been removed using a brush and a towel, you’ll have a clean water bottle.”
3 Ways to Clean Water Bottles
Dishwasher-safe water bottles are available. It’s a good idea to wash yours every time you run the dishwasher. Dishwashers can clean the bottle’s base but not its lid. If your water bottle isn’t dishwasher-safe, you can clean it with these common household products.
Liquid Dish Soap
Warm, soapy water is all you need for your regular laundry. Add a few drops of liquid dish detergent to the hot water in the empty water bottle. Your water bottle should begin to bubble as soon as you remove the cap and give it a thorough shake. Afterwards, use a bottle scrub brush to thoroughly clean the inside of the bottle. Don’t forget to clean the bottle’s exterior and bottom. Wash your water bottle in warm water until there are no more soap bubbles, and then allow it to dry completely. Inside and out, scrub the lid thoroughly, giving special attention to the spout opening or mouthpiece. After rinsing, pat yourself dry.
Distilled White Vinegar
Vinegar is our go-to cleaning agent, and we use it frequently. Fill your water bottle halfway with vinegar and water and use that to clean your bottle. Make sure to shake the bottle a few times before allowing the solution to sit overnight in it. Rinse the water bottle and lid thoroughly with warm water the following day to eliminate any vinegar that may have remained. Allow to air-dry. A stainless-steel water bottle can be thoroughly cleaned using this method.
Baking Soda and Bleach
Bleach can be used to remove tough dirt and mildew from water bottles. Your water bottle should have a teaspoon of bleach and a teaspoon of baking soda mixed in it. Rest of the container should be filled with water. Inside and out, use the baking soda and bleach solution to clean the cap. Rinse your water bottle completely with warm water in the morning after allowing it to sit overnight. Putting your bottle in the dishwasher, if it’s safe, is a good idea. Allow to air-dry.
How to Clean a Reusable Water Bottle
Using a Bottle Brush to Scrub the Inside
Dish soap and hot water in the sink. Afterward, use a bottle brush to thoroughly clean the bottom and corners of your water bottle after it has been soaking in the soapy water for a while. Allow the water bottle to air dry after rinsing with hot water. It is possible to use this procedure with plastic water bottles.
Grab some Vinegar
White vinegar has been demonstrated to kill 82% of mold spores, as well as a variety of viruses and bacteria. Fill your bottle with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Let the solution sit overnight in the bottle. Wash your water bottle with soap and warm water first thing in the morning to remove any lingering bacteria. To guarantee that the vinegar flavor is completely removed, be careful to properly rinse the dish.
Boiling Water for Metal Water Bottles
Water bottles made of metal need specific care. Fill your metal water bottle to the brim with boiling water before cleaning. There may be odors and even mold forming in the bottle if this isn’t done. After letting the water sit for several hours or overnight, thoroughly clean the interior of the bottle with hot, soapy water.
Consistency is Key
The most important thing to remember now that you’ve learned how to properly clean and locate your reusable water bottle is to remain consistent. The more frequently you clean your water bottle, the less likely it is to become infested with black mold and other bacteria.
We tend to overlook the fact that our water containers are a breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms. Learn how to get mold out of a water bottle and the conditions necessary for it to flourish. With this information, maybe you will be able to avoid any food-borne sickness.