From The Straits Times    |

Credits: Getty

Emotional support water bottles have taken the internet by storm over recent months. With the rise in Owala and Stanley bottles, these water bottles have transcended mere functionality, evolving into symbols of social status. And while many of us pride ourselves on drinking more water thanks to these bottles, we might want to think twice about leaving them unwashed for more than a day.

In most cases, we tend to lug these bottles around wherever we go, be it from our WFH desks to the living room, or even from the coffee shop to bars. But what we fail to realise is that these bottles can get really dirty in no time.

According to a recent study from US-based waterfilterguru.com, it was found that reusable bottles can harbour 40,000 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. In the study, it was also reported that spout-top and screw-top lids harboured the highest bacterial count among water bottles, each containing 30 million Colony-forming units (CFUs). The data drawn is pretty concerning, especially when comparing the bacteria levels to those found on other household items. For instance, while kitchen sinks are notorious for being one of the most germ-ridden areas at home, it was found that the reusable water bottles were twice as contaminated. In fact, they surpassed the dirtiness of a pet bowl and a computer mouse’s frequently touched surface.

Moist environments provide fertile ground for germs to thrive which is why it’s crucial to wash your bottles every day. If you’re feeling unwell, be sure to check your bottles, because the bacteria and mould lingering on them could be the culprit.

Here are some tips on how you can keep your bottles clean and keep the bacteria at bay.

1. Wash it daily

Washing your bottles regularly on a daily basis should come as second nature. With bacteria harbouring in your hydration, you’ll want to rinse the bottle thoroughly along with the other components of the bottle like the body, lid, and mouthpiece, with hot, soapy water.

2. Deep cleansing

It’s advised to sanitise your bottles every week with a hot deep cleanse. To do so, fill your bottle with some hot water and a tablespoon of baking soda. Leave it for an hour (or overnight), and scrub the inside of your bottle to remove any debris or buildup.

3. Invest in a straw brush cleaner

For hard-to-reach areas like the reusable straw, consider getting a straw brush cleaner to get into those nooks and crannies for a more thorough cleanse.

4. Don’t forget about the rubber gasket

If you own an Owala, it’s important that you remove the rubber gasket that protects the spout of the bottle. This is because the gasket can harbour bacteria and mould. To make sure your bottle is extra clean, you can also get the replacement parts like the straws and rubber gaskets online or on Amazon.

5. Allow your bottle to dry before using it

As previously mentioned, moist environments like your bottles can be breeding grounds for germs. To counter this, be sure to let your bottles air dry completely before reassembling.