H​ow often should you wash your water bottle?

A​ common afterthought, explained. Are you shocked?

1y ago

How often do you clean your water bottle? Most people are guilty of just filling it up, drinking out of it, and repeating the process. After all, it's only water isn't it? However, the reality is quite grim.

Langone Medical Center in New York, has recently revealed the dangers of not washing your water bottle regularly enough. There's a lot of bacteria festering in there.

Microbiologists swabbed 12 different bottles to examine the extent of the growing bacteria, and revealed that in some, 300,000 colony-forming units (CFU) per square centimetre were discovered.

M​oreover, the study conducted a test on the four most popular bottles types. In bottles with a slide top, where lips touch the rim, there was a whopping 900,000 CFU! When left unwashed, the bacteria in a water bottle is equivalent to barnacles on a boat.

So, we definitely need to be washing our bottles. But how often? Once a week, apparently.

Dr. Philip Tierno, clinical professor of pathology and microbiology at NYU Langone Medical Center said, "It's imperative to scrub the inside of the bottle, too. Merely rinsing is not going to do the trick."

S​o get washing! Plus an occasional cycle in a dishwasher – if you've got one – is also a great shout.

A​re you guilty of never washing your bottle?

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Comments (20)

  • Have often wondered about this. Also - how long is water safe in water bottle? I suspect not that long.

      1 year ago
    • Hmmm, I’ll do a bit of digging!

        1 year ago
    • That would depend on when you last washed it but, if you’ve ever discovered a bottle of water in a bag you’ve not used for ages, it’s pretty pongy

        1 year ago
  • Avoid all the trouble of having to wash your water bottle, by simply buying a new one every 3-4 days.

      1 year ago
  • I discovered long ago I wasn't a water bottle person. If you're too far from a place that sells San Peregrino sparkling water, then you're a gonner anyway.

      1 year ago
  • Thanks again to our learned colleague ( am I being too presumptuous ? ) for posing the question .

    Plastic baby bottles.

    We had quite a few plastic baby bottles to wash, by hand, as we didn't have the funds for a dish washer .

    From memory we used a twisted wire bottle washer with a cotton stringy sort of insert, boiling water, dish washing liquid, and a plastic coated steel drying rack, where the bottles were stacked upside down, in front of a sunny window.

    Doth the suns raise thus cleanse the bottles further ?

    Doth the suns rays thus produce a broad spectrum ,of Gamma, Ultraviolet, and Infrared radiation, possibly reduce the microbial count ?

    And /or, should broad spectrum antibiotics be kept on hand ?

    Or does the physics effect of wave interference , that is the tendency of light waves and particles to bounce off a relatively smooth surface , like a window pane, or an empty , inverted smooth surface of a bottle, reduce the potential anti microbial effect of the aforementioned light spectra ?

    I would say that boiling water applied judiciously, may temporarily knock out a certain bacterial count,

    providing a temporary window of opportunity to refill a bottle.

    But I would also say, that a clean bottle left for a time, with the lid orf, shall accumulate what ever floats around the house, including, but not limited to, microfine silicate shards from the local coal fired power station , dust particles, that have escaped the attention of the NASA Black and Decker Dust Buster, and the Dyson Ball Animal, the Samsung Powerbot. An impressive effort , by all accounts.

    Also airborne, may be micro slivers of the nose cone opening of the NASA Black and Decker Dust buster, micro fragments of Dyson Ball Animal radial axis brush teeth, micro fragments of the radial axis cyclonic turbine assisted Samsung Powerbot brush teeth, skin particles, dog hair, budgerigar halitosis vapours, tiny flakes of tea leaves, fish fude, dishwashing detergent soap bubbles, micro flakes of mechanics car repair bills, with tiny portions of micro grams of printers ink, and despite much diligence, microparticles of mouse droppings.

    Dish washing detergent , combined or not with boiling, or at least quite hot UV treated and heavily chlorinated, municipal supplied tap water, may rupture the outer fatty sheaths and membrane walls of living cellular microbiological tissues, and thus , may expose the inner workings, previously suspended in a lysate, or fluid, to a lysing effect, and, well, it's not exactly buddhist, is it ?

    Only in the 90s did Mum eventually get an electric dishwasher.

    It was around that time that I had dropped out of an Associate Diploma in Laboratory Techniques, mostly because I had poor study techniques.

    But, having gained gainful employment in a Pizza Shop, and being fortunate enough to have as a hobby, the reading of old unusual medical case stories, in this instance tropical parasitology case studies,

    I was able to articulate to fellow Pizza Shop staff members, ( The Pizza Oven on the hill, Holland Park , Brisbane ,89-90 ) , some of my food handling hygiene concerns, or as my manager , a Personal Injury Litigation Law student might have put it : " unsolicited, but unfortunately necessary, advice . "

    This was around the time that a fresh generation of health inspectors, ( my fellow students , now graduated, and gainfully employed, who actually did have decent study habits and techniques ) were making their way through food handling workplaces, taking swabs, and placing the swabbing disposable into a disposable tube.

    The Health inspectors would then drive back to a path lab, with the carefully labelled samples, to test them for Clostridium Botulism, Salmonella , and pork parasites :Trichinella spiralis, a nematode or roundworm, Taenia solium, a tapeworm, and Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan or single-celled organism.

    Some of the lab equipment is sterilised in an Autoclave, pictured.

    Should we be thinking about autoclaving drink bottles ?


      1 year ago
  • Really, really good topic, and I've glad you raised it.

    Well, there are entire university diplomas, associate diplomas and degrees examining mouth and throat microflora, and I'm not entirely certain what is hoped to be achieved by the studies.


    the researchers are attempting to speculate on , the cause and effect of various microflora on the health of gums and teeth.

    In that regard, an Associate Diploma in Laboratory Techniques, could be considered to be a useful background , if one wished to progress to a Dental hygienists Diploma, or to a Dentists Degree.

    The old Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education, on the edge of Toowoomba, Australia, now going by the moniker USQ, or University of Southern Qld, has, or did have, an ADLT course available.

    One could, if one was so disposed, apply for the course, get accepted, and then sit in at a lecture, a prac class, a tutorial, and then amble orf to the refectory for a nice hot lunch, and a bottle of mineral water. Although in hind sight I wish I had taken Mums advice and just drunk tea, to wash down leftover sandwiches.

    Back in '89-90 , the mineral water at the old D.D.I.A.E refect was sold in glass bottles, with screw top aluminium lids, supporting the bauxite mining and aluminium mining industries.

    The mineral water arrived with different flavours, and , thinking back, quite a bit of sugar.

    As did the chocolate bars in the refectory hallway vending machines, perhaps 60 % Sucrose.

    TSk, tsk, tsk.

    At this point I will concede , that there is a degree of uncertainty , regarding the question of what could have been the general state of knowledge on the subject of the effects of a sugary diet. ( my uncertainty is subject to change, due to a possible brain Candida or parasitic infestation, and the odd brain snaps ) The question is , was this before the days of considering the possibility that a sugar diet could possibly result in a Candida Albicans fungal infestation of the stomach, which , in some cases was very serious. ( Actor Mel Gibsons case is famous ) may lead to lung infestation, ( Mel collapsed on stage, and turned purple, was rushed to hospital , wearing an oxygen mask, in the ambulance. Or so the story goes. Liked his pasta, and beer did Mel. )

    For how long has sugar been the suspected culprit , cultured in bottle backwash, vector transmitted from one person to another through shared dining experiences, as the food supply of Candida Albicans, a possible thrush microbiology issue ?

    Dr. Michael Mosely did a tv doco on the subject, from memory , but don't quote me, ( see Candida , brain parasites and brain snaps , above ) .


    what if one were to try what the French do, and prepare the palate before a meal, with a savoury cheese platter ?


    If you read the fine print on the aluminium foil, ( once again supporting the Bauxite mining and aluminium processing industries ) you may notice that on a little packet of Roquefort cheese, are the words "Roqueforti Pennicillium."

    Penicillium roqueforti is a common saprotrophic fungus in the genus Penicillium.

    The question could be asked : " Is it close enough to Flemings famous cultural discovery , to make a tax free contribution to a healthy microflora for the mouth, teeth and gums, throat, and stomach at the very least, or if the patient was really lucky, could it fight orf the candida infestation ? "

    Is this, in the age of modern pharmaceuticals ( farm a sue tickle ? Something to do with litigation humour ? ) , a silly idea ?

    Is my thesis silly ?

    Do I need to back track to the original Axiom, and , then attempt to construct a fresh Theorem ?

    The infinite wisdom of Heaven appears to have seen fit to bestow various gifts to the various peoples of the world.

    No one country, race colour or creed, has any particular advantage , gifts appear to be randomly placed, like marvellous Easter Eggs, or Marvels Easter Eggs, in the most unusual of locations, waiting to be discovered,

    all in good time.

      1 year ago