Importance of thoroughly cleaning reusable water bottles

Published: May. 21, 2023 at 12:56 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) – Many of us view reusable water bottles as the more sustainable, environmentally-conscious choice.

However, studies now show we may not be putting enough effort into cleaning them, which could put our health at risk.

The environmental health director at First District Health Unit in Minot said putting them in the dishwasher is not enough, and not cleaning them often can allow bacteria to grow.

There are about six billion germs in the human mouth and when using a water bottle, certain germs like strep and staph have the ability to congregate and multiply.

You should not share your water bottle with others.

She said using the correct tools, like a straw brush and cleaning the water bottle everyday with warm, antibacterial, soapy water should effectively remove harmful bacteria.

“Refill your water bottles continuously, if you refill them, pour the water out, rinse them, refill them, wash them every day, sanitize every week, keep the outsides clean,” said Lisa Otto Westman, with First District Health Unit. Otto-Westman also said reusable water bottles are a really good thing to have, you just have to take proper care and make sure you’re washing them appropriately.