Reusable water bottles are brilliant for eliminating single-use plastics and saving money, but how often should we be cleaning them?
A microbiologist has warned of the dangers of not cleaning your reusable bottle enough and has suggested that thoroughly washing your bottle once a week with hot, soapy water will get rid of any bacteria.
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A recent study by Langone Medical Center has uncovered just how much bacteria is lingering in and around our water bottles. By swabbing 12 different bottles, the research team conducting the study found that there were more than 300,000 colony-forming units (CFU) per square centimetre in some of the bottles.
The lab looked at the four most popular bottle types and found that the one with a slide-top hosted over 900,000 CFU where lips touch the rim. This shows us the importance of regularly cleaning (not just rinsing) our bottles.
Dr. Philip Tierno, clinical professor of pathology and microbiology at NYU Langone Medical Center, told Mashable that "it's imperative to scrub the inside of the bottle, too. Merely rinsing is not going to do the trick."
Experts have raised the importance of using bottle brushes to clean both the inside and out, saying that a lack of cleaning could see the bacteria accumulation compare to barnacles on a boat or the soap grime that builds up on a bathtub.
It's also recommended that you place your water bottle on a dishwasher cycle every few weeks to give it a deep clean.
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