What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Water Bottle? 5 Reasons To Clean Them More!

Staying hydrated is one of the most important tasks that we need to achieve daily. And most of us prefer using reusable water bottles to quench our thirst, keep ourselves hydrated, and help out mother earth. 

things that happen if you don't clean your water bottle

But as much as we love using them, are we cleaning them enough? Or better yet, how often do you wash and clean them? If you can’t remember the last time you did, I’m sorry—but I have bad news for you. 

I went into research mode to know what happens if you don’t clean your water bottle and after reading this, for sure you will run up to your sink to give your water bottle a good extra cleaning that it deserves. 

Here is your reminder to go clean out your water bottle now!

We choose to use reusable water bottles for a number of reasons; 1. We help our environment by choosing to use a reusable water bottle, 2. We save a lot of money because disposable water bottles cost a lot compared to using reusable ones and 3. Unlimited refills all day every day. 

But how often do you clean your water bottle? What do you think is the ideal interval for you to wash your water bottle in between your uses? Well, if you answered once in a week or every other few days, sorry to say but your answer is wrong.

Cleaning your water bottle should be done every day. I repeat, it should be done every day. If not, nasty things might start lurking in your water bottle without you even knowing it.

All you need is to throw it in the dishwasher and wait for the cycle to finish or just do it manually with warm and soapy water while making sure to get all the cracks and crevices where potential mold and bacteria might hideout. 

And mold and bacteria is the last thing we want in our water bottles. 

It’s also best if you can choose a water bottle with a wide lid opening instead of one with a spout and other nips and crannies where all kinds of germs can hide. 

And to urge and motivate you more to clean your water bottle regularly, here is a list of things that might come alive in your water bottle if you don’t. 


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What happens if you don’t clean your water bottle? 

It becomes a breeding ground for mold

If you have your water bottle near you right now, I highly suggest for you check your water bottle’s cap and the screw lid as well. And if your water bottle’s cap has a spout, especially a straw, you need to double-check that as well. 

If you notice any black spots, that my friend is mold and you need to wash it immediately. Back then I didn’t mind meticulously checking every part of my water bottle. 

Fortunately, I came across a video showing how mold can start growing in your water bottle especially if they were not cleaned properly and if they weren’t able to fully dry down as well. 

So it’s best for you to really check and start scrubbing it down if you do see parts that are moldy. Because mold can get you sick and that’s the last thing we want to happen. 

A Biofilm can start to form

What’s a biofilm? You might ask. It might sound harmless but it’s actually a slimy layer of bacteria that might be present in your water bottle right now, especially if you haven’t cleaned it in a while. 

When we drink from our water bottle, we open it and as it touches our lips there’s a tendency that we are leaving behind traces of bacteria and viruses. 

And as we frequently touch our water bottles, our hands might have picked up germs from different surfaces which will then be transferred to our water bottles unknowingly. 

This is why I cannot stress enough the importance of having them cleaned regularly, at least a good wash once a day.

Yes, I know that there are already a handful of bacteria living almost anywhere and not all of them are harmful, but it’s best to stay safe and be hygienic especially when it comes to the water bottle that we drink from all the time. 

It can start to give off a funky smell

In the case of not cleaning a water bottle regularly, mold and bacteria can start to muster up undetected. And that means your water bottle can start to smell. 

And nobody wants to drink from a smelly water bottle, right? The reason behind this is the mold, bacterial growth, and other microorganisms that are present almost everywhere, especially on the lid part where your lips touch your water bottle. 

And to prevent them from multiplying, you guessed that right! You need to wash them well and regularly on a daily basis. It can also give off a funky smell when you put in other types of liquid in between putting water. 

Stain build-up will be inevitable if your water bottle is not cleaned regularly

If you’ll be skimping on cleaning your water bottle regularly, you might end up with some pretty nasty types of stains. The first one would be the kind of stain that will be difficult to remove because it has already imprinted on the bottle, especially if you always use your water bottle for coffee, tea, juice, and other kinds of beverages other than water.

The second type of stain that you would want to avoid forming is the residue left behind the bottle after cleaning it! Bottles left with all sorts of liquid for a long time are more prone to this kind of residue, and most of the time they are the most stubborn kind of stain that will stick around no matter how much you try to clean it. and it won’t be a pretty sight whenever you try to drink.

The third kind of stain that you will surely not want to be in your water bottle is a more subtle one—it’s the one that makes your bottle look vintage and not so pleasing to drink from. 

Your bottle might look old before its time

No one likes to drink from an old and dirty-looking bottle, but if you won’t be cleaning it diligently every now and then, it will be more likely to develop scratches, stains, and discoloration. Like any other things that we use on a daily basis, water bottles are subject to wear and tear that why maintaining them is a must.

Try to only use mild bottle cleansers instead of harsh ones that can ultimately damage the material of your water bottle, by making sure that you’re maintaining your water bottle in its tip-top shape, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to use it for the many years to come helping you stay hydrated one gulp at a time!

***To know what’s the best water bottle for you? Just check out this article to know which specific features you should look for in a water bottle. 

In Essence

We are always trying to chip in and do our part when it comes to helping our planet, that’s why we choose reusable water bottles. But still, we need to take care of our health as well. 

That’s why always remember that a good wash can help to keep ourselves healthy and away from mold, bacteria, and a funky-smelling water bottle. 

Overall, all types of water bottles are a-okay, but in my opinion, the best ones are the stainless ones, they’re naturally anti-microbial and they have fewer germ-harboring cracks compared to other types of bottles. 

4 Steps for a squeaky clean water bottle

#1. Know if it’s dishwasher safe or if it’s for handwashing only

The first step in keeping your water bottle squeaky clean is to know whether you can throw it into the dishwasher or if you need to hand wash it only. 

#2. Separate every piece

If your water bottle has a number of components, it’s important for you to take them all apart for a good and thorough cleaning. This is very important, especially for water bottles that are equipped with spots and straws. 

In this way, you’ll be able to clean all parts individually. It’s also wise to invest in a bottle brush set that has even the smallest brush to help you get into every nook and cranny of your water bottles. 

#3. Let it soak in warm soapy water.

After separating all the parts, just let them soak in warm soapy water and give it a good scrub and rinse after. 

It does not need to be boiling hot water, it should be just warm enough that your hands will still be able to touch the water comfortably. 

Alternatively, you can also try using vinegar and water only if you don’t like using dish soap all the time. Just fill ⅕ of the water bottle with vinegar and the rest with lukewarm water and let it sit overnight then give it a good rinse the following day. 

#4. Let it fully dry upside down

The last and final step once you’re done with rinsing it well is to let it fully dry down upside down preferably overnight on top of a paper towel to help absorb the moisture. And the next day you should be all set to fill it with refreshing water!