Water bottles are great for the gym, I think we’d all agree. But have you ever stopped to wonder how often you should be cleaning them? There’s likely a few of us guilty of leaving our water bottles for weeks (or even months!) festering in our gym bags.
But failing to clean your water bottle regularly can lead to lots of potential nasties growing in there. You might think it’s just water, but bacteria thrive in wet environments. As Good Housekeeping Institute’s cleaning products director Carolyn E. Forté states, “It’s not what you are filling it with but the fact that you are putting it to your mouth.”
Germs will undo all your hard work at the gym and keeping hydrated. So, how often should you clean it?
How often you should clean your water bottle
Well, it turns out that your water bottle needs to be cleaned every day. Failing to wash your water bottle regularly will allow germs to grow. Your best bet at preventing this is to wash your bottle at the end of every day and to get into a routine of taking it out of your gym bag, washing, drying, and putting it back in. If it’s been a while since you last washed it, give your bottle a thorough clean right now.
Of course, if you put fruit, cucumber, mint or anything else in your water, you’re vastly increasing the chances of bacteria growing in the bottle. Always wash your bottle straight after you’ve finished with it, in this case – the same goes for protein shakes. Although, why you’d reuse a bottle without rinsing between shakes is a bit beyond me!
How to clean your water bottle
Dish soap and water will suffice. Don’t be tempted to cut corners by rinsing at the gym’s water fountain and thinking your work is done. It really needs the soap in order to kill any harmful bacteria. Also, pay attention to any nooks and crannies that might be in the bottle’s lid. That’s where a lot of bacteria is likely to reside. In fact, slide-top and squeeze-top water bottles are the two types that carry the most germs, followed closely by screw-top bottles. Straw-top bottles came in last, with significantly less bacteria compared to the others – but unfortunately, they’re not super practical for the gym.
Depending on the brand of water bottle you’re using, you might also be able to put it in the dishwasher. Or you can use white vinegar if you’d prefer a more natural solution.
Buy a reusable water bottle, stat!
Oh, and if you don’t have one already, get a reusable bottle. Constantly using a single-use plastic bottle can leach harmful chemicals into your water – plus isn’t all that good for the planet because they won’t last as long as a bottle designed to be reused.
For some inspiration, here are some of my favourite water bottles that are suitable for the gym:
Super simple and cheap, this is a good starter bottle if you need something to drink from when at the gym but without any fancy frills. I also use this bottle for the kid’s lunch, because it’s relatively compact and cheap enough that I don’t care if she loses it!
A relatively simple water bottle that holds a decent amount of liquid – what made this brand really stand out is its company ethos and ethics. If you care about sustainability, then this is the brand for you.
If plain water is just plain yuck to you, try a fruit infuser bottle that will keep your fruit, cucumber etc. separate from your water. That makes it easier to clean and empty the fruit out of the bottle.
I picked this because it’s insulated, meaning you can keep drinks warm as well as super chilled. I use one of these in the winter when out and about hiking or doing outdoor workouts. Often I fill it with warm water or herbal tea to keep hydrated and warm!
Phew! This is a whopper. But if getting enough water is a challenge then try this big water bottle for motivation. Yes, it is a bit unwieldy and heavy when filled, but that’s all the more reason to drink its contents – right?!
A simple plastic bottle that’s designed to be held whilst running. It means you can keep hydrated on-the-go without having to put your bottle down somewhere and potentially losing it.