The Best Way To Clean Your Emotional Support Water Bottle

In our quest to stay adequately hydrated, many of us have adopted an emotional support water bottle and carry it everywhere we go. The comfort of knowing they're there and ready to quench our thirst and give us something to fiddle with during potentially awkward social interactions is enough to justify our arguably codependent relationship with them. Besides, we're simultaneously avoiding dehydration while saving the planet from single-use plastic. Where's the harm in that?

As it turns out, your trusty reusable water bottle is more than likely teeming with bacteria. A study conducted by Water Filter Guru revealed that the average reusable water bottle is silently harboring considerably more microorganisms than a typical toilet seat. As such, regular washing is a must in order to keep from ingesting potentially harmful bacteria.

Washing your water bottle with soap and warm water should be sufficient for daily maintenance. In the event that your water bottle buddy has a narrow mouthpiece, a bottle brush can be used to reach all the nooks and crannies your fingers can't. For a more sanitizing soak, fill the bottle with a 1:1 solution of warm water and white vinegar once a week. When your water bottle is in need of a deeper clean, filling it with hot water, mixing in a tablespoon of baking soda, and allowing it to sit overnight can work to eliminate mineral buildup and unwanted odors.

Who's washing and who's not

Because the moist and, oftentimes, dark environment lends itself to the speedy reproduction of microbes, washing our water bottle should be a part of our daily routine. And yet, the study suggests that only 62% of Americans are washing their water bottles on a daily basis. The rest of us are trying to get away with washing our water bottles a few times a week ... or a few times a month.

While all reusable water bottles should be washed every day, those made of metal and plastic are more hospitable to growing bacteria than their glass counterparts. As such, glass water bottles are often touted as the cleanest way to drink water. Not only are they dishwasher safe, but their transparent nature also allows you to actually see when any parts of the bottle are unclean. Drinking from glass, as opposed to plastic or metal, also ensures that your water isn't leaching harmful chemicals and odd, metallic flavors from its receptacle.