While I am sure you all have your very own bottle by now (if you don’t, check out my post How To Choose A Safe Reusable Water Bottle), some of you may not be sure how to clean it effectively. Many of these bottles are not safe to put in the dishwasher (although my Klean Kanteen is, without the lid), so you have to wash them by hand. I wash mine in the dishwasher all the time and never have any problems with leftover soap residue. If you don’t have a dishwasher, you can use either soap or white vinegar and baking soda with stainless steel bottles. But if washing by hand, you should definitely have a bottle brush to be sure you can actually wash the inside of the bottle!
These bottle brushes are also very easy to use on my Sigg bottle, because I can’t put it in the dishwasher. Just some mild soap and this brush gives my bottle a good cleaning. They also offer “Clean Tablets” that you drop into your bottle, but they are made from all sorts of stuff you may not feel comfortable using – Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Potassium Caroate, Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Percarbonate, Taed, Sodium Benzoate, PEG-180, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Subtilisin, PVP/VA Copolymer, Aroma, Limonane.
Personally, I would skip the cleaning tabs and go with regular old soap or the vinegar/baking soda combo. After years of use, my stainless steel bottle is still like new after being washed in the dishwasher and my aluminum one is perfectly fine after being washed by hand with the bottle brush. So either option does a good job of keeping the inside of them clean and “gunk-free” while ensuring that they will last at least a few more years before needing replacement. And isn’t the idea of using a reusable bottle to avoid throwing yet another thing in the trash? Keep those bottles clean!
Re-using plastic bottles;
First off – the easiest and most obvious one. Single-use plastic bottles contribute an incredible amount of trash to our waste stream. 88% of empty plastic water bottles in the US are not recycled, as much as 40% of the bottled water sold in the U.S. is just filtered tap water, and it can take nearly 7 times the amount of water in the bottle to actually make the bottle itself. It just doesn’t make sense to continue using them! If you are having trouble deciding what kind of bottle is right for you, check out this article How to choose a reusable water bottle.