Reusable Water Bottles Vs. Toilet Seats: Which Is More Germy?

Reusable water bottles have long been considered an environmentally friendly option compared to single-use plastic bottles. However, a recent study by US-based has found that reusable bottles can harbour around 40,000 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. The researchers swabbed different parts of water bottles including the spout lid, screw-top lid, stray lid and squeeze-top lid, three times each, and found two types of bacteria present – gram-negative rods and bacillus.

The study also compared the cleanliness of the bottles to household objects and found that they contain twice as many germs as the kitchen sink, can harbour four times the amount of bacteria as a computer mouse and 14 times more than a pet’s drinking bowl. While gram-negative bacteria can cause infections that are increasingly resistant to antibiotics, certain types of bacillus can result in gastrointestinal issues.

The human mouth is home to a large number and range of different bacteria, according to molecular microbiologist Dr Andrew Edwards from Imperial College London. Drinking vessels are therefore covered in microbes, which is not surprising. However, even though bottles may serve as a breeding ground for high numbers of bacteria, microbiologist Dr Simon Clarke from the University of Reading said that it is not necessarily dangerous. “I’ve never heard of someone getting sick from a water bottle. Similarly, taps are clearly not a problem: when did you last hear of someone getting ill from pouring a glass of water from a tap? Water bottles are likely to be contaminated with the bacteria that are already in people’s mouths,” Mr Clarke said.

The study revealed that squeeze-top bottles are the cleanest of the three styles tested, with a tenth of the amount of bacteria as one with a screw-top or straw-fitted lid. The researchers recommended washing reusable bottles at least once a day with hot soapy water and sanitizing them at least once a week. It’s important to note that while the bacteria found in reusable water bottles may not necessarily make you sick, it is still important to maintain good hygiene practices when using them.

How to Keep Your Reusable Water Bottle Clean and Safe to Use

Here are the tips and tricks for keeping your reusable water bottle clean and safe:

  1. Wash Your Bottle Regularly
  2. Choose the Right Cleaning Method
  3. Pay Attention to Hard-to-Reach Areas
  4. Consider Using a Bottle Brush
  5. Avoid Dishwashers and Harsh Chemicals
  6. Dry Your Bottle Completely
  7. Store Your Bottle Properly
  8. Replace Your Bottle When Needed

Conclusion: By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your reusable water bottle remains clean and safe to use. Regular cleaning and proper maintenance protect your health and contribute to a cleaner environment. Remember to make it a habit to clean your water bottle regularly, and enjoy the benefits of staying hydrated while reducing your environmental footprint.