Re-usable water bottles could be bacteria breeding grounds if not cleaned regularly

Now that it's getting warmer we're probably drinking more water - or trying to. But here's a question  - when's the last time you really gave this a good scrubbing? 

Although they’re a great way to stay hydrated on the go, they can also be a breeding ground for bacteria and mold if you don’t give them a good scrub every now and again.

"Everything that touches that water bottle can transmit bacteria. so, we put our mouth to the water bottle," said Dr. Marianne Sumego, Cleveland Clinic. "We touch it, we lift the straw, we set it down.

"And so bacteria can really be transferred from any contact that's made."

Sr. Sumego with Cleveland Clinic says bacteria and mold thrive in moist environments like the reusable water bottles many of us
use every day.

You often can't see the germs that might be growing inside your water bottle - and they could potentially cause you to experience symptoms similar to food poisoning.

Those with sensitivities to mold may also have a flare up of allergy symptoms if mold starts growing in their go-to tumbler.

To prevent this, Sumego recommends cleaning your water bottle with soap and water after every use - and stresses that just rinsing it isn’t enough.

She says it’s important to take the time to clean all those hard-to-reach places.

"Water bottles have nooks and crannies, and so we're lifting up straws, we're twisting off caps, all of those areas," she said. "If they're
not removed and washed at the same time, can really harbor bacteria and mold that grows underneath them.

"And sometimes the mouth of the water bottle is small enough that you might need a wire brush instead because even a dishwasher is not going to get the right amount of water in there to clean it. so, really do have to pay attention to all the moving parts in your water bottle."

This applies whether it’s stainless steel, glass, or plastic. Doctor Sumego says all reusable water bottles need to be regularly washed to avoid the buildup of bacteria and mold.

You have to take it all apart and while it's not recommended to use bleach, you can try using vinegar to spray on to those nooks and crannies.