Reusable water bottles are brilliant for eliminating single-use plastics, saving money & the environment, but how often should we be cleaning them?

Taking a long swig of that super chilled filtered water from your refillable water bottle could see you consuming more bacteria than you would if you licked your dog’s toy.

Researchers from Treadmills Reviews conveyed a study into the bacteria found in different water bottles. They found that the average atheletes water bottle had 313,499 CFU (colony-forming units of bacteria).

In comparison the average dog toy has 2,937.

Four different types of reusable bottle were tested after they were used by athletes for a week. Check out the results below.

Reusable water bottle

Which bottle has the most bacteria?

The study found the slide-top water bottle harboured the most germs. They’re great for stopping unwanted spillages while out and about, or at the gym. You might want to think about cleaning your bottle after you find out how much bacteria is lurking in and around your bottle.

The slide top bottles tested had a whopping average of 933,340 CFU, while straw top water bottles were a clear winner with a mere 25.4 CFU.

The classic screw-top bottles had 159,060 CFU, meaning that a swig from that is about as bad as lapping up water from your kitchen sink.

And the squeeze top had an average of 161,971 CFU.

However, although paling in comparison to the shocking levels found on the slide top, the squeeze top’s bacteria was a lot more harmful.

Nearly 99 per cent of the bacteria found on the bottle was classed as harmful and there were traces of antibiotic-immune bacteria, such as the food poisoning-causing E. coli.

In total, over 60 per cent of the germs found on water bottles in the study had the potential to make you sick.

How to reduce the bacteria?

Be smart about your choice and, if you can, opt for a straw top bottle which contained the fewest germs (25 CFU), the majority of which were non-harmful and naturally occurring.

You will never completely remove bacteria from anything. If you do, it will be back before you can say germs! So, to help reduce the bacteria found within your reusable water bottle.

  1. Swill your bottle out and leave to soak in some warm soapy water.
  2. Then get yourself a bottle brush. Make sure you have plenty of soap on the brush and give your bottle a good scrubbing. Ensuring all areas of your bottle have been scrubbed.
  3. Then dry with a tea towel or some blue roll.