How to Clean Water Bottles

How to Clean Water Bottles

Did you know it is recommended that water bottles are washed as often as you wash your drinking cups and glasses? If you don't, they can become smelly and mouldy so, keeping your family's water bottles clean and stored correctly is important.

Filling your water bottles with fresh water is best. And remember, over time the plastic will deteriorate. Replacing your water bottles regularly (at least once a year) is recommended.

Ways to keep drink bottles clean

  • Tip unused water out at the end of the day.
  • Wash water bottles with warm soapy water every day. Some water bottles are dishwasher safe, if so pop them in to get a thorough clean.
  • If your water bottles need a more intense clean, try bi-carb (baking soda) or vinegar. Avoid using bleach as it is not safe to consume and leaves an odour.
  • If a bottle has visible black mould spots. Wash and scrub to remove mould, then go through one of the thorough cleaning process below.

How to use vinegar or baking soda to clean water bottles

Cleaning agentStep 1Step 2Step 3*
Bi-carb soda (baking soda)For most bottle sizes, add 2-4 tsp of bi-carb soda and fill with warm water. Shake, then leave overnight. Next day discard and rinse out with water.Air dry with lid off.
Jar of Bi-carb soda (baking soda) 4 teaspoons bi-crab soda and water bottle about to be filled with warm water from tap washing and rinsing water bottle  Water bottle air drying on dish rack 
Vinegar (full strength).
Suitable for smaller bottles and bottle lids
In a container cover bottle with vinegar and leave for 10 mins. After 10 min discard and rinse out with water.Air dry with lid off.
Bottle of white vinegar small water bottle soaking in bowl of vinegarbottle being washed and rinsed with water  water bottle air drying on a dish rack 
Vinegar (dilute 1 part vinegar in 4 parts water).
Suitable for larger bottles.
Fill bottle with diluted vinegar, shake and leave overnight.Next day discard and rinse out with water.Air dry with lid off.
Bottle of white vinegar and measuring jug pouring diluted vinegar into bottle and leaving overnight pouring diluted vinegar out of bottle and rinsing with water washing water bottle and air drying on a dish rack 

*Once clean and dry, store empty water bottles with the lid off.

Print Water Bottle Hygiene (one page summary)

Tap into water

Remember water is the main drink and is the best thirst quencher. Try to limit drinks like juice, cordial and soft drink as these are high in sugar (not great for teeth).

Take a look at your family's water bottles… maybe they’re ready for a bit of a clean!

If you’d like some more information head over to the Families section of the Move Well Eat Well website