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Aug 08.1

Refills, Not Landfills: How to Keep Your Reusable Containers Clean

Posted In: Green

Congratulations! You've made the switch away from bottled water and are ready to tap it with your reusable container instead. Not only are you saving money, but you're also helping to save some of the 3 billion pounds of plastic waste from water bottles going to landfills every year.

Want to make the most of making the switch? You'll find it so much easier to carry and use your bottle on a regular basis if you keep it clean and odor free. Even when you use reusable beverage containers, bacteria can build up. Bacteria love a dark, moist environment, just like a water bottle that's been left too long without a scrub. No need to worry; just like your dishes at home if you use it, wash it. Give your bottle a quick wash every few days and you'll be ready to go.

Here are 5 easy and eco-friendly ways to keep your reusable water bottle clean:

1.    Check the manufacturer's care instructions. Some bottles can be put in the dishwasher, but keep in mind that not all portions of the bottle may be cleaned with this method. If it's not clearly labeled to be dishwasher safe, don't use it. Hand washing is a better way to go. If you've purchased one of our Liberty bottles, the instructions are just inside.

2.    Use hot, soapy water and a little elbow grease. Pay special attention to the mouth of your bottle and all of the crevices on the lid. A bottle brush can help you reach all of the corners, especially if your water bottle has a narrow mouth opening. Don't forget to scrub down the outside of the container too.

3.    If you've used your bottle for a beverage other than water and it's left excess residue or odor behind, sprinkle 1/2 inch of baking soda into the bottle, fill it up with hot (not boiling) water, close the lid tightly and shake for a minute. Let it sit for half an hour to an hour, empty, and rinse.

4.    You can also use vinegar to help clean and kill off unwanted germs and bacteria. After giving your bottle a wash with warm soapy water, rinse it, and fill halfway with white vinegar. Top up with water and let it stand overnight. The next morning, give it another thorough rinse before using.

5.    Drying is as important as washing. If you aren't going to use your bottle right away, let your bottle and lid air-dry in a drying rack, or dry thoroughly with a clean cloth before putting it back together and in your bag.

The most important thing to remember about your water bottle? Use it! Reuse it! Like any new routine, it can take a few days to get into the habit of carrying your own bottle, but it's well worth it to keep you hydrated on the go. Not to mention the environmental, financial, and health benefits. You'll feel better and all you need to do is head to the nearest fountain or faucet to get your fill.

Do you have any tips for making this most of your reusable container or keeping it clean?