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Investing in a reusable water bottle is great for the environment, but if you’re not keeping it clean, it’s not so great for your health. In fact, drinking from one may be worse than licking a dog toy — based on the amount of bacteria, that is.
A recent test looked at a number of different types of reusable water bottles (straw-top, squeeze-top, slide-to, and screw-top) and measured the number of colony-forming units, a count of of bacterial or fungal cells within a given sample. The researchers found that an average water bottle is home to of 313,499 colony-forming units. A dog toy, on the other hand, contains about 2,937. Pretty gross, right? To make matter worse, over 60 percent of the germs found on these water bottles have the potential to make you sick, according to the study.
So if you’re going to use a water bottle, it’s important to know which type is the cleanest. A straw-top water bottle tops the list, followed by screw-top, then the squeeze-top, and lastly the slide-top. Since this bacteria isn’t visible to the human eye, it’s best to thoroughly wash out your water bottle with dish soap after every use, and make sure to clean out those cracks and crevices.
If you’re a dedicated water bottle user, you may want to consider purchasing a water bottle cleaning kit, like this one from OXO, which helps you clean all the hard to reach places.
Photo by Rubbermaid Products