How often do you clean your gym water bottle? How sure are you it is bacteria-free?
I like using reusable water bottles not just because I have a good habit of rehydrating during intense workouts at the gym, but also these are very environment-friendly. Rather than buying distilled drinking water in soft plastic bottles in which you always throw away once done, these are more expensive. I know that practically all gyms and fitness centers would have a free drinking filtered water.
But when your water bottle remains wet inside, bacteria and fungi will definitely make their way to propagate in your bottles. Especially, like mine, that I put whey products after each workout and sometimes leave the bottles uncleaned or at least, unrinsed. Definitely, the foul smell of the milk or soy products is a decent sign that you badly need to develop a habit of cleaning your water bottle more often and more thorough.
As my common practice, after using it, I make sure that I rinse the bottle. And when I reach home, I will clean it with a brush somewhat like those used for disinfecting the baby bottles with a dishwashing soap and run through hot water; rinse thoroughly. I keep the bottle and the nozzle, if there’s any, open in a place where the sun shines. Bacteria and fungi love a moist and dark environment.
If you have a dishwasher, throw it there and let the machine do the work for you. Most of the good water bottles are dishwasher-safe.
From time to time, I use vinegar. All-natural, eh? Acetic acid is cheap and has a cleaning substance that can kill certain germs and bacteria, though this is not as effective as killing off the influenza virus, for example. You may also use a very weak bleach solution. 99% of the common bacteria can be easily killed by sodium hydrochlorite or commonly known as the bleach. A ratio of one tablespoon of bleach to one quart of water is good enough. Fill the bottle with the solution and let it sit for around two minutes. You can actually use this solution in your other dishes, just make sure that you soap and you rinse them thoroughly afterwards.
There are other commercial products that are designed to clean bottles – bottle cleansing tablets. This is the most expensive apart from investing in buying a dishwasher.