Public Health

Safety and Care Tips for Your Reusable Water Bottle

A man drinking water from a metal bottle.

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Reusable water bottles are the latest craze on social media, but are they more than a passing trend? Our experts are hopeful; they’re not only good for the environment, but a great way to take clean drinking water with you when you’re on the go. From selecting a water bottle to cleaning tips, we’re weighing in with everything you need to know about reusable water bottles.

Reusable Bottles vs. Single-Use Plastic Bottles

Water is good for you. You need to stay hydrated while you travel, exercise or spend any time outdoors. In fact, drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways to keep your body healthy — and we’re fortunate to live in a country where it’s readily available.

That elevates tumblers to more than a passing phase. It’s handy to have water right at your fingertips and the repeated use is better for the environment. Although plastic single-use bottles are recyclable, most of them — which equates to millions of tons each year — end up in landfills.

According to the International Bottled Water Association, more single-use water bottles are sold in the United States than carbonated soft drinks. And the number of bottles sold continues to rise each year since it’s become common knowledge that we need to drink more water. Plus, those single-use bottles are inexpensive, convenient and safe. But these benefits carry over to non-disposable water bottles as well — just without the waste.

What Materials Are Used in Reusable Water Bottles?

Reusable water bottles are made from a variety — or combination of — materials. Here are the pros and cons of each type:

  • Aluminum water bottles: Aside from not being dishwasher safe, some people fear negative health effects of drinking from aluminum containers since they tend to contain BPA, a synthetic compound used to make plastic, which isn’t safe for our long-term health.
  • Glass water bottles: Glass bottles are the safest water bottles, but they are heavier and more fragile than other types.
  • Plastic (BPA-free) water bottles: Plastic bottles are lightweight and cost less. However, they aren’t as long-lasting, so they likely end up in the trash sooner than other types.
  • Stainless steel water bottles: Stainless steel is a non-toxic metal. Most stainless-steel bottles are lightweight and durable, but they can get dents and scratches over time.

There’s no right or wrong answer as to which bottle type is best: It’s a personal choice that depends on your preferences, personality and budget — not to mention the size of your car’s cup holder.

Lead in Reusable Tumblers

It’s more common than you might think for lead to be used to seal the inside layers of a reusable water bottle. While it’s contained within the bottle and not on the surfaces that encounter your hands or drink, there is a risk of lead poisoning when the protective layer covering the lead (sometimes a sealing dot at the base) is damaged. If that happens, stop using your reusable water bottle.

Keep Your Drinking Water Clean

Bacteria and mold can develop over time, so it’s important to hand-wash your reusable water bottle with warm water and dish soap at least every few days. Rinse it thoroughly and allow the inside to air-dry.

How long your water stays clean in your reusable bottle depends on several factors, including the amount of time the lid is open and the purity of the water you add to it.

Many refillable water bottles, particularly double-insulated, are not dishwasher safe, but you can check the label or visit the manufacturer’s website to be sure. If your bottle includes a straw, find out if the straw is dishwasher safe. If not, be sure to use a straw cleaner to prevent bacteria from developing. For a sanitizing deep clean, fill your bottle with boiling water and a little baking soda or vinegar, and let it soak before washing with dish soap.

Know What to Do When You’re On-the-Go

A reusable water bottle can be a smart investment, especially if you currently buy single-use plastic bottles. And insulated water bottles are especially helpful during the hottest days of summer, since they can keep your water cold for hours.

If you haven’t already, consider investing in a good quality reusable water bottle for you and each of your family members. Kids may be more likely to drink water if they’re excited about the bottle, so let them pick out their own, and add a fun straw for extra enjoyment.

Take a reusable water bottle with you when you’re traveling, a common time people get dehydrated. If traveling by air, empty the bottle before a security checkpoint; then use a water-filling station once you’re through security.

Nurturing Your Human Spirit

At AdventHealth, we see and treat the whole you. Our experts are available to guide you along your life journey by helping you stay healthy. Let us support you in body, mind and spirit.

Learn more about how we love the whole person, heal the whole body, grow the whole potential and help you live the whole journey. You deserve to feel whole.

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