Reusable water bottles are an environmentally friendly way to reduce plastic waste and keep you hydrated in the process. Unfortunately, however, they are also crawling with almost as much moisture-loving bacteria as the average home toilet seat. This disturbing news comes from the exercise experts over at Treadmill Reviews, who had a sneaking suspicion that the results wouldn’t be pretty.
The researchers swabbed a test group of 12 athletes’ reusable water bottles, finding an average of more than 300,000 colony-forming bacteria per square centimeter on each one. In other words, drinking from your reusable water bottle is significantly worse than licking your dog’s used toy, which has roughly 3000 colony-forming bacteria per square centimeter.
With that said, not all reusable water bottles are created equal; the researchers found the slide-top bottles to be absolutely covered in bacteria (933,340 per square centimeter) while the straw tops were by far the cleanest, with just 25.4 colony-forming bacteria per square centimeter. Presumably, this is because the straw allows the water to flow back into the bottle, as opposed to staying on the mouthpiece. While 12 water bottles are hardly enough to warrant a sweeping generalization, the research should be more than enough to convince you to clean your water bottle on a regular basis.
Pick up a straw-top water bottle from Hydro Flask, and share your thoughts on the new findings.