How to clean your reusable water bottle (if you don't have a self-cleaning one)

How to clean your reusable water bottle (if you don't have a self-cleaning one)

Posted by Elaine Tu on Sep 26th 2019

So you’ve been stuck with a persistent funky, musty smell in your reusable water bottle. You think you wash it enough (you’re supposed to give it a soapy scrub every day), but no matter what you do the smell is still there. Ever try to subtly do a sniff test when you’re at your desk at work and smell the atrocious funk that is coming from your water bottle? You’re not alone.

The great thing about reusable water bottles is that they are environmentally friendly–a far better alternative than buying single-use plastic water bottles. But the only downside is that people are not washing them properly, leading them to develop a stench that puts people off from using them, or worse, buying new ones–which can get expensive over time and creates more waste. Knowing how to properly clean and care for your reusable water bottle will help prevent this, and better yet, keep you from getting sick. 

Depending on what type of material your water bottle is made of, your bottle may be more difficult to clean. Plastic and glass tend to cling to odors. Fortunately, food-grade 18/8 stainless steel (like the kind used to make the LARQ Bottle) is usually a better alternative, but don’t be fooled–reusable bottles without self-cleaning technology can get so filthy they’ll make you sick.

Now, odor aside, there are some pretty nasty things that can grow in your water bottle when you don’t clean it properly. Things like bacteria, mold, and viruses can breed exponentially in dark, moist areas–especially in something like a water bottle. After even one day, you’ll see bacteria growth in a regular water bottle, so it’s important to clean it every single day, if not multiple times a day. 

Hopefully, this doesn’t deter you from using a reusable water bottle; they’re still the most sustainable alternative to avoid getting a plastic cup of water from Starbucks or buying bottled water. Mother nature will surely thank you! So here are some easy ways you can care for your reusable water bottles and get rid of that funk so you can keep using your reusable bottle.

How to get rid of that smell from your water bottle:

  1. Soap and lukewarm water
    Good old soap and water can do the trick if you’re diligently washing your water bottle every day. This regular cleaning will prevent odor-causing bacteria from growing too quickly. Scrub with a sponge and a bottle brush to get into all the crevices. Sometimes bacteria and mold can grow on the bottom of the bottle because it is a difficult place to reach when washing.
  2. Soak in boiling water
    A good overnight soak in boiling water should get rid of a slight funk after forgetting to wash the bottle for more than a day. Wash with warm soapy water the morning after and do a sniff test to see if the smell has gone away. If it’s still smelly, try the next option.
  3. Soak in baking soda solution
    Baking soda is commonly used for many cleaning applications because it deodorizes. Scoop 2 heaping teaspoons of baking soda into your water bottle and fill it with warm water. Let it sit for a couple of hours or better yet–overnight–for the best results. Rinse your bottle thoroughly and do another sniff test. Does your bottle still smell funky? Try the next method.
  4. Soak with white vinegar
    Vinegar surprisingly does well by neutralizing odors because of its astringent properties. Fill your water bottle with white vinegar (you can also opt to dilute with warm water if you don’t have enough vinegar on hand), and let it soak overnight. In the morning, rinse with warm soapy water and reassess. Sometimes the soak can leave a vinegar smell but don’t worry, another overnight soak in hot water should get the vinegar smell out.

Don’t have time for all that? There’s a better solution.

If that stubborn stench persists even after all these methods, or if you just don’t want to go through the trouble–it’s okay, you have way better things to do with that time–it might be time to upgrade to a LARQ self-cleaning water bottle.

You probably know as much as anyone that scrubbing your water bottle every day or soaking it overnight isn’t always convenient and you might have even experienced reaching for single-use plastic water bottles as a result of forgetting your water bottle at home because it was soaking all night. Counterintuitive, don’t you think?

We’re here to offer you a solution–a self-cleaning water bottle that remains odor-free after every use. No more scrubbing, jamming your gigantic hands in the tiny mouth of your bottle, hand yoga, or musty smell, ever. The UV-C LED technology built into the bottle’s cap zaps away odor-causing bacteria and harmful viruses so your bottle never smells, your water is purified, and you can drink confidently anywhere you are in the world.

The LARQ Bottle activates self-cleaning every 2 hours so you don’t even have to think about whether or not your bottle is clean, but if you want, you can press the button for on-demand cleaning and water purification. Press twice for Adventure Mode which activates a 3-minute cleaning cycle for those “is this water safe to drink?” moments.

There are a bunch of methods for cleaning your water bottle, but the best way is prevention. You should always wash your bottle with soap every time you use it. If this is not feasible for you, join the club! The LARQ Bottle is your best bet for a stink-free sip every time. No daily cleanings, no scrubbing, no fuss–and no need to attempt discrete sniff tests again. Because your water and bottle should smell like–well, nothing.