How often do you wash your reusable water bottle?  How often to do you wash the lid? The team at Tredmill Reviews did some swab testing back in 2019 with some alarming results. We predict that reading this blog post will have you up and washing your reusable water bottle in no time! We'll share the horrifying stats and our best tips for keeping your water bottle clean.

These stats were obtained from testing 12 different types of bottles and it might surprise you learn what types of lids tend to carry more germs when they're not washed properly. This isn't visible mould or growth that we're talking about here. These tests were for bacteria, that you CAN'T see. This is why it's so important to not only wash the lids on your water bottle but also the bottle itself on a regular basis.

How do I clean my water bottle?

When choosing to use the dishwasher to clean your water bottle, be mindful that any stainless steel water bottle with a painted exterior needs to be cleaned by hand. Why? The abrasion of the dishwasher powder and the heat and water pressure will either slowly or quickly chip away at the paint. If you have chosen something that's plain stainless steel, that bottle can go in the dishwasher. The same with any glass water bottle, it's fine for the dishwasher, but it will really only get clean if it has a wide enough opening for the dishwasher jets to get in and clean it. It's not always the case.

We prefer the use of a bottle brush cleaner. Without a doubt, the smartest one we've seen on the market is from Green Essentials (below). With regular bristle brushes, grime at the very bottom edge of the bottle can often be missed with a brush. Organic cotton instead of firm bristles on the tip give the brush superior reach.

If your bottle is really bad and that's just not cutting it, you can try putting uncooked rice inside and shaking the bottle. You can pimp this one out by adding some bi-carb soda and a dash of white vinegar for some froth. For super stubborn grime and to give your water bottle an annual freshen up, we have quite a unique product in our natural cleaning products range. Change is the first cleaning product concentrate range in store, and it's founded by the creators of the Cheeki water bottle. Their water bottle cleaning tablets make short work of bottles you just can't clean any other way. At around $2 per cleaning tab (cheaper in an 8 pack), it's cheaper than throwing your bottle out and buying a new one.

How do I clean my water bottle lid?

Lids are trickier, and the testing results really surprised us when we saw them.

We have never stocked a water bottle with a slide top. That number is rather alarming. Who says covering the drinking spout is the be all and end all of safety. What they call the squeeze top, we call a sports cap. They need to be washed daily. You can rise them with hot water and some will go in the dishwasher (read our descriptions for that info) but you really can't get a straw cleaner in to them. Periodically they need to be replaced, so only buy brands where you can readily get new lids. In the sports lid arena, the Classic bottles from Klean Kanteen have the best performing lids, and we can always get new lids.

The difference between the screw top and the straw top surprised us when we saw the results. The people who did the testing suspect that the reason the straw lid tested so well is that any residual water where your mouth is used to drink from goes back down to the bottom of the bottle and doesn't hang around the lid. I suspect that with a screw lid, the bacteria ends up in the thread of the bottle once you screw the lid back on. Regardless, daily washing is so important, and very few people we spoke to when writing this post wash their bottles or their lids daily.

When looking at the last graphic, you'll see that the bacteria on the straw lids is mostly harmless bacteria where the squeeze top / sports lid is almost all negative.

So you're off to clean your water bottle now right?

Image credits and stats courtesy of