We all know how convenient simply refilling a used water bottle can be – and how important it is to save resources by reusing or recycling glass bottles, wherever possible. But how do you clean them first, to make sure they’re safely sanitized? This guide walks you through cleaning plastic bottles and explains how to clean a water bottle so that you can reuse bottles safely and hygienically.
The easiest method to clean a water bottle is to simply stick them in the dishwasher. However, cleaning water bottles by hand on a daily basis with dishwashing soap and hot water is just as easy and effective – if not more thorough! Follow these simple steps to make sure you have clean and hygienic water bottles:
Washing items in the sink can be very time-consuming – so use a good quality dishwashing liquid, like Vim to cut through the grease and speed things up.
Fill the water bottle with extremely hot water.
Seal, shake and discard around half the water.
Add a pea-sized amount of Vim, seal, and shake again to create lather.
Squeeze or pour as much liquid as possible out through the nozzle or opening on the cap (if there is one) – this will help to clean the cap too.
Leave to dry on draining rack.
Rinse again before putting away or reusing.
Dilute 1 teaspoon bleach and 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 4 litres of water.
Fill the bottle with the solution and leave overnight.
Squeeze or pour solution out through nozzle or opening.
Rinse thoroughly ensuring that all the cleaning solution is removed.
Leave the bottles to dry on drying rack as before.
Rinse again before reusing.
Remember: Follow the safety instructions on the label when using bleach and be sure it has thoroughly been rinsed out of any bottle before drinking from them again.
To a certain extent, the techniques to clean plastic bottles depend on what they’ve filled previously. Oil, syrup, and milk all leave slightly different residues behind.
Again simply putting plastic bottles or glass jars through the dishwasher is a cheap and low-effort method of sanitizing them, but if this is not readily available to you, there are other ways of cleaning plastic bottles inside and out that are equally effective.
Wash the plastic bottles with hot water and Vim dishwasher soap.
Use a weak bleach solution as with water bottles but without the baking soda.
Use specifically designed sanitizing tablets. Drop one into a bottle full of warm water and leave for 15-30 minutes, then rinse and enjoy. Read and follow the product instructions to get the best results.
Use a specially designed no-rinse sanitizing solution in a bottle already cleaned with another method. Once again, read and follow the product instructions.
Cleaning plastic bottles and water bottles are a safe and environmentally friendly way of collecting re-sealable containers for future use. Just be sure to store them safely, and label them clearly!
Hot soapy water works wonders to sanitize bottles.
Do not overuse dishwashing liquid as this could make it hard to remove all the bubbles!
You can buy specialized sanitizing tablets to ensure your bottles are extra hygienic.
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