Reusable water bottle gets smelly quick

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by iBlazed, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. iBlazed macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    Feb 27, 2014
    Location:
    New Jersey, United States
    #1
    I have a reusable plastic water bottle, and it gets smelly on the inside within hours of being washed with scalding hot water. Anyone have any good bottle cleaning suggestions? It's super annoying.
     
  2. d4rkc4sm macrumors 6502

    d4rkc4sm

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    #2
    use some diluted bleach 10:1 ratio. swish around and let sit for 10 minutes. it will kill the bacteria that causes the smell.
     
  3. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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  4. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    America's Third World
    #4
    Fill it up halfway with white vinegar then top it off with water, let it sit overnight, then give it a good rinse the next morning. The acetic acid in the vinegar kills bacteria and deodorizes.
     
  5. iBlazed thread starter macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #5
    Awesome. I'm about to go to bed now so I'll give that a try. Would definitely prefer using vinegar over bleach. Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
     
  6. b3av3r macrumors regular

    b3av3r

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Location:
    Louisiana
    #6
    Look for that water bottle they pitched on shark tank. You could take the top and bottom off so that you could easily clean every little crevice and keep your bottle from getting funky.

    Edit: got bored, google clean bottle shark tank and you will find it.
     
  7. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #7
    The bleach solution is how Oasis recommends cleaning my water cooler. Next time you're in the market for a water bottle whether it be cycling or just carrying look into metal variety.
     
  8. jeremy h macrumors 6502

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    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    I've often used those little tablets you get for sterilising baby bottles. Fill with boiling(ish) water, drop one or two in - fizz fizz fizz. If the bottle is smelly or had coffee in - then leave overnight. Work well and no funny taste.
     
  9. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    Location:
    Midlife, Midwest
    #9
    I guess my question is: It smells of what, exactly?

    If it is a plastic or chemical smell, then it probably has to do with the material of the bottle itself either off-gassing or breaking down. That could be hazardous (v. unlikely) or maybe just unappetizing. If that is the case, then I'd look around for another brand of water bottle.

    On the other hand if it has a foul organic odor - smelling like mildew or rotten eggs - that would indicate that fungi were starting to grow, or that sugars or material was beginning to rot. If that was the case, then you need to address the way the bottle is cleaned. A common household bleach solution will kill most anything, but simple hot water, detergent, and a decent brush will help. A white vinegar solution will also kill most bacteria, as well as dissolve any mineral deposits.

    I take a water bottle or two with me on just about every workout, including my all-day bike rides. You are right to be concerned about the sanitation of your drinking water, but I'd advise against being overly sensitive. If you get thirsty enough, you won't really care if your waters smells - or tastes - a little "plasticky." But you don't want to be drinking so much as a drop of water contaminated with e-coli or other pathogens.
     
  10. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #10
    White vinegar will kill salmonella, E. coli and other "gram-negative" bacteria.

    I use it extensively to clean my computer monitor screens, tablets and small phones, keyboards, my mouse and mouse pad, as well as my coffee brewer. It cuts the oily film that collects on things that humans hands touch.

    It works well to deodorize pet "accidents" on carpets and I usually add some to the washer each time I wash a batch of dirty clothes that have be getting "ripe" in the clothes hamper for a few days.

    I just buy it in a gallon jug, pour half of it into an empty one gallon container, then fill both up with distilled water, which gives me a supply that lasts for months. It's cheap. Really cheap, but very effective.
     
  11. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #11
    I've become a big fan of white vinegar for many household cleaning and maintenance tasks.

    Its a lot easier to work with than common household bleach (I've ruined more than a couple of sweaters and shirts by getting bleach on them) or ammonia. Another thing to like about vinegar is that it is considerably less toxic to humans and animals. Our modern houses, tightly insulated and often poorly ventilated, can sometimes build up unhealthy levels of chemicals in the air.

    If you have high mineral levels in your water (as I do) its also a good idea to use a cup or two of white vinegar to get deposits out of electric kettles and coffee makers, and every month or so I soak my shower heads in vinegar to dissolve the crud that slowly plugs the openings.

    Its hard to go wrong with white vinegar as a non-toxic household cleaner for many tasks.
     
  12. HarryPot macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    #12
    If you use it in your home/office only, why not try getting a glass bottle?

    I've learned that plastic bottles smell "bad" after just one/two days of use and it takes a lot of time to clean them to remove the smell. And if you drink flavour drinks, it's even harder to remove the smell of whatever drink you had.

    This never happens to me when using a glass bottle. You can find some pretty nice ones on Amazon.

    If it's for sports, I prefer stainless steel ones.
     
  13. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    Always a day away
    #13
    Are you using anything OTHER than "scalding hot water" to wash it? Because washing something with scalding hot water is really just "rinsing" it.
     
  14. iBlazed thread starter macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    Feb 27, 2014
    Location:
    New Jersey, United States
    #14
    I honestly thought that if I don't use the bottle to drink anything other than water and use it continuously rinsing it out daily, I wouldn't have a problem. Apparently I was wrong.

    Anyway, I tried the vinegar solution. Just filled the bottle with new water a few minutes ago. Let's see how it goes.
     
  15. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #15
    I use my water bottle daily, filling it up 2-3 times per day (strictly water-only). I haven't washed it or even rinsed it since July and it still has yet to give off a bad smell or taste.

    What brand bottle do you have? I suspect it's a polar bottle... When I owned one, it gave off a nasty plastic taste into the water I put in it. This effect was exacerbated if the water reached/exceeded room temperature. Since I switched to camelbak podium chill bottles, that problem vanished
     
  16. iBlazed thread starter macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #16
    Its a cheap rite aid brand plastic bottle. Im going to order a higher quality one on amazon tonight.
     
  17. Berlepsch macrumors 6502

    Berlepsch

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    #17
    If you are dealing with the "plastic" smell of a new water bottle, here is a trick that I got from a bike dealer years ago, which worked well for me several times.

    Fill up the bottle with a milk/water mix and keep it over night. Afterwards, just rinse the bottle with water and let it dry completely.
     
  18. iBlazed thread starter macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #18
    It wasn't a plastic smell. It was a nasty moldy type smell. The vinegar solution seems to have worked, but I also ordered a better bottle.
     
  19. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #19
    Get a better bottle, seriously, I have a couple of reusable bottles and I can't recall ever incurring any sort of odor issue.
     
  20. Fzang macrumors 65816

    Fzang

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    #20
    Eugh, vinegar. That smell. If I had to use acid it would be malic acid or citric acid. Vinegar goes on my dumplings :D

    Personally I'm a big fan of 96% ethanol. It even cleans up after itself!
     
  21. iBlazed thread starter macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    New Jersey, United States
    #21
    I bought a Camelbak bottle. It's been great, no more odor. I wonder why cheap bottles smell after a short time.
     
  22. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    CT
    #22
    Because they are cheap?
     
  23. iBlazed thread starter macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    Feb 27, 2014
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    #23
    No I mean the specific cause of it. They're both made of plastic, but apparently one is a breeding ground for bacteria and the other is not.
     
  24. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Boston
    #24
    Because they're made from inexpensive materials and most like the manufacturing process is done at the most cost effective manner.

    I think what MacNut posted succinctly provides the answer. Because they're cheap. The saying, you get what you pay for fits aptly.
     

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