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How to Easily Care for Your Reusable Tumbler, Bottle or Travel Mug

Happy woman holding a clean water bottle

Photo by Houston Max on Unsplash


Canada's goal of becoming plastic-free by the year 2025 can seem like an impossible task, especially when only less than 11% of our plastics get recycled each year. But it doesn’t have to be.

More and more people have turned to using reusable water bottles to aid in the fight against plastic pollution in our oceans and landfills. If you still haven’t, there’s no better time than now. Using a tumbler like this one not only saves 1,460 plastic water bottles per year, but also at least $200 per year.  And you can save even more by taking proper care of your bottle and making sure it lasts as long as it should.

We at Karunaki believe in both sustainability and wellness for our community. Follow these simple tips so you can keep your reusable container clean and germ-free, whether it’s a tumbler, a bottle or a travel mug.


Wash it Regularly

Experts recommend washing out your water bottle regularly, preferably once a day. If that’s not possible, once every other day works just as well.

This is because water bottles create an ideal environment for bacteria to fester and grow thanks to all the trapped moisture inside them. The bacteria probably won’t kill you, but it will definitely get you sick if you leave your water bottle uncleaned for long periods of time.


Use Hot Water and Soap

Cleaning your water bottle doesn’t have to be hard.

All you have to do is fill it up with hot water (not cold, not lukewarm) and soap, shake it well, then rinse it out. White vinegar and baking soda together also work well in the place of soap here.

Some tumblers and bottles have little spaces and gaps where mold can grow. You can prevent this by giving your tumbler a thorough scrub as well. You don’t need to scrub these parts every day, but it pays to do it every so often when you can. Better safe than sorry!


Let it Air Dry

Then, once you’ve washed and rinsed that bottle, it’s time to let it dry. Remember, bacteria enjoy moist environments. Simply keep your bottle in a dry area like a tabletop and let it dry overnight.

We also advise that you keep your bottle as dry as possible when not in use. Even tiny droplets left inside can create enough moisture for bacteria to grow. And even without bacterial growth, if moisture is trapped inside the bottle it can lead to awful odors. When that happens, drinking from your bottle can turn into a very unpleasant experience, which leads us to our next tip…


Remove Odors with Bleach and Baking Soda

The easiest way to remove odors, according to this article, is to fill up the bottle with water and add a teaspoon of bleach and baking soda each. Then, leave it for a night and rinse it out. Make sure the mixture is completely rinsed out as well. Then let it dry as usual.

Alternatively, the same article also suggests cleansing your bottle with antibacterial mouthwash, which can achieve roughly the same results.


Don’t Throw it Away Too Soon

The best way to help a bottle last as long as possible is, well, not throwing it away before its time.

So how can you tell?

When it comes to metal bottles, you only need to throw them out when you see signs of deterioration. A surefire way of knowing if the bottle is no longer usable is when it starts to rust. While it’s not necessarily toxic, rust isn’t exactly the best thing to ingest either. Other signs of breakage include cracks (for glass and plastic bottles) and/or loosened lids that can lead to leakage.