Water bottles are everywhere and we use them on a relatively consistent basis. In the name of environmentalism we often reuse our water bottles, but the question is does this negatively affect our health? First, you need to know that bacteria can thrive in water bottles.
It should be OK to use a disposable water bottle only once, but you push your luck if you use it again. As a matter of fact, with prolonged usage, water bottles acquire cracks and scratches that can host nasty bacteria. It is like your cutting board that must be cleaned very thoroughly to ensure all the bacteria are eliminated.
Though cleaning the disposable water bottles with warm soapy water cuts down some of the risk, still this might damage them further because they are not designed for re- usability purpose. A recent study found that elementary students’ water bottles, which have been used many times without washing, contained high levels of bacteria much more than what is recommended to be present in drinking water.
This in part is due to the fact that these bottles are in room temperature, which gave the bacteria within the bottles the perfect conditions to multiply.
However, specialized re- usable water bottles are not entirely safe; they too can get scratches that host bacteria and thus become as contaminated as disposable water bottles. Therefore, the best defense against bacteria is to use disposable water bottles only once and if use the re- usable kind, try to get the wide- mouthed so that it can be easily cleaned and make sure to give it a good wash every day.
It is very important to use warm water in cleaning not boiling water, especially with disposable bottles, because the plastic used in them is not designed to be heated. In such case, there is a good chance that dangerous chemicals might leech into whatever liquids put inside.