That Gunk In Your Water Bottle

Ever been faced with a dirty water bottle? It happened to guest poster Don Blount recently.

I have about eight or nine water bottles. I did not buy them all. Some came with bike-related purchases, and a few were gifts. Most of them are insulated bottles. I like those because they keep beverages colder longer in the hot weather we get in Northern California – I hate drinking water as warm as bathwater. I started with the Polar insulated bottles but later switched to the Camelbak Podium Chill bottle because they are easier to drink from. Just squeeze and the liquid squirts out. The Polar bottles I use in the cooler weather as they are can also accommodate warm beverages.

I have heard or read about neglected bottles turning into science experiments. Fortunately, I had not experienced this until I recently pulled out a bottle that had somehow been put away without being cleaned – blech!

My initial reaction was to pitch it. I didn’t see how this bottle would be useable again.

Instead I poured in some bleach, shook the bottle and let it sit overnight.

And when I looked in it the next day, I discovered that the bleach had done its job.

The dishwasher will be the bottle’s next stop but I am still undecided if I will keep it, knowing what was once inside.

What do you think?


  1. Amazer98 says

    So you had some mold in your bottle and then killed it all off with bleach. It appears totally clean in the photo. A run thru the dishwasher is probably unnecessary, but should dispel any lingering doubts about the bottle’s suitability for future use. I’d have no compunctions about deploying the containment vessel in my quiver for active use in future excursions!

  2. says

    I read this on some biking forums about the proper care of cleaning of water bottles (some folks even recommend doing this at least once a month on all their water bottles):

    “Throw in a table spoon of bleach and a table spoon of baking soda and fill the rest of the water bottle with tap water – leave the concoction set overnight. The next morning use soap and water and wash/rinse your bottle. Good to go”


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