How to clean a water bottle with a black cap?
July 14, 2011 2:49 PM   Subscribe

I have a water squeeze-bottle on my bike. It has a black cap/drinking-assembly and I'm concerned that it might get really gross under there without me ever knowing about it. How should I clean it? Should I just get a different bottle?
posted by circular to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
Growing up, we always made sun tea in a big glass jar with a rubber spigot on it. It got sponge/soap cleaned after every use. Every few batches, my dad would give it a thorough bleach cleaning. He'd fill it with boiling water and a capful of bleach, let it sit for a few minutes, then run it through the spigot to clean out the pipes.

If you fill your water bottle with slightly bleached water, re-cap, and force squeeze the water out through the mouthpiece, it should be just fine. Make sure you rinse thoroughly. It will also help if you rinse it every time you use it, and leave it uncapped with the mouthpiece popped open to let it dry out so no mildew forms on the inside.
posted by phunniemee at 2:54 PM on July 14, 2011

You can boil it, or buy something like the Clean Bottle that allows you to take the whole cap/nipple assembly apart.
posted by dolface at 2:55 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

My kids have similar bottles for everyday use. I just half-fill the bottle with washing-up water, give it a shake, squirt some of it through the cap, then rinse. Unless you slobber all over it, the cap only ever has clean water passing through it. It's as hygienic as anything else you eat or drink from. Your odds of getting sick from a water-bottle-nozzle-related infection are trivially small.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 3:09 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Dishwashing machines are pretty thorough at cleaning stuff.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:17 PM on July 14, 2011

It depends on the arrangement of the spigot - some of them you can give a half turn to and slip it apart which lets you get at the guts of it. Some of them you're pretty much stuck with whatever is growing in there unless if you get creative with a pipe cleaner. They're cheap enough that the top rack of a dishwasher shouldn't cause undue problems.

The one time I left gatorade in my water bottle for a week is the last time I'll do that. Bleagh, Gatorbooze.
posted by Kyol at 4:44 PM on July 14, 2011

Never put anything in it but water, so that the only stuff that micro-organisms can feed on is whatever your tongue and lips leave behind; every week or so, drop the cap/spigot in a cup of water and boil it in the microwave. Nothing harmful to you will survive that.
posted by flabdablet at 12:15 AM on July 15, 2011

If you can't disassemble it so that it comes apart for cleaning then don't use it and find one that you can clean properly. Then use soak/rinse in mild bleach (or possibly disinfectant but it could taint), some plastics may deform with boiling.
posted by epo at 12:31 AM on July 15, 2011

try a bubbling denture cleaning solution like efferdent


this is an ancient backpackers and cyclists canteen cleaning trick
posted by No Shmoobles at 8:16 AM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

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