Unwashed reusable water bottles have more bacteria than dog toys - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Unwashed reusable water bottles have more bacteria than dog toys

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Refilling your water bottle is an easy way to save money, be green and most importantly stay healthy, but according to a new study from Treadmills Reviews, if you don't thoroughly wash those refillable cups you could be drinking a whole lot of germs.

This study looks at the bacterium that lingers on your bottle after you use it multiple times in a week.

Based on the 12 water bottles tested in the study they found that reusable drinking containers may be crawling with an alarming number of viable bacteria cells: more than 300,000 colony-forming units per square centimeter (CFU/sq cm). 

The study reports the spot your lips touch is absolutely writhing with bacteria: over 900,000 CFU/sq cm on average.

The lab tested four types of containers to see how each measure up for a week without cleaning.
The squeeze-top bottles are crawling with nearly 162,000 CFU/sq cm, while the screw-top containers host just under 160,000 CFU/sq cm. While they are aren't as bacteria-ridden as the slide-top lids, drinking from these bottles can still be worse than eating a meal from your pet's dish or lapping up water from your kitchen sink.


An interesting finding is the straw-top bottles tested contain a mere fraction of the bacteria of other bottles just 25 CFU/sq cm. However, that is only 2 CFU/sq cm less than the average home toilet seat.

Researcher say when it comes to water bottles and bacteria, stainless steel is a better choice than plastic. Additionally, water bottles without crevices and tough-to-clean spots are less likely to host germs.  

The study writes: “Don't worry, we're not recommending that you toss your container or switch to bottled water. We care about the environment, your health, and the nation's landfills. We simply think you should be aware of the potential for contamination.”

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