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How to Wash Reusable Plastic Water Bottles
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
No matter where you go in our current society, you will find any number of people carrying plastic water bottles in some form or another. No doubt many people believe they are doing the environment a favor by using these containers, although recent studies have concluded that extreme care should be taken when reusing plastic water bottles, even for something as innocuous as refilling it from the local water cooler or jug.
Water bottles are basically found in two types. You have the clear plastic containers that are filled with water and sold commercially at virtually every grocery store or convenience outlet and then there are the thicker, almost opaque plastic types that are sold for use as beverage containers.
Disposable Plastic Bottles
The clear disposable plastic bottles are actually not designed for re-use, mainly because they do not have the durability needed to stand up to the repeated wear and tear of continuous use. Washing this type of bottle may actually have the opposite of the desired effect, speeding up the breakdown of the plastic and releasing potentially harmful chemicals into the water. Basically, while these bottles are perfectly suitable for purchasing water commercially, they should be recycled after they have been emptied.
Reusable Plastic Bottles
The harder plastic beverage containers such as those found in Rubbermaid products, are composed of a much sturdier and more stable plastic than their average bottled water counterparts and are designed to be reused. Even so, proper care needs to be taken when cleaning these containers in order to make them suitable and safe for repeated use. Improperly cleaned bottles of this type may harbor germs which can cause illness.
Tips for Reusable Bottles
If you want to sanitize and clean your water bottles for continued use, be sure to wash the bottle daily using soap and warm water, rinse with clear, cool water, and then drain completely. Be sure to allow the bottle to dry overnight and make sure it is dried completely before sealing it up or storing it away.
If you are using your bottle at work or school and do not have easy access to a sink or basin, store the bottle in a refrigerator to prevent germs from growing overnight. It does not take long for germs to sprout. When cleaning and rinsing, take time at least once a week for an additional sanitizing step, using a diluted bleach solution to rinse the inside of the bottle. Use one tablespoon of bleach per quart of water and then make sure the inside of the bottle is thoroughly rinsed and allowed to air dry before any further use.
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