Water bottles

by Crosshouses   February 25, 2013  

Mrs C says that my water bottles should be replaced frequently on the basis that old bottles harbour nasty bacteria which could make me ill.

I've never seen this advice in a magazine or forum, is she right?

If so it's going to be an expensive and environmentally unfriendly exercise, especially when summer arrives and I'm taking 2 bottles on every ride.

19 user comments

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Surely just take care to wash and dry them well? Get a good bottle brush, and there's no reason why they would need replacing any sooner than other plastic containers, tupperware, plastic jugs etc.

posted by tysona [7 posts]
25th February 2013 - 18:05


You're not likely to get much living in them if you only use them for water. If they've got sports drinks in them, then that's lots of food for bacteria. Don't leave them sitting with sports drink or any residue thereof after your ride - rinse them out. A dishwasher will kill anything - as long as the plastic will survive it. The valve can be the trickiest thing to clean properly.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1438 posts]
25th February 2013 - 18:07


If you get ones with large lids which can be unscrewed and removed completely then you can put them through the dishwasher after each use and the hot water kills the bugs.

posted by jimmo62 [59 posts]
25th February 2013 - 18:08


Do you not wash them; how often does she throw out chopping boards? Unless they are all scratched up inside they won't be providing anywhere for bugs to hide from cleaning.

Personally I'd be more worried about BPAs, which I'm not about to start worrying about! I've got, and use, some ridiculously old bottles; it's more likely cow and sheep shit washing off the fields and getting sprayed up by your wheels that'll make you ill than the contents of your own bottles.

posted by mustard [72 posts]
25th February 2013 - 18:11


I use the sterilising fluid or tablets that all good supermarkets stock for baby bottles. Pop half a tablet in each bottle, another half tablet in an old ice cream tub for the bottle tops, fill them with water, wait half an hour, then rinse out and scrub the mud off the exterior surfaces. Why nobody has launched a "performance" version for cyclists, with the customary 2000% mark-up, I don't know.

posted by ubercurmudgeon [169 posts]
25th February 2013 - 18:35


ubercurmudgeon - you'd be better taking the mud off the outside first.

posted by mustard [72 posts]
25th February 2013 - 18:48


Mine live in the freezer.


posted by scranville [2 posts]
25th February 2013 - 18:51


I tend to soak mine in very hot water after each ride. Using energy products and not washing them properly could be a bit dodgy. Also as many have mentioned, most can go on the top rack of the dishwasher. That said, if the Mrs is that concerned she won't mind you buying some nice new ones will she!

posted by Psycling [52 posts]
25th February 2013 - 19:03


i tend to use something like milton with mine, chuck them in a sink full of water and leave em for a couple of hours to soak

posted by cjk99 [64 posts]
25th February 2013 - 22:40


Plus 1 for sterilising tablets, you can get them for 99p for a box of 64 use them all the time no probs with bottles.

posted by issacforce [221 posts]
26th February 2013 - 9:44

1 Like

In days of old, when riders and teams did not seem to have a limitless supply of bottles with which to litter the place, a standard job was getting all bottles, fill a bath in the hotel with hot water, and empty a large amount of Milton or similar into it and submerge the bottles and lids. Leave for 30 minutes, rinse and scrub clean bottles, no problem with bugs.


posted by doc [167 posts]
26th February 2013 - 11:26


i took the spout out of one of my bottles last week.. there was some horrific pulsing green gunk under there, suffice to say they get cleaned properly now every week

posted by russyparkin [578 posts]
26th February 2013 - 14:37


Btw, baby bottle sterilising tablets for me too. Sainsbury's own brand are a good size for a single bottle and you get about 72 of them for a quid

posted by FMOAB [262 posts]
27th February 2013 - 0:12


ubercurmudgeon wrote:
Why nobody has launched a "performance" version for cyclists, with the customary 2000% mark-up, I don't know.

Have you seen the price of camelback sterilising tablets!


posted by FMOAB [262 posts]
27th February 2013 - 0:20


Bruclens for me. None of chlorine aftertaste you get with baby bottle products.

Manglier's picture

posted by Manglier [95 posts]
2nd March 2013 - 9:25


Every ride my 2 bottles get a wash outside,then once a week they get a Milton tablet each,after a good soaking with a milton tab,they get a good flushing with cold water,and are ready for the next rides.SAFE ENOUGH FOR BABIES,SAFE ENOUGH FOR BIKIES!Wash out thoroughly you wont taste the Milton.New bottles 2 yrs ago still looking ok,3 rides per week.Enjoy,FOXYLOXY Cool

posted by foxyloxy [52 posts]
7th March 2013 - 13:23

1 Like

Give them a rinse in cold water after a ride then in the dishwasher every week or so.

posted by paulfg42 [395 posts]
7th March 2013 - 21:25


Dishwasher every time. Been using the same bottles for years.

Either it's fine, or it's slowly killing me, or it's doing my immune system the world of good (like having kids go to nursery for the first time)

posted by Tjuice [162 posts]
7th March 2013 - 23:21


I put mine in the dishwasher about once a month. They've never made me ill.

posted by benezeir [67 posts]
9th March 2013 - 0:00