3 Reasons Why Your Reusable Water Bottle Might be Making You SICK

by Adel

Are Reusable Water Bottles Really Safe?

Reusable water bottles are great; they reduce waste, save money and look better than single use bottles. I always have a reusable water bottle on me, but there are some important points to keep in mind when buying a reusable water bottle, like are they really safe? Most reusable water bottles are BPA free and, so one would assume they should be safer than a single use bottle, but there are a few key factors that make them potentially dangerous. 

All the Germs in Your Bottle

Reusable water bottles are notoriously hard to keep clean. Most bottles are not dishwasher safe, and they can’t just be cleaned by hand either. Even the bottles that are dishwasher safe often times do not clean very well in the dishwasher. The head of the bottle is often too narrow and the bottle too long for the water to get in the crevasses. Aside from the tip, the bottom corners are often the dirtiest parts of the bottle, so it is vital to keep them clean. 

So, while you may be using a reusable bottle with the intention of being healthier (avoiding BPA and such), if you do not properly care for your bottle, it could actually hurt more than help. According to researchers, you should be cleaning your bottle after every use. Here is some research showing just how bad and how common unclean bottles can be.

So Much BPA in Your Bottle

Most bottles sold today are labeled as BPA-free, but that is not always the case. Many studies have shown that many BPA-free bottles actually contain BPA in the plastic. One possible explanation is that BPA is used on other products and contaminates others. It could also be false advertising. Most reusable bottles are manufactured in China, after all. Here is an article all about BPA.

Even when bottles have 0% or near 0% BPA, they likely still have harmful chemical compounds. BPS and BPF are common replacements for BPA, but some preliminary research is showing they could be just as harmful. It is worth noting, these issues are mainly tied to reusable plastic bottles, not metal or silicone ones. 

If you are trying to avoid these harmful chemicals, metal bottles are much safer. They use much less chemicals in the final product. 

reusable water bottle

Unclean Water in Your Bottle

The water we put in our bottles is possibly the most dangerous part of the whole bottle. When using reusable water bottles, you will inevitably have to refill water in some questionable places. There are many public fountains that are not filtered at all. While some tap water is safe for consumption, there are many cities, even in the US where it is not very safe to do so. There are some bottles that have built in filters, but most people are carrying around regular old bottles. 

One of the few benefits to single-use water bottles is that the water is at least filtered before it is packaged. If you find a brand you like, you will have good tasting water whenever you need it. 

Why You SHOULD Use Reusable Water Bottles

Despite all the points I bring up, reusable water bottles are still far superior to single-use bottles. The most important thing though, is that the right bottle is chosen and it is well taken care of. Personally, I avoid plastic water bottles, reusable or otherwise. 

Metal water bottles are safer and more convenient, since they keep the drink’s temperature. I also constantly clean my bottle, thoroughly. Taking an extra bit of time to clean the bottle at the end of each day is worth it. The bottle will not accumulate germs and it will last longer too. Although I do not use them often, it is also a good idea to get a filtered water bottle, like a Brita bottle. This way, you do not need to worry too much about the cleanliness of the water. 

Long story short, like all things, your water bottle needs to be maintained. If you do not want to do that, you may be better off with a single use water bottle, despite their VERY large shortcomings. 

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