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How to clean metal water bottles and glass bottles

Reusing your water bottle is eco-friendly and cost efficient! However, it’s important to wash and disinfect water bottles when using them regularly. Whether they’re metal or glass, learn how to clean bottles effectively with these useful tips.

Updated By Cleanipedia Team

a turquoise and a purple reusable water bottle in soapy water
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Reusing your water bottle is eco-friendly and cost-efficient! However, it’s important to wash and disinfect water bottles when using them regularly. Learn how to clean bottles effectively with these useful tips.

Key Steps:

  1. Hot soapy water works wonders to sterilise water bottles and glass bottles

  2. Do not overuse dishwashing liquid as this could make it hard to remove all the bubbles!

  3. You can buy specialised sanitising tablets to ensure your bottles are extra hygienic

We all know how convenient simply refilling a used water bottle can be – and how important it is to save resources by reusing or recycling glass bottles when possible. But do you know how to disinfect water bottles before and after use?

This guide talks you through how to clean metal water bottles and glass bottles so that you can reuse them safely and hygienically.

Washing items in the sink can be very time-consuming – so use a good quality dishwashing liquid to cut through the grease and speed things up.
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How to clean a water bottle

When using a reusable water bottle, the bottle should be cleaning daily – as you would if you were drinking from a glass – to ensure good levels of hygiene are maintained.

Possibly the easiest method, if you want to clean and disinfect water bottles, is to simply stick it in the dishwasher. However, cleaning water bottles by hand on a daily basis with dishwashing soap and hot water is just as easy and effective – if not more thorough!

Follow these simple steps to make sure you have clean and hygienic water bottles.

  1. Fill the bottle with very hot water.

    Seal, shake and discard around half the water.

  2. Add a pea-sized amount of dishwasher soap.

    Seal, and shake again to create lather.

  3. Squeeze and pour!

    Squeeze and pour as much liquid as possible out through the nozzle or opening on the cap (if there is one). This will help to clean the cap too.

  4. Rinse thoroughly.

    Leave to dry on the draining rack and rinse again before putting away or reusing.

How to disinfect water bottles for a deep clean.

While cleaning your bottle daily will get rid of the germs that build up daily, give your bottle a deep clean every-so-often to make sure you’re killing any nasty bacteria that may be lingering. These steps walk you through how to disinfect a bottle effectively.

  1. Dilute 1 teaspoon of bleach and 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 4 litres of water.

    Fill the bottle with the solution and leave overnight.

  2. Squeeze or pour the solution out through nozzle or opening.

    Rinse very thoroughly, ensuring that all the cleaning solution is removed.

  3. Leave to dry on a drying rack as before.

    Rinse again before reusing.

Remember: Follow the safety guidelines on the label when using bleach and be sure it has thoroughly been rinsed out of any bottle before drinking from them again.

How to clean stainless steel water bottles and metal bottles

Metal water bottles are a great way to keep drinks hot or cold for long periods of time. But do you know how to sanitize stainless steel water bottles for safe use? It’s important to clean and disinfect metal water bottles regularly – as you would a plate or a mug – to keep safe and healthy.

  1. Make sure you read the label carefully – many metal water bottles are not dishwasher friendly.

    Not sure how to check if your items are dishwasher friendly? Check out this simple guide on what you can and can’t put in the dishwasher.


  2. Wash with hot water and dishwasher soap.

    Just like you would with other water bottles.

  3. If your water bottle has a narrow neck, you may find it helpful to use a bottle brush with some dish soap.

    This is an effective way to clean your bottle, particularly to get rid of strong smells like coffee.

How to clean glass water bottles and glass jars

To a certain extent, the techniques needed to clean glass bottles depend on what they’ve been filled with previously. Oil, alcohol, syrup and milk all leave slightly different residues behind.

Again, when it comes to knowing how to clean bottles and sterilise water bottles, simply putting them through the dishwasher is a cheap and low-effort method. However, if this is not readily available to you, there are other ways of cleaning glass bottles and jars inside and out that are equally effective.

  1. Wash with hot water and dishwasher soap.

    Use good quality soap and thoroughly wash, as with other water bottles.

  2. Use a weak bleach solution as described above.

    This time, however, leave out the baking soda.

  3. Use specifically designed sanitising tablets.

    Drop one into a bottle full of warm water and leave for 15-30 minutes, then rinse and enjoy the results. Read and follow the product instructions to get the best finish.

  4. Use a specially designed, no-rinse, sanitising solution in a bottle already cleaned with another method.

    Once again, read and follow the product instructions.

The Poll

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How to get smells out of water bottles

There may be a couple of reasons your water bottle is starting to smell. Here’s how to get smell out of water bottles:

  • Make sure you clean and disinfect water bottles regularly: not cleaning them can cause bacteria to build up.

  • Make sure you drain your water bottle after cleaning: leftover hot water can cause your water bottle to smell. Make sure it is thoroughly drained and dry before using again.

Using glass, metal and other reusable water bottles is a cost-effective way to stay hydrated and reduce your plastic waste. Just be sure to clean and disinfect water bottles before and after using them, store them safely, and label them clearly if necessary – there’s nothing worse than getting your shampoo mixed up with your salad dressing!

Originally published