How to prevent your reusable water bottles from becoming real nests of bacteria?

Pollution, excessive consumption of plastic, microplastics in mineral water bottles, rising prices … There are many reasons why we buy a bottle of water. Whether in the corner of a desk, in our backpack or in the car, refillable bottles are popular. But do these eco-responsible objects only have advantages? With daily use, how can you prevent them from becoming real foci of bacteria? This is the question we asked Marc-André Selosse, biologist and professor at the National Museum of Natural History, in Paris (Ile-de-France). Western France he answers you.

Where do the bacteria come from?

First of all, it is important to remember that most bacteria are not dangerous to health. “There are microbes that are vital to the functioning of our digestive tract and immune system and they pass through our diet,” says Marc-André Selosse.

So where do these bacteria come from? Unknowingly, when we drink from a pumpkin, we deposit some saliva and bits of skin from our lips that stick to the lining, helping bacteria to grow. The solution: use water in a glass. However, the professor wishes to reassure: It is more a risk to taste than to health, the bacteria that develop are not necessarily pathogenic to humans.

Be careful though, if you keep coffee or syrup, for example, in your bottle. “Sugary drinks have more molecules that can help microbes grow and can become a little less healthy,” adds the teacher.

Read also: PODCAST. Are water bottles really greener than plastic bottles?

How to properly wash your water bottle?

While your water bottle presents no health hazard, it is still important to clean it regularly to get rid of biofilms, these layers of microorganisms attached to a surface. To do this, it is advisable to brush the bottle with a swab, with water and a little soap. This brushing should be done every two to four weeks, with the exception of sugary drinks where you need to brush the reusable bottle more often.

However, this delay can be increased if the water is full of limescale. “If you notice limescale spots forming during drying, as they are good attack points for microbes, do not hesitate to rinse for a long time with white vinegar before brushing”, says the biologist.

It is also not recommended to put the bottle in the dishwasher, as the water will not get inside well. “In other words, rinse the bottle every day, let it dry, this will prevent the development of germs. And, from time to time, brush it. “

Choose the right material

Today, many reusable bottles of different brands are marketed. They can be made of plastic, glass, aluminum or stainless steel. Their composition is a considerable criterion.

This is why Marc-André Selosse bans plastic water bottles because they can release microplastics which in turn release molecules that are harmful to the body. Aluminum is also not recommended since then“Releases aluminum lesions that are not good for health”. To avoid these compositions, stainless steel or glass water bottles are recommended instead.

“As much as we have to clean our scattered objects, we clean the water bottle from time to time and that’s it”, continues the biologist. And to conclude: “The real problem is that of taste and not that of health. Thus, by cleaning too often, we deprive the microbes that are useful to us. “

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