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Why do reusable water bottles smell?

Why do reusable water bottles smell?

I bring my reusable everywhere with me, it's like apart of my wardrobe. One day I was at university sitting in class, and raised my water bottle up to my mouth for a sip of water, when I noticed how bad it smelled! Why do reusable water bottles smell? I couldn't think of the answer. After all, I only put water in it! I was curious, so I did a little searching around and found exactly why my reusable bottle smelled.

Why do reusable water bottles smell? Reusable water bottles smell because they collect odour-causing bacteria from backwash, sweat, and saliva. The odour can smell bad faster if reusable water bottles are stored in a wet area, or left with the lid sealed on for long periods of time with liquid in the bottle.

Bacteria doesn't just build up in reusable plastic water bottles, it also accumulates in metal water bottles. It's definitely worth it to keep a reusable water bottle over single use bottles! Single use bottles are terrible for the environment.


How to remove smell from plastic and metal water bottle

why do reusable water bottles smell?

So how do you fix a smelly reusable bottle? There's a few methods you can try to clean your bottle and get rid of that smell.

Remember, you should be cleaning reusable water bottle every day. Here's different ways you can clean your plastic and metal water bottle.

  1. Fill bottle half way with warm and soapy water, seal the lid, then shake for 20 seconds. Remove lid, scrub interior and exterior of the mouth as well as the lid of the bottle with a brush or cloth.
  2. If your reusable bottle is dishwasher-safe, place plastic or metal bottle on the top rack of dishwasher mouth-side facing down
  3. If method 1 & 2 don't remove the odour from your bottle, try using white distilled vinegar. Fill your reusable water bottle with 2 tbsp of white distilled vinegar and fill the rest of the bottle up with water. Next, seal the lid and let bottle rest upside down overnight. After 10 minutes, pour out the vinegar and proceed to clean your water bottle with warm, soapy water (method 1)

Now your water bottle is fully clean and ready to go! Just make sure you remain consistent with cleaning your bottle to avoid bacteria build up.

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how to remove smell from plastic water bottle

How to keep reusable water bottles clean

You're probably tired of your reusable water bottle smelling all the time, I would be too! After you've cleaned it and removed the smell, maintaining a clean water bottle is essential, especially to avoid nasty bacteria build up.

So how do you keep reusable water bottles clean? To keep reusable water bottles clean, thoroughly wash the bottle every day with a scrub brush and warm & soapy water. Always store reusable water bottles with the lid off when not in use, and allow them to dry completely in between uses.


Removing the smell from a bottle and keeping your reusable bottle clean isn't that difficult of a process! Just remember it's important to remain consistent with cleaning it to avoid bacteria build up.

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