What’s That Growing in Your Water Bottle?

You might not see them.

You might not smell them (or maybe you do if you take a close sniff).

You might not taste them.

But they’re there: Billions of bacteria in that trusty water bottle that you bring with you to work, toss in your gym bag, or carry to the park or beach.

And while the world applauds you for using a reusable water bottle (a shocking 1 million plastic water bottles are bought and tossed every day, polluting the world’s oceans and waterways), you may want to reconsider exactly what type of reusable bottle you’re drinking from.

Would You Drink from a Dog Dish?

New Jersey-based EmLab P&K, an environmental testing firm, decided to test dozens of common reusable water bottles sold in gyms and sports stores around the world.

They had athletes use their bottles for seven days, then they took a swap and sent it in for clinical review.

They found that the average water bottle had 313,499 bacteria units per square centimeter. In contrast, your dog's favorite pet toy has an average of only 2,937 units per square centimeter.

The researchers summed it up by saying you’d be healthier drinking from your dog’s dirty water dish than you would using your favorite sports bottle.

Are All Reusable Water Bottles Alike?

The researchers analyzed several bottle shapes and designs, and there were clear differences:

  • Slide-top bottles were by far the worse, with an average of 933,340 bacteria per square centimeter.
  • Squeeze-top bottles had 161,971/centimeter.
  • Screw-top pop bottles had 159,060/centimeter.

They concluded, that basically any bottle with a lid of  “complex geometry” experienced the highest levels of bacteria.

Were These Dangerous Bacteria?

Now, not all bacteria are necessarily bad. We even take some as health supplements. But the researchers found that 99% of the bacteria in the squeeze-top bottles and 98% of those in the screw-top pop reusable bottles were unhealthy, dangerous bacteria like E. Coli.

And in the slide-top bottles, half of the bacteria tested were dangerous, including types of bacteria linked with blood poisoning, skin infections and respiratory problems.

How to Stay Safe

With seemingly most water bottle populated with millions of unhealthy germs, stay healthy with the following tips:

  • Consider investing in an easy to clean (simple design, one where you can see all part, no hidden crevices or the similar) bacteria-resistant reusable bottle.
  • Wash your water bottle every day. Its warm, humid environment is conducive to bacteria growth.
  • Try adding lemon juice or other citrus juices to your water. It’ll encourage you to stay more hydrated, and citrus juice may help to manage some (but not all!) bacteria.


It may be time you moved to a more hygienic drinking experience. The MOUS Fitness Bottle has been designed, using smart design features that make it easy to clean and bacteria resistant. View the collection and make your move to a healthier future today.


1. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/28/a-million-a-minute-worlds-plastic-bottle-binge-as-dangerous-as-climate-change
2. http://www.treadmillreviews.ca/water-bottle-germs-revealed/

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