We’re all aware that reuse is a key strategy to reducing waste and helping us live a more sustainable life. One of the biggest changes in the last couple of decades has been switching to reusable water bottles but exactly what is the best way to clean a glass water bottle?
As a general rule cleaning glass water bottles is a simple 6-step process using water, natural soap, and a bottle brush. A more thorough clean can be provided by using baking soda or a vinegar/water mix which will help to remove stubborn dirt and stains.
Cleaning glass drinking bottles is fairly easy but according to the recent research I did there are some nice tips and tricks which I’ve shared below.
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Check Your Bottles Washing Instructions First
If you’re able to, the first thing you should do is check the care instructions on the packaging the glass bottle came in.
It is very possible that your glass bottle can be placed in the dishwasher. If this is the case then just make sure that all elements of the bottle are dishwasher proof as some lids for example are not.
In the example below the left-hand icon with the glass and the fork is the symbol for dishwasher safe.
If the packaging has long since gone, it is always a good idea to search online. In a lot of cases, manufacturers and retailers do display care instructions on their websites.
If neither of these are options for you then don’t panic.
There are several ways in which you can clean glass water bottles depending on how dirty the bottle is.
Below is the basic cleaning routine for glass bottles that are used often.
How Often Should I Clean My Glass Water Bottle?
You should always clean your glass water bottle each time you use it to avoid bacteria and germs building up. If you haven’t used your glass water bottle in a while then you should wash and rinse it thoroughly before use. This will remove any dirt that has accumulated whilst the bottle has been standing unused.
Cleaning Materials and Equipment Needed
For a daily clean here are the materials and equipment needed to give your glass drinking bottle a thorough clean.
- Warm to hot Water
- Dish soap liquid or dishwashing soap bar
- A bottle brush (a toothbrush would be fine for smaller bottles)
- Baking Soda (optional)
- Vinegar (optional)
6 Easy Steps to Wash Your Glass Water Bottle
Rinse your glass bottle in water. The water should be as hot as you can tolerate.
If you are using liquid soap add 2 or 3 drops of soap into the bottle. If you’ve made the switch to a washing-up soap bar then take your brush and load it with soap from the bar.
Use the brush to clean all sides, inside and out, of the bottle ensuring you get to all the corners, bottom, and top.
Use the brush and soap to clean the lid or cap. Once clean put the lid on to the bottle and allow the soapy water to pour out which will help to clean the spout if present.
If you have a reusable straw with your glass bottle clean this with a suitable straw cleaner with the same water. Follow this line for a more detailed description of how to clean reusable straws the right way.
Thoroughly rinse the glass water bottle, lid, or cap with warm water (not with the soapy water used for cleaning) and ensure that all the soap suds and bubbles have been removed.
Leave the water bottle to air dry completely and never fully close the lid when the inside of the bottle is still wet. Doing so could allow bacteria growth.
Removing Stubborn Dirt and Stains from a Glass Water Bottle
If you wash your bottle frequently it’s unlikely to pick up stubborn stains or dirt however if this is the case after following the basic cleaning guide above then try one of the following cleaning methods.
How to Clean Water Bottles with Baking Soda?
Baking soda is great environmentally friendly cleaning aid and can be used to clean glass drinking bottles. Follow the normal steps to clean your bottle up to where you’d normally leave it to dry.
At this point, half-fill your water bottle with clean warm water and then add just a couple of teaspoons of baking soda.
Close the lid and shake the bottle well, then use the bottle brush to clean the inside of the bottle thoroughly.
Once clean, empty out the water and then rinse again with clean warm water then leave to dry completely.
How to Sterilize Glass Bottles with Vinegar?
Many people have asked me how to disinfect water bottles without bleach and whilst vinegar is a more eco-friendly option than bleach itself it will not 100% sterilize glass water bottles.
That said it’s still a great option for the day-to-day cleaning of glass drinking bottles.
The process is simple, follow the normal steps to clean your bottle up to where you’d normally leave it to dry.
Then fill the bottle halfway with equal amounts of vinegar and water, shake vigorously, and leave overnight.
In the morning empty the bottle and rinse thoroughly.
Other Options for Cleaning Glass Water Bottles
Water Bottle Cleaning Tablets
If your glass water bottle has been stored away for a long time it might be that you need some extra cleaning power and this is where cleaning tablets come in.
Water bottle cleaning tablets are extremely easy to use. Most tablets require you to fill your glass bottle with warm water and drop in one tablet.
There will be a gentle fizz from the tablet but after 15-30 minutes your glass water bottle will be super clean.
Simply rinse the bottle with water as a final step.
And the best part… tablets are now eco-friendly and made from 100% natural, biodegradable, plant-based ingredients such as these tablets from CleanHike which I have used on many an occasion whilst camping.
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Glass Bottle Cleaning Machines
As you’re doing your research you might come across glass bottle cleaning machines however these are really for more industrial use than for home use.
How to Clean Glass Bottles with Narrow Neck?
You can clean glass bottles with a narrow neck by using a long thin bottle brush or by using a toothbrush if the bottle is small enough. If you don’t have a suitable brush then add uncooked rice, warm water, and soap to the bottle, close the lid, and shake well.
The uncooked rice will help to agitate any dirt or stubborn stains but do make sure to sieve out the rice and discard it when emptying rather than send the rice down the sink waste.
This option can also be used to clean glass water bottles without a bottle brush.
How to Remove Limescale, Algae, or Mold from Glass Bottles?
Sometimes we can forget about our glass water bottle and depending on how it’s stored, with or without water for example, may result in attracting mold, algae, or even limescale.
The best approach for cleaning bottles like this is simply to run through the cleaning method I’ve outlined above starting with the 6 steps, followed by the baking soda and finally the vinegar mix.
It may take a little longer but it will be so worth it to get your trusted glass water bottle back.