Water bottle care

Hi. How do you care for your water bottles? I am using different brushes from baby section of supermarkets in order to get rid of black mould. However, once I disassemble the valve it starts leaking afterwards. What are your hacks?

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I rinse them with clear water.

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My two tips:
-Rinse bottles as soon as possible with water

  • Store them in the freezer. Learned this trick from a mtb’er. It won’t kill mold (or it will, I’ve heard different things), but it’ll keep it from growing.

I also find certain brands of drink mix are more prone than others to producing the mold. For those I am extra dillgent about airing them out. If I drove somewhere to ride, I’ll take off top, pour out contents and drive home with the two separated.

These days I mostly used Nunn and almost never have an issue.




I’ve had really good luck with these, little hot water and soap, and shake it around and all that mold is gone

As for the valves and nozzles, I struggle same as you, I imagine pipe cleaners would be pretty good.

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I have experienced those softer valve parts to melt and deform in the dishwasher…

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I too have the same problem. Washing out the bottles with a large bottle brush immediately after use is effective. However, cleaning the caps is more problematic. The silicone inserts on Trek bottles bottles can be pulled straight out. Similarly, the silicone insert on a Specialized WaterGate bottle can be removed by turning clockwise while pulling - the rubber barb is ramped to allow this.

Dishwasher and then put the lids in the cup warmer of my coffee machine for a while to dry thoroughly.

1TBSP bleach : 1 gallon water. (that’s a ratio of 1 : 256 or about 1/2 tsp in 20oz water). Let sit for 5 minutes and rinse with potable water. These are/were the sanitization recommendations fed to us in college when we were cleaning food prep surfaces.

I soak my bottles like this once a week or once every 2 weeks. Then I scrub the gunky parts and rinse again.

Going up in bleach concentration doesn’t make things cleaner it only speeds up the time to sanitize things. That speed doesn’t end up helping things though because you have to do a much more thorough rinse (5 min IIRC) to make sure the bleach has been washed away.

Side benefit of doing this is that you can sanitize your kitchen sink, sponges, dog bowls, children, lizards, etc. all at the same time.


I aint scared of no bottle…

Really though…I dont sweat it. Rinse out with water and possibly a squirt of soap after every use (or two…). Roughly once a week, or when theyre noticeably nasty…chuck them in the dishwasher. Nothing scary is going to survive the sanitize drying cycle of the washer. I used it to sanitize empty bottles for bottling beer after brewing, and never once had an issue with off flavors.

This reminds me though…I really need to get an extra couple bottles. Probably get a couole nice insulated ones for next summer, and relegate the rest of my bottles ti trainer use.

Dishwasher top rack. No issues with it.


Don’t have a dishwasher here. No real trick though, just wash and scrub it with soap as soon as you get home. Rinse really well and store it in the freezer.

Naturally, sugary residues is what mould strives on so it is even more important to wash them sooner.

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I have the same issue. I don’t have a dishwasher… nyc living. I scrub them pretty good, dismantling the pop caps, with dish soap and no matter how well I rinse, the scent of the soap remains. I hesitate to use bleach because I’m worried the smell of bleach will remain. I’ll try it on a few bottles and see what happens. Thank you!

I found that most of the mould build up issue is related to the water bottle top design. I used CamelBaks’ for years and thought their twist tops were great. Dishwasher can clean them, of course. But should you really need to put your bottle in the dishwasher every time to clean it?

All of us have used the bottles we have received from events and never been satisfied. However, at risk at sounding too much like a sales person, the Purist bottle from Specialized I got at at a road race in the spring has really changed my mind. Easy to drink from, hand washable, no mould residue.


If you don’t have time to wash your bottle right away, then I recommend storing it (empty) in the freezer until you do.


Same issue here with having a soapy taste after using dish soap. So then I tried some Efferdent, which I use for my mouth guard. Works great - no taste/smell residue, and kills whatever it’s designed to kill for dentures I guess.


I use baby bottle sterilizer. Just soak them for 30min then air dry.
Milton tablets work well


The Camelbak cleaning tablets work great but are expensive. Soapy water and a baby bottle brush sometimes, dilute bleach on a few occasions. When training I now just try to keep my hydration separate from my nutrition, otherwise I get too much gunk build up in the bottles. So, water only in the bottles and electrolyte tablets only if it’s a long ride or race. Gels and other foods stay in the pockets, not the bottles. During races I may also elect for some nutrition in the bottles, but I’ll wash them asap after the ride.

I used to use the Camelbak bottles. Great to use, but as I now live in a hot, humid climate (SE Asia) they required too much washing and taking apart to clean properly. I found the Fabric water bottles don’t leak when closed and are much simpler in design, and hence easier to clean.

Every time i return from a ride or workout i rinse my bottles in clean water and squirt it out of the nozzle/valve to give it a rinse also. Then I put it in the dishwasher.
I prefer camelbak podium bottles bot also ha a lot of other bottles. I rarely get gunk or mold in the valves, and if I get it ill just toss it away for plastic recycling. Bottles are relatively cheap.

In the reservoirs for the backpack I most often just use water, but for races and som longer trailrides I add energy-mix also. If just water I just make sure the reservoir get emptied and then spread out for complete drying.
If I have used energy-mix I will do a thorough cleaning with either baking soda or cleaning tablets. And here, if mold or other things take hold, ill just toss it away.

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