The 3 Reasons Your Reusable Bottle Smells (and How to Fix it)

At Breakbottle, we love reusable bottles. We think they are great. They help you stay hydrated, save the environment and look and feel good while doing so. But looks are one thing. A big turn off for reusable bottles is that they can start to stink.

You know what we’re talking about. That funky odour that lingers in your bottle no matter how much you wash it. That sour taste that ruins your water. That musty smell that makes you gag. A flavour of tea you never asked for.

What causes your reusable bottle to smell so bad? And more importantly, is there a fix?

There are three major reasons why your bottle stinks. Come on in to find out more.

Reason #1 No Proper Cleaning

One of the main culprits behind bad-smelling reusable bottles is bacteria. Bacteria are microscopic organisms that live everywhere, including your bottle.

They thrive in moist and dark environments, which makes your bottle a perfect habitat for them. Especially if you drink anything other than water, such as juice, tea, or coffee.

Bacteria feed on the sugars and organic matter in your drink and produce gases that cause bad smells. These gases can also affect the taste and quality of your water.

Even if you rinse your bottle after each use (even with soap), some bacteria lingers in the cracks and crevices of your bottle. Over time, these bacteria multiply and create a biofilm, which is a slimy layer of bacteria that sticks to the surface.

How to fix it:

The best way to prevent bacteria from growing in your bottle is to wash it thoroughly after each use. Use hot water and soap and scrub every part of your bottle, including the cap, the mouthpiece, and the inside.

You should also use a cloth or brush on all the small corners of your bottle to get rid of all the nasties that might build up. Rinse well and let your bottle dry completely before storing it.


Reason #2: No Proper Drying

Mould is a type of fungus that can grow on almost any surface that is wet or damp. Mould and bacteria can both grow inside your bottle if you leave it wet or damp for too long, such as after washing it or filling it with water.

As a container of liquids, held in a dark and tight space, your reusable bottle is a great place for mould and bacteria to grow. It’s the same reason why you don’t let your clothes stay wet for too long – they pick up a stink even a deodorant can’t hide.

How to fix it:

After you clean your bottle, you need to ensure it’s dry, to the bone. You can dry it thoroughly with a towel or a paper towel.

You can also leave it upside down on a rack or a counter to let the air circulate inside it but you must make sure to double check it’s fully dry otherwise the trace levels of moisture will result in more nasties building up over time.

Please note: If you notice any signs of mould in your bottle, such as black or green spots, fuzzy growths, or a musty odour, be aware that these build ups can be dangerous to ingest and certain methods of cleaning or sanitising the bottle may not be effective or safe.

If the problem persists, you may need to get rid of it and replace it with a new one.

Reason #3: No Proper Airflow

Imagine a bathroom after a hot shower and there was no way for the steam to get out. You’d go inside and everything would be wet with condensation, right?

The air inside the bottle is the same. Without airflow, the air inside the bottle remains inside, trapped, and the humidity within it settles on the inner walls of your bottle.

If you leave a freshly-washed glass upside down long enough without good airflow you’ll see the moisture re-condense inside and that happens inside your metal and plastic bottles too.

It develops a stink, slow and steady, and despite all your efforts in cleaning it will be what you ingest alongside your favourite drink. 

While cleaning the bottle is the start of the process, and drying it is step two, maintaining airflow is the final step (and the one most people forget).

How to fix it:

Store your bottle in a clean place without the lid and ensure air can freely get inside. This allows the bottle to breathe and stay fresh for whenever you want to grab it.

Good airflow -> No moisture -> No bacteria -> No bad smell. Easy.

So where does Breakbottle come in?

Keeping your bottle clean is essential and if you follow these three steps, you’ll forget all about the odours – clean, dry, ventilate. 

But truth be told, it’s easy to miss a step, or three. Or it might be hard to do with your current bottle. And we hear you – we used to be the same. That’s why we designed Breakbottle. 

With Breakbottle, you can say goodbye to crazy cleaning practices and you’ll never smell that old bottle stink again. 

But how does it work?

At Breakbottle, our bottles break in the middle to give you control to break free from bacteria and bad smells. It’s made of high-quality stainless-steel and is BPA free. It’s leakproof and stays odourless thanks to the clever design– so cleaning and drying it is a breeze.

And, speaking of breeze, our thoughtfully-designed central opening, lid and tether allow for optimal airflow, which allows your bottle to stay dry and free from bad smells.

This means that with Breakbottle you can:

  • Drink any drink with peace of mind you can clean away the leftovers 🧋
  • Open your bottle in the middle so you can see inside and dry it quickly 🔍
  • Easily fit it in the top rack of a dishwasher 🙌🏼
  • Save money and the planet by reducing plastic waste 🌍
  • Give back with each purchase as each Breakbottle provides one week of drinking water to 50 people 💧

Don’t let your current reusable bottle ruin your hydration game.

Life’s too short for smelly bottles.

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