How to care for water bottles

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It is recommended that children, parents, early childhood services and schools clean water bottles the same way they do cups and glasses.

When water bottles are not cleaned and stored properly they can get smelly, slimy or mouldy.

To prevent this from happening:

  • Fill water bottles with fresh water only
  • Tip unused water out at the end of the day
  • Wash water bottles thoroughly with soapy water every day – the warmer the water the better!
  • Store empty water bottles with the lid off
  • Some water bottles are dishwasher safe so use a dishwasher where available
  • If extra cleaning is needed the following agents can be used: a sanitiser such as Milton or baby bottle sanitiser; vinegar; baking soda; salt; or denture cleaner
  • Bleach is not recommended as it is not safe to consume and leaves an odour
  • The plastic in water bottles can deteriorate over time – we recommend regular replacement of water bottles (at a minimum at the start of each year)

If water bottles are taken to and from school or the early childhood service, remind parents that water bottles need to be washed every day. A good way to remind parents is through newsletters.