It is an essential accessory for staying hydrated.
But there might be black mold lurking inside your reusable water bottle, if you don’t clean it properly.
On top of being incredibly nasty, it can also be really bad for your health.
Experts say inhaling or touching mold spores can cause allergic reactions — with symptoms like sneezing, red eyes, and skin rashes, as well as asthma attacks.
It comes after a mum revealed last week that her daughter had become unwell due to mold buildup in her water bottle.
TikTokanahitasethi user shared her moldy water bottle (pictured) with the caption: “Is every two weeks not enough to wash a water bottle I feel so confused and scarred”
And @zeeeeeeraaaa shared that she wondered why she was sick all the time before mold appeared sitting on her water bottle.
After posting a cleaning hack using rice, baking soda, and vinegar, @bobbibillard shared a mold-covered plastic water bottle
The researchers behind the US-based waterfilterguru.com have conducted one of the most grueling studies of bugs stuck in our water bottles to date. The study examined how colony-forming units (CFUs) were inside four common types of water bottles. This is a commonly used unit for estimating the concentration of bacteria in a test sample. On average, it contained 20.8 million CFU of Gram-negative bacteria
Mold is a form of fungus that thrives in moist conditions.
This means that a constantly wet water bottle with little or no air flow is an ideal breeding ground.
Mold, of which there are 100,000 unique species, continues to grow until it is washed away, so keeping your water bottle clean is key.
Some species are harmless, while others are poisonous.
And black mold, commonly found in water bottles, is one of the strongest types of mold.
TikTok hack to banish the water bottle template
Fill your water bottle with 1/2 cup of uncooked rice, squeeze out the fairy liquid, and top with 1/2 cup of water.
Put the lid on and shake it, then dump the rice into a colander and rinse with water.
Hydrogen peroxide soak
Soak the bottle and any pipettes or caps in soapy water, then soak only the caps in hydrogen peroxide.
After soaking, use a toothbrush to clean the cracks. Rinse with water and let it air dry.
tacky pipe cleaners
Soak the bottle and cap in hot, soapy water.
Then scrub the bottle with a bottle brush and use a craft tube cleaner to clean the straw – by running it through it and pulling it back and forth.
Rinse them with water.
Dr Ross Perry, GP at Chartfield Surgery in Putney, said taking a few sips from a moldy bottle of water was unlikely to cause harm, but warned of the dangers of doing so regularly..
He said: Drinking from a bottle of water that has black mold on it will make you sick if you swallow it. It can cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and generally makes you feel unwell.
Other health problems may include sneezing, nasal congestion, dry and flaky skin, coughing, and itchy nose, eyes, and/or throat.
“Continuing to drink from a bottle that has black mold on it will make even the strongest of immune systems weaken.”
But for people with asthma, allergies, or a weakened immune system, drinking from a mold-filled bottle could be even more dangerous.
“For individuals with respiratory issues such as asthma, it also has the potential to exacerbate symptoms along with other potentially nasty infections,” added Dr. Berry, who is also the founder of the Cosmedics Skin Clinic.
And while there are several ways to clean up mold, Dr. Berry recommends throwing the bottle away if mold is visible.
He also suggested that you choose plain bottles in light colors, as he says it can be difficult to spot mold when the bottle is patterned or dark in color.
Also, the warmer the weather, the more likely you are to find mold.
Mold needs a “nice, warm environment to grow, which is over 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius),” said Jason Tetro, a microbiologist and author of The Germ Files.
There are many ways you can clean your water bottle, with several tablets or home remedies to choose from.
TikTokmiseenplace_au user shares videos on how to remove mold from water bottles (pictured she showed during a TV show)
Other TikTok tutorials from @miseenplace_au show that they use rice, washing liquids, and water to remove mold from a water bottle
One @healthsafetyfam user tried what she calls the “q-tip challenge” — where you drag a cotton bud along the crevice of a water bottle to test how much mold there is.
Mold is a form of fungus that thrives in moist conditions. This means that a constantly wet water bottle with little or no air flow is an ideal breeding ground
And a TikTokerfleximami member shared a video of a radio show where a $200 water bottle was tested for mold. She puts her finger around the top and then strokes the template onto a piece of paper
Some people suggest soaking the bottle overnight in white wine vinegar and water, while others opt for cleaning tablets like Milton.
This comes after a mother claimed last week that a moldy water bottle made her child sick.
Posting on a UK Facebook groupToni claimed her daughter’s AirUp bottle—which makes water taste like watermelon and cola—had black mold in the cracks of the cap.
In the post, titled AirUp Bottles, she wrote: ‘Guys, I’m a real fan of the concept of these bottles but please check your lid caps.
We wash our lotion very well with soap and water every day.
However, one of our five bottles had signs of black mold residue in the cracks in the caps.
She went on to write, “I noticed it after my little girl said she had been upset for a long time.”
In response, an AirUp spokesperson said: Even though our drinking system is innovative, it still needs regular cleaning – just like any other reusable drinking container.
“To clean bottles, including the cap, we recommend using a small brush with water and a mild detergent — it helps get into hard-to-reach areas.”