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Microbiologist warn water bottles accumulate bacteria like ‘barnacles on a boat’

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A microbiologist has warned that your water bottle may be a portable Petri dish if it is not cleaned properly.

The bacteria accumulation is being compared to ‘barnacles on a boat’ and the most dangerous ones come from the outside world, which can cause strep and staph infections.

To transform the infected vessel back to a healthy water bottle, it is suggested that you clean every inch with hot, soapy water and a bottle brush, and do so at least once a week.

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An expert has warned that your water bottle may be a portable Petri dish if it is not cleaned properly. The bacteria accumulation is being compared to ¿barnacles on a boat¿ and the most dangerous ones come from the outside world, which can cause strep and staph infections

An expert has warned that your water bottle may be a portable Petri dish if it is not cleaned properly. The bacteria accumulation is being compared to ‘barnacles on a boat’ and the most dangerous ones come from the outside world, which can cause strep and staph infections

Dr. Philip Tierno, clinical professor of pathology and microbiology at NYU Langone Medical Center, told Mashable that ‘it’s imperative to scrub the inside of the bottle, too. Merely rinsing is not going to do the trick’. 

‘Bacteria tend to form a biofilm on the inside of the reusable container over time,’ he said in the interview.

‘So you need mechanical action to get rid of that biofilm that coats the inside of the bottle.’

He continued to explain to Chloe Bryan with Mashable that the bacteria accumulation is similar to on a boat, or the soap grime that builds up on a bathtub.

IF you are one of the many water bottle owners who have neglected their jug, you are not alone and many have flocked to twitter to share this blunder. Some just shared a friendly reminder to the masses to wash their water bottle

IF you are one of the many water bottle owners who have neglected their jug, you are not alone and many have flocked to twitter to share this blunder. Some just shared a friendly reminder to the masses to wash their water bottle

Data has shown that humans buy a million plastic bottles around the world ever minute and 91 percent of them are not recycled.

So the shift from the twist top bottle to a reusable one could help reduce wasted, but if you are not cleaning it properly, it may increase your risk of infection.

If you are not cleaning it properly, it may increase your risk of infection. This Twitter user even found black mold in their water bottle

If you are not cleaning it properly, it may increase your risk of infection. This Twitter user even found black mold in their water bottle 

But if you are one of the many water bottle owners who have neglected their jug, you are not alone and many have flocked to twitter to share this blunder. 

Some just shared a friendly reminder to the masses to wash their water bottle.

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While another Twitter user shared that they actually found black mold lurking inside – but many do not think about what is lurking on the outside of their bottle. 

Tierno told Mashable that it is the outside bacteria that is the most concerning.

Many people may not even think about washing their water bottle, but experts warn it can become riddled with infectious bacteria

Many people may not even think about washing their water bottle, but experts warn it can become riddled with infectious bacteria

‘Some people may [for example] carry strains of staph that other people don’t have. They may pick those up shaking hands with somebody, touching things like countertops, doorknobs, elevator buttons, telephones, computer keyboards,’ he said.

‘You’re constantly exchanging flora on your hands, and then you’re touching your water bottle.’

‘You’re unscrewing it, capping it, scraping lipstick from the mouthpiece — basically, you’re ensuring that whatever was on your hands is getting into that water.’

A recent study looked at just how much bacteria was actually lingering in and around our water bottles.

The team swabbed 12 different bottles and found there were more than 300,000 colony-forming units (CFU) per square centimeter.

The lab looked at the four most popular bottles and found that the one with a slide-top hosted over 900,000 CFU where your lips touch.

However, all is not lost, as all you need to do is washing the bottle and do it properly.

Simply clean the bottle with hot, soapy water and use a bottle brush.

Experts have also suggested running it through the dishwasher after every couple of uses and replacing it often or soaking it in a large bowl of hot water with soapy and vinegar.

 

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