cleaning a refillable water bottle

Tips for Cleaning & Organizing Reusable Water Bottles

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If your cabinet or cupboard feels as if it's about to burst from reusable water bottles, you're not alone. Figuring out how to organize and neatly store bottles can be a challenge for anyone who's committed to using them. Plus, many people are unsure of how to clean reusable water bottles to prevent mildew growth and thoroughly eliminate soap from the cap and bottle. We put together this guide on how to properly clean a reusable water bottle and how to organize and store your collection to help simplify making the switch to reusables.

Why Use Reusable Bottles?

If cleaning, storage and organization is such a challenge, are reusable bottles worth it? The answer is a resounding yes. Humans produce roughly 150 million tons of single-use plastic waste every year, and single-use water bottles are one of the most common sources of this waste. An estimated 91% of all plastic isn't recycled, so it ends up in landfills where it breaks up into microplastics that can contaminate water and the surrounding environment. One study even found that plastics can travel up to 30 miles to end up in our oceans. By switching from single-use water bottles to reusable bottles, you can do your part to cut down on plastic waste.

Cleaning Your Reusable Water Bottles

If you’d like to learn how to clean plastic bottles for better storage, follow these tips for the best results:

-1. Soak the bottle to remove traces of add-ins: If you like to add fruit, vegetables, or herbs to your bottle to make DIY flavored water, soak the bottles in dish soap, hot water, and vinegar for at least 8 hours before cleaning. An easy way to do this is to fill up the sink before you go to bed.

-2. Invest in a long-handled bottle brush: Bottle brushes and scrubbers with long handles extend your reach and make it easier to access all of the nooks and crannies in your water bottle. Use it to also clean the inside of the lid, as bacteria can accumulate along the spout or opening.

-3. Don't forget the outside: All day long, your water bottle comes in contact with germs from your hands and your bag. After you scrub out the interior, wash the outside with dish soap and water. If you have faded stickers on the outside, try moistening them with baby oil or rubbing alcohol to help them slip off.

-4. Give it a second cleaning: If your water bottle is dishwasher-safe, pop it in after you've finished hand-washing. Keep in mind that some dishwasher-safe bottles may have lids or liners that are hand wash only, so check the care instructions before you put the whole thing in.

Storing Your Reusable Water Bottles

To cut down on clutter, designate a specific area for water bottle storage. Specially designed water bottle racks can go inside your pantry or a kitchen cabinet to keep water bottles stored upright. You can also get creative and use wine racks or wire bins to store your collection. Need to stash yours in a drawer? Invest in drawer dividers to keep them from rolling around inside.


When you're selecting your spot for water bottle storage, choose a location away from your everyday drinkware. Although it may seem intuitive to keep all of these things together, mixing reusable water bottles with mugs, tumblers and other drinkware can create chaos and confusion.

Organizing Your Reusable Water Bottles

Once you've chosen your water bottle organizer, you need to determine how to arrange your stored bottles. Choose an organization method that makes sense to you so that you can quickly grab the bottle you desire on the go. You can opt to organize by:

-Color: Lining up bottles by color is a great option if you're storing your water bottles out in the open like on a freestanding wine rack or open shelving because it gives you visually appealing results.

-Size: Organizing bottles by ascending or descending size can allow you to quickly select the right one based on how much water you'll be consuming during your daily activities. Depending on where and how you store them, having larger and smaller bottles grouped together may also reduce shifting.

-User: Keeping kids' water bottles in an area that they can easily reach may simplify your morning routine. It may also keep you from grabbing a child's water bottle for yourself when you're in a rush to get out the door.

Use Filtered Water in Your Reusable Water Bottle

Reusable water bottles allow you to do your part to lessen the amount of single-use plastic waste you contribute to landfills and the oceans. Following the above tips can help you clean, store or organize reusable water bottles with ease, so you can lower your eco-impact without complicating your life. The missing piece is what to fill your bottles with, but we have the solution.


The Reservoir can reduce levels of 76 contaminants found in drinking water to help improve its taste. Easy to set up and able to deliver filtered water on demand, the countertop water filter makes refilling your reusable water bottles easy. A single coconut husk-derived filter can filter up to 390 gallons, meaning less maintenance compared to most water filter pitchers. Discover the better way to fill your reusable water bottles by exploring the features and benefits of The Reservoir.