Reusable Water Bottle Care and Infused Water Recipes

Water pitcher and glass with fruit and herbs

Reusable water bottles are great for the environment, but they need to be cleaned properly to keep them clean. Bacteria love dark, moist areas and your water bottle is their ideal home if they are not disinfected correctly every few days. Here are answers to the most common questions about reusable water bottle maintenance as well as yummy fruit and vegetable infused water recipes to keep you hydrated during your busy day:


How can I properly clean my hard plastic, glass or stainless steel water bottle?
No matter what kind of reusable water bottle you have, they all need to be cleaned. There are several ways to do so, including:

  • Warm water and soap – This is just about the simplest way to wash your bottle. Add a few drops of dish soap and warm water to your water bottle, screw on the top and shake! Rinse the bottle out and leave open to air dry overnight.
  • Dishwasher – Before throwing your bottle in the dishwasher, check the bottle for the dishwasher safe symbol. Most products are safe to place in the dishwasher but always double check so you don’t ruin your bottle. Make sure all pieces of the water bottle (top, straw, body) get cleaned.
  • Vinegar – If your bottle is in need of a deeper clean after washing with soap and water, fill it 1/5 of the way with white vinegar and the rest with water. Let this mixture sit overnight and thoroughly rinse with water in the morning.

What if my plastic water bottle is discolored and smelly?
A reusable plastic water bottle can develop a smell or slight discoloration over time if it isn’t properly cleaned after use. It can happen faster if the water bottle is stored in a wet area or kept sealed for a long period of time with water left in it. To stop this from happening, rinse your water bottle out after every use and let it air dry with the top off. If your bottle has already developed a smell, REI recommends that you add a teaspoon of bleach and a teaspoon of baking soda to the bottle and fill it with water.

Why can’t I reuse disposable plastic water bottles?
The disposable plastic water bottles that you get at a convenience store or out of a vending machine aren’t meant to be used more than once. Repeated washings of disposable water bottles can cause a physical breakdown of the plastic, posing a health risk to users.

How can I get creative with my water? 

Infused water is a great way to add flavor to drinking water while staying hydrated. Try mixing a variety of different fruits combinations to get a drink with great flavor, color and variety, without all the calories and sugar.

Melon and Fruit Water Infusions

1. Clean all produce thoroughly. Place desired amount of melon, fruit or herb into glass or pitcher. I recommend only using 2-3 options at one time.
2. Fill cup or pitcher with water and ice, if desired.
3. Allow to sit for as little as 10 minute to overnight before drinking. Enjoy!

Optional: You can pre-freeze the prepared fruit before placing into water infusion.


  • Cantaloupe, cut into ~1 inch pieces or balls
  • Cherries, pitted and cut in half
  • Honeydew, cut into ~1 inch pieces or balls
  • Pineapple, cut into chunks
  • Watermelon, cut into ~1 inch pieces or balls
  • Kiwi, cut into chunks
  • Fresh mint leaves, cleaned and chopped
  • Water
  • Ice

Fruit and Vegetable Infused Waters

1. Place desired amount of fruit, vegetable or herb into glass or pitcher. I recommend only using 2-3 options.
2. Fill cup or pitcher with water and ice, if desired.
3. Allow to sit for as little as 10 minute to overnight before drinking. Enjoy!


  • Peaches, clean, pitted and cut into wedges
  • Strawberries, clean, trimmed and quartered
  • Blueberries, clean
  • Cucumbers, clean and sliced
  • Lemons, clean and cut into wedges
  • Limes, clean and cut into wedges
  • Oranges, clean and cut into wedges
  • Mint leaves, clean
  • Water
  • Ice

Grace Derocha

Grace is a wife and a mommy of two amazing children, Kahlea and Tommy. She is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes and certified health coach at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and a featured blogger at A Healthier Michigan. She is a lover of food, Detroit sports, dance, music and everything Justin Timberlake. She graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics and a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. (Go Green!) Grace has also earned a Master of Business Administration from Wayne State University. Mrs. Derocha has a number of certifications to help her educate people regarding how to live a healthier lifestyle, including a weight loss management certification and experience as a group fitness instructor. Grace is very passionate about helping the world become a healthier and happier place.

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