Apart from cleaning water bottle daily with hot water, a bad odor always remains.

Are these some kind of bacteria harmful to our health? How to get rid of this bad odor and have a fresh smell from water bottle? Is this bad odor negligible?

  • 1
    What kind of waterbottle are we talking about? Plastic, metal, glass...? Do you drink straight from the bottle or pour?
    – Stephie
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 13:04
  • Plastic and Metal bottle mostly. I drink mostly from bottle.
    – GC 13
    Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 11:38
  • Are these some kind of bacteria that causes the bad odor?
    – GC 13
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 11:38
  • Bacteria &/or algae.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 12:44

4 Answers 4


In addition to Paparazzi's obvious but necessary "clean them in warm soapy water" periodically...

We get the same thing with re-usable SodaStream bottles which are only ever plain water, fizzed.

If you have a smell that still hangs around after washing properly, then try filling with a solution of Bicarbonate of Soda & let stand overnight. Leave the lid off, it can be a bit fizzy.

Then, to prevent it in the first place, always leave the lid off once it's empty.

Lid off allows the bottle to dry out between uses. You don't really want stagnant water sitting around for too long.

  • 1
    I had this problem with my cycling water bottle. Leaving the lid off after emptying water, whenever not in use took care of this issue (in addition to washing as needed). Leaving it wet and closed is what causes the odor. Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 13:30
  • Part of the problem may also be from the type of plastic used to make the bottle.
    – Xylius
    Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 1:49

Not really a hack. Clean with soap and water. Leave it open and let it dry thoroughly.


Soak it overnight filled with water with denture cleaner in it. The next day shake broken ice and rock salt in it. All the gunk will come out as well as the smell.


What I have always done is once a month or so I rinse my water bottle with white vinegar then soap and water to get the vinegar smell out. The vinegar kills all those bacteria that sink into the small crevices that are too small for the human eye to see. It is also best to leave the lid off when you have finished drinking the water as to let the rest of the water evaporate and not become stagnant.

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