When at home I use a bottle to drink water from instead of a glass. For some time - actually, several yaers - I used glass bottles, since:

  1. they can be reused many more times without involving any serious health risk from chemical substances bleeding into the contained water,
  2. due to their re-usability, they are not so harmful to the environment, leading to a lower personal carbon footprint,
  3. they - at least this is what I have found out in these years - keep water cool for longer time during hot days, when compared to plastic bottles,
  4. they are easier to clean and also do not get that permanent smell as easy as plastic bottles.

However, there were some things that made me reconsider my choice the last months and use plastic bottles as:

  1. my glass bottles used to get a permanent smell, after some time, that, even after cleaning with vinegar - something I mostly use to clean my water bottles; also suggested in the first answer of this question - was perceivable,
  2. they also got something like a black rust around the mouthpiece and, more specifically, around the place where the cap of the bottle was placed which was removed by scrathing it with a knife or something similar,
  3. they were pretty heavy for water bottles, as I tend to use 1-2 lt bottles.

All the above, especially the health risks I might take made me reconsider and start using plastic bottles. However, there are several drawbacks in using such bottles, as:

  1. they are not that sustainable, so I'm oblidged to buy new bottles quite often which leads in more consuming of plastic, which increases the harm I'm causing to the environment,
  2. use of plastic bottles poses also several health risks, especially those mentiond in the second answer of this question,
  3. cleaning them has not provided many results, since they easily get a smell and, moreover, even a day after having them, thoroughly cleaned,
  4. they are way more vulnerable to exposure to sunlight than glass bottles.

Bearing al these - and whatever may occur - in mind, which of these two types of bottles is the most appropriate for home use? Additionally, are there any other types of water-bottles more suitable for home use and, if there are, how do they relate with the abovementioned issues (eco-friendly, low-to-zero health-risks, easy cleaning, long-lasting etc)? Any scientific results are also welcome!

Thanks in beforehand for your time! :)

  • 1
    Hi Βασίλης-Μάρκος, Welcome to Lifehacks.SE. You seem to have covered the subject well. The choice is yours to make.
    – Stan
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 14:43
  • 1
    There are some awesome water pitchers with and without lids that are inexpensive, practical, and might be perfect to use at home.
    – Stan
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 21:39
  • That is also another interesting idea I will take into account. Commented May 23, 2018 at 7:00

2 Answers 2


One thing you didn't mention was the caps for your glass bottles—cleaning them, replacing them, and how they last… or don't.

What is the condition of the container cap? They're cheaply made for single-use, not made to last beyond getting the contents into your hands from the source.

Every time there was an odour in a clean glass jar, it was due to the odour in the top, its seal, or some oil or spice that has reacted with the (usually) plastic top.

Do you even need a tight-fitting cap? Can you invert a drinking glass over the top as you use it often? A loose glass top can be easily cleaned and takes less effort than unscrewing a cap and replacing it each time you use the container.

You might have a look at laboratory glassware. The stuff looks cool and unusual especially if you don't work in a lab all day, anyway. The stuff is made in all sizes and shapes. Some is made for heavy use and is pretty solid. It can be sterilized, baked, or frozen. It is made to be reused. It is easy to clean. It cannot be contaminated with anything you're apt to have around the house.

Yes, glass will break; but, that's its downside.

  • 1
    Well, I hadn't actually taken into consideration the cap condition, so that was really helpful! Also, about laboratory glassware, is it commonly used as a water container and, hence, easy to find or should I look for it in specific shops etc? Commented May 22, 2018 at 20:12
  • 1
    Laboratory glassware will hold most any liquid you could lay your hands on (including water) at any temperature you can produce. You could search/explore "bottles," "flasks," "cylinders," "jars," and "liquid storage container."
    – Stan
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 21:35
  • Allright! Thank you very much, this was really helpful! Commented May 23, 2018 at 6:58

Glass or plastic doesn't matter. The biggest contributor to a long and odor-free life of a bottle is to not drink directly from the bottle.

Instead: pour from the bottle into a drinking glass. Wash the drinking glass with your regular dishes, at least daily.

Plastic bottles do not pose a health risk when you replace the water in it regularly. Plastic leaches into the water at a very slow rate, this can become a problem if you store one load of water in the bottle for several years.

  • 1
    I just avoid drinking from glasses since many times I may not want to drink exactly the amount of water that I have estimated before so the rest of it will either stay in the glass or be spoiled in the sink. However, I understand that drinking from the bottle directly causes this displeasing odour due to the bacteria transferred from one's mouth directly to the mouthpiece. Commented May 24, 2018 at 10:08
  • 1
    I fill a glass, and keep it around until it's empty, which can take a few hours. No need to go to the kitchen every time I want some water.
    – Hobbes
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 12:52
  • Isn't it getting dirty, while uncovered? Commented May 24, 2018 at 16:59
  • In a home or office, your glass of water will be fine for several hours.
    – Hobbes
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 19:35
  • I shall give it a try, then. Commented May 24, 2018 at 20:17

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