Select Page

You may be doing your body good by taking that morning run or working up a sweat at the gym. But when you also work up a thirst and take a swig from your trusty refillable water bottle you may actually taking a swig of harmful germs.

New research shows that an incredible amount of bacteria — including E. Coli and salmonella — may be lurking in and on your water bottle.

Laboratory tests by Treadmill Reviews, a Minneapolis-based firm, analyzed 12 water bottles used by athletes and not washed for a week and found they had such high levels of bacteria that drinking from them would be like “licking a toilet seat.”

They tested four types of reusable bottles: A slide-top, screw-top, squeeze-top and straw-top. The researchers evaluated the amount of contamination in terms of “colony forming units,” or CFUs, of bacteria per square centimeter. Here are their findings:

  • The bottles contained an average of 300,000 CFU of bacteria. That’s six times as much bacteria as you’d find on your pet’s food bowl. And much of the bacteria was the kind that makes you sick.
  • The slide-top bottles contained the highest amount of bacteria: A whopping 933,340 CFU. They also had the most gram-positive germs which have been linked to skin infections, pneumonia and blood poisoning.
  • Squeeze-top bottles were next with 162,000 CFU followed by screw-top vessels with 160,000 CFU. These also housed 99 percent of the harmful bacteria.
  • Straw-top bottles were the clear winners with only 25 CFU. But that’s only 2 CFU less than the average home toilet seat. It is thought that these are safer because water drips down to the bottom of the straw rather than hang out at the top attracting moisture-loving germs.

“Based on our test results, we suggest opting for a straw-top bottle, both for the prevalence of bacteria and the lack of harmful germs,” says the fitness Website. They suggested that stainless steel water bottles are a better choice than plastic which may also contain Bisphenol A, otherwise known as BPA, a chemical that can lead to cancer, diabetes, and other illnesses.

But by far the best option, says the website, is to use glass water bottles and run them through the dishwasher or wash thoroughly by hand after every use.

By comparison, other household germy hot spots include:

  • Toothbrush holder, 331,848 CFU.
  • Pet bowl, 47,383 CFU.
  • Kitchen sink, 3,191 CFI.
  • Cutting board, 6.8 CFU.

“Harmful bacteria and viruses lurk in moist locations such as the kitchen and bathroom and can be easily transported into your mouth by using an old toothbrush, sponge or other common household item,” Dr. Donald Marks tells Newsmax Health.

The New Jersey-based infectious disease expert, who also holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology, makes the following recommendations to avoid home contamination:

Sponges and wash clothes. You may think you are cleaning cups and saucers with these items but they can contain thousands of bacteria per square inch so you’re just spreading germs around. Put wash clothes in the washing machine and run the sponges through the dishwasher. Better still, replace sponges every two weeks,

Kitchen drain. Your kitchen drain contains more germs than your bathroom toilet. With the hot water running, pour a little baking soda down the drain daily.

Kitchen towels. A recent study showed that 7 percent of kitchen towels were contaminated with MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Wash them in hot water twice weekly.

Refrigerator water filters. These filters collect bacteria and mold over time. The rule of thumb is to change them twice annually. If you have a large family of water drinkers, every three months is a better time frame.

Toothbrush. Your toothbrush is a magnet for bacteria that can come from toilet spray, splashes from the sink when you wash your hands, or from your own mouth. Replace it every three or four months and never share a toothbrush. You may consider soaking it in an antibacterial solution after every use.

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Water Bottles: More Germy Than Toilet Seats?" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.


Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*


Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card