You may have traded in your plastic water bottle for a reusable stainless steel bottle, in order to reduce waste. However, your waste-reducing efforts have produced a health threat. Bacteria and germs can grow on your new bottle, regardless of the materials used in making it. You should always wash out your bottle using soap and hot water before using it again. Remember not to allow the bottle to touch the faucet, as the faucet often contains germs. Once you have cleaned the bottle appropriately, there are several hygienic and easy ways to refill it.
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Keep a small plastic funnel nearby, for those times when you need to refill your water bottle. Remember to also wash the funnel on a regular basis, so that you do not transfer any germs in the funnel to your water bottle. You also can make a temporary funnel by rolling up a clean sheet of paper, placing it in the mouth of your water bottle and placing both under a water faucet. This allows you to refill the bottle without touching the mouth of the bottle to the faucet.
Water Filter or Chlorine Dioxide Tablets
Use a water filter or chlorine dioxide tablets when you are refilling your water bottle. This is especially helpful when you need to refill your water bottle from a lake or stream. The filter works to remove impurities from the water, while the tablets kill any bacteria which may be hiding in the water.
Paper Coffee Filter
Poke a small hole in the middle of a coffee filter, and place the section of the filter containing the hole over the mouth of the water bottle. The paper collar will help to prevent the spread of germs, while you are refilling it.
If you find yourself without a funnel, filter or other supplies, you can always use hand sanitiser. Rub a small amount of hand sanitiser around the mouth of your water bottle and around the water faucet. Rinse both repeatedly, before adding the water to your bottle. Once both are sufficiently disinfected, refill the bottle, remembering not to touch the mouth of the bottle to the faucet.
If your water bottle will not fit under the water faucet without touching it, use a disposable cup to fill the bottle. You will have to fill the disposable cup repeatedly, then pour the water into the bottle until it is filled. As long as the cup does not touch the mouth of the faucet, no germs will be transferred to the bottle.
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