Is Mold in a Water Bottle Harmful?

  • By: greenorb
  • Date: June 10, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

As many people become concerned about their health and fitness, water bottles have increased. The market value of the global water bottle industry stood at $8.38 billion in 2021, and this could rise to over $11 billion by 2030 at a CAGR (compound annual growth) of 4.3%.

While that’s the case, water bottles grow mold – something that many people worry about. 

Is mold in a water bottle harmful anyways? The answer is yes. Black mold, in particular, is highly toxic and can even make you sick. 

Let’s get down to our illustrative post to discover more.

Is Mold In A Water Bottle Harmful?

Moldy water may not be harmful but this depends on your immunity and mold species. 

Black mold is a common mold species which is quite toxic. If you ingest water contaminated by black mold, you suffer the following health issues:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramping
  • Respiratory problems

The most common mold that grows in reusable water bottles is black mold. It’s specifically known to be among the most toxic mold species on the planet.

This mold species can be black or greenish and is often accompanied by a nasty smell or a musty look with the smell of dirt. Black mold also grows best in darker environments which your water bottle provides.

Individual mold bits are very tiny for the naked eye to see. However, they can grow over time and become visible. 

The moment you spot the mold, it means that there are already some pieces of mold spores in the bottle.

Don’t panic yet. There’s a possibility that the mold growing in your water bottle isn’t harmful. 

But that’s not a worthwhile risk to take. Every time you drink water from a molded bottle, you introduce bacteria to your mouth. 

It’s crucial to clean your water bottle regularly to prevent black mold from growing.

What Happens If You Drink Water With Little Mold?

Drinking water with little mold may not greatly affect you as the stomach acid is powerful enough to kill toxins present in moldy water. 

However, sipping water with plenty of black molds can be harmful. The mold species contain toxins that can cause health problems like:

  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Skin rashes

Depending on how strong your immune system is, these health issues can be mild or severe. 

The best way to ensure you’re safe from such health issues is to clean your water bottle regularly.

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Drinking from A Moldy Water Bottle?

Drinking moldy water is something that occurs frequently. If you’ve been drinking stale water for some time without noticing, it means that your immune system is robust.

Again, the hydrochloric acid in your stomach is strong enough to destroy the pathogens before they can cause harm. 

But if you don’t have a robust immune system, drinking moldy water can be dangerous. 

In such cases, you may frequently experience the following water mold symptoms:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Watery eyes

If you notice the above symptoms, visit your doctor immediately.

Can Mold Grow In A Closed Water Bottle?

Yes, mold can grow as long as the reusable bottle has enough water, air, and some food particles. It doesn’t matter whether you have sealed the bottle or not.

If your reusable water bottle keeps getting mold, it’s clear that you are not cleaning or drying the bottle correctly.

So always ensure you clean your water bottle thoroughly. 

Don’t forget to clean the bottle’s rubber parts and let it dry in the air for a few hours or even overnight.

Should I Throw Away The Moldy Water Bottle?

Moldy water bottles are bad news. If you are using a high-end water bottle, it’s worth washing it. 

But if it’s a cheap or reusable water bottle, you can consider throwing it away or recycling it.

If you intend to replace your water bottle, go for bottles whose surfaces are less vulnerable to microbial growth. 

Such surfaces include glass and stainless steel.

How Can You Get Mold Out Of Your Water Bottle?

Here are the best practices to help you clean a moldy water bottle effectively:

1. Boiling Water Method

It’s a perfect fix for your moldy metallic water bottle. Soak the bottle in boiling water for a few hours or overnight. Then use a bottle brush and soap to scrub the bottle vigorously. Rinse and let the bottle air dry.

2. White Vinegar

This method is safe and straightforward. White vinegar can kill about 82% of mold spores. It’s a suitable method for cleaning plastic water bottles. Just add white vinegar into the bottle and let it sit overnight. In the morning, wash thoroughly and air dry.

3. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a safe, mild disinfectant that works well with moldy bottles. Pour warm water into the bottle and add 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda. Then soak for several hours and wash.

4. Bleach and Baking Soda

Mix one teaspoon of baking soda and half a teaspoon of bleach in a tiny bowl. Soak the bottle and its parts in the water for 4-6 hours. Thoroughly wash and rinse the bottle.

5. Rice Rub

If you don’t have a bottle brush, add warm water, dish soap, and some rice to your water bottle. Close the lid or cover and shake the bottle to remove the mold and any other grime.

6. Denture Cleaning Tablets

These cleaning tablets work perfectly on any bottle or container with mold and foul odor. Toss a few of the tablets in your bottle and let them do wonders.

7. Pipe Cleaning Method

This method is excellent if your water bottle has reusable straws. You can combine it with any of the above methods.

8. Cotton Swab Method

It’s ideal for pull/squirt bottles. Soak a cotton swab in alcohol and clean your bottle. The cotton swab can effectively reach mold growth in your bottle’s tight areas.

Conclusion: Is Mold in a Water Bottle Harmful?

Moldy water can only be hazardous if your immune system is weak. 

But still, you can’t risk it. While our stomach acid can effectively kill pathogens and toxins delivered by black mold, you may get sick if not careful enough.

Black mold is a highly toxic mold species that can leave you with health issues such as diarrhea, nausea, skin rashes, etc. It’s advisable to thoroughly and regularly clean your water bottles to stay healthy.

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