A BOFFIN warned that reusable water bottles can attract germs such as "barnacles on a boat" if they are not washed properly.

Dr. Philip Tierno, a microbiologist, gave the advice and compared the vials to a portable petri dish if they were not being treated.

    People have been warned that they must regularly clean the water bottles

2

People have been warned that they must regularly clean the water bottlesCredit: Getty – Contributor
    Dr. Philip Tierno is a respected microbiologist in New York.

2

Dr. Philip Tierno is a respected microbiologist in New York.

The most dangerous are from the outside world, which can cause streptococcal and staphylococcal infections.

Dr. Tierno suggests scrubbing every inch with hot soapy water and a bottle brush at least once a week.

The professor of pathology and microbiology at NYU Langone Medical Center, told Mashable: "It is also imperative to scrub the inside of the bottle. Simply flushing will not do the trick. "

Bacteria usually form a thin biofilm inside the reusable container over time.

"So it takes a mechanical action to get rid of this biofilm that covers the inside of the bottle."

Dr. Tierno said that the buildup of bacteria resembled that of a boat or soap scum that accumulates in a tub.

The data showed that humans buy one million plastic bottles per minute worldwide and that 91% of them are not recycled.

It is imperative to scrub the inside of the bottle too. Simply flushing will not do the trick.

Dr. Philip Tierno

Moving the twist top bottle to a reusable bottle may help reduce waste, but if you do not clean it properly, it can increase the risk of infection.

Most people worry about the cleanliness of the inside of their bottles – but many do not think about what is lurking on the outside.

Dr. Tierno added, "Some people can [for example] carry staphylococcal strains that other people do not have.

"They can take those who shake someone's hand, touching objects such as countertops, doorknobs, elevator buttons, telephones, computer keyboards."

"You are constantly exchanging flora on your hands, then you touch your bottle of water.

"You unscrew it, cover it up, remove the lipstick from the mouthpiece, basically you make sure everything on your hands gets into that water."

A recent study examined how many bacteria persisted in and around our water bottles.

The team sampled 12 different bottles and discovered that there were more than 300,000 colony forming units (CFU) per square centimeter.

The lab looked at the four most popular bottles and discovered that the one with a sliding lid housed more than 900,000 CFUs where your lips touch.

Experts also suggested that it should be washed in the dishwasher after each use and replaced often or soaked in a large bowl of warm, soapy water and vinegar.


We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for the Sun Online press team? Send us an email at tips@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 782 4368. You can get us WhatsApp at 07810 791 502. We also pay for videos. Click here to download yours.