This past spring I stopped buying bottled water. I bought a fab Sigg bottle and dug out my old Brita filter in an effort to be more eco-conscious and treat mother nature with more respect. Well, once again, Mother Nature hasn't been nice to me in return!
I had bought the large Sigg bottle, and began to find it cumbersome for every day use. Rather than buy a smaller Sigg with its special lining that resists odors and flavors, I picked up a smaller, cheaper bottle at the local drugstore - by Subzero. It was a basic, cheapo ($4.99) unlined stainless bottle.
I carried this new bottle to work every day with filtered water in it. I brought it home every night, dumped out any leftover water, and washed it with hot soapy water. Every now and then I would skip a day of washing it and just rinse it and refill...BIG MISTAKE.
WARNING - What I am about to tell you will freak you out...
One day I was drinking my water, and thought it tasted a bit different. I tried to remember if it was time to replace my Brita filter and made a mental note to check my calendar at home that nite.
The next day, I went to drink some water to take a my usual OTC sleep aid pill before bed, and something from the bottle slipped into my mouth. This startled me so much that a sudden little scream erupted from my throat and I spit the water out by instinct from shock, I guess. It took me a few seconds to understand what I was looking at on the floor...and when I realized what it was, I began to dry heave into the sink. It was a light brown gelatinous substance, shaped in a semi-circle from the bottom of the bottle. For a second I had thought it was a piece of bottle lining, but I quickly realized there was no lining in this cheap bottle....it was algea!! *cringe*
Yes, although I washed my bottle almost every night with hot soapy water, using a bottle brush and refilled with clean filtered water, bacteria was growing into a jello-mold of...well, algae and mold! Disgusting. Vile. Just another thing to add to my OCD 'ultimate nightmare' list of things to fear and obsess over. Ugh.
Wondering if I was the only one experiencing this, I Googled the next day. Apparently many people are finding mold growing in these bottles. I found one discussion board for athletes and runners that the members talked about this very thing. Many of them wash their bottles with bleach to combat this problem. I wondered if the two almost 10 day-long bouts of stomach virus symptoms I'd had over the summer were caused by this tainted water bottle?! Probably! Ugh
I have not been able to use my good Sigg bottle, or any type of water bottle since. I doubt I ever can again. I still use my Brita filter, but will only drink water from a cup or glass that has been washed/sanitized in the dishwasher...and only ONE time. I don't buy bottled water, unless I am out and must have water (I can't drink tap water in our local area, since most of the water here is from private wells...I am afraid I'll be drinking sea monkeys or grow a tail...) I keep reading that even supposed BPA-free plastic bottles leach dangerous chemicals into food/water...it's quite distressing and hard to know what you can trust.
Have you had a problem with mold or algae in reusable water bottles? What is your solution to this problem?