No parent wants to be faced with a black mouldy nozzle on their child's reusable water bottle, but they're a magnet for bacteria and germs, and if the bottle isn't washed properly then it will most likely need replacing sooner rather than later.
Here are our top tips for washing your child's water bottle and protecting them from bacteria and viruses.
The nozzle of the water bottle is the area that holds the most bacteria build up. The best way to clean this is by washing in the sink. Make sure to use very hot water and washing-up gloves, then you can get to work with soap and a brush or sponge.
Take special care to clean carefully around the nozzle and cap, and rinse through the inside of the straw, as this is where dirt tends to linger.
Disassemble as much as possible
It pays to break the bottle down into as many of its individual component parts as you can, for easier access to all the small places where bacteria can linger.
Some kids' bottles have spouts that can be removed and taken apart and we'd recommend doing this to get into each and every corner.
Where possible look for a bottle with a simple design as that means it will be easier to clean.
Soak in Milton solution
Soaking the bottle in Milton sterilising solution for at least fifteen minutes once a week or a fortnight is a great habit to get into.
While it won't do a good job of removing any existing black mould that might have grown in the bottle, it's the best way of preventing mould from building up in the first place.