Drinking plenty of water is needed to keep your body going year-round and as we head into summer it’s critical to stay hydrated. You can imagine my shock that the healthy water bottle that I had chosen for my family was hiding something so unhealthy. I stay away from the chemicals in plastic water bottles. Like other health conscious consumers, I’m not cool with what leaches from these bottles into my water when plastic is heated or cooled. I thought stainless steel brands, like Hydroflask and Yeti, were good alternatives. Who would expect mold to be hiding in your healthy water bottle?
It was hiding in each and every one of our water bottles and making us all sick in different ways with low level mold toxicity. Now before you think I just didn’t clean my water bottle, we clean them every day with good, natural soap and a bottle brush. But when I shined my flashlight in each of our water bottles, I found mold. I found mold under the lid around the seal, on the sides of the water bottle, and where the straw inserts into the lid. I swabbed the sides of the water bottle with a paper towel and what came off was black mold. Now I encourage everyone to take a flashlight to their water bottle and to follow up with a white glove test because mold could be in your water bottle too.
Is Mold in Your Water Bottle?
Mold can grow in your water bottle from debris from your saliva or bacteria in the water. Even if you are just using your water bottle for water it needs to be cleaned daily. There are many people who leave their water bottle on their desk every day or leave it in their gym bag without washing it. Nope that’s not enough! Mold is microscopic and only becomes visible after some time of mold growth. We were cleaning ours daily and it wasn’t enough, so if you are going some time without it then it is likely you have mold exposure. I no longer trust stainless steal water bottles and whether most people can ensure their water bottle is mold free.
Why is this a big deal? All of us were getting exposed daily to mold. Mold exposure symptoms vary depending on your level and length of time you have been exposed.
What are Symptoms of Mold Exposure?
Our family was experiencing symptoms that had me concerned about low level mold exposure, so I was checking the usual suspects like the pillows, coffee maker, washing machine and bathroom.
These symptoms of mold can include:
- sneezing and coughing,
- eye irritation,
- vision problems,
- hormonal imbalance (mood swings, irregular cycle for women, libido issues, etc…),
- sore throat,
- hair loss, headaches,
- memory loss,
- auto-immune disease,
- chronic fatigue,
- muscle aches,
- weight gain,
- confusion and disorientation,
- numbness and tingling,
- temperature regulation problems.
High-level or long-term mold exposure can lead to even more serious symptoms. Chronic symptoms include respiratory disease, peripheral neurological defects, cancer, chronic fatigue type illnesses, and more. Over time the toxicity suppresses the immune system which can trigger other types of illnesses. You may have read some of the stories from The Wellness Way community like Dr. Alex’s and Erin’s. Mold can have serious impacts on your health and is often a hidden enemy.
I threw out my stainless-steel water bottles that were tainted with mold. So, what can most of us do to make sure we are using a healthy water bottle with no hidden mold?
Tips to Keep Your Water Bottle Mold Free
1 – Check all of your water bottles using a flashlight and the white glove test. You can use a white towel or Q-tip too. Check under the seal and where the straw inserts into the bottle. Which reminds me – check your straws too!
2 – If using stainless steel, then follow the directions of the manufacturer for cleaning. This often includes using vinegar and baking soda after every use and putting the lid in the dishwasher.
3 – Choose glass. That’s what I will be using for my family from now on. You can see what is inside and feel the smooth surface to know it is clean. You can use a glass bottle or go old school with a mason jar.
4 – Have you seen the UV caps? If you don’t want to give up your stainless steel check out the UV Caps. I haven’t tried them yet and they do require an initial investment that costs more than the water bottle. The cap uses UV light to sanitize the bottle and contents. It seems like a great alternative for people who are concerned.
5 – Leave your water bottle for water and choose containers that are easy to clean for some of those harder to clean beverages. Chia seeds are great in a smoothie for protein and Omega-3s, but they are super sticky.
Keep Your Water Bottles and Your Family Mold Free
Many of us would never think that something we use everyday, like our healthy water bottle, could be hiding something so unhealthy. My family was experiencing symptoms even though we practice healthy habits including drinking plenty of water. That’s when I put it together and did some digging. If you are experiencing symptoms that are unexplained, do some digging. Make sure mold isn’t hiding in your healthy water bottle or anywhere else. If it’s not that, then keep digging to get to the bottom of what is making you sick.
Want to hear more about Dr, Jacqueline Beren’s experience and the harms of mold? Check out her video on EnVitality Wellness Center’s page on Facebook.
Written by Dr. Jacqueline Berens, EnVitality Wellness Center – A Wellness Way Affiliate
Resources for Healthy Water Bottles and Mold: