Do you carry around a metal water bottle, whether it is a Hydroflask, ThermoFlask, Kleen Kanteen or any other similar design? If you do, check your caps-if there are rubber gaskets, make sure to clean them before mold starts to build!
I went to rinse my water bottle this morning and noticed a small amount of black sludge building up under the gaskets, and when I pulled it apart I found more underneath. The gasket itself came clean fairly quickly with soap and water, but it was a good reminder that this should be part of a weekly bottle maintenance routine. It takes only a few seconds to pop out the gasket (I used a butter knife), and it keeps things nice and clean. You should also either run a hot sprayer or use a bottle brush to clean up the insides as well, as it keeps any buildup from sticking around. It also means you’re cleaning the one spot in a metal bottle that can absorb flavors, so if you’re like me and jump between lemon/limes and Nuun tablets, you won’t get flavor transfer over time. I’ve learned the hard way that some flavors do not mix. It’s not a fun surprise at 5 in the morning, so do not mix tropical Nuun with lemon juice.
If you haven’t checked those gaskets in a while or you like to rotate them to keep them extra clean, most manufacturers sell packets of replacement rings. They’re extremely inexpensive and very handy to keep around as a backup! After all, if you’ve switched to a metal water bottle, whether it’s because of flavor, concerns about BPA, or just style, you don’t want to undo the good of drinking water by drinking mold along the way!