What's the best way to destroy pathogens on plastic?

  1. I've got a plastic bottle that I want to reuse for years, but the label said that you shouldn't reuse it for hygiene reasons. I'm assuming some bacteria builds up or something and this is dangerous?

    If so, what is the best way to kill these microorganisms without wearing down the plastic?
  2. jcsd
  3. Simon Bridge

    Simon Bridge 15,474
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Or, possibly, the plastic contains volatile materials that come out over a long time, and these are poisonous? Maybe the contents diffuses into the plastic slightly so that some may remain after the product is used - posing a health risk?

    Depends on the organism and the plastic. You will need to supply more information - is the type of plastic written on the bottle? What was the bottle originally for? Otherwise any answer you get will be a guess.
  4. I don't know what you want to store in these bottles but over here it is recommended not to reuse water bottles because of leaching.
  5. Simon Bridge

    Simon Bridge 15,474
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    There have been some cautious notes about BPA-based plastics leaching - mostly over-hyped.

    The warning usually means that if you reuse a bottle, and you get sick as a result, then it is not the manufacturer's fault: you were warned. The label actually specifying "hygiene reasons" seems odd though.

    Without knowing the details of what the bottle is made of, what it originally contained, how it has been stored, the best advise is to dispose of the bottle in an ecologically sensitive manner ;)
  6. Yes, I think as Bridge says, the real 1000 pound gorilla in the room is why on earth would you want to continue to use some old plastic bottle? Likely for some sentimental reason, but without more specifics you're not likely you get the real information you need.

    BPA's the media darling of recent anti-plastic reuse. That's going to be an issue even though its dependent on temperature, but you can't consistently control for that. Personally, I'm guessing it's a bottle that Gene Simmons or someone drank out off at a Kiss concert you went to or something. My advice is not to seek it here but to go to a professional who can treat the bottle some way for long term use. I wouldn't try doing it yourself with some anti-plastic pathogen cleaning regimen.

    Btw, I used to be a big bottled water fan but for reasons I'm too tired to type (and I put some time into doing the research), my final conclusion was the that the best and most economical way to drink the best water possible is a zero water pitcher.
  7. Use a bleach solution.
    Google: dental bacteria bleach
    for concentration info
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thead via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Draft saved Draft deleted
Similar discussions for: What's the best way to destroy pathogens on plastic?