Stainless steel water bottles are durable, non-leaching and non-reactive to most drinks. Most are designed to last for years and many are designed to provide a lifetime of service. A few, are even rugged enough to be placed in campfires and used for heating soup or beverages. Even so, there are some things that can damage even a top quality bottle. Some of these are common knowledge items and some are things that people might never think of. So, for the record, here are some tips to help you make your water bottle last as long as you can.

First Tip, get a sleeve for the outside of the bottle. Yes, the graphics on the bottle are beautiful but normal wear and tear will soon scratch that pretty finish up. To make it last, get either a neoprene cover or an insulated cover made from another material. There are a couple of added benefits from covers, because they act as insulators your beverages stay hot or cold longer and second, they often come with a shoulder strap which can make carrying some of the larger bottles much easier.

The Second Tip is to never try to freeze anything inside the bottle. Many of us are used to putting plastic bottles into the freezer to produce a very cold beverage. Stainless steel water bottles are different and much less forgiving of the freezer. Water or other fluids will expand when frozen and that expansion can be enough to burst a metal bottle. Remember that a double-walled bottle may show no outward signs of bursting, but may have suffered an internal rupture that would allow fluids to enter the space between the walls and thereby render the bottle useless.

The Third Tip is exactly the opposite of number two. Never put your bottle into the microwave. Again, all of us are used to dealing with plastic bottles and ceramic or glass cups, so this is a precaution that many might not think of, especially if the bottle is surrounded by a insulated jacket that hides the metal.

The Fourth Tip is one for cleaning. Stainless steel bottles can be cleaned using a standard denture tablet, or a bit of baking soda and vinegar. The warning here is to remember to leave the bottle uncapped after placing these types of foaming cleaning products inside. The odds are that nothing would happen to the bottle, but anyone removing the stopper after the contents had foamed and pressurized might get a messy and potentially dangerous surprise.

All of us want to reduce our reliance on plastics, and with the recent scares about chemicals leaching into our food and beverages from certain plastic products, many are finding that stainless steel water bottles are an excellent choice to protect both themselves and their families. But these bottles aren’t like plastic ones and require just a tiny bit more care. Just four simple steps can prolong the life of any bottle.