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Sep 7, 2016
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If you think you're saving Earth by using your unwashed water bottle repeatedly—or, refilling those plastic bottled water containers—do yourself a favor and chuck this habit, stat.

The exercise experts over at Treadmill Reviews say these unhygienic water holders contain more than a hundred thousand germs that drinking from one is just like licking your own toilet. 

They did a swab test of a group of athletes' reusable water bottles to take a closer look at how clean they actually are. They used three water bottles for each of these container types—screw-top, slide-top, squeeze-top, and straw-top—for a total of 12 swabs. Each water bottle had been used by an athlete for a week without being washed.

Unsurprisingly, researchers found that there are more than 300,000 colony-forming units (CFU, the number of possible bacteria in any given sample) per square centimeter per plastic bottle. To give you a better picture, your toilet seat at home will have, on average, 27 CFUs per square centimeter.

What's worse is, a whopping 60 percent of the germs found in the samples were capable of making you sick.

Still don't believe it? Check out the infographics below:

Sickening, isn't it?

According to the researchers, one simple way to avoid your body being taken over by an army of bacteria is to swap slide-top for straw-top bottles. "Based on our test results, we suggest opting for a straw-top bottle, both for the low prevalence of bacteria and the lack of harmful germs."

Or better yet, just wash your water bottles properly all the time.