Best Rubber Hot Water Bottle: What’s the Difference?
There are many types of plastic bottles available today. Some are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is commonly used in food containers, while others are made from polypropylene or other plastics. There are two main types of these bottles: those with a tight seal and those without a tight seal. A “tight” seal means that there is no air space between the inside of the bottle and the outside. These bottles have been around longer than their non-tighter counterparts, but they’re becoming less popular due to the fact that they contain toxic chemicals such as Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates.
The problem with these bottles isn’t just environmental—it’s health-related too. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), BPA exposure causes developmental problems in fetuses, infants, children and adults. Phthalates are endocrine disruptors that may cause reproductive issues and lower IQ levels.
They’ve even been linked to cancer!
In addition to being harmful to humans, these products aren’t exactly eco-friendly either. While some manufacturers claim their bottles don’t leach into the environment, studies show otherwise. The truth is, some of these bottles are likely to cause long-term problems for the planet (and its inhabitants).
Fortunately, there are safe alternatives. Glass and stainless steel don’t contain the harmful chemicals that plastic does, but they aren’t always ideal for taking hot liquids. This is where rubber comes in—and not just any rubber, but a material known as natural rubber or, more popularly, natural latex rubber.
What is Natural Latex Rubber?
Natural latex rubber is a resilient material that’s found in abundance in tropical areas. While synthetic rubbers have come a long way in recent years, natural rubber still has the upper hand when it comes to flexibility and elasticity.
Not only is natural rubber flexible, it’s also durable and waterproof. The main ingredients in natural rubber are the sap from Hevea brasiliensis, or Para rubber trees, and milk. While most of us don’t think twice about picking up a water bottle that’s made of plastic, it might surprise you to learn that natural rubber is actually the most commonly used material for making hot water bottles!
It’s true! In fact, folks have been using natural rubber to insulate their hot water bottles for more than a century!
Should You Go Natural?
The short answer is: yes, you should. Here’s why: natural rubber doesn’t contain the harmful chemicals that some of the other bottles on the market do. It’s durable, waterproof and easy to clean. Plus, it’s naturally insulating. So, if you’re looking to go green or help the environment in some small way, a rubber hot water bottle might be the way to go.
How to Care for Your New Hot Water Bottle
Now that you’ve got your new green rubber hot water bottle, you might be wondering how to care for it. While rubber is a durable material, it’s important to take care of your bottle so that it lasts as long as possible. Here are a few tips on how to do just that:
Always make sure the bottle is fully dry before storing it. Otherwise, mold and mildew can grow inside it, which will eventually cause the material to break down.
If the material starts to develop a funny odor, pour a little baking soda into the bottle and add just enough boiling water to cover the bottom. Screw on the top, shake vigorously and let it sit overnight. In the morning, empty out the water and rinse with fresh water.
If you don’t use your water bottle regularly (i.e., monthly), make sure to completely dry it and replace the rubber washer before adding water again.
When not in use, store the bottle on its side so that the water doesn’t remain in contact with the rubber for extended periods of time. If water remains in contact with the rubber for long periods of time, it can cause the material to deteriorate more quickly.
Sources & references used in this article:
Cover for hot-water bottles by DS Applegate – US Patent 1,358,133, 1920 – Google Patents
Electric heating element for hot-water bottles by S Alfred, S Arthur – US Patent 1,727,913, 1929 – Google Patents
Edge-rolling device for hot-water bottles. by AD Lamont – US Patent 993,308, 1911 – Google Patents