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Why Does My Hot Water Bottle Smell?

Updated: Jan 21, 2023

Rubber hot water bottle icon

Hot water bottles made of rubber can have a distinct smell. This is the natural odour of rubber, which can also be strengthened during the manufacturing process. While the smell of your rubber hot water bottle will fade over time, the easiest way to avoid this problem is to purchase one made of PVC or silicone. This is also more suitable for individuals allergic to rubber and latex.

Can you cover up the smell from a hot water bottle?

As previously mentioned, the rubber smell from your hot water bottle will fade away over time. There are, however, a few tricks you can use to make to accelerate this process or fade the smell right away.

1. Use your hot water bottle to make the smell fade

Granted, this sounds a bit counterintuitive. However, the fact is you can make the smell go away faster by filling your hot water bottle as you normally would (not with boiling water!) and placing it somewhere to cool down without using it. If you repeat this process enough (5-6 times) before actually using the hot water bottle, the smell will have already faded and be easier on your nose.

Make sure you don't place your hot water bottle in direct sunlight or in a humid environment: this will damage the rubber.

2. Use a hot water bottle cover

Using a hot water bottle cover will help cover the rubber smell and make your experience more enjoyable. While the rubber smell may still be a bit present, this will definitely help!

In addition, using a cover will help you protect your item, making your hot water bottle last longer. We also wrote an article describing how covers keep hot water bottles warmer for longer.

Hot water bottle with white cover

3. Do not use soap, detergents, or oils to clean your hot water bottle

First of all, the smell may not go away, however much you wash your hot water bottle. In addition, it is not advised to use soap, detergents, bleach, vinegar, baking powder or oils to wash your hot water bottle as this may damage the material and lead to tears.

Read our article on how to wash a hot water bottle.

Hot water bottle care instructions

4. Purchase a hot water bottle made of PVC or silicone

PVC hot water bottles

Hot water bottles made of thermoplastic (PVC) are rubberless and thus don't have the strong odour rubber hot water bottles typically have. This can be a good alternative for those of us who dislike the smell of rubber. On the other hand, most PVC hot water bottles contain toxic chemicals (this is what makes the product flexible), which is not ideal for children (or anyone else actually).

Silicone hot water bottles

Silicone hot water bottles are also odourless. In addition, they don’t contain any toxic chemicals such as BPA or phthalates, making them safer for children (or anyone else, actually). Silicone hot water bottles are also very durable and can be heated in a microwave. Another good option!

Final thoughts

Hopefully, we've given you a few ideas on how to get rid of the rubber smell from your hot water bottle. While rubber hot water bottles are most common on the market nowadays, you'll also find some made of silicone or PVC, which will be odourless (or maybe even smell nice!).

In a nutshell, the smell will fade away over time. Using a hot water bottle cover will help cover the smell if you really can't bear it. Washing your hot water bottle with soap, oils, or baking soda is not likely to help and will even damage your hot water bottle.

Two hot water bottles hanging


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