If you're someone who always has a plastic water bottle in hand - at the gym or the office - you might want to think twice before taking a big gulp.

That's because it's common for germs to gather if you just re-fill it, and don't wash it out

Health experts say a lot of people are walking around with a bacteria filled water bottle and they don't know it.

However, a little bit of care and cleaning goes a long way.

"We know that bacteria can get not only in the water when we are drinking it, the other factor is any time the hands touch the spout or any part of the lid or the bottle itself, it can inoculate the bottle with bacteria," explained Teri Palangio, a public health inspector.

She said there are safe types of bacteria that are found on these surfaces, but also strains of a more troubling kind.

"Some are called spoilage organisms, some are called pathogenic or disease causing organisms and those are the ones we are worried about, those are the ones that even a small dose can cause illness in an individual," she said.

Palangio said metal and certain well-made plastic bottles are the safest bet, because they don't support the growth of bacteria and are usually dishwasher safe, where the hot water kills off unwanted organisms.

Health officials say it's also important to keep your water bottle out of hot temperatures, like the backseat of a car, where conditions will support the growth of unwanted bacteria.