CNET notes that while most water bottles are dishwasher safe, you really should wash them by hand. Food particles can get stuck under the lid, and some liquids can even crust inside the bottle itself. But does the same logic apply to Nalgene bottles?

While Nalgene bottles are dishwasher safe, you’re better off rinsing it off with soap and water by hand. Putting it in the dishwasher can eventually warp the bottle’s plastic and affect the water’s taste. But, if you’re looking for a fast wash, put the bottle in the dishwasher’s top rack.

With proper care and maintenance, Nalgene bottles last a lifetime. Continue reading to learn more.

How to Wash Nalgene Bottles in the Dishwasher

Nalgene says that when putting your bottle into the dishwasher:

  • You should put it on the top rack. This way, the dishwasher’s heating element won’t warp, bend, or crack the plastic exterior.
  • You should ideally rinse out your bottle each day. This will prevent bacteria from forming inside.
  • You should remove the bottle’s lid before putting it in the dishwasher. This way, the appliance can clean both components.

How to Wash Your Nalgene Bottle by Hand

If you use your Nalgene bottle each day, you’re better off washing it by hand. Not only is this faster, but in the long run, it can reduce your water bill. When washing your Nalgene bottle by hand:

  1. Fill it two-thirds of the way with warm water.
  2. Pour in a few drops of bleach.
  3. Secure the bottle’s top with the lid.
  4. Shake well.
  5. Let the bottle sit for about an hour.

After an hour, you can use a scrubber to get out any stubborn residue or stains. You should also rinse well with warm water to make sure the bleach doesn’t linger behind.

Can I Clean My Nalgene Bottle with Hot Water?

When you’re washing metal pots and pans, you can use boiling hot water with no problems. The same does not apply to your Nalgene bottle. Your bottle is made out of a resin that’s half-manmade materials, half recycled plastic.

When your bottle comes into contact with boiling water, this can release a chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA). In small doses, contact with this substance is usually harmless. However, over time it can increase certain health risks, such as cancer, brain damage, and other impairments.

It’s worth noting that many modern-day Nalgene bottles aren’t made with BPA or leach BPA in large quantities. That’s because, in 2008, the company issued a voluntary recall and pulled many of its bottles from the market amid concerns. Still, for your own safety, you should avoid handwashing the bottle with very hot water.

How to Clean a Cloudy Nalgene Bottle

Before filing it up, your Nalgene bottle might look clean as a whistle. Then, after filling it up, you might notice cloudy-looking water. Here, instead of putting it in the dishwasher, you should:

  1. Take an empty pot.
  2. Fill the pot with warm water.
  3. Pour soap into the pot and swish it around.
  4. Submerge your bottle in the water.
  5. Wait 15 minutes.

The soap, in combination with the warm water, will break down any residue in your bottle and give it that fresh-out-of-the-box look.

Do I Have to Wash My Nalgene Bottle if I Only Use It for Water?

You might look inside your Nalgene bottle, think, “Looks clean enough,” and then fill it to the brim with your favorite beverage. However, there are more germs than what meets the eye.

According to Health Digest, unseen germs can accumulate inside your water bottle and:

  • Cause viruses to form. This can cause ailments like nausea, headaches, and fatigue.
  • Create mold. Suppose that you use your Nalgene bottle for protein shakes. Even small flakes can quickly cause mold to build up inside your bottle. While mold is safe to eat (after all, it’s on the surface of bread), it can spell disaster for immunocompromised people.
  • Eat away at the bottle’s plastic. Germs won’t eat away at your bottle’s plastic like some flesh-eating bacteria. However, it can create “soft spots,” which can compromise your bottle’s integrity over time.

A Final Word

Your Nalgene bottle is dishwasher safe. You can also wash it by hand if you’d prefer. For more information about caring for your bottle, consult your user manual.

Author

The Eyerly Family is a tight knit family from Texas. Married for 10 years Dane and Deena are the parents to six awesome kids! In 2021 the Eyerly's are leaving normal life behind to travel full-time throughout the United States in their Double Decker Bus which has been converted to a tiny home. They've been featured in Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Style, Medium, and Latestly. Learn more about The Eyerly's here.

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