How to Clean a Nalgene Bottle – Keeping your Eco-friendly Water Bottles Pristine

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The Nalgene bottle has become the go-to-water storage device for most outdoor enthusiasts. It is Bisphenol A-free (BPA-free), which is something we should consider when storing our drinking water.

As Nalgene bottles are BPA-free, it is considerably much safer than normal plastic water bottles. Now, one of the most common questions about this eco-friendly item is definitely: how to clean a Nalgene bottle? I will be helping you with that by enumerating several methods on how to properly and safely clean your Nalgene bottle.

Putting in the Dishwasher

The simplest and easiest method to clean your Nalgene bottle is by simply putting it in a dishwasher. However, it is important that you check the manufacturer’s manual to see if your specific Nalgene bottle is dishwasher safe.

Normally, all Nalgene bottles can be cleaned using a dishwasher. But there are exceptions to this rule so it is best to always read the fine print. If it is dishwasher safe, I highly recommend that you place the bottle on the upper portion of the dishwasher, away from the source of heat.

How to Clean a Nalgene Bottle

The high levels of heat within the dishwasher can damage the bottle and even the lid. This is why you should always place it on the upper rack. But what if your dishwasher cannot accommodate the size of your Nalgene bottle? Fortunately for you, there are other alternative cleaning methods you can use.

Using Disinfectants and Other Cleaning Products

There are cleaning products like the disinfectant tablets or the new disinfectant glass cleaner technology. Using these disinfectants are extremely easy and simple.

For example, for the disinfectant tablets:

How to Use the Disinfectant Tablets

  • Step 1:  Simply fill your Nalgene bottle with water.
  • Step 2:  Put in the cleaning tablet.
  • Step 3:  Wait for it to completely dissolve.
  • Step4:  Once the tablet is completely dissolved, give the bottle a good shake and rinse.

Your standard cleaning tablet costs around $15 for 12 tablets but if you want to save some cash then a denture cleaning tablet is a great alternative. One box of denture cleaning tablet cost around $10 and contains 100 tablets. I do advise you get a brand name and choose one that offers extra strength.

How to Clean a Nalgene Bottle 1

You can also try the disinfectant glass cleaner which is still new to the market. Again, using this cleaning product is extremely easy.

How to Use the Disinfectant Glass Cleaner

  • Step 1:  You simply need to apply the solution directly to the interior of the bottle.
  • Step 2:  Wait for about 10 minutes for the solution to thoroughly clean the bottle.
  • Step 3:  Rinse the bottle thoroughly.

Traditional Soap and Water Cleaning Method

This is the simplest and most common method of cleaning water bottles and it still applies to Nalgene water bottles as well. First, you will need a basin, mild dish soap, and warm water.

How to Clean a Nalgene Bottle 2

Step 1:  Place the warm water into the basin, filling it to the point wherein you can completely submerge your Nalgene water bottle.

Step 2:  Add a couple drops of a mild dish soap into the warm water and mix it well using your hand.

Step 3:  Submerge your Nalgene water bottle into the basin and leave it there for a couple of minutes. Around 5 minutes should be enough.

Step 4:  Shake the bottle with the soapy water inside and rinse thoroughly.

Here’s a quick video tutorial from Last Frontier Adventure Club on how to clean your Nalgene bottle. Although I would suggest you skip the use of bleach and stick to mild dish soap.

Click to Watch More ...

Remember to only put a couple drops of mild dish soap into the water basin. Putting too much might leave a soapy after taste in the bottle. This works perfectly well especially if you only put water and colorless liquid into your Nalgene bottle.

An alternative to dish soap is lemon and baking soda. Simply slice one lemon in half, place it inside the basin filled with warm water and submerge your water bottle for at least 10 minutes. The same steps apply to the baking soda method as well.

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You pretty much have several methods to use when it comes to cleaning your Nalgene bottle. Each one is just as effective as the other. Basically, the main deciding factor on your part will be convenience. I would just like to reiterate the importance of checking the manufacturer’s information on whether your specific Nalgene bottle is dishwasher safe.

If it is, you should still take the necessary precaution and place it on the upper rack of the dishwasher as far away from the heat source as possible.


I highly recommend campers and outdoor lovers to get a Nalgene bottle. It is quite sturdy and does not use any of the chemicals found in most plastic water containers. The fact that you will likely be at the mercy of the sun during your hikes means your gear will also be bombarded with sunlight.

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Heat forces most water bottles to leak chemicals which contaminate the water. In Nalgene bottles’ case, no chemicals hazards are used in the production of the bottle. Hence, no risk of dangerous chemicals getting into your body.

This article should help teach you how to properly clean your Nalgene bottle. Comment down below if you have anything to add such as tips and don’t forget to spread the word to fellow happy campers!

Kevin Smith

About the Author

Kevin Smith

Ahoy there! The name’s Kevin Smith, the proprietor of this little travel and outdoors blog. The outdoors has always been a passion of mine since I was a kid as my parents were avid campers themselves. They taught me everything I know when it comes to camping, hiking etc. and I would like to do my part by imparting my know-how to like-minded individuals who enjoy the same hobby as me. I started this website in the hopes of helping other people when it comes to answering questions, giving tips and recommendations focusing on the camping niche. Along with some close friends of mine, we are here to help you make the most out of your outdoor experience. Enjoy your stay and enjoy the wild side!

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