Real Advice: How To Properly Clean Your Water Bottle

We all use water bottles every day. Taking the time to really clean them is very important to your continued health. A dish washer will get them mostly clean, but every once in a while it’s a good idea to pull the bottle apart and really clean it. Here’s how we recommend cleaning your water bottle.

For this example, we’re using a Polar Insulated Water Bottle (one of our favorites).

We’re starting with what looks like a clean bottle.
It looks fairly clean at first, but there’s mold growing under that nipple.
See the black notches? They’re the key to getting that nipple out in one piece.
Firmly grasp the nipple and give it a good twist.
The notches should slide behind the columns. This will allow the nipple to pull right out.
It’s pretty easy to pull out, actually.
See all of the nastiness? And this bottle has been through the dish washer!
Thoroughly clean out the nipple.
Carefully clean out the bottle lid as well.
Don’t forget to scrub down inside that bottle!

For this example, I’m using scrub brushes from a Camelbak Cleaning System to get all of the gunk out. When you’re done cleaning, pop the nipple back in and enjoy your thoroughly cleaned water bottle!

23 thoughts on “Real Advice: How To Properly Clean Your Water Bottle

  1. Doesn’t seem to work with the Performance branded bottels, the ‘notches’ (actually, they are ‘tabs’) are too darn big.

    On the gripping hand, CamelBak Podium bottle nozzles do come apart, and need to be cleaned periodically.

    1. That’s a bit ironic, criticizing a N.C. company about water use. The Carolinas have more water than they can handle right now, although it’s not drinkable.

      Speaking of which, are your folks okay?

      1. Hi Zed,

        Thanks for asking– most of North Carolina escaped the worst of the storm, and everyone here was fine (if a little wet, and in need of a few good bike cleanings).

  2. I called Polar… They said their water bottles are completely dishwasher safe in the top rack (and a dishwasher will sanitize them too).

    Instead of going through all that, I just run the bottles & lids through the dishwasher each time I use them. It hasn’t effected the longevity of the bottle at all, and you never have any crud (just make sure to let the inside of the bottle air dry before you put the top back on when storing)

    1. Hi Mark,

      Not a bad idea for a future article. We’ve had the best results cleaning helmets just using a sink of hot water and a little bit of gentle dish soap or something like Dr. Bronner’s. When you’re done just thoroughly rinse to avoid the straps foaming up when you sweat on your next ride :). The pads you should machine wash (though we recommend putting them in a mesh bag to keep them from getting caught in the washing machine seals).

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