Can Nalgenes Go In The Dishwasher?

By Cory White
Can Nalgenes Go In The Dishwasher?

Are you tired of handwashing your Nalgene bottle after every use? Wondering if you can simply toss it in the dishwasher for a quick and easy clean? 

Luckily, Nalgene water bottles are generally dishwasher-safe, but it’s advisable to place them on the top rack away from the heating element. The heat from certain dishwashers can potentially cause deformation or warping, so always check the bottle’s care instructions first.

Read on as I explore the pros and cons, discuss the impact on the bottle’s durability and functionality, and provide practical tips to ensure your Nalgene stays in top shape. Let’s dive in!

The Basics About Nalgenes

Nalgene water bottles are a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts, athletes, and everyday consumers due to their durability and practical design. These high-quality bottles are made from a plastic material known as Tritan, renowned for its impact resistance and clarity. 

Interestingly, Nalgene water bottles are also BPA-free. BPA, or Bisphenol A, is a chemical that can seep into food and beverages from containers that are made with BPA, potentially causing health effects on the brain and prostate gland, as well as behavior problems in fetuses, infants, and children. By creating bottles without BPA, Nalgene ensures that your drink remains pure and free from potentially harmful substances.

Best Dishwasher Practices for Nalgenes

When using a dishwasher to clean Nalgene water bottles, certain practices can ensure thorough sanitation while also preventing possible damage. The best position for your Nalgene in the dishwasher is on the top rack. Here are a few reasons for this:

  • The top rack is typically cooler. This helps protect your water bottle from the intense heat that could cause deformation.
  • Less prone to knocking. Placing your Nalgene on the top shelf limits interaction with other utensils that could knock about and potentially cause damage.
  • Better water distribution. The water sprinklers target the top rack more effectively, ensuring a good clean.

Are Nalgene Lids Dishwasher Safe?

nalgene lids

Yes, Nalgene lids are generally dishwasher-safe as well. However, to ensure the most thorough cleaning, it can be beneficial to remove the seal from the lid before placing it in the dishwasher.

The seal and other smaller components can easily get misplaced in the dishwasher. To avoid this, place them securely in the utensil holder or a dishwasher-safe basket.

Before placing the lid in the dishwasher, inspect it to ensure no food residues or particles are stuck. This could otherwise interfere with the cleaning process.

Handling Oversized Nalgene Bottles

Washing oversized Nalgene bottles in a dishwasher can often be a tricky task due to their size. They might not fit comfortably on the top rack, which is the recommended spot for washing. Here are a few tips to manage this:

Hand-wash if necessary

 If the Nalgene bottles don’t fit on the top shelf, you might consider washing them by hand. A mild detergent and warm water would be enough to clean the bottles effectively.

Use a secure position

If you still wish to use a dishwasher, ensure your oversized Nalgene is positioned securely. Lack of space might make the bottle topple over, so ensure it has a snug slot to stay upright throughout the wash cycle.

Hand Washing Nalgene Bottles

While using a dishwasher is convenient, sometimes hand washing your Nalgene bottles might be necessary, especially if they’re oversized or if you want to be extra cautious. Here’s how to do it effectively:

  1. Use warm water and mild detergent: For a thorough cleaning, fill your bottle with warm water and a few drops of mild detergent. Shake it well and then use a bottle brush to scrub the inside. Rinail down the grooves in the cap and the mouthpiece.
  2. Rinse thoroughly: After scrubbing, make sure to rinse the bottle and the cap properly. Any detergent residue can affect the taste of your drink.
  3.  Air dry: Once cleaned, leave the bottle and the lid open to air dry. This helps prevent moisture build-up and any potential growth of bacteria.

Maintenance and Care

handwashing nalgene bottles

Taking proper care and implementing regular maintenance practices can significantly prolong the lifespan of your Nalgene bottles. Here are some tips to help you in this process:

Avoid extreme temperatures

Although Nalgene bottles are tough, they may not respond well to extreme temperatures over time. Avoid putting them in a freezer or leaving them in a hot car.

Regular cleaning

Keep your bottle fresh by cleaning it regularly. Whether you choose to wash it by hand or in a dishwasher, routine cleaning can help prevent stains and smells.

Care for the lid

Ensure the seal in the cap is also regularly cleaned to avoid any build-up of bacteria or mildew.


Make sure they’re fully dry before putting the cap on for storage. Storing the bottle with the cap on while it’s wet could lead to unpleasant odors.

Common Questions about Nalgene Bottles

Understanding your Nalgene water bottle and how best to use and care for it is critical for maintaining its longevity and functionality. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding Nalgene bottles:

How often should I wash my Nalgene? 

It’s a good idea to clean your bottle after each use, especially if you’re drinking beverages other than water. For plain water, cleaning it as often as every few days is sufficient.

Can I fill my Nalgene bottle with boiling water? 

Nalgene bottles made with Tritan plastic can handle hot beverages and can therefore withstand boiling water, although it’s always best to refer to the specific product instructions.

Can I store other beverages in my Nalgene? 

Yes, Nalgenes are great for carrying a range of drinks. However, remember to clean the bottle promptly after using it for beverages other than water to prevent staining or residual flavors.

Is it okay to store Nalgene bottles with the lid on? 

Once the bottle is completely dry, it is suitable to store it with the lid on. This prevents the gathering of dust inside.


In summary, the efficient use and durable lifespan of Nalgene bottles ultimately depend on adopting the correct cleaning techniques and proper care practices. Made from durable, BPA-free Tritan plastic, Nalgene water bottles are usually safe for dishwasher cleaning, albeit with precautions. With this guide, I hope that you’re equipped with comprehensive knowledge to make the most out of your Nalgene water bottles. Happy hydrating!

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