Are stainless steel water bottles dishwasher safe?
Double walled stainless steel water bottles have taken the water bottle market by storm in the last five years, for good reason too, their ability to insulate your drink is unsurpassed. One area where they often fall short compared to their plastic counterparts is ease of cleaning. The majority of the insulated stainless steel bottles are “hand wash only.” This is fine if your bottle exclusively holds water, but when you introduce flavored mixers or even protein powder, it’s a different story. Residue or flavors can linger if not thoroughly cleaned. In this situation, throwing the bottle in the dishwasher is ideal. Unfortunately only a few brands allow you to do this: Hydro Flask and Yeti. Even these companies still encourage hand washing for “best results.” Let’s dive in to see why this is the case.
Why are most stainless steel water bottles not dishwasher safe?
There are typically two reasons why manufacturers discourage putting stainless steel bottles into the dishwasher: potential to discolor the powder coating or damage the vacuum seal. The powder coating is the colored finish on the water bottle that gives it grip and an attractive appearance. The vacuum seal prevents air from entering or leaving the area between the two walls of the bottle, giving the bottle it’s insulative properties. If temperatures get too high in the dishwasher, both features can be impacted. While some dishwashers are probably safe, the temperatures inside a dishwasher vary from unit to unit and most do not offer a way to adjust the temperature thus the blanket advice to avoid dishwashers completely. Some companies appear to be making strides to address these vulnerabilities in their water bottles, so there is promise that innovation will continue and maybe one day all stainless bottles will be dishwasher safe. For now, it’s best to carefully follow the manufacturers instructions and follow some basic best practices for using the dishwasher if you choose to do so.
Suggestions of washing your stainless steel water bottle
Even when a bottle is dishwasher safe, there are still additional precautions that can be followed to mitigate damage:
- Check to see whether all components of the bottle are dishwasher safe. Sometimes the bottle itself may be dishwasher safe but the top or the straw is not. For instance, Yeti recommends removing the rubber lid gasket before putting the bottle in the dishwasher.
- If possible, place the bottle on the top rack. Usually a dishwashers heating unit is at the bottom of the unit so the top rack will not receive as much direct heat.
- Make sure your bottle is completely dry before storing it between uses. Any residual moisture could encourage mold growth or rust.
- Consider a specialized dishwashing tablet for your bottle as an alternative to dish soap. Most companies sell a unique dishwashing tablet that is designed for use with their bottles and will likely be gentler than standard options like this all-natural version from Bright Bottle.
Bottle Washing Protocols for Top Stainless Steel Water Bottle Brands
- Are Klean Kanteen bottles dishwasher safe? Only Klean Kanteen single walled bottles are dishwasher safe. It’s recommended that double walled and colored bottles are washed by hand. Klean Kanteen provides a number of video tutorials for cleaning on their website.
- Are Hydro Flask bottles dishwasher safe? Models made in 2020 and later on are dishwasher safe. Hydro Flask developed a new proprietary coating that is better able to withstand dishwasher use. Even so, the manufacturer suggests hand washing for “best results.”
- Are Yeti bottles dishwasher safe? The Yeti Rambler line is dishwasher safe. Interestingly their product advice does not try to steer owners to hand washing and even allows for bottles to be placed on the bottom rack of the dishwasher.
- Are Sigg bottles dishwasher safe? Nope. Hand wash only.
- Are Mirr water bottles dishwasher safe? Yes, they are dishwasher safe but with caveats similar to Hydro Flask. For product satisfaction in the long term, hand washing is recommended to protect the finish.
Remember to carefully follow manufacturer instructions. If you purchase a newer edition of the same bottle, refer to the new instructions: new materials and designs can impact how the bottle should be cared for.