Why a Hydro Flask
Some things that I enjoy are hiking, relaxing on the beach, or just spending a calm day typing away at my home office. I always try to stay properly hydrated— get those two liters in before dark. I usually also like a hot beverage to get warmed up.
Sometimes, though, the water that was cool starts tasting lukewarm and stale, or the green tea mug I was holding cools down before I can drink it. So, not long ago, a dear friend suggested I use a hydro flask. These bottles are stainless steel, resistant to germs and rust, and keep all beverages handy and at the right temperatures.
Hot liquids stay hot for up to 12 hours, cold ones stay cold for up to 24. Aren’t they awesome? Light, completely recyclable, double-insulated, and free of damaging BPA (components in plastic that can seriously harm your health), they are perfect for various indoor and outdoor activities!
The double insulation feature of all hydro flasks ensures there is no condensation forming on your cold drinks, and that the heat of your warm beverages does not get transferred to other things. However, they do— at first glance— seem tricky to clean up. Foraging into the world of hydro flask care has been an interesting adventure. These are my findings.
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What Happens When You Use Your Hydro Flask a Lot
Hydro flasks are advertised as resistant to just about everything short of a drop off a plane. Rust, bacteria— they are supposed to take it all in stride. But, though hardy, they are not indestructible. When you use your product a lot— like I have been doing—, you need to invest some thought and time into hydro flask cleaning.
All out mouths contain germs and, every time we drink, these tiny bugs spread onto the surface of the bottle and, unless cleaned, stay there and multiply. Taste can also be a factor: if you use your flask to hold different liquids, their taste can seep in and ruin later beverages.
If you use hard water, chemical accumulation could develop. Lastly, hydro flask rust. If you use it a lot and do not clean it thoroughly, your resistant bottle will develop rust, which you probably do not want to drink.
Why Clean a Hydro Flask
To preserve the taste of your drinks and avoid consuming dark, rusty water, you need to give your hydro flask a good, deep cleanse every now and then.
Keeping your health in tip-top shape should also be a top reason to clean your flask. And, after all, if you invested time and money into getting your beloved (and useful!) water bottle, it makes sense to actually take care of it! So, how to clean a hydro flask?
Common Mistakes When Cleaning a Hydro Flask
Mistake number one: hydro flask dishwasher protocol. The simple answer is: just do not do it. The water is too hot and violently applied for cleaning the flask and will lower its ability to keep heat in. If you put your flask in the dishwasher, expect to consistently get more and more lukewarm beverages.
Extreme hot or cold temperatures can damage a hydro flask beyond repair. It is designed to withstand normal air temperatures and protect your drinks from them, but it will not hold its own against unnatural highs or lows. It could even weaken its insulation or crack its shell. So, besides not sticking it in the dishwasher, also avoid putting it in the freezer to cool.
All the more because it is useless: the external temperature will not affect the state of the beverage inside. In the same way, do not ever put your flask on the stove, or in the oven or microwave. Not only would this ruin your bottle, but it could also be extremely dangerous! Your drink will not be any warmer because of it.
You might think that washing your hydro flask with harsh chemicals such as chlorine, ammonia, or bleach will rid it of its germs and substance accumulation. If you do this, you run the risk of damaging the stainless steel in the composition beyond use. It would no longer be able to hold in heat or resist rust, and all those perks that caused you to buy it would be gone.
You say you are not convinced? Studies show that chlorine is harmful to human health. The same warning goes for bleach and ammonia. So, if you value your health at all, do not try to use these nasty chemicals! Now is, then, the time to learn how to wash a hydro flask properly!
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The Best Way to Clean a Hydro Flask
Hydro flasks come in several colors, as well as with several different types of bodies and mouths. The width varies to be able to fit in diverse substances (for example, ice cubes) but they are all still comfortable to drink from and clean.
You should wash your hydro flask frequently, at least twice a week. This will help you avoid undesirable situations such as the spread of germs or rust. You must also wash your hydro flask after buying it, before using it for the first time.
As we have already found out, no harsh and potentially harmful chemical must come into contact with your hydro flask. It also can’t ever go in the dishwasher. So what’s a thirsty person to do?
- Always use natural substances. A good rule of thumb is: if it would not harm you if you accidentally swallowed it, then it is safe for use on your hydro flask.
- If you are concerned about fingerprint marks, dirt, or grease on the bottle, you can wash the outside of your hydro flask with common detergent, though this is not ideal.
- To clean the inside of the flask, using detergent is obviously not an option. What to use, then? Getting white distilled vinegar is a good place to start!
- White vinegar is made, through a distillation process, from grains. It is very acidic and clear. These two factors mean it is a great natural cleaning product! Open the bottle and pour some into your hydro flask.
- Swish the vinegar around the inside of the bottle for up to three minutes. Make sure it reaches everywhere!
- Let the apple cider vinegar sit in the flask for five more minutes and rinse well with cool water.
- As a further step, you can grab a bottle brush (they look like big pipe cleaners) and gently scrub the inner part of the flask with it.
- If you see a dirty patch or a bit of rust that you can’t quite get off, combine the use of the bottle brush with a blend of 3 tablespoons of baking soda and a dash of water or lemon juice.
- If you have a lid with incorporated drinking hole or straw, you will have to clean that thoroughly as well. I always recommend using the same methods for this part of the product, as they produce the safest and most reliable results.
- As this part of the hydro flask is usually BPA free plastic, you can soak it in hot water (not boiling, though!) to get most of the germs off before cleaning in the ways I have suggested.
After cleaning your hydro flask well, it is time to dry! Place the bottle upside down, but make sure its mouth is not covered: it needs space to drip and breathe.
Alternative Ways to Clean Your Hydro Flask
You can, if you choose to, go the traditional route and use soap and water to clean your trusty hydro flask. Mind you, I am not suggesting you use just any run of the mill detergent, though! If you are going to put something in your body, you want to make absolutely sure it is safe and healthy.
That is why I recommend, always, to use only organic, non-toxic, GMO-free soap that is produced in a sustainable manner. Vegan soap is usually a good way to go, as it tends to contain fewer harmful chemicals. You can even go fancy and choose something with oats or honey to pamper your hands while you wash the grime away.
To use safe, organic soap for hydro flask cleaning, you can reproduce the same trick with the bottle brush. Only, this time, lather it well before you put it inside the flask. As always, use lukewarm water to get the best cleaning results. Again, you can use your normal detergent to clean the outer part of the bottle, but why would you? You already have a perfectly good, organic soap!
Enjoy a Clean, Fresh Hydro-Taste
Now that you know how to clean a hydro flask every which way, you will be able to enjoy using your handy hydro flask for just about any drink and activity. I am a big fan of products that make life easier, and this is certainly one of them! Cheers!