When purchasing a Hydro Flask, most of us think of long-term use. The reliable, quality bottle is often a “buy it for life” purchase. Long term maintenance comes hand-in-hand with a long-term purchase. So, how do you ensure that the bottle lasts long-enough and stays hygienic?
Knowing how to wash Hydro Flask is a key element of keeping it safe. Since it is made from steel, instinct and common knowledge say it should be as easy as putting the bottle in a dishwasher. But then are HydroFlasks dishwasher safe?
If you own a Hydro Flask, you probably can’t wash it in a dishwasher. However, some bottles are dishwasher safe. So which is which? Your conventional Hydro Flask bottles aren’t dishwasher safe. But, those manufactured in 2020 are dishwasher safe. Looks like a few things did go right in this crappy year!
I know it’s obvious, but it’s still useful to spell some things out. This doesn’t mean the year you bought the bottle, but the year it was made. In case you’re not sure, check the maintenance instructions for your bottle. There are more caveats here, and we’ll get to that in a second.
Still in doubt? Take the safer path. Manually cleaning your bottle isn’t difficult and can ensure a longer life for the bottle and its insulation.
Are HydroFlasks Dishwasher Safe?
Not so long ago, the answer to this question was “no, Hydro Flasks are not dishwasher safe.” Things have changed this year, and now the answer is “yes, Hydro Flasks are dishwasher safe, but… um, there are things you should know.”
Even as Hydro Flask has updated the product descriptions for most of its products to signify that they are indeed dishwasher safe, its care instructions still suggest against dishwashers. Well, that’s understandable, considering there are tons of pages to manage and sometimes things slip through. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was updated soon.
Initially, Hydro Flask suggested against using dishwashers because:
- The dishwasher can get hot enough to affect the outer layer of the flask and thus negatively impact the insulation.
- Dishwashers can damage the powder coating on the exterior of the flasks.
It seems both these problems have now been handled. New Hydro Flasks no longer risk damage to insulation due to heat from the dishwasher. Additionally, the powder coat on the exterior can now handle dishwashers without getting damaged.
There are murmurs that putting the Hydro Flask through dishwashers leads to the color getting faded. Since the bottle is relatively new, there isn’t enough evidence to have a clear answer on this one way or the other.
Are Hydro Flask Caps, Lids, And Straws Dishwasher Safe?
Hydro Flip Lid and Wide Straw Lid can occasionally get a deep clean on the top rack of the dishwasher. However, doing this might reduce the life of these lids, so manual cleaning might be a better option.
The straws should never go into the dishwasher and are safe only for manual cleaning. As the company says:
[Do not] Soak or put the Flex Cap, Wide Flat Cap, Stainless Steel Flat Cap, or Loop Caps through the dishwasher: The Flex Cap, Wide Flat Cap, Stainless Steel Flat Cap, Standard Loop Cap, and Narrow Loop Cap can take on water when they are run through the dishwasher or submerged in water for an extended time. Instead, we recommend hand washing them with hot, soapy water, rinsing, and allowing them to dry.
Give Me The Bottom Line
Newer Hydro Flask Bottles (those manufactured 2020 onwards) are dishwasher safe. However, the caps, lids, and straws should still be cleaned manually.
You can read our full review and Hydro Flask comparison with Takeya bottles.
Visit the Hydro Flask storefront on Amazon
How To Wash Hydro Flask — The Manual Way
Step 1: The Cleaning Supplies
Here’s what you need:
- Mild and warm soapy solution (dish soap is okay too)
- A bottle brush
- Clean tissues or napkins (no paper tissues)
Bottle brushes are easily available. If you’re unsure, check the baby supplies department in a store. They’re often available for cleaning baby bottles.
Step 2: Cleaning
Pour the soapy solution into the bottle, use the brush to clean it thoroughly. You might want to use a wet towel to gently wipe the exteriors as well. Once you’re done, pour out the soapy water and rinse the bottle thoroughly with clean water. If necessary, go for a second round of rinsing!
Let it dry before you put on the lid. Natural drying can leave some spots in the bottle. They aren’t a problem, but if you must get rid of them, use a napkin to wipe and dry the bottle.
Voila! You’re done.
Optional: Use White Vinegar For Tough Stains
Did the interior of your bottle get some stains that are resistant to conventional washing? Distilled white vinegar is an excellent remedy; and it’s easily available at home.
Pour half-cup white vinegar into the flask and swirl it around for a bit to wash affected areas. Let the bottle sit for about five minutes and then drain the vinegar.
Rinse with warm water for thorough cleaning and to remove any odor or taste of vinegar.
For the uninitiated, household white vinegar is an excellent cleaning option. It washes off most stains, kills bacteria and fungi, and is non-toxic.
Optional 2: Use Baking Soda For A Thorough Clean
Still bothered by some stubborn stains? Put 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda into a small amount of warm water. When mixed, this should form a paste. Get this paste on the bristles of your trusty bottle brush and apply it to the affected areas.
Most stains will come out easy, but some might need a couple more tries before they’re gone. Remember to rinse the flask with water thoroughly once you’re done.
Alternative Method: The Dishwasher
Since some newer bottles are dishwasher safe, you can clean them with the dishwasher. Again, remember to check instructions for your bottle to be sure. Older bottles might get their insulation damaged by using the dishwasher.
Why Clean The Flask, I Only Put Water In It
Hydro Flask (or any bottle for that matter) will need a thorough cleaning occasionally, even if you’re only using it for water. Every time you take a sip, some bacteria from your mouth will find their way into the bottle. They’ll continue to grow there, and might eventually have negative effects on your health.
Similarly, there might be bacteria or germs in the water as well (even if it’s filtered) and they’ll grow inside the bottle. Other problematic organisms like fungi may also take root if the bottle isn’t cleaned regularly.
A rinse with water isn’t enough. Your bottle needs proper cleaning. It isn’t difficult and you’ll be done in a jiffy.
Cleaning Products You Shouldn’t Use
Bleach, acid, or other similar harsh contents should never come in contact with the Hydro Flask. Honestly, no one should use substances as dangerous and toxic as these for anything that comes in contact with your edibles and beverages.
These materials will damage the stainless steel in the bottle and eventually will cause rusting. Not to mention, the risk to your own health due to the use of toxic cleaners.
2020 Dishwasher Safe Hydro Flask And Overall Construction
We’ve mentioned a few times here that the newer bottles/flasks from Hydro Flask are dishwasher safe. What changed?
The Basics – Construction Of The Hydro Flask
Hydro Flask uses a double-walled insulated design to keep its contents at the right temperature. The inner container is followed by a small, empty (vacuum) area, and then the outer layer comes into play. This construction cuts off heat transfer and the bottle can keep its contents at the right temperature for longer.
The flasks are made from 18/8 food-grade stainless steel and are BPA-free and phthalate-free. The use of high-quality steel means that the bottle can last longer. Additionally, this material doesn’t absorb odors from the bottle’s contents or impart its odor to the contents.
That way, your beverage remains safe and can stay at the right temperature for several hours.
When this bottle is put in the dishwasher, the heat from the dishwasher can have varying effects on both layers of the bottle. This has the potential of affecting the vacuum seal, which in turn ruins the insulating properties of the bottle. It doesn’t take much to ruin the vacuum seal. Even a bit of air in there can drastically affect the flask’s performance.
The Change – The New Hydro Flask Bottle
There aren’t many visual changes to suggest what actually changed, but suffice to say, the newer bottles are dishwasher safe. Even so, do remember to read instructions for your Hydro Flask before you chuck it into the dishwasher.
One change is that older Hydro Flask bottles have a rounded bit of steel near their neck and the cap threads on the outside. Newer bottles (dishwasher safe) have a straighter stainless steel piece at the top, no external threads for the cap. But then several dishwasher-safe Trail Series bottles too have the rounded bit of steel and cap threads. So it probably isn’t the best indicator.
Another change is that the logo on newer bottles has gone smaller. Additionally, they’ve removed the registered trademark symbol ® from the bottle’s design print.
Anyways, the new design puts Hydro Flask at par with Yeti Rambler, the competitor which is dishwasher safe. Most Hydro Flask alternatives (and double-wall insulated bottles in general) continue to prefer manual washing over dishwashers. However, since two big brands (Yeti and Hydro Flask) are now moving towards dishwasher-safe bottles, we can expect others to follow suit soon.
Maintenance, Manual Cleaning, And The Dishwasher-Safe Hydro Flask
This is a time of change for the Hydro Flask, as they transition to a dishwasher-safe design. So it makes sense to give special attention to how to wash Hydro Flask. Doing it manually might still be a better choice and could help with the longevity of your flask.
And, are HydroFlasks dishwasher safe? The newer ones are, but it still makes sense to be careful about how you clean the Hydro Flask. As for lids and caps, Hydro Flip Lid and Wide Straw Lid are top-rack dishwasher safe. But it may reduce their longevity.