Do You Still Need To Wash the LARQ Bottle? Yes, Here’s Why

When you hear about a “self-cleaning” bottle like the LARQ, you might expect it to completely take care of itself. 

A bottle I never have to bother cleaning? Sounds too good to be true right? Kind of…

This is one of the biggest misconceptions I’ve seen surrounding the LARQ bottle, and while it IS designed to automatically clean itself, it isn’t in the way you’d probably expect. 

The LARQ works by using a UV-C light that shoots down into the bottle, this kills over 99.999% of bacteria, protozoa and viruses effectively “cleaning” the bottle and also purifying the water of any bacteria.

But do you still need to wash the LARQ bottle? Does the LARQ UV light clean everything?

You do still need to wash your LARQ bottle every 1-3 weeks as the UV light does not remove dirt, grime or other buildups from regular use. You should also clean the lid and mouthpiece of the bottle after each use as the UV light does not reach these areas.

Not washing the LARQ could cause it to develop a smell or biofilm that prevents the UV light from working properly. For the best results, wash your bottle once a week or immediately after drinking anything other than water.

I know the “self-cleaning” aspect is what gives the LARQ its buzz, but what some people don’t consider is that it does still require some manual care every once in a while to keep it in shape.

Knowing how to properly take care of your LARQ bottle will help you to keep it working longer and better, so we’ll touch more on that below.

How Often Should You Wash Your LARQ Bottle?

LARQ explains how often you should wash your bottle on their FAQ:

Yes, your LARQ Bottle PureVis is self-cleaning so it doesn’t require daily cleanings which are recommended for ordinary water bottles. As long as you’re using your LARQ Bottle PureVis for water, you don’t have to give your LARQ Bottle PureVis and Cap (don’t worry–it’s waterproof!) a proper washing for at least 3-4 weeks. Just hand wash with warm soapy water every so often.

Personally, I’d be most comfortable hand washing my bottle every 1-2 weeks at the latest. 

While the UV light is 99.999% effective at killing bacteria, it does not remove grime or dirt and mold can still build up around the lip where the light does not reach.

If you go too long without washing the bottle it may develop a bad smell, and the buildup of gunk could possibly hinder the UV cleaning process.

If you’re using the LARQ bottle for anything other than water such as coffee, tea, or any sugary drinks, you need to be sure to wash it right after to prevent any residue from building up.

Is The LARQ Bottle Dishwasher Safe?

The LARQ bottle itself IS dishwasher safe, but the cap is NOT and should only be hand washed.

The cap contains the UV light and the electronic components that allow the bottle to function properly, and running it through the harsh climate of a dishwasher cycle runs a high risk of damaging these components.

Water damage is a common cause for broken LARQ bottles. The cap has rubber lining that protects the light from any water damage, and if that lining is damaged in any way, water ingress could cause the light to stop functioning properly. 

Although LARQ deems the bottle dishwasher safe, I would personally recommend keeping it out of the dishwasher due to the possibility (although low) of the insulation becoming compromised or the heat causing the paint to fade.

How Should I Clean LARQ Bottle?

When it comes to cleaning your LARQ bottle, I’d recommend giving it a hand wash with warm water and soap.

You'll then want to use a bottle brush to get inside the bottle and clean it well. I personally use and recommend this 3-in-1 bottle brush from Amazon as it has a long brush which is great for the bottle and a smaller brush which helps clean out the lid.

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There are also a variety of ways to clean narrow mouth water bottles that get all the hard to reach grime off the inside.

My favorite method is using dry rice and water and shaking it around in the bottle to clean the inside. But ice cubes and salt also do a great job.

While you technically CAN wash the bottle in the dishwasher, you do run the risk of breaking the insulation or ruining the paint on your bottle. The cap on the other hand is NOT dishwasher safe and there’s a good chance you’ll damage the electronics if you put it through a dishwasher cycle.

If you see a red or purple light on the cap after putting it through the dishwasher then chances are it's broken and you need to contact LARQ customer support for help with a replacement.

Here’s LARQ’s official cleaning tips from their FAQ:

Give your bottle and the cap a warm soapy rinse once in a while to get rid of any build-up around the mouth area (primarily from lip balms, lipstick, oils, and food residue).

If you do choose to use coffee, tea, or sugary drinks with your LARQ Bottle PureVis, use a bottle brush to scrub with warm soapy water to remove staining promptly after each use. This will ensure that your bottle is working at optimum efficiency to keep your bottle and water fresh.

Hand washing your bottle every week or two is a quick and easy way to maintain the care of your bottle. If you’re having some trouble cleaning with the narrow mouth on the LARQ, check out my guide here.