I love my Nalgene bottle and I'm pretty good at cleaning it. But every now and then I leave it too long and it starts to develop a bit of a funky smell.
Yes I know how to deep clean my Nalgene to remove bad smells and mold but sometimes I can't be bothered putting in the effort.
Bottle cleaning tablets are an easy, natural way to deep clean and disinfect your Nalgene Bottle and they are my go to when I'm feeling lazy. All you have to do is fill your bottle with warm water, add a tablet, and wait about 15 minutes — no scrubbing needed.
But which water bottle cleaning tablets work the best for cleaning a Nalgene Bottle?
The best water bottle cleaning tablets for Nalgene Bottles are Bottle Bright’s Water Bottle Cleaning Tablets. They’re eco-friendly, fully biodegradable, safe to drink after cleaning without needing to rinse, and are sourced in the USA. Bottle Bright tablets are perfectly safe to use with Nalgene Bottles and won’t cause any damage regardless of what type of plastic your bottle is made of.
But honestly, almost all water bottle cleaning tablets use very similar active ingredients, so any difference in performance is minor and you can pretty safely choose most bottle cleaning tablets or denture cleaning tablets out there.
However, I've created a list of some of my favorite options. Some of them are super eco-friendly, some of them are really cheap and all of them work really well with Nalgene bottles.
1. Bottle Bright Bottle Cleaning Tablets
Bottle Bright’s Bottle Cleaning Tablets have developed a solid reputation and they are one of the most popular bottle cleaning tablets on the market — and for good reason.
They’re made of high quality ingredients sourced right in the USA, use eco-friendly packaging, and have a long track record of quality and dependability.
This isn't some dodgy product coming from another country, it's a brand you can trust.
I use Bottle Bright tablets because they’re the best for cleaning narrow mouth Nalgene Bottles, since they comfortably fit through the bottles mouth without needing to be broken in half like some other tablets.
The only downside to Bottle Bright tablets is the price.
They cost a good bit more than most other cleaning tablets on the market. They aren't super expensive and are still quite affordable but there are other cheaper options out there. But, in this case, you get what you pay for and I can confidently recommend this product.
2. Simple Modern Water Bottle Cleaning Tablets
Like Bottle Bright tablets, Simple Modern Water Bottle Cleaning Tablets use sodium carbonate, sodium percarbonate, and citric acid to clean your bottle — and are backed by a reputable brand name.
Simple Modern make some of the best tumblers out there for ice retention and have a wide variety of styles. They have built up a good name and people love their products.
With Simple Modern tablets, you can rest assured that your tablets are made from quality ingredients and come in environmentally friendly packaging.
But, also like Bottle Bright tablets, aren’t super friendly on the wallet compared to the next option on this list.
Wash away tough stains and odors from your water bottles and other drinkware. Just fill with warm water, put in a tablet and leave for 15-30 minutes or leave to soak overnight for tougher stains.
Fragrance and chlorine free and made locally in the USA.
3. AFFORDABLE: Stacked Protein Shake Cleaning Tablets
Because Stacked Protein Shake Cleaning Tablets use the same active ingredients as Bottle Bright and Simple Modern tablets, they clean nearly just as well — but cost less than half as much.
They come in a convenient thin bottle that remind me of Berocca tablets. Just make sure you don't actually drink these tablets!
If you want easy, hands-free cleaning on a budget, they’re often the most affordable water bottle tablets you’ll find.
Convenient and easy to use bottle cleaning tablets. Works to remove stains on stainless steel and plastic water bottles.
Contains a combination of baking soda, citric acide, peppermint oil and more for a deep clean.
4. Shaker Soap Cleaning Tablets
Shaker Soap Cleaning Tablets are my go-to tablets for the climbing gym, travel, and backpacking. This is because they have a convenient keychain carrying case and are super easy to use.
To quickly clean your bottle on the go, all you need to do is fill your Nalgene ⅓ full with water, add a tablet, shake for 30 seconds, and dump. I then like to rinse my bottle as well.
For a deeper clean, Shaker Soap tablets can be soaked in your bottle just like any of the other tablets on the list.
The downside of these tablets is it only comes in a 5-pack and is a similar price to other brands for a 12 or 30 pack. If they sold refills and sold them in bulk at a cheaper price this would be much higher on my list.
Keychain holder makes it easy to clean your bottle on the go. Chlorine and bleach free.
Simply fill your water bottle 1/3, place in a tablet and shake until clean. No scrubbing required and perfect for any container or bottle.
5. CHEAP IN BULK: Efferdent Denture Cleaning Tablets
In my own use and testing, they seemed to do just as good a job of cleaning my Nalgene as my Bottle Bright tablets and for about ¼ of the price.
And it’s no wonder why, they’re virtually the same thing.
Like water bottle cleaning tablets, denture cleaning tablets use baking soda and citric acid as the main cleaning agents.
I love that I can buy a big pack of 126 tablets and just always have them handy when I need them.
The downside of these tablets is they are usually designed for smaller bowls that fit dentures, not 32 oz bottles. So you may need to use multiple tablets to get the same result or use less water and then shake the bottle to spread the cleaning agent around.
If the tablet is too big to fit into the mouth of your Nalgene, it still works great if you break the tablet in half before adding it to your bottle.
Kills 99.99% of odor-causing bacteria in 3 minutes while being gentle and non-abrasive. Can remove stubborn stains in hard to reach places and gives you and odor-free clean.
How To Use Water Bottle Cleaning Tablets To Clean A Nalgene Bottle
No matter which you choose, cleaning your Nalgene with water bottle cleaning tablets is easy.
- Fill your Nalgene with hot or warm water.
- Drop in a tablet (breaking it in half if it won’t fit into the mouth of your bottle).
- Shake well.
- Wait at least 15 to 30 minutes, or as long as overnight for stubborn stuck-on drinks, stains, and odors.
- Pour out and rinse under warm running water.
- Dry the bottle upside down on a drying rack and store with the lid off.
For routine cleanings, I’ll flip my bottle upside down halfway through and let the lid soak as well.
For a deeper cleaning:
- Submerge the cap in a half liter of hot or warm water (you may need to place a bowl or some other heavy object on it so it doesn’t float).
- Add a cleaning tablet (or two) and stir.
- Let the lid soak for at least 15 to 30 minutes or up to overnight.
- Rinse under warm running water.