Why Your Contigo Bottle Is Not Keeping Water Cold

If you've purchased a stainless steel insulated Contigo bottle you'll know how good they are at keeping water cold for hours at a time.

I'll often fill mine up with iced water to go climbing or go on a hike and it'll still have ice in it 5-8 hours later.

However, recently one of my bottles stopped keeping ice cold and my kid was complaining about all the ice being melted by lunchtime at school.

Why does this sometimes happen and is there anything you can do about it?

If your stainless steel Contigo has stopped keeping water cold it means the vacuum insulation has been compromised and filled with air – ruining the insulation. It cannot be fixed and you must contact Contigo for a replacement under warranty.

If you're expecting your plastic Contigo water bottle to keep drinks cold then you're going to be disappointed. Plastic Contigo bottles will not keep drinks cold for long as they aren't insulted.

To keep them cold longer wrap them in a towel and keep them out of direct sunlight.

Why Your Contigo Bottles Are Not Keeping Water Cold 

If, like me, you've had an insulated stainless-steel bottle stop working you might want to know why this happens.

Broken Vacuum Seal 

As you can see from the diagram above vacuum insulated flasks have 2 walls with a vacuum inbetween.

Heat really struggles to move through a vacuum because there are no particles it can transfer energy through. When you put cold water in your Contigo bottle the outside heat struggles to get in and your water stays cold for a long time.

However, if your vacuum insulation has been compromised then the vacuum chamber will fill up with air.

Once full or air there are now lots of particles the heat can transfer through and so your water will now warm up rather quickly.

When this happens there is unfortunately no way to restore the vacuum (unless you have a large factory in China where these things are made).

This means you'll need to contact Contigo for a replacement (this is covered under their lifetime warranty) or you need to purchase a new bottle.

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02/02/2023 04:53 pm GMT

The most common reason why a vacuum seal on your Contigo water bottle has broken is that it may have been exposed to extreme heat. Most likely from a dishwasher or potentially a stove or fire.

Click here to find out which Contigo bottles are dishwasher safe.

The intense heat of the dishwasher can cause the vacuum seal to melt and let in air. Once this happens, the bottle can no longer maintain the internal temperatures.  

Broken Lid 

A broken lid is another potential reason why your Contigo water bottle is not keeping water cold. If the lid is not sealing properly, it may be letting in warm air and preventing the insulation from doing its job. 

However, you'd usually notice this with a leaking lid and that's going to be a bigger problem than your water not staying cold.

You’re using Warm Tap Water

Filling your bottle with warm tap water will melt the ice at a much faster rate and will slow down the length of time your water will stay cold. 

To help ice last longer in your Contigo bottle use chilled water from the freezer plus extra ice to fill your bottle. 

The colder everything starts out the longer your drink will stay cold.

Plastic Water Bottles 

The reason why your water is not staying cold in your plastic bottle is that plastic bottles do not keep water cold as they are not insulated. 

But there are some ways you can work around this. Here are some of my favorite tricks for keeping water cold in a plastic bottle! 

Store the Bottle in the Freezer 

If you know you're going to be needing cold water the next day, store your filled water bottle in the freezer overnight. 

Keep the bottle away from direct sunlight, as this is a surefire way of melting your ice and causing a leaky bottle. 

If you own an insulated lunch bag, store the bottle in the bag to make it stay cooler for longer. 

Use an Insulated Bottle Sleeve 

Bottle sleeves are a great way of keeping your icy water cold in your water bottle, and the great thing about the sleeves is they’re super cheap and come in a range of funky colors.

My kids love their brightly colored bottle sleeves.