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I have been using the dishwasher for my bottles more regularly since I started using powdered drink mixes, which leave a lot of residue in my bottles that's harder to clean out by hand than when I was only using electrolytes or just water.

Will putting bicycle bottles in dishwasher damage them? I've been noticing a distinct plastic taste on my bottles as of late.

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    Just check your bottle label and see whether it is dishwasher safe. Or switch to water bottle that allow you to pour hot water (which definitely no problem with dish washer high water temperature)
    – mootmoot
    May 27 '16 at 14:47
  • I put mine through on a 50C cycle occasionally. The only time I get a "plasticky" taste is when it needs a wash.
    – Chris H
    May 27 '16 at 15:15
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    For new bottles, to get rid of the initial plastic taste, I usually fill them with water and let them sit on the counter for a few days, changing the water once or twice. A few drops of lemon juice helps too. May 27 '16 at 17:15
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The first step is to probably check the bottle for the icon shown below to identify that the manufacturer has said the product is Dishwasher Safe.

enter image description here

I just checked my bottles, and they don't contain an icon saying they are dishwasher safe, but it does thankfully have the "food safe" icon. On the manufacturer web site it says that the bottles are dishwasher safe, but to avoid using the 'sanitary clean' or 'heat boost' settings as they may distort the plastic. It also goes on to say that the recommended way of washing them is by hand. Following the manufacturers advice is probably the best option.

Personally, I just use regular dish soap (Sunlight) and water. Once in a while I'll do the full brake down pulling off the silicone nozzle and soaking them in very hot water with some added bleach. After letting them soak for a while, I'll rinse them thoroughly and then finish off with soap and water method.

I also try to use certain bottles only for water and try to never put anything other than water in them. Bottles that get Gatorade or similar tend to take on the taste of the drink and therefore don't work well with water. The ones that have only water in them tend to last longer and the ones that get Gatorade are replaced more frequently.

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    I've never seen that logo, but the short version is to just check with the manufacturer (usually its stated when you get the bottle, anyway).
    – Batman
    May 27 '16 at 15:13
  • Most of my bottles are specialized purist bottles branded for my LBS. They say they can be used on the top rack of the dishwasher (but they don't fit on the top rack in mine, so they go on the bottom). They also say not to use a brush on them, maybe my use of a bottle brush to get the supplement gunk out (after I forgot about the bottles for a week in the back of my car) messed up the purist bottle and caused the pasticy taste?
    – Benzo
    May 27 '16 at 15:31
  • FWIW. I think one suggestion to keep bottles happy in the dishwasher is to also disable the hot air dry.
    – Benzo
    May 31 '16 at 15:29
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Most the bottles i have seen are dishwasher safe, top rack only, although i have washed some on the bottom without any obvious side effects, you may turn the heated dry off if your dishwasher has it though as they may warp.

Many hydration products such as bottles and bladders are made of TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) or some variation of it. One thing you might try is adding the juice of a lemon, filling it with water and sticking it in the freezer. Leave enough air/room so that it doesn't expand and burst.

Once frozen, remove from the freezer and let thaw. For TPU hydration bladders this process works wonders. I would assume it could also help with bottles as well but have not personally tried it on a bottle.

One other idea is a product from a company called Bottle Bright, which make a food safe, chlorine free tablet that is used to clean heavily used bottles. Their website can be seen here: Bottle Bright They are just a drop in tablet, and are safe for any kind of container.

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  • Home brew steriliser is almost certainly cheaper. Baby bottle steriliser is rare these days but should also be good (wrt your last para)
    – Chris H
    May 27 '16 at 17:59

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