No matter how much money you spend on them, there’s a truism that comes with water bottles: they are a pain in the ass to clean. Sure, some keep water cold for much longer, but they’re still going to suck when it is time to clean it out.
What happens when you can’t reach beyond the neck of that bottle? It doesn’t get cleaned. Sure, the first inch or two is nice and easily reachable, but there’s no way to get to the bottom. Not efficiently.
Half-cleaned water bottles are a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria. Ever grab an old bottle that was only used for water and give it a sniff? That smell is nasty. And you’re drinking it up.
The LARQ Bottle ($95) is billed as the world’s first self-cleaning water bottle and purification system. Indeed, it promises to purify your drinking water in 60 seconds using UV-C LED light technology. It’s the same stuff used to sanitize and disinfect in hospitals. According to its maker, it’s able to purify up to 99.9999% of bio-contaminants.
“The LARQ Bottle is revolutionary not only in its design and technology, but also in how it can affect our dependence on single-use plastic. LARQ’s advanced technology aims to disrupt consumer behavior to help battle dependence on single-use plastic, while providing access to clean drinking water on-the-go.” – Justin Wang, LARQ CEO
The LARQ Bottle and its lid (with microUSB port) are waterproof; the bottle is mercury-, BPA-, and phthalate-free and doesn’t require any sort of filter. That means no extra pieces or components to replace (or lose).
To help ensure the UV-C LED technology is as efficient as possible, the inside of the bottle is made from 18/8 stainless steel. This reflects the light and distributes it in all directions, even passing it through water and getting to places your hands can’t reach.
On the outside, the LARQ bottle is double-walled and vacuum sealed, and can keep water cold for up to 24 hours. Put a hot beverage in there and it’s good to hold that temp for up to 12 hours.
- Measures: 9.6 inches high by 2.7 inches wide
- Weighs 13.5 oz
- Holds 17 oz (500mL)
- Constructed from BPA-free polished stainless steel (BPA free)
- Rechargeable (Lithium Polymer) battery
- Charging colors and indicators:
- Breathing green: Charging
- Steady green: Fully charged
- Breathing sky blue: Normal mode purifying and cleaning
- Pulsing blue light: Adventure Mode purifying and cleaning
- Pulsing orange: Safety Mode
- Steady yellow light: Low battery
- Pulsing red light: Something’s wrong – file a warranty claim
The LARQ Bottle is available in five colors: Monaco Blue, Obsidian Black, Seaside Mint, Granite White, and Himalayan Pink. A “Benefit Aware” variant is also offered in Sahara Gold with 100% of each purchase going to Well Aware.
To get started, simply plug in the water bottle via its USB cable. Once fully charged, you can unlock the bottle by holding down the cap for five seconds whereupon the light ring blinks white. Time to add water.
A quick reminder here – the bottle purifies water but does not filter it. You’ll still want to use the cleanest source of water possible.
Once you have your water in the bottle you can press the cap once for Normal Mode or twice for Adventure Mode. You’ll see the ring light up blue to indicate it’s working; lightly shake the bottle to swirl water to pass it through the UV-C light.
After 60 seconds you’ll have neutralized the odor-causing bacteria and bio-contaminants. Should you go with Adventure Mode it takes three minutes for the UV exposure. It’s recommended that you opt for Adventure Mode if you’re water is from a source that’s not man-made or if you’re unsure of its origin.
The LARQ bottle automatically activates every two hours to run for just 10 seconds, ensuring bacteria doesn’t have an opportunity to take hold.
While the inside of the bottle is pretty much all taken care of, you should still wash the cap/mouth piece. Anywhere you can reach is added bonus.
Travel Mode can be set for when traveling by plane which deactivates the automatic cleaning. Likewise, a Safety Mode stops accidental activation of the UV-C LED light if the cap isn’t properly secured.
At $95 it’s a lot of money for what’s likely viewed as “just a water bottle.” But, give it a little extra consideration and you’ll understand the benefits are there.
LARQ indicates the bottle is built to handle 100,000 cycles so the re-use is very high. Moreover, it retains the temperature quite well, keeping things nice and cold for a long time.
There’s also something to be said about the peace of mind in not having to clean the bottle. Likewise, you don’t have to worry about any weird smells or odd taste to your water.
The battery life is really impressive, too, providing up to one month or longer per charge. Further, microUSB isn’t going anywhere anytime soon so you’ll have plenty of cables around the home or office.
Then there’s the concept of being a responsible citizen. Why bother buying all those plastic bottles that will never decompose? Even if you purchased one a week at $1 each you’d have spent $100 over two years. The LARQ bottle is designed to last longer than that, and it hold temps.
It doesn’t hurt that the bottle looks cool, too. It’s easy to make functional and practical things ugly. We appreciate that LARQ put as much focus as it did when it comes to aesthetics.
Learn more about the LARQ Bottle at its website where you can also purchase one in a variety of colors. Should you want or need a larger bottle, a 25 ounce version is available for about $23 more, or $118 in total.