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Are Klean Kanteen Bottles Dishwasher Safe? Solved!

Many people prefer the convenience of cleaning Klean Kanteen’s reusable water bottles and food containers in the dishwasher. But how safe is it for the bottles? Does the heat and detergent from a dishwasher damage Klean Kanteen bottles over time? Are the caps dishwasher safe too?

This article covers everything you need to know about safely cleaning your Klean Kanteen bottles in the dishwasher without damaging them. Continue reading for manufacturer guidance, tips on detergents and heat sensitivity, positioning strategies, finish protection, and best practices. More answers to common questions can also be found at the end.

Key Takeaways:

  • Klean Kanteen bottles are dishwasher safe according to manufacturer recommendations, except for bamboo caps.
  • Dishwashing Klean Kanteen bottles can degrade bottle parts over time, so gentler handwashing is preferred. Let bottles air dry to preserve insulation.
  • Avoid harsh detergents. Eco-friendly detergents are gentler for bottles and better for the environment.
  • Position bottles upside down on the top rack of the dishwasher. Avoid blocking spray arms.
  • Take care not to damage the exterior bottle finishes. Stainless steel and durable powder coating hold up best to dishwasher heat and detergents.
  • Discoloring and chipping are possible for some finishes over time with repeated dishwasher cycles.

Is It Safe to Put Klean Kanteen Bottles in the Dishwasher?

Putting Klean Kanteen bottles in the dishwasher is generally safe, according to manufacturer recommendations, unless you have certain powder-coated bottles. Most of their bottles are constructed from durable, dishwasher-safe materials.

However, the heat and harsh detergents can degrade plastic components over time. And for maximum insulation, bottles should air-dry instead of heat-drying. For the gentlest cleaning, handwashing is still preferable but the convenience factor of dishwashers is understandable.

Hand Washing Vs. Dishwashing: Pros and Cons of Each Method

How does dishwasher cleaning compare to regular hand washing for Klean Kanteen care?

Hand Washing Pros:

  • Preserves insulation, seals, and coatings
  • Avoids discoloration and mineral buildup
  • Lets you inspect the bottle thoroughly after washing

Hand Washing Cons:

  • Time consuming and tedious
  • Doesn’t sanitize as effectively

Dishwasher Pros:

  • Super fast and convenient
  • Powerful high-heat sanitization

Dishwasher Cons:

  • Can degrade parts like seals and insulation over time
  • Can’t inspect the inside of a bottle after washing

For most, hand washing after every use and limiting the dishwasher to deep cleaning as needed provide ideal bottle maintenance.

What Are the Manufacturer’s Recommendations for Dishwashing?

On Klean Kanteen’s website, they provide dishwasher recommendations for most of their bottle models, with certain exceptions. Their stainless steel bottles and most durable powder-coated steel bottles are dishwasher-safe.

However, some custom-color powder-coated bottles are hand-washed only. The older KT series powder-coated bottles also seem more prone to chipping and should be hand-washed as well.

For any bottle, they recommend air drying instead of heat drying to preserve the vacuum insulation properties longer. The plastic caps are top-rack dishwasher-safe too.

Are Klean Kanteen products dishwasher safe?

Yes, all of our current Klean Kanteen products are dishwasher-safe (except for the Bamboo Cap). We recommend more hand-washing than dishwashing for bottles with a color coating or print, if you want to keep them pristine. The high heat in dishwashers can cause them to fade over time. Whichever method you choose, be sure your Kanteen is washed regularly with warm, soapy water, rinsed and set to dry completely before storing. Visit our Care and Use page for more information on caring for your Klean Kanteen products.

My Recommended Dishwasher Settings for Cleaning Klean Kanteen Water Bottles?

To minimize wear when dishwashing Klean Kanteen bottles, always use the lowest heat setting possible:

  • Wash: Low or delicate wash below 140°F
  • Rinse: Low-temperature rinse at 120–140°F
  • Dry: Air dry with heat turned off

Higher heat sanitizing or dry cycles should be avoided to prevent insulation breakdown.

Washing on the top rack further reduces the risk of direct high-heat damage. With proper settings, dishwashers provide a safe cleaning method when needed.

Quick Video on Simple Klean Kanteen Bottle Cleaning

For more details on how to properly clean your Klean Kanteen bottle, check out my article:

Mastering the Art of Cleaning Your Klean Kanteen Bottle

How Can Dishwasher Heat Affect Klean Kanteen Bottles?

The heat from dishwashers can slowly degrade the plastic over repetitive cycles. Handwashing with mild soap and warm water is gentler over the long term.

For vacuum-insulated stainless steel bottles, the extreme heat can compromise the seal and insulation capacity more quickly. Letting bottles air dry prevents added heat damage from dishwasher drying cycles.

Any visible changes, like color fading or cracks forming, mean it’s time to retire that bottle from dishwasher duty. Continued exposure will cause damage to spread.

What Detergents Are Safe to Use with Klean Kanteen Bottles?

Harsh dishwasher detergents can degrade plastic components or discolor some powder-coated finishes. For the most bottle-friendly cleaning, use a natural, eco-friendly detergent without phosphates, chlorine bleach, or added fragrance. Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner or Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent are good options.

Avoid scented, antibacterial, or citrus-enhanced detergents, which tend to be harsher. Also, skip the heat drying cycle and just let bottles air dry on a rack for best results.

Can Dishwashing Affect the Insulation Properties of Klean Kanteen Bottles?

Letting vacuum-insulated Klean Kanteen bottles heat-dry in the dishwasher can accelerate the degradation of the insulating vacuum seal. That’s why air drying is recommended.

Without the vacuum layer intact, stainless steel bottles lose insulation capacity quickly. Hot drinks cool down faster and cold drinks warm up quicker without that vacuum barrier.

For the longest-lasting temperature regulation in your insulated bottles, skip the dishwasher’s drying cycle. Just sanitize on a hot wash then allow bottles to air dry on the counter or a rack.

Breaking It Down: Disassembling Klean Kanteen Bottles for Dishwashing

To avoid damage, always fully disassemble Klean Kanteen bottles before running through the dishwasher:

  1. Remove the lid from the body of the bottle.
  2. Remove any gaskets, o-rings, stoppers, or internal parts from the lid.
  3. For caps like the Café Cap, disassemble the lid by unscrewing the drink spout and removing any silicone pieces.
  4. For growler-style bottles, unscrew and remove the metal inner lid insert.

Thoroughly dismantling all components prevents harsh conditions from degrading removable parts that are meant to flex and seal.

How to Position Klean Kanteen Bottles in the Dishwasher?

The best way to position Klean Kanteen bottles in a dishwasher is upside down on the top rack. Face openings down to allow proper interior cleaning.

Avoid cramming bottles tightly or blocking the center spray arms, which hinders cleaning action. Leave enough space around bottles for water circulation during the cycle.

You can also use the utensil holders on the inside door to prop bottles on their sides. Just check that water fully reaches the bottom too. Proper positioning prevents bottle exteriors from insulating the dirtiest interior surfaces.

Can the Bottle’s Finish Be Damaged by Dishwashing?

For durable stainless steel Klean Kanteens, the bottle finish holds up very well to repeated dishwasher cycles. Fading or discoloration are uncommon issues. Stainless steel contains corrosion-resistant chromium to prevent damage.

However, some powder-coated finishes may show chipping or scratches over time under heat and harsh detergents. The durable plastic coating protects the underlying steel but repeated drying cycles slowly erode the finish.

Custom color bottles seem the most prone to dishwasher damage. Vintage KT powder coating also appears less durable than Klean Coat which is standard now. Consider hand washing printed and custom colors instead of risking scratches.

Are the Bottle Caps Dishwasher Safe as Well?

Yes, the various Klean Kanteen bottle cap models are top-rack dishwasher safe according to manufacturer guidance. That includes stainless steel screw caps, stainless sippy caps, plastic sports caps, but not their bamboo caps.

However, handwashing caps are still gentler, extending the life of any rubber gaskets and bamboo components. Avoid placing caps nested inside bottles during washing cycles too since that blocks water circulation.

If you notice staining, deformation, loosening, or cracking of caps after repeated dishwasher use, replace caps sooner and consider handwashing instead. Harsh detergents can wear plastic parts down.

Klean Kanteen Lids and Caps: Dishwasher Safety Considerations

When it comes to Klean Kanteen lids and caps, dishwasher use requires more caution:

  • O-rings – Dishwasher heat degrades silicone o-rings over time, causing leaks. Replace o-rings annually with frequent dishwashing.
  • Stainless lids – Durable steel lids hold up well but can discolor slightly.
  • Bamboo lids – Repeated dishwashing causes bamboo to fade and degrade. Hand wash only.
  • Plastic lids – BPA-free plastic withstands heat but loses shine and can warp.

Remove lids and fully disassemble caps before running through the dishwasher. Inspect for wear after each wash.

What’s the Best Practice for Dishwashing Klean Kanteen Bottles?

The best dishwasher practice is to wash Klean Kanteen bottles on the top rack, positioned horizontally or upside down, without blocking spray arms. Use an eco-friendly detergent and skip the drying cycle.

Immediately remove bottles after washing to air dry them on a rack instead of baking them in the dishwasher. That prevents insulation degradation and finish damage.

Consider handwashing custom powder-coated or bamboo-finished bottles if possible to prevent scratches or water spots. But for stainless and durable powder coats, the dishwasher works well.

Follow manufacturer guidance on your specific bottle model too. Avoid dishwashers with certain older KT powder coats that lack durable Klean Coat protection. With reasonable care, Klean Kanteens last for years.


Cleaning reusable Klean Kanteen water bottles in the dishwasher is safe and convenient when following certain best practices. Their durable stainless steel and powder-coated bottles can withstand heat and detergents with proper precautions against insulation breakdown and finish damage. For custom prints or older models, handwashing is still the wisest method to prevent wear. With care and maintenance, Klean Kanteens provides reliable performance for life on the go.


Q: How long does dishwasher heat degrade vacuum insulation over time?

A: Handwashing preserves maximum insulation 2-4 times longer than machine washing according to manufacturers. But occasional dishwasher cycles don’t rapidly accelerate degradation on newer bottles.

Q: Can stainless steel Klean Kanteens develop rust in the dishwasher?

A: No, the chromium content makes stainless steel rust-resistant. Any white residue seen is usually harmless mineral deposits that can be removed with vinegar. Red rust means underlying steel is exposed to damage.

Q: Why shouldn’t caps be washed while nested inside bottles?

A: Nesting caps block water spray inside the bottle which leaves contamination untouched. Separating caps allows full cleaning action.

About Me

I’m Paul Burkhardt, an expert in water and water treatment since 2006 with in-depth experience not only in treating water but also in helping to provide people with healthier, high-quality drinking water.

I’ve helped thousands of people with their drinking water questions, including what kind of water bottle might be best for them and their lifestyle.

If you’d like more information about me, please check out the links below or read more here:

Paul Burkhardt

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