You give up the convenience of water sold in disposable plastic to carry around a reusable water bottle, only to find that you can’t seem to keep your new container clean. Now your water smells faintly musty, and you’re constantly worrying about what kinds of mold and bacteria you might be ingesting. Unfortunately, this experience is all too common, mostly owing to narrow bottle necks and crevices that bottle brushes struggle to properly scrub.
Using a wide-mouth bottle is one simple solution, as is regularly soaking it in diluted vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. But if you’re wishing for something that takes care of the problem all by itself, here’s a new product designed just for you. The LARQ is a “self-cleaning and self-purifying” water bottle that ensures you’ll have the freshest and purest possible water on hand at all times.
This state-of-the-art bottle uses UV-C technology to purify up to 99.9999 percent of bacteria and 99.99 percent of viruses when set on its strongest “Adventure Mode.” LED-based UV-C is a new alternative to traditional mercury-based UV technology, which can be environmentally harmful and leach toxic mercury when thrown away.
Easily activated on demand at the push of a button, the 280nm UV-C light neutralizes any germs that might be in your water or inside the bottle within just 60 seconds. This LED light is set within the base of the bottle’s cap, shining down onto the bottle and its contents. Another particularly nice feature is its automatic self-cleaning mode, which “intelligently activates” every two hours.
LARQ’s creators say the bottle is “10,000 times more hygienic” than regular reusable bottles, and that one charge lasts up to a month thanks to a highly efficient Li-Polymer battery. When you do need to recharge the bottle, just plug it in via a waterproof USB port.
Here’s how the company explains the purification process:
“LARQ’s proprietary and patented UV-C LED technology is the most advanced in the world. We’ve done the science to help you drink brilliantly. 280 nanometer UV light is ideal to eradicate germs, triggering a photochemical reaction that destroys their DNA. UV-C light is widely used today in hospitals to sterilize patient room surfaces.”
All of this gives the LARQ a lot more sterilization power than most other self-purifying bottles on the market, which typically rely on filters to remove heavy metals and particulates. Still, it’s worth noting that unless you’re pairing it with pre-filtered water, it isn’t exactly removing particulates from the water. Reviewers on the LARQ website also note that while the bottle works well and offers peace of mind, you’re not totally off the hook when it comes to cleaning, since the mouthpiece and cap still have to be sanitized regularly by other methods (like hand washing).
Double-walled and made of stainless steel, the 17-ounce BPA-free LARQ bottle comes in five colors: Monaco blue, obsidian black, seaside mint, granite white, and Himalayan pink. At $95, it’s definitely a bigger investment than your average Nalgene or Klean Kanteen, but some people might find its extra features to be worth the high price tag.