Short: Nalgene Decontamination Protocol

I would be lost without my Nalgene bottle.

Leaning tower of Nalgene

Like this, but $30 cheaper because I didn’t buy it at REI. (Photo credit: scot2342)

I’d have to drink out of a glass or a coffee cup or something that didn’t combine the ability to close a lid with nigh indestructible manufacture. That said, there is a caveat, and it a big one.  Nalgene bottles have a magical property, like cast iron pans, where they retain just a hint of the flavor of whatever came before. This “seasoning” effect is great for making steak or bacon, it’s a little less appetizing when you’re drinking it.

I don’t get it. No matter how many times or how thoroughly I was the Nalgene, it tastes like other things the next time I drink water out if. Did I mix gatorade in it? Lemon-lime. Protein shake? Chocolate with a hint of sour milk? Lemon-lime chocolaty sour milk water. It just leeches the flavor out of the plastic, somehow. Wash it with soap, you say? Soapy lemon-lime chocolaty sour milk water. Yum.

It’s even stranger because the hot water in my house comes in three temperatures: lukewarm (the normal temp of water in Phoenix pipes), wow really quite hot, and Decontamination Protocol. I’m not kidding. Run it over your silverware and nothing living is still on them. One of my housemates managed to melt his plastic bottle with it. You can hardboil an egg by leaving it under the running faucet.

Yet somehow even that can’t quite scare away the flavor. There’s probably some secret formula involving lemon juice and apple cider vinegar or something, I don’t know.


About Connor Rickett

My name is Connor Rickett. I started out in the sciences, but left grad school to follow a dream of writing and traveling. Since then I have done a fair bit of both, visiting forty-five states and several provinces, and making a living (more or less) as a freelancer and ghostwriter. Feel free to swing by my business site,

Say something. . .