This Reusable Bottle Purifies Water Using UV Light

updated Feb 18, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Reusable water bottles are pretty straightforward. They hold water, sometimes have insulation to keep it cold, and usually have a sleek look and crack-resistant material. But some luxury reusable bottles go above and beyond, like the LARQ bottle, which is self-filtering so you can fill it up at any faucet and never have to drink water that smells like it should be in a fish tank.

The LARQ bottle calls itself the “world’s first self-cleaning bottle.” Instead of running water through a filter the way a Brita pitcher does, it uses non-toxic “UV-C LED technology” (similar to those UV bins used to sterilize tools at nail salons). Press the button on the top of the cap, and a UV light shines inside your bottle. Sixty seconds later, your water is clean and ready to drink.

The light has three other purifying modes. If you click the button twice instead of just once, the light runs for three minutes instead of one, providing extra cleaning power. The automatic cleaning cycle sets off the light for 10 seconds every two minutes to keep that fish tank smell away. You can also press and hold the button to activate Travel Mode, which keeps the light off to conserve battery.

The bottle runs on a rechargeable battery, which plugs into a USB charger. Each charge lasts up to one month. Double-walled insulation keeps drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours.

Before you buy the LARQ bottle for your backpacking trips or to drink water in an area with contaminated water, be sure to do your research. UV purification does not have all the same effects of filtration. Here’s how LARQ responded to an Amazon customer who asked, “Will this clean water, say from a river while out hiking?”:

“The LARQ bottle will eliminate 99.9999% of germs, bacteria, and viruses but it will not impact heavy metals or chemicals in the water. It will only work with water that is clear to the eyes with no heavy sediments. With that said, it will depend on the region that you are in as to which contaminants exist in the water, so it may be advised to take additional precautionary methods (mechanical filter) with the LARQ bottle depending on the water source to ensure the safety of the water.”

The bottle is 17 ounces/500 milileters, and it currently comes in six colors. Five of the colors cost $95 each. A special gold “benefit edition” costs $148 per bottle because the entire purchase amount will be donated to Well Aware, a nonprofit organization that “builds sustainable water systems in communities all over the world.” Find it on Amazon.