One of my Jazzercise friends approached me during class this morning wondering if her plastic Nalgene waterbottle was BPA-free and therefore safe to drink from. Nalgene makes a line of BPA-free water bottles, so as long as her water bottle came from that product line, I would consider it safe to use regularly. (More BPA-free products here and here.)
“I do put it in the dishwasher,” she confessed next.
Here’s the problem: the dishwasher can overheat plastic, causing microscopic flaws in the material. These flaws allow the plastics to microscopically disintegrate and leach chemicals into the foods or liquids placed in them. Nalgene (the company) recommends using these methods to clean water bottles:
- Soak in warm soapy water
- Soak in warm water with lemon
- Soak in warm water with baking soda
In our house, we now hand-wash anything we use that is made of plastic — including travel coffee mugs, food storage containers, and water bottles. We’ve got a pile of non-BPA-free water bottles waiting for the next garage sale and have transitioned the kids completely to glassware and ceramic dishes.
While we do not have a plastic-free house by any means — yet –, we are trying to eliminate BPAs little by little in our journey toward living naturally and robust health.