Is It Safe to Freeze Your Water Bottle?

a water bottle in the freezer
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In the sweltering heat of the summertime, your water bottle won’t stay cold long, especially if you’re outdoors. To prepare for a long day in the sun, you might freeze your bottle the morning before your adventures begin. This way, it can gradually thaw, providing you with icy cold liquid to sip on throughout the day.

You’re a smart consumer, and you’ve heard the myths about chemicals in warmed or frozen water bottles. You don’t want to put your loved ones at unnecessary risk, including yourself.

Is it safe to freeze your water bottle? In most instances, yes it is, unless you have a metal or glass water bottle Here’s why.

The Best Freezable and Reusable Water Bottles I Found

I decided to go on a little research and find out the best water bottles that can be used for storing some nice, cold, and refreshing water. And here what I found:

Or check my buying guide for this freezable water bottle here

Freezing Disposable Bottles

a disposable water bottle in the freezer

a disposable water bottle in the freezer

Disposable water bottles are always handy to have around. These are often made of plastic of varying thicknesses with a plastic cap. Sometimes that cap can be unscrewed entirely. For sports bottles, the cap may have a lid that opens up but doesn’t come off.

Chances are, you probably have a few disposable bottles sitting in your fridge right now. What if you were to transfer one or two of them to the freezer? What would happen?

The biggest concern with freezing disposable bottles is dioxins. These chemicals are often linked along other persistent organic pollutants or POPs. They are indeed very dangerous if consumed, since your fat tissue can easily pass dioxins through your body. There, they can remain for seven to 11 years.

While you could absolutely refreeze water to your heart’s content, you have to be careful about what container you refreeze the water in. Is it okay to use a metal bottle, for instance? What about one that’s made of reusable plastic? In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about refreezing water.

According to the World Health Organization, the liver and skin are affected immediately after consumption of dioxins. You may notice liver damage, dark skin patches, and lesions. There must be a considerable amount of dioxins in your system for these side effects to occur.

Cancer developed in animals who consumed or were around dioxins long-term in one study cited by the WHO. It’s unsure if the same can happen to humans.

Forest fires, volcanic eruptions, and industrial work are often cited as the chief causes of dioxin production. Although it’s not totally clear how and when, a widespread rumor has come to be taken as fact about dioxins in plastics. It’s been assumed and believed that plastic containers, plastic wrap, and yes, disposable plastic water bottles all contain dioxins.

Since most dioxins are formed at very hot temperatures (think more than 700 degrees Fahrenheit), the myth went that warming up dioxin-causing plastics could cause the chemicals to leak out.

There’s a few problems with that:

  1. Microwaves, ovens, and other household appliances cannot reach 700 degrees.
  2. Even if they could, it’s been proven that there are no dioxins in plastic.
freeze a disposable water bottle

Freezing Reusable Plastic Bottles

a reusable plastic water bottle with yellow strap

a reusable plastic water bottle with yellow strap

If dioxins are supposedly found in plastic, then it seems right to assume that reusable plastic bottles might be pegged as having this chemical as well, right? Yes, but we dispelled that rumor above. That said, there are other chemicals in reusable plastic to concern yourself with. These are phthalates and bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA.

It should be noted that these chemicals are not just found in water bottles, but other kitchenware such as containers. According to the National Toxicology Program, phthalates can affect the male reproductive and endocrine systems when animals were tested for the chemical. BPA could change prostate gland function, brain function, and cause reproductive and hormone imbalances, again in animals.

You’ve had your reusable water bottle for a couple of years now. Is it one of those things that lasts forever and you only have to replace if it’s cracked or otherwise damaged? In this article, we’ll tell you about how long you should hold onto plastic and metal reusable water bottles. We’ll also cover ways to extend the lifespan of your bottle.

As for us people, there is a potential link between higher resistance to insulin, increased waist circumference, and worsened quality of sperm with phthalates.

You should be smart when buying reusable water bottles, then. Look for a series of arrows and triangles with a number on the bottle. This is known as the recycling symbol. If your symbol has a number from one through five (excluding three) there’s less risk of phthalates and BPA in your plastic bottle. The numbers seven, six, and three are more dangerous.

freezing a reusable bottlemust

Freezing Metal Bottles 

a metal bottle and freezer

a metal bottle and freezer

There seems to be a similar line of thought that if you were to that dioxins could leak out that way. This is also not true.Unlike dioxins, it is possible for phthalates and BPA to get into your water if you put your bottle in the microwave. What about ? It all depends. The bottle include a freezer-safe label. Otherwise, there is a chance that gradually, phthalates and BPA could leak out, especially if you refreeze your bottles often.

If you have a metal water bottle, you cannot freeze it. It doesn’t matter if it’s made of stainless steel or another type of metal; freezing is a no-no.

To truly drink chemical-free, you’re ready to make the switch over to metal water bottles. There are two common types of metals used in the production of reusable bottles: aluminum and stainless steel. How can you tell if your water bottle is made of one or the other? I have outline the details on this blog post.

Why? There’s the possibility the bottle can rust, for starters. Not only can this affect the look of your bottle, but if the interior rusts, you could end up drinking some. That would be quite unpleasant, to say the least.

The most important reason you should avoid stashing your metal water bottle in the freezer is that it could burst open. If you look up most metal bottle manufacturers’ websites, such as Camelbak, they will warn you against freezing your bottle.

If you want your metal water bottle to stay frosty, the best you can do is put it in the fridge. You can also fill it with ice cubes rather than water and let them melt

A Word of Caution

frozen baby bottles in the freezer

frozen baby bottles in the freezer

Okay, so we confirmed that most types of water bottles can be frozen. There’s little risk of chemicals leaking with disposable bottles. If you shop carefully, your reusable plastic bottles should be chemical-free and thus safe to drink from.

Even with all that out of the way, you still have to be careful about how you freeze your water bottles. For instance, some bottles include bite valves. These are caps that you can bite to open, hence the name. If you don’t take the cap off before freezing, it can get stuck to the bottle in the freezer and make drinking impossible for a few hours.

Another issue is overfilling the bottles. You might think you should fill your water bottle to the top, right? This way, you get the most out of it. Doing so can actually lead to the bottle exploding, even if it’s made of plastic. Why is this? As water gets colder, it will expand or stretch. Your bottle cannot accommodate for this change from liquid to sold if it’s entirely full. If you leave some room, then water expansion can occur with no damage to the bottle.

While you should always select bottled water based on the transparency on the label and whether it has been certified by NSF International or IBWA, the water still has to taste good in order for you to want to drink it. You might be asked "Which Bottled Water is the Safest to Drink?" on this post I write some of my recommendation.
water in a blue plastic bottle

water in a blue plastic bottle

Knowing that now, how much water should you add to your plastic bottle? Only about a quarter. This may seem like you’re not getting much water, but trust us, once the water freezes and then melts, you’ll have more liquid in there than what you started with.

Don’t leave the bottle in the freezer for longer than necessary, either. In general, if your bottle is 16 ounces, it should only have to sit in the freezer for 90 minutes to be completely frozen. In some instances, it may take 60 minutes.

You shouldn’t go in the freezer every five minutes to check on the progress of the bottle. This will make it take longer to get cold since you’re disrupting the freezing. You also shouldn’t forget your bottle is in the freezer and let it sit longer than 60 to 90 minutes. Why? Well, remember what we said about frozen water expansion?

By leaving your water bottle in the freezer, the water in the bottle reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This is often the temperature in which liquids freeze into solids. While the temperature of the freezer won’t change over several hours, the state of the bottle will. The bottle itself can get chilled and brittle as its temperature lowers, which may risk its structural integrity. The ice that is now in the bottle, if it’s still cold enough, could expand even more, pushing on the barriers of the bottle.

In short, your bottle explodes. This is certainly true for disposable plastic bottles. Even reusable plastic bottles can crack if they get cold enough.

Our last word of caution is this: never freeze glass bottles. They will always explode. The glass cannot handle the water expansion as it freezes. Cleaning glass shards out of your freezer is dangerous and not fun.

a glass water bottle

a glass water bottle

Drinking enough water and staying hydrated is one of the most important parts of being healthy, but choosing any brand of bottled water to meet your recommended daily intake of water may not be the most intelligent choice. There are some bottled water companies that provide misleading information about the source of the water and the filtration methods they use. I have this blog post "Which Bottled Water is the Safest to Drink" for you.

Metal bottles can rust and will almost always explode in the freezer. Glass bottles cannot be frozen for the same reason. Even plastic bottles can break if you leave them in the freezer for too long, so be careful. Safe drinking!

Video Testing on Freezing Reusable Plastic Bottles

On this video the man doing a test using two different type of water bottle (the plastic and metal). For more details how this experiment measure and what is the end result you can watch video below:


Conclusion

Whether for a trip to the zoo, the beach, or the woods, you need to stay hydrated. Water that was sitting in the fridge will quickly turn room temperature and then warm in the summer sun. That’s why you may opt to freeze your water bottle.

Depending on the type of material the bottle is made of, freezing it should be safe. Disposable plastic bottles can be frozen without giving off chemicals like dioxides. Although some reusable plastic bottles may contain phthalates and BPAs, if you shop around, you should be able to find a safe, chemical-free one. Make sure the bottle is suitable for the freezer, though, as not all are.

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