Best of Year

Meet the Water Bottle That Cleans Itself

The LARQ bottle in seaside mint. Photography courtesy of LARQ.

We live in a world where plastic bottles are increasingly considered taboo, and yet they remain the most ubiquitous option for trustworthy, convenient water. While metal and plastic water bottles are gaining popularity, users continually run into the problem of keeping their bottles clean.

Imagine a water bottle that cares for you, rather than the other way around. Enter LARQ, an almost-magical-but-real object that makes hydration accessible and worry-free. LARQ is an anomaly in that it uses UV light to clean its contents from the inside. By using this tech, LARQ offers an alternative to single-use plastic bottles and hard-to-clean bottles by guaranteeing pure water in one neat, beautiful vessel. It was even an NYCxDESIGN award honoree for the Health + Wellness category this year.

The LARQ bottle collection. Photography courtesy of LARQ.

“The LARQ Bottle is the world’s first self-cleaning water bottle and has already started making a meaningful impact on how people view sustainable products,” says Justin Wang, CEO and founder of LARQ. “As we continue to grow, our hope is to continue to break down the barriers to sustainability and minimize the gap of accessibility to clean drinking water around the world.”

The LARQ bottle in obsidian black. Photography courtesy of LARQ.

So how does it work? Ultraviolet light on the inside of the cap purifies both the water itself and the bottle. The light causes a photochemical reaction which kills bacteria in 30 seconds in regular mode and 2 minutes in “adventure mode,” which is intended for times when extra purification is needed (three times the regular UV-C dosage, to be exact).

The cleaning cycle starts by pressing down on a soft button on top of the cap, which lights up with a soft, mysterious blue glow that will make everyone around you gaze in wonder. The light technology sets the user free from the constant bottle-brushing and the search for truly clean, drinkable water on the go. Every 2 hours, LARQ runs a cleaning cycle to ensure that bacteria is eradicated throughout the day.

The LARQ bottle in Himalayan pink. Photography courtesy of LARQ.

The reason for LARQ's arrival on the marketplace is certainly pressing. "A staggering 844 million people live without access to clean water," explains Wang. "So we know that access to clean drinking water is not just our problem, it’s a worldwide issue. We do our part by donating 1% of proceeds to 1% For The Planet in order to help bring safe drinkable water to millions of people who don’t have access to it."

What’s next for LARQ? “We’re striving to make the LARQ Bottle available for customers all over the world that are experiencing the key pain points we’ve solved with our technology,” Wang says. Sounds like a great start.

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