Co.Design

Wanted: Alex, an Easy to Clean, Reusable Water Bottle

Finally, a canteen that's emerges from the dishwasher sparklingly clean, and refreshingly un-stinky.

Why does the world need another reusable water bottle? According to Chris Hotell, the owner and co-founder of Alex, "People want to use them. But they're such a pain in the ass to clean that they end up drinking bottled water."

He's got a point: Over time, even the best reusable water bottles start to stink, because of how hard they are to clean. That means people stop using them and buy another—which is extraordinarily wasteful—or they stop using refillable bottles altogether.

Alex attempts to solve those problems, with a design that screws open in the middle, producing two easy-to-clean halves that can be thrown into the dishwasher. Since the bottle is easy to clean, that means the bottle can be used with any liquid (unlike many narrow mouthed canteens). When it's time to travel, the two halves nest together for storage.

The design was obviously meant to make the bottle a stylish accessory. But there are are also a few subtle design details, meant to communicate the good-intentions of the inventors: Inside the bottle, there's only metal. Even though the plastic joint in the middle is BPA-free, Hotell wanted to make sure that no one ever had to wonder. In addition, the only piece on the bottle that can conceivably wear out over time is the silicone o-ring that insures a tight seal in the middle—and Alex provides replacements, so that you never have to buy a new bottle. And the bottle itself is tall and skinny, so that it fits into any car's cupholder—a feature almost all reusable bottles overlook today.

Alex comes in a 32oz and 20oz sizes; if you have both, you can create an additional 28oz size. That, according to Hotell, was once again an effort to design a system that encourages you to buy less, rather than more. (Alex will also soon produce a screw-on top that turns the bottom half of the bottles into a sippy cup for kids.)

The bottles can be pre-ordered now, and will ship when the company offically launches on August 15th.

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