Is It OK to Put Lemon in a Stainless Steel Water Bottle?

Woman contemplating to add lemon slices in her water bottle

Stainless steel bottles are sleek, reusable, and durable. Despite these traits, is it OK to put lemon in a stainless steel water bottle? We're discussing if you can safely put lemon in your drinking bottle, along with the benefits, possible side effects, and what you can do to remove the smell.

Is It OK to Put Lemon in a Stainless Steel Water Bottle? 

Yes, it's OK to put lemon in a stainless steel water bottle because the material has anti-corrosive properties, letting it withstand most acidic substances. Stainless steel forms a passive corrosion product layer to protect the drinking bottle from lemon's potential acidic damage.

A stainless steel drinking bottle is a handy and reliable way to carry lemon water wherever you go. It's important that you understand how the material reacts to certain acidic elements to ensure you can drink safe and clean water.

Woman holding her Hydro Cell water bottle

Can Lemon Damage My Stainless Steel Water Bottle?

Lemon is highly corrosive due to its high amount of citric acid, especially during extensive contact with metal. However, some bottles, like Hydro Cell's stainless steel bottles, use 18/8 stainless steel to guarantee resistance to oxidation and decomposition.

Aluminum bottles have an epoxy lining that leaches chemicals when in contact with the lemon's acid. Meanwhile, the acid can further break down particles from plastic bottles. These won't happen in a stainless steel bottle because it forms a protective layer due to the interaction between alloying elements.

Stainless steel consists of carbon, chromium, silicon, iron, and manganese. When these elements react with the water and lemon, the stainless steel forms a thin, stable film to protect the bottle from acidic damage.

How Long Can I Put Lemon in Stainless Steel Water Bottles?

You can safely put lemon slices in stainless steel water bottles for up to four hours when at room temperature. If refrigerated, the slices can last up to three days.

For whole lemons, the stainless steel bottles can withstand the acidity for three to four weeks at room temperature. You can go up to five weeks if refrigerated.

What Are the Benefits of Putting Lemon in a Stainless Steel Water Bottle?

Water is essential to keep the body hydrated. However, it's OK to add lemon to your stainless steel water bottles to increase the health benefits.Two girls using the outdoor gym, with a water bottle in tow

  • Provide vitamin C: Lemon is a citrus fruit, making it high in vitamin C. This primary antioxidant helps protect healthy cells from attacking free radicals.
  • Improve skin quality: The lemon's naturally occurring citric acid won't damage the bottle. In effect, the body gets this antioxidant to break down dead skin cells. Consequently, you can prevent the growth of acne and reduce skin wrinkling.
  • Aid in digestion: Lemon water serves as a laxative to prevent constipation. Whether hot or warm, the stainless steel water bottle can handle the lemon's acidity to preserve the antioxidants that can jumpstart the digestive system.
  • Freshen breath: Are you carrying water on a hike or to the gym? Excessive physical activity can dry the mouth, increasing the risk of bad breath. Putting lemon in your stainless steel bottle can stimulate saliva and freshen your breath.

What Are the Side Effects of Adding Lemon in a Stainless Steel Bottle?

It's generally safe to put lemon in a stainless steel water bottle because the material resists oxidation and decomposition from the acids.

However, lemon's citric acid may erode tooth enamel. If possible, use a wide-mouth sports cap with a straw to prevent the acid from directly hitting your teeth.

Woman contemplating to add lemon slices in her water bottle

How Can I Remove the Lemon Smell in My Water Bottle?

You can put lemon in a stainless steel water bottle because you can still remove the citrusy smell.

  • Soak with vinegar: Using vinegar is an effective way to clean and disinfect a stainless steel bottle. Vinegar's more potent acidic properties can clear away the lemon's smell and taste. 
  • Pour hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide oxidizes and breaks down odor-causing bacteria.
  • Clean with boiling water and baking soda: Let the mixture sit in the bottle for a few hours to soak up the lemon smell or flavor. 

Related Questions

What Drinks Can I Put In a Stainless Steel Bottle?

Because of the anti-corrosion properties of stainless steel, you can pretty much put most types of drinks in it. Aside from lemon water, you can put cold soda, sparkling water, and other carbonated beverages. Likewise, it's safe to pour hot tea, coffee, or chocolate drink in a stainless steel bottle.

What Can Damage Stainless Steel?

Abrasive pads, strong chemical cleaners, and rust can damage stainless steel. Fortunately, you can prevent this from happening as long as you know how to remove rust in a stainless steel bottle. It's also crucial that you follow the best ways to clean a drinking bottle.


It's OK to put lemon in a stainless steel water bottle because of its non-corrosive property. The metal forms a passive corrosion layer to prevent the acid from damaging the walls. There are many benefits of reusable water bottles, including allowing you to enjoy a refreshing drink of lemon water.

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