The use of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanostructures as a photocatalyst for the degradation of organic pollutants in water has received significant attention over the recent years. However, synthesis methods for producing ZnO nanostructures are generally costly, complicated, and hazardous to the environment. In this work, we demonstrate the synthesis of ZnO nanostructures by a simple hot water treatment (HWT) method and the photocatalytic activity of the hence produced nanostructures. HWT is a one-step, low-cost, eco-friendly, and scalable nanostructure growth method. By HWT, various metal-oxide nanostructures can be produced simply by the interaction of metals with hot water without the need for any chemical additives in the solution. Growth of metal-oxide nanostructures by HWT involves the formation of metal-oxides and their release from the surface of the metal into water, the migration of the metal-oxides in water, and their re-deposition at a different part of the metallic surface, which initiates the growth of nanostructures. In this study, we used zinc powder and plates for producing the ZnO nanostructures by HWT in DI water at 75°C. Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction were utilized to verify the formation of ZnO nanostructures. Zinc plates produced a suspension of ZnO nanostructures in water, while on the other hand, zinc powder resulted in ZnO nanostructures grown on the powder surface as well as standalone ZnO nanostructures also mixed in water. We used these nanostructures + water suspensions for our photocatalytic degradation studies. Methylene blue (MB) was used as a model organic pollutant. We mixed the ZnO nanostructure suspension with MB and exposed it to UV light. The degradation of MB was observed by measuring its absorbance values using a UV-Visible spectrophotometer over a period of 4 hours. We observed a 20% decrease in the concentration of MB in 4 hours when nanostructured Zn/ZnO powder suspension was used, and a 30% decrease was achieved when ZnO nanostructure-only suspension produced from zinc plates was used. MB alone was also exposed to UV light for the same period as a control experiment, and we did not observe any significant decrease in its concentration. These results indicate that the hot water treatment method presents a very simple, cost-effective, scalable, and eco–friendly alternative for the synthesis of ZnO nanostructures for photocatalytic water treatment applications.