You might wonder how something we regularly fill with clean water needs cleaning. As resourceful as mould and bacteria are, they will always find their way into your CamelBak tube. Regularly cleaning your system becomes your best defence against these bacteria.
Because of their awkward shapes, you need to find the right supplies for cleaning and learn a few tips.
How to clean a CamelBak bladder tube
- Gather your cleaning supplies- cleaner, dish soap, drying aids and brushes.
- Mix the cleaner with hot water, then fill the system.
- Soak for a while, and drain. Then scrub and rinse.
- Allow it to air dry.
Cleaning supplies for a CamelBak tube
For effective and efficient cleaning, you need the right supplies on hand. Special equipment, though unnecessary, will make the cleaning easier and more thorough.
- Cleaning brushes for reservoir and tube. They help you get into all the areas more successfully.
- Kitchen scrub brush or pad.
- A knotted cord that’s longer than your drinking tube and has a knot large enough to fit snugly inside the tube.
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Pull the cord and knot a few times through the tube during the scrubbing process.
- Cleaning solutions
- A mild dish soap
- Reservoir cleaning tablets. These are tablets formulated specifically for removing deposits that build up in your bladder tube over time. You need one tablet per wash.
- Baking soda. It’s an effective cleaner against odours.
Use a 1:3 baking soda to water ratio(per litre of volume in your bladder tube)
- Household bleach to kill bacteria and viruses.
Use 2 to 5 drops of household bleach( unscented) per litre of water. You can combine bleach and baking soda for a more thorough cleaning.
- Lemon juice- it helps neutralize strong odours.
Use ¼ cup of lemon juice for every litre of water. You can combine lemon juice with baking soda and/or bleach for a thorough cleaning.
Because baking soda and lemon juice produce a fizzy reaction, you must point the tube opening away from you.
- Denture-cleaning tablets. They are mostly used as inexpensive alternatives, although not made specifically for cleaning a Camelbak bladder tube.
- Drying aids- you need drying aids to help keep the bladder fully open for full air circulation. It’s advisable to hang/ place the bladder upside down to let the water drip out.
- Reservoir hanger-most of them fit any bladder, but a few are compatible with certain reservoir models only.
- Clothespins or a normal clothes hanger
- Kitchen whisk-you will slip it inside the bladder to hold it wide open.
- Paper towels- stuff the bladder with enough to keep it wide open.
How to clean your CamelBak bladder tube
- Fill the tube with warm water (water that’s too hot can scald you)
- Add a cleaning tablet (or your home cleaning solutions of choice)
- Close the tube and shake it.
- Lift the tube up, letting the tube opening lie in the sink
- Pinch open the valve until water flows out of it. This ensures the entire system is in contact with your cleaning solution.
- Keep it aside and let it soak.
- If you are using cleaning tablets, let them sit for about five minutes
- If you’re using a homemade mixture, let it sit for about 20 minutes.
- Drain the system.
- Fill your bladder again, but with a mixture of warm water and a small portion of dish soap this time.
- Scrub inside the bladder and the tube. Remove the bite valve to make cleaning easier. Scrub it separately.
- Rinse everything thoroughly
- Disassemble all pieces- bladder, bite valve and tube.
- Place your bladder on its hanger, or hang it upright to dry.
- To dry your CamelBak tube, hang it by draping it over a normal clothes hanger or hanging it in a tube clip with the bladder hanger. Set the bite valve aside separately to also dry.
- Give all parts of your hydration system enough time to thoroughly dry. A little amount of moisture inside the system causes the growth of mould.
How do you get mould out of a Camelbak bladder
Removing mould from your system is essential before using it again.
- Add two to three tablespoons of bleach (depending on bladder size) to hot water and fill your bladder with this mixture.
- Squeeze the bite valve to let the water run through the hose
- Soak the bladder overnight.
- Wash thoroughly with hot water and mild dish soap. Scrub inside with a CamelBak brush or scourer to remove any mould stains. If some stains remain after cleaning and bleaching, rest assured that these will not be harmful to your CamelBak but will remain a new permanent feature of your bladder.
How to get mould out of a Camelbak hose
- Disconnect the hose from the water bladder. Use a damp cloth or pliers if it’s difficult to disconnect.
- At the other hose end, remove the bite valve.
- Wet and insert the hose brush down the tube as far as possible.
- Pull the brush out gently, clean it off and repeat the process but this time at the other end of the tube.
- Repeat this process until the hose is clean.
- Use hot water to rinse the hose.
- Leave it to drip dry before you reconnect it to the bladder.
How to clean your CamelBak with vinegar
Use vinegar to remove mould or bad odour from your bladder.
- Fill your bladder with warm water.
- Add two cups of white vinegar to the water but do not mix
- Close the bladder, then let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes
- Drain and rinse thoroughly
- Air dry
Cleaning a hydration pack tube
- Disconnect the hose from the bladder
- Use warm water and mild dish soap to clean the bite valve
- Run hot water through the tube to rinse it. Press the bite valve to let the hot water flow all through the tube for a few seconds
- Drain and set the tube aside to dry.
CamelBak classic hydration pack
This is a high-quality hydration pack with a minimalist design and has these features that make it the best bike hydration pack:
- A crux reservoir that delivers more water per sip in comparison to other reservoirs
- An ergonomic handle that makes refilling easy
- An on/ off lever, making it easy to prevent leaks
- Accents that have reflective features that enhance visibility in areas with low light
- A zippered pocket that secures your essentials
- Lightweight and comfortable fit from its breathable back panel
- A lightweight mesh harness that is ventilated
- The external reservoir that makes it possible to refill your reservoir without removing it out of the pack
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You should always clean your CamelBak bladder tube before use to flush out any bacteria, viruses, or dirt that may have found its way into the system while it was in storage.
To hinder the growth of mould and extend the life of your CamelBak bladder tube, here are a few maintenance tips:
- Clean or rinse your bladder after every use.
- Use glycerin, beeswax or silicone as lubrication for sticky, quick connects.
- Ensure the bladder is completely dry before storing it.
- Use a scrubbing pad to reactivate the bladder’s antimicrobial coating.
- Store the bladder in a freezer when not in use to inhibit the growth of bacteria.
- Disconnect all pieces of the bladder when cleaning.
- To ensure complete dryness of the mouthpiece, air it out separately.
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