How To Clean a CamelBak Hydration Bladder

Photo Source: Hunting Waterfalls

Table of contents
  1. Key Points
  2. Crux 3-Liter Water Reservoir – Hydration Bladder

    by CamelBak 

    Buy Now
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    12/06/2023 08:22 am GMT
    How To Clean a Camelbak Hydration Bladder
  3. Common Issues With CamelBak Hydration Bladders
  4. Tips for Maintaining a Camelbak Hydration Bladder
  5. Where To Buy Camelbak Hydration Bladder Cleaning Kits
  6. Reinventing Hydration

Key Points

  • Staying hydrated is crucial during outdoor activities, and a reliable choice for mobile hydration is a CamelBak Hydration Bladder.

  • Proper maintenance of the CamelBak Hydration Bladder is essential due to its tendency to get dirty quickly.

  • A cleaning kit specially designed by CamelBak is the best thing to clean your hydration bladder.

If you're looking for a stellar, mobile hydration station, look no further than a CamelBak Hydration Bladder. It's a solid piece of equipment. One which every treehugger seeking hands-free water access must get. CamelBak is the upper echelon of hydration bladders. Their products are simply bar none. It's August 2023, and the New York Times just released an article on how to camp. It's packed with pertinent information — but it's missing one key point: You need to stay hydrated.

Just ask nutritionists Barry Popkin et al.: "Water represents a critical nutrient, the absence of which will be lethal within days. Water's importance for the prevention of nutrition-related noncommunicable diseases has received more attention recently because of the shift toward consumption of large proportions of fluids as caloric beverages."

Not only that, but if you're going to use CamelBak Hydration Bladder, then you need to keep that bad boy clean. Those things get really dirty really quickly. Nobody wants that; nobody needs that. Prevent such filth by practicing hydration bladder cleanliness.

Crux 3-Liter Water Reservoir – Hydration Bladder

by CamelBak 

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/06/2023 08:22 am GMT
How To Clean a Camelbak Hydration Bladder

Follow these steps, and you're on the path to possessing the most pristine and efficient Camelbak Hydration Bladder imaginable.

1. Empty and Disassemble

Start by emptying any remaining water from your hydration bladder and detaching the drinking tube, bite valve, and reservoir from the pack. This ensures that you're working with a clear and accessible bladder.

2. Rinse

Fill the reservoir halfway with warm water. Hold the bladder over a sink and gently squeeze the bite valve to allow water to flow through the tube. Empty the reservoir and repeat this process several times to thoroughly flush out any lingering liquid.

3. Prepare Cleaning Solution

Depending on your preference, you can use a mild soap that's free from perfumes and additives or CamelBak Cleaning Tabs, which are specially formulated for cleaning hydration bladders. If you're feeling sassy, throw in a capful of bleach. That stuff is sure to kill almost all the microbial menaces.

4. Scrub the Interior

Fill the reservoir approximately a quarter full with warm water and add the cleaning solution. Use a dedicated cleaning brush or a long-handled bottle brush to scrub the interior of the reservoir. Make sure to focus on hard-to-reach corners and crevices where sneaky residue accumulates.

5. Clean the Tube and Valve

If you're using a cleaning brush, carefully thread it through the drinking tube to clean its interior. Alternatively, attach the drinking tube to the reservoir and squeeze the bite valve to flush the tube with the cleaning solution.

6. Rinse Thoroughly

After scrubbing, empty the reservoir and rinse it multiple times with warm water. Ensure that you rinse thoroughly to eliminate any traces of soap or cleaning solution, which could affect the taste of your water.

7. Clean the Bite Valve

Disassemble the bite valve by removing the mouthpiece and silicone valve. Wash these components meticulously with warm, soapy water. Rinse them thoroughly to ensure all soap residue is gone.

8. Air Dry

To prevent moisture buildup and mold growth, allow all the components to air dry completely before reassembly. Hang the reservoir upside down to facilitate water drainage. For a quicker drying process, gently pat the interior dry with a clean towel.

9. Reassemble

Once all components are thoroughly dry, reassemble the hydration bladder. Attach the bite valve and drinking tube securely to the reservoir. Ensure that the tube is free from twists or kinks that might hinder water flow.

10. Perform a Leak Test

Before heading out, perform a leak test by filling the bladder with water and gently squeezing it. This helps you confirm that there are no leaks in the reservoir, tube, or bite valve.

Common Issues With CamelBak Hydration Bladders

These are issues that every CamelBak Hydration Bladder faces at least once. When it happens to you, know what to do. Here are some common issues and how to solve them.


One of the most frequent issues is leakage. This can occur from the seams, the cap, the tube connection, or the bite valve. Leaks not only waste water but can also dampen gear and clothing.

The solution is simple. Practice diligent inspection. Check all connections for tightness. Inspect the bladder for cracks or punctures. Replace damaged bladder components. Ensure the cap is properly sealed.

Mold and Mildew

If not properly cleaned and dried after use, hydration bladders develop mold and mildew, which not only affect water taste but are also harmful to health.

Clean the bladder thoroughly after each use with warm, soapy water. Use CamelBak Cleaning Tabs periodically. Ensure the bladder is completely dry before storing.

Bad Taste or Odor

Improper cleaning or using beverages other than water leads to a lingering bad taste or odor in the bladder and its components.

Clean the bladder and components regularly. Use only water in the bladder, avoiding beverages with strong flavors. Pop eats through human teeth enamel, meaning it's going to have no problem destroying your hydration bladder. Use baking soda and water mixture to eliminate odors.

Tube Blockages

Sometimes, the drinking tube gets clogged or blocked, preventing water flow. This is due to dirt, residue buildup, or freezing in cold weather.

Use a cleaning brush to clean the tube regularly. Blow air through the tube to clear blockages. Avoid using sugary or sticky beverages that can cause clogs.

Bite Valve Issues

The bite valve wears out over time, leading to difficulties in water flow or causing it to leak. In freezing conditions, the bite valve might also freeze up, making it hard to drink.

Disassemble the bite valve and clean it thoroughly. Replace worn-out bite valves. In freezing conditions, blow air back into the tube after drinking to prevent freezing.

Cracking or Punctures

The bladder material might get punctured or develop small cracks, which leads to leaks or even render the bladder unusable.

Handle the bladder with care to prevent punctures. Inspect for cracks and replace damaged bladders promptly.

Seal Problems

If the sealing mechanism on the cap is damaged or compromised, it results in leaks or difficulty in sealing the bladder properly.

Ensure the cap is properly aligned and securely fastened. Replace the cap if the seal is compromised.

Tube Disconnects

The tube accidentally disconnects from the bladder while you're using it. Totally normally. This results in an unwanted reservoir in your backpack or wherever you carry your hydration bladder.

Check the connection points regularly to ensure they're secure. If using a quick-release mechanism, ensure it's engaged properly. Listen for the click to ensure it's locked in.


In cold weather conditions, water left in the bladder and tube freezes, making it difficult to drink. Insulation sleeves or running warm water through the tube helps prevent this issue.

Crux 3-Liter Water Reservoir – Hydration Bladder

by CamelBak 

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We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/06/2023 08:22 am GMT

Tips for Maintaining a Camelbak Hydration Bladder

All camping gear gets dirty. The following tips ensure a long-lasting, beneficial relationship between you and your CamelBak companion. Some of them you only need to perform once in a blue moon.

Periodic Deep Cleaning

If you don't use the bladder after storing it for a while or if you notice an unusual taste or odor, perform a deep cleaning. Fill the bladder with warm water and cleaning solution, let it sit for 30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

Avoid Sharp Objects

Handle the bladder carefully and avoid inserting sharp objects, which puncture or damage the bladder material. When the bladder is full, don't store it next to your Leatherman or anything else that's pokey.

Don't Overfill

Overfilling a hydration bladder strains its seams and material due to thermal expansion, pressure changes, and potential deformation when placed in a backpack. This weakens the bladder's construction, increasing the risk of leaks and compromising its durability. To prevent this, leave some space for water to expand, around 10 to 20 percent of the bladder's capacity.

Keep Yourself Clean

Washing your hands before handling the bladder and its components is vital to maintain hygiene and prevent the introduction of dirt or contaminants. Clean hands minimize the risk of transferring germs to the parts that come in direct contact with your drinking water. Adhere to this practice to ensure the water in your hydration bladder remains clean and safe for consumption.

Crux Reservoir Hydration Bladder Cleaning Kit

by CamelBak 

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/06/2023 09:17 am GMT

Where To Buy Camelbak Hydration Bladder Cleaning Kits

Numerous online platforms offer the CamelBak hydration bladder cleaning kit. Here are a few reputable options that you might consider exploring for effective and convenient solutions to keep your bladder clean and well-maintained.

Official CamelBak Website

The official CamelBak website serves as a trustworthy destination for acquiring authentic CamelBak products, including hydration bladder cleaning kits. There's a diverse selection of accessories and maintenance items designed to complement their product range.

Online Retailers

Online marketplaces such as Amazon, Backcountry, Moosejaw, and CampSaver regularly feature a diverse range of outdoor gear and accessories, including CamelBak hydration bladder cleaning kits.

Outdoor and Sporting Goods Retailers

Specialty stores focused on outdoor gear and sports equipment, like REI, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela's, and Dick's Sporting Goods, frequently offer a selection of CamelBakk products, including cleaning kits, available both in their physical stores and online.

Reinventing Hydration

While outdoor hydration constantly sees new innovations, one thing that never changes is hygiene. CamelBak Hydration Bladders see constant updates, though none of that matters if you don't keep them clean. If you follow these tips and tricks and prevent the common problems that are sure to arise, then your CamelBak is going to keep you hydrated for a lifetime.

Check out My Outdoor Gear for all sorts of tips and tricks to help you excel in The Great Outdoors.

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