How To Clean A Camelbak Bladder?

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October 15, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers, MA (English), Certified Consultant

To clean a camelbak bladder, use a cleaning kit, warm water, and mild soap. Start by separating the hose and mouthpiece from the bladder, and then use the cleaning kit to thoroughly scrub and rinse the inside of the bladder.

Lastly, hang it upside down to air dry before reassembling. Camelbak bladders are a convenient way to stay hydrated during outdoor activities, but proper cleaning is essential to prevent bacterial growth and contamination. Failure to clean your camelbak bladder can lead to an unpleasant taste and odor, or even worse, illness.

Whether you’re using it for biking, hiking, or camping, it’s crucial to ensure your camelbak bladder is always clean and ready for use. With a little effort, you’ll be able to maintain a clean and fresh bladder for your next adventure. So, let’s get started!

How To Clean A Camelbak Bladder?


Camelbak Bladder Cleaning

What Is A Camelbak Bladder?

A camelbak bladder is a hydration system utilized for outdoor activities, like cycling, hiking, or running. It comprises a water reservoir and a hose with a spout that fits into the mouth, enabling the user to drink water from the backpack without taking it off.

On top of the bladder is a large opening for filling the water.


Why Should You Clean Your Camelbak Bladder?

Cleaning your camelbak bladder should remain an essential part of its maintenance since it helps safeguard you from the accumulation of bacteria in the water bladder, which exposes you to infections and illnesses. Cleaning also prolongs the life of your hydration system and assists in preventing leaks that could ruin your backpack.

Below are the main reasons why you should keep your camelbak bladder clean:

  • Prevents the growth of mold, bacteria, and bad odors.
  • Removes dirt, debris, and residue build-up.
  • Promotes better water taste and improves its flow.
  • Enhances the performance and prolongs the lifespan of your hydration system.
  • Prevents possible health risks due to bacteria and germs exposure.

Cleaning your camelbak bladder is easy, and you can do it in less than thirty minutes. With simple and easy-to-find items, you can profoundly enhance your water hydration experience while enjoying the outdoors.

Tools And Materials Required For Cleaning

How To Clean A Camelbak Bladder?

If you’re an avid outdoor enthusiast or athlete, you probably own a camelbak hydration pack. These packs come with a bladder that holds your water and an attached tube that lets you drink without having to stop your activity. However, cleaning the bladder can be a challenging task.

Fortunately, we’ve created this guide to help you learn how to clean your camelbak bladder and keep it hygienic.

Things You Need To Start

Before we begin, gather the following tools and materials:

  • Warm water
  • A cleaning brush
  • Dish soap or vinegar
  • A drying rack

Where To Buy Cleaning Tools

You can purchase camelbak-specific cleaning tools, including cleaning tablets and brushes, from the manufacturer’s website. Alternatively, you can use standard cleaning brushes and dish soap or vinegar, which can be found at any grocery or convenience store.

Steps To Clean A Camelbak Bladder

Now that you have your tools, it’s time to clean your camelbak bladder. Follow these steps:

  • Empty the bladder and detach the tube from the pack.
  • Rinse the bladder with warm water to remove any remaining liquid.
  • Fill the bladder with warm water and add either dish soap or vinegar.
  • Use a cleaning brush to scrub the inside of the bladder, paying attention to the tube and mouthpiece.
  • Rinse the bladder thoroughly with warm water to remove any soap or vinegar residue.
  • Hang the bladder upside down on a drying rack to ensure it dries completely.
  • Reassemble the bladder and tube and store it in a cool, dry place until you need it again.

Keeping your camelbak bladder clean is essential to prevent the growth of bacteria and maintain its durability. Use this guide regularly to ensure your hydration pack stays in top shape.

Step-By-Step Guide To Clean A Camelbak Bladder

Cleaning your camelbak bladder is an essential task that should not be neglected. Over time, dirt, grime, and bacteria can build up and cause health issues and nasty smells. However, fear not, cleaning your camelbak bladder is a straightforward process that will leave your gear refreshed and ready for use.

This guide will take you through the necessary steps to keep your camelbak bladder clean and ready for action.

Step 1: Disassemble The Bladder

To properly clean your camelbak bladder, disassemble it by removing the hose and mouthpiece from the bladder. Make sure to separate each part and put them aside for easy cleaning.

Step 2: Rinse The Bladder

Next, rinse the bladder with hot water to remove any loose dirt. Turn the bladder inside out and use your hand to reach all areas of the bladder. Invert the bladder again and repeat the process.

Step 3: Pre-Clean With Soap Water

Using warm water and a mild soap, gently scrub the bladder to remove any remaining dirt or residue. Pay special attention to the corners and crevices of the bladder. Rinse the bladder thoroughly with hot water to remove all soap residue.

Step 4: Use Cleaning Tablets

To ensure the bladder is free from bacteria, use camelbak cleaning tablets or other cleaning agents suitable for hydration bladders. Follow the instructions given with the tablets or agent. Let the cleaning agent sit for a while to allow it to kill all the bacteria.

Step 5: Rinse Again And Dry

After the cleaning agent has sat for the recommended time, rinse the bladder multiple times with hot water to remove all traces of the cleaning agent. Once it’s been thoroughly rinsed, hang the bladder upside down with the opening unzipped to air dry completely.

Keeping your camelbak bladder clean is essential to ensure maximum benefit and longevity. By following these simple steps, you’ll keep your hydration pack in perfect shape and ready for your next adventure.

Tips For Effective Cleaning

How To Clean A Camelbak Bladder: Tips For Effective Cleaning

Keeping your camelbak bladder clean ensures that you have fresh-tasting water during your outdoor adventures. Proper cleaning also helps to maintain the bladder, ensuring its longevity. However, cleaning a camelbak bladder can be a daunting task, especially for beginners. To help you out, we have compiled some tips for effective cleaning.

Dos & Don’T For Best Results

When cleaning a camelbak bladder, there are some dos and don’ts you need to keep in mind. Here are some of them:

  • Do clean the bladder after every use. Leaving water in the bladder for an extended period can lead to the growth of bacteria, which can be a health hazard.
  • Don’t use hot water to clean the bladder. Hot water can damage the bladder material, reducing its lifespan.
  • Do use mild detergent and a soft brush to clean the bladder. Soaking the bladder in soapy water for 30 minutes can help to dissolve dirt and grime.
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals to clean the bladder. Harsh chemicals can damage the bladder material, rendering it unusable.
  • Do rinse the bladder thoroughly after cleaning it to remove all traces of detergent.
  • Don’t put the bladder in a washing machine or dishwasher. The bladder can get damaged by the heat and mechanical action of these machines.
  • Do dry the bladder thoroughly after cleaning it. Leaving the bladder wet can lead to the growth of mold, which can be a health hazard.
  • Don’t store the bladder when wet. Always allow it to dry completely before storing it to prevent mold growth.
  • Do sanitize the bladder regularly to eliminate bacteria. You can use a mix of water and vinegar or specialized camelbak cleaning tablets for this purpose.
  • Don’t forget to replace the bladder if it gets damaged or develops leaks. A damaged bladder can compromise your hydration during your outdoor activities.

How To Keep Your Camelbak Bladder Clean

In addition to regular cleaning, there are some things you can do to keep your camelbak bladder clean. These include:

  • Always use clean water to fill the bladder. Avoid using untreated water from sources such as rivers, lakes or creeks, as it may contain harmful bacteria and viruses.
  • Use a hydration pack with an antimicrobial coating to prevent bacteria growth.
  • Refill your bladder regularly during your outdoor activities to prevent water from stagnating, which can result in bacteria growth.
  • Remove the hose and bite valve from the bladder before storing it to allow air to circulate in the bladder, preventing mold growth.

Cleaning and maintaining your camelbak bladder are essential to ensure you have a safe and pleasant outdoor experience. With the tips outlined above, you can keep your bladder clean and in good condition for years of use.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Clean A Camelbak Bladder?

How Do You Clean A Camelbak Bladder?

To clean a camelbak bladder, you can use a mild detergent and warm water. Scrub the bladder using a cleaning brush and make sure to rinse it thoroughly.

Can You Put A Camelbak Bladder In The Dishwasher?

No, it’s not recommended to put a camelbak bladder in the dishwasher. The high temperatures and harsh chemicals can damage the bladder.

Should You Use Bleach To Clean A Camelbak Bladder?

It’s not recommended to use bleach to clean a camelbak bladder. Bleach can damage the bladder material and leave a harmful residue.

How Often Should You Clean Your Camelbak Bladder?

It’s recommended to clean your camelbak bladder every after use. If you use it frequently, you may need to clean it more often to prevent mold and bacteria buildup.

How Do You Dry A Camelbak Bladder?

After cleaning, you can use a towel to dry the outside of the bladder and hang it upside down to air dry. Make sure to let it dry completely before storing it to prevent mold and bacteria growth.



Keeping your camelbak bladder clean is essential for the longevity of your gear, and even more importantly, for your health. In this blog post, we’ve covered various ways to clean and maintain your camelbak bladder to ensure its optimal functionality.

The key takeaways are to clean it regularly, avoid using harsh chemicals, and keep it dry when not in use. Additionally, taking care of the bite valve and the drinking tube is just as important as washing the bladder itself.

By following these steps, your camelbak will continue to provide you with clean water during all of your outdoor activities. Remember, prevention is the best cure, so make sure to rinse it out after every use, and it will significantly reduce your cleaning effort.

Stay healthy, stay hydrated, and enjoy your adventures with your clean camelbak!

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About Author (Marjorie R. Rogers)

The inspiring mum of 6 who dedicates her time to supporting others. While battling with her own demons she continues to be the voice for others unable to speak out. Mental illness almost destroyed her, yet here she is fighting back and teaching you all the things she has learned along the way. Get Started To Read …