Properly cleaning your CamelBak will make it work better, last longer, and could even prevent it from making you sick.
But the problem is, cleaning a CamelBak is a lot harder than cleaning a water bottle — which is why having the right tools for the job is so helpful.
A CamelBak cleaning kit includes two camelbak cleaning tablets to sanitize and freshen all surfaces of your bladder, a reservoir brush to scrub the interior of the reservoir, a tube cleaning brush to scrub the interior of the hose, and a reservoir hanger to help fully dry your bladder to prevent mold and mildew from growing.
Features a large brush for the reservoir and a extra long straw brush to clean the drinking tube plus CamelBak cleaning tabs which will help clean away any scum. After cleaning use the reservoir drying kit to easily hang your bladder and get it completely dry.
A must have for CamelBak bladder owners.
I’ll freely admit, I didn't used to clean my CamelBak nearly as often as I should have because it was such a pain.
But now that I have a CamelBak cleaning kit, I clean it (almost) after every use.
NOTE: When I don't have time to clean it (let's be honest…when I can't be bothered) or I am going to be using it soon I simply throw my CamelBak in the freezer to stop it from growing mold. It's a great (lazy) way to store your CamelBak in the short term.
Step 1: CamelBak Cleaning Tablets
A CamelBak cleaning kit comes with two CamelBak cleaning tabs, used to sanitize and freshen all those hard to reach places in your bladder.
Using CamelBak cleaning tablets is simple:
- Remove the bladder from the backpack.
- Dump out its contents and rinse under hot water.
- Fill the reservoir as full as possible with hot water.
- Add a CamelBak cleaning tab (or two if your bladder is 3L in size or particularly nasty).
- Pinch the bite valve to let water flow through the tube and mouthpiece as well.
- Shake the bladder a few times, then let it rest for 15 or 20 minutes.
- Empty the bladder.
Just keep in mind, the two included tabs will only last two washes (or one if you have a very large or very gross bladder). I’d recommend grabbing some more CamelBak tablets now, before you run out.
If you don’t want to pay the premium price (I still think it’s worth it), there are plenty of other tablets that work almost just as well for a much lower cost.
Step 2: Reservoir Brush
After using your cleaning tablets, the next step is to scrub the reservoir with the reservoir brush and a mild dish soap.
The reservoir brush works perfectly for the task because it’s soft enough to not cause damage and long enough to get to all those hard to reach surfaces in your pack.
- Add a quarter-sized circle of dish soap and a bit of warm water to the inside of your reservoir.
- Thoroughly scrub all interior surfaces of your bladder using the reservoir brush. Pay special attention to the seams, where mold and residue are most likely to build up.
- Rinse under hot running water until all soap is washed away. Don’t forget to let water rinse through the QuickLink port as well.
Step 3: Tube Cleaning Brush
Scrubbing the interior of the delivery tube is just as important as scrubbing the inside of the reservoir.
And if you do happen to find mold in your tube, a tube brush is more or less mandatory to remove it.
1. Disconnect the tube from the bladder using the QuickLink release button.
2. Pull the mouthpiece off of the tube and the bite valve off of the mouthpiece.
3. Rinse the interior of the tube, mouthpiece, and bite valve under hot running water.
4. Add a bit of dish soap to the tube cleaning brush and insert into the tube.
5. Thoroughly scrub the entire length of the tube.
6. Use the end of the tube brush to clean the interior of the mouthpiece (but NOT the bite valve).
7. Gently massage the bite valve between soapy fingers.
8. Rinse the tube, bite valve, and mouthpiece under hot running water until all soap is washed away.
Step 4: Reservoir Hanger
Fully drying your bladder is just as important as thoroughly washing it to prevent mold and mildew from growing.
This is where the reservoir hanger comes in handy.
- Insert the round end of the hooked hanger section into the QuickLink port (where your tube attaches).
- Insert the triangular section of the hanger into your reservoir’s fill hole, separating the walls of your bladder to allow more airflow as it dries.
- Connect the tube with the mouthpiece still removed to the trap on the hanger.
- Place the mouthpiece and bite valve on a drying rack or clean cloth to dry.
- Hang dry your bladder overnight, ideally in a room with low humidity, good airflow and out of direct sunlight.
- Make sure all pieces are fully dry before reassembling or storing your bladder.