How To Clean A Camelbak


Unrelated to the season, Camelbak water bottles, bladders, and reservoirs are your best friend. They help you stay hydrated and keep your body on optimal level for your outdoor adventure, whether you go hiking, backpacking, kayaking or simply hang around the campfire and eat some of these delicious dishes.

They can last pretty long, but to help them stay in a good shape as long as possible, you’ll have to clean them regularly. In this article, we’ll show you how to clean a CamelBak with ease.

How Often Should You Clean It?

The simplest answer to this question is after every third or fourth usage, but things are a bit more complex than that. For instance, if your CamelBak is obviously dirty, you shouldn’t wait that long. The same goes for long pauses between the usage. It is better to be safe than sorry and to clean it just to be sure everything is alright.

Different Cleaning Methods

Although these can vary due to different preferences, most often there are three different cleaning methods among CamelBak users. The first method is used when your CamelBak is only a bit dirty or you haven’t used it in a while, so you want to make sure everything is OK before you hit the road. The second method is used for more serious situations when you have to perform a deep cleaning, while the third method means CamelBak cleaning tabs will be used.

What Do You Need?

It doesn’t matter which type of cleaning you’ll perform, it is recommended having these stuff within a hand reach:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Mild soap
  • CamelBak cleaning tabs
  • Round and pipe scrub brush
  • Sponge
  • Bleach
  • Q-tips
  • Paper towels or regular towels
  • CamelBak cleaning kit

Method Number 1

This method is used for easy and simple cleaning when there is not so much to clean. Start with mixing a quarter of a cup of baking soda with ¾ of water per one liter. Make sure the water is warm but not boiling to avoid damaging the bladder. Mix it until they are properly joined. If you want, you can also add a quarter of a cup of white vinegar, but beware that white vinegar will react with baking soda, so wait until the reaction stops before you pour it into the bladder.

When the reaction stops, add the solution to the bladder and shake it for about half of minute and let it sit still for five minutes. You should also open the main valve to remove possible pressure from it.

Take the bladder above your head and squeeze the bite valve to let the solution get into the tube and mouthpiece. Put it down and place it on its back for about half an hour, and follow by removing the solution. Remember to point the hose away from your face when you squeeze the bite valve.

Use your brushes to scrub the bladder and tube, then follow by cleaning it additionally with the sponge. Make sure all the traces of baking soda and white vinegar are removed.

Use ¾ teaspoon of mild soap with ¾ cup of water, mix it, and pour it into the bladder. Shake it for about half of minute, then pinch the bite valve so the solution reaches the tube and remove it.

Rinse it carefully with warm water until you remove all the soap and cleaning solution leftovers, then remove as much water from the bladder as possible.

Now it is time to dry the parts. Take the bladder apart, and hang the parts upside down. This is when the Q-tip comes in handy as it will help you keep the bladder open to ease up the drying process.

Method Number 2


Pour hot water into the bladder and add CamelBak cleaning tab. Close the bladder and lay it down on the backside, letting it sit still until the tablet dissolves. When it does, shake the bladder for about 30 seconds to diffuse the solution and spread it around the bladder.

It is time to spread the solution through the tube by pinching the bite valve. This way it will reach the mouthpiece. Once it does, let it be there for about 15 minutes. After that period, remove the solution from the bladder.

Use the soap and water mix to continue the cleaning process. Use warm water with mild soap, add the solution into the bladder, pitch the bite valve so it reaches the mouthpiece through the tube, and shake it for about half a minute before you pour the solution out.

Now you’ll have to remove the hose. Take the pipe cleaner scrub brush to clean the tube and follow by using the bigger brush and/or sponge so you can reach the inside of the bladder. Make sure to remove all possible remains and scrub until you see the bladder is clean.

Rinse the bladder, tube, and mouthpiece with warm water. The goal is to remove all the soap and the possible solution remains. If you have to, repeat the rinsing process multiple times until you’re absolutely positive all the solution has been removed.

Take the parts apart and hang them upside down to dry. Make sure the area is as well-ventilated as possible, and let it air-dry. Make sure the bladder opening is open by using Q-tip to help it dry as thoroughly as possible.

Method Number 3

This method is used to clean the CamelBak when you need to basically disinfect it. This should be used if you spot some moldy areas or any other thing that can be dangerous to users.

The bladder should be filled with warm, not hot water, and combined with half of a teaspoon of bleach. To let it reach the mouthpiece through the tube, squeeze the bite valve.

Take the bladder and shake it between 20 seconds and half a minute to spread the solution all around the bladder. Now let it sit still for about half an hour. The waiting time could vary and go from half an hour to even 24 hours if there is an extreme case of the mold infestation. After that time has passed, remove the solution from the bladder.

Take the scrub brush to remove any mold remains and possible mold stains from the bladder, then do the same with a pipe cleaning scrub brush for the tube. Sometimes you may see some stains that can’t be removed, no matter how hard you try. Don’t worry, if you’ve cleaned it thoroughly and properly, the bladder will be completely safe to use.

This step is absolutely crucial for any future bladder usage. Once the solution has been removed from the bladder, it is time to rinse it. The minimal number of times you should rinse it is five, but feel free to do it as many times as needed to feel completely safe. Do this with the tube and the mouthpiece separately.

Take the bladder apart and place it somewhere with good ventilation to dry. It should dry as thoroughly as possible, so take a Q-tip or paper towels to keep the bladder open and let the air reach the inner part of the bladder.

How To Keep CamelBak Bladder

Proper storage of the CamelBak bladder is another important part of the process of taking care of the bladder. The best place to store it is in your fridge or the freezer, so it doesn’t start to get moldy. If not possible, go with dark, cold, and dry places. And check it from time to time.

Globo Surf Overview

This article about how to clean a CamelBak will make it easier and help you maintain and keep the quality of your bladder at the maximum level for a longer period of time, so you can enjoy your outdoor activities without having to worry about whether you’ll be able to stay hydrated or not. Now check out our camping trip planer and off you go – the adventure awaits!

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  1. How to Clean a Camelbak Bladder,
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!