How To Clean A Hydration Pack Water Bladder


The best hydration pack is a must-have when you are enjoying the great outdoors, whether you are hiking, biking, running, or doing any other strenuous activity. It makes it easy to transport and carry water. The pack comes with a hydration bladder, which is a tube where you drink water. Over time, the bladder can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Mold and mildew will be present. So, make sure that you know how to clean hydration pack water bladder. 

Clueless about how to clean water bladder? Keep on reading and we’ll briefly talk about the simple steps to get this done! 

Collect the Supplies

Just like how to clean a backpack and other outdoor gear, the first thing you will need to do is to prepare the cleaning supplies. The good thing is that you won’t need special equipment to complete the task. In most instances, the cleaning supplies you have at home will be enough. 

Among others, the most important is a cleaning solution, the same thing you will need when washing dishes while camping. At the most basic, you will need mild dish soap. Avoid ones that are too strong as this can leave a scent on the bladder. 

As an alternative cleaning solution, you might also want to use reservoir cleaning tablets, baking soda, household bleach, and lemon juice. 

You also have to prepare the cleaning tools, which include a scrubbing pad, knotted cord, and scrubbing brushes.

Lastly, for drying, hanger, pins, and towels are the essentials.  

An Easy and Quick Solution

Not all of us have the luxury of time. If you want to learn how to clean hydration pack water bladder but you are impatient, a dishwasher saves the day! It is convenient and almost effortless. 

The first thing that you have to do is to make sure that the hydration pack is dishwasher-safe. The same thing is important when you are cleaning backpacking cookware and camping cookware sets.  

While this is an easy method on how to clean hydration pack water bladder, this is one thing that you should do sparingly. The bladder has an awkward angle, and hence, the dishwasher might be unable to clean it thoroughly. If you have the time and the effort to spare, we suggest that you clean the bladder manually, which is what we’ll talk about in the next part of this guide. 

Cleaning the Bladder Manually


Below is a step-by-step guide on how to clean a water bladder.  

  1. Start by filling the hydration pack with warm water. Lift the reservoir and pinch the bite valve until water comes out. This initial process will also allow you to flush any remaining water in the hydration pack before you start. 
  2. Fill the bladder with warm water again. This time, add a cleaning tablet. It will create fizz and will work on its own to clean the pack. Leave it for about half an hour or depending on the instructions from the manufacturer of the cleaning tablet. 
  3. Alternatively, you can also use bleach and mix it with baking soda. Close the pack and shake. Let it sit for half an hour. 
  4. While the hydration pack is closed, raise it slightly above your head. This is important to make sure that the cleaning solution reaches the bladder. Slightly pinch the bite valve and the cleaning solution will start flowing out.
  5. Now that the hydration pack is empty, add a drop of soap and a bit of water. Use a brush or scrub with soft bristles to clean the pack. You will also need a hydration bladder tube cleaner. This is a special gear that you have to insert on the bladder to brush it. Rinse the bladder inside out, making sure that there are no traces of soap that remain on the surface. 

Drying and Storage of the Bladder

If you want to learn how to clean a hydration pack properly, you also have to pay attention to drying it out and proper storage. Otherwise, it will be prone to mold and mildew. This can also cause the hydration pack and bladder to have a foul smell. This is one thing that we don’t want to happen in our outdoor gears, including thermoses, backpacking towels, and trail running shoes, among others.

The first thing that you have to do is to detach the bladder from the reservoir so that you can dry them separately. If the bite valve can be removed from the bladder, take it off as well. Use a hanger and clothespin to dry the individual parts of the hydration pack. Keep the bladder open to let air in. 

Do not dry the hydration pack and bladder in the bathroom. The moisture and humidity won’t help. If possible, hang it outdoors. Most of the time, it will take approximately one day before everything dries out completely. 

When all parts are thoroughly dried, store the hydration pack and bladder properly. This is especially important if you don’t expect to use it for a long time. Keep it away from direct heat and moisture. One of the most interesting ways to store the hydration pack is to freeze it. After cleaning, roll the bladder on the pack. Wrap a rubber band around the hydration pack so that it won’t take a large space. Put it in the freezer. This way, it will be easier to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. 

Globo Surf Overview

Knowing how to clean the water bladder is crucial to make the most out of your hydration pack. As noted above, the process is pretty much straightforward. While using a dishwasher seems to be the most convenient option, we strongly advise against doing it. The best thing to do is to clean it manually. After all, it won’t take much of your time. 

Now that you know how to clean it properly, read this hydration guide for hiking and backpacking to make sure that you have the required water intake when you are outdoors! 

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  1. How to Clean a Hydration 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!