Best way to clean that funky Camelbak Bladder

8:37 p.m. on November 8, 2012 (EST)
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28 forum posts

The following is from Click here for the complete article.

Your Camelbak bladder is getting a little funky isn’t it? And your inner hippie won’t let you just throw it away because that is irresponsible right? The Spud can help you. Read on friends.

The absolutely foolproof and guaranteed method is this… don’t let it get disgusting in the first place! The following are the steps I take to keep my Camelbak bladder getting gross in the first place. By following these steps I’ve never had to toss one out because it got funky.

Step 1:

Store it in the fridge or freezer (just be careful so it doesn’t crack and you’ll have to allow it to thaw before you can open it). This is the easiest option and is my preferred when I am dog tired after a day on the trail or I am using the bladder frequently.

Step 2:


Dry it out before you store it. After draining the water I screw the lid back on and... Click here for the rest of the article.

6:27 p.m. on November 9, 2012 (EST)
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The best way to take care of your bladder is mouthwash, anytime it even begins to get funky just pour in a couple of ounces of an antibacterial mouthwash. If I dont have time to dry them properly, I put a little in as a preventative measure. If you rinse it enough you can get rid of all the mint taste. Ive done this for years and have an eleven year old bladder to prove it.

6:49 p.m. on November 9, 2012 (EST)
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848 forum posts

I've just found that if you make sure its thoroughly dry before you close it up it stays fresh. and I only use it for water, no beverages. I think that helps, too. I sanitize it with a solution of bleach and water if it has been stored for a long time, and have never had any "funky bladder" problems. My last bladder system was over ten years old when the bite valve finally crapped out and I couldn't get a replacement. thats when I bought the camelback I have now. they make a cleaning kit for them, but I haven't needed it yet.

8:40 a.m. on November 10, 2012 (EST)
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28 forum posts

Great ideas... especially that mouthwash one. I haven't heard that before but I'm going to try it!

9:17 a.m. on November 10, 2012 (EST)
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270 forum posts

Haven't had to do this myself, but I've heard that denture cleaning tablets work very well.

3:07 p.m. on November 10, 2012 (EST)
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3,962 forum posts

Personally, I just store my Osprey Hydraform(3L) hanging with the cap open and the bite valve removed. 

Of course I rinse it after every trip with fresh, clean water.

I have never had an issue. 

4:10 p.m. on November 10, 2012 (EST)
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606 forum posts

Denture cleaning tabs do the same thing as mouthwash. Its just a matter of killing the bacteria without affecting taste. Im usually good about draining my bladders, but I have four kids now. After a long hike its sometimes too much to make sure four bladders get taken care of properly. If you stick your finger inside the bladder you can feel for slime, they get slightly slimy before you ever smell any odor. When I feel that slime I do the mouthwash trick, to head off that funky smell. Ive used the tablets marked to clean bladders and I cant tell the diff between them and mouthwash, except mouthwash takes two mins and they want you to wait quite a while for the tab to melt and do its work.

6:16 p.m. on November 10, 2012 (EST)
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606 forum posts

I didnt mention how I store my bladders. I take a plastic coated metal clothes hanger, hold it directly under the center hanging hook on the cross bar, pull down while holding the hook. You wanna pull and bend the hanger almost straight, it should end up just a couple or three inches wide. You will have a weird bend where the shoulder corners were. Then squeeze the point you made by pulling, it should fit easily thru the fill port on your blabber. Push the hanger all the way into your bladder, the corner bend and the tendancy ti spread a little should hold your bladder open to dry. If it doesnt or it wont stay on the hanger just bend it to a proper fit. Then pull the hose thru the hanger just below the hook and hang it anywhere. I used to do 100+ miles a week of single track mountain bike trails in nc, so I used bladders extensively and these methods seem to work the best. You could just buy a maintenance kit, but if you use multiple bladders the kits get expensive. Oh yea, a couple of paper towel around a wooden spoon or spatula work really well for swabbin them out. I like a spatula better cause it gers the corners better. If you take care of your bladders they will last longer and you can fill them with things other than water. I can carry a sports drink then treat it with mouthwash and yiu cant tell it had anything but water in the bladder. Sorry for the rant.

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