How To Clean A Hydration Pack

Having a hydration pack is the best way to keep hydrated on any outdoor adventure. The pack guarantees a constant and uninterrupted supply of water. Hydration bladders are convenient and easy to carry around.  With the drinking valve inches away from your mouth, there is no other brilliant way of carrying water around. However, most people ignore or simply forget to keep their bladders clean and hygienic. If your hydration goes without proper cleaning for long, it will be affected by bacteria, mildew, mold or bugs. Unclean hydration bladders are associated with bad odor and plastic taste as well. A clean hydration pack transforms into a healthy and enjoyable outdoor experience. 

4 in 1 Cleaning Kit

Hydration Water Bladder Cleaning Kit,4 in 1 Cleaner Brushes Pack for Universal Water Reservoir Storage Bag Backpack Bottles


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Easy to Clean

WACOOL 3L 3Liter 100oz BPA Free EVA Hydration Pack Bladder, Leakproof Water Reservoir (Green with Cleaning Kit)

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The following is a detailed breakdown of all you need to know about how to wash a hydration pack:

What is the importance of cleaning a hydration pack?
How do you clean a hydration bladder?
How do you dry a hydration bladder?
How do you clean a hydration bladder tube?
How do you get the plastic taste out of a hydration bladder?

What is the importance of cleaning a hydration pack?

It is not healthy to use your hydration pack several times without cleaning. Why is this so? Most people do not just use their hydration bladders to carry water alone. Some of them carry flavored water or energy drinks. Energy and flavored drinks have sugar. Well, sugar is known to provide ideal breeding conditions for bacteria alongside other infection-causing agents. On the other hand, unclean hydration packs host huge contents of moisture. Moisture encourages the formation of mildew, bugs, and mold. Such impurities can cause bad stomach and yield unpleasant odor. Besides, knowing how to clean a hydration pack increases its life.

How do you clean a hydration bladder?

The importance of keeping your hydration bladder clean goes without saying. Here is a comprehensive guide on cleaning a hydration bladder:

To begin with, you need to have an antiseptic or a disinfecting agent. This could be baking soda, lemon juice, bleach or anything containing elements that can kill bacteria. Use warm water to fill up the bladder. NOT boiling water. Proceed by adding about two spoons of any disinfectant.

  1. Mix the water and the cleaning agent by shaking the reservoir vigorously. It also ensures that the cleaning agent spreads to the corners of the bladder evenly.
  2. Similarly, remember to clean the tube and valve. Do this by holding the bladder upside down and squeezing the bite valve. Doing this a couple of times results in a cleaner tube or valve.
  3. Do not empty the hydration bladder just yet. It is advisable to leave the water and the cleaning agents for about an hour or less. The strategy allows the disinfectant and warm water to sufficiently eliminate any bacteria in the reservoir.
  4. Empty the bladder and rinse it with a little soap to remove any remaining traces of soda or bleach. Repeat this with pure water to ensure all the cleaning liquid is out.
  5. The outcome will be better if you do the washing with a small sponge or brush. You can also buy special cleaning kits for hydration bladders. They come in handy when cleaning the valve.
  6. After washing thoroughly, it is now time to dry. Try to shake out any excess water from the bladder before leaving it to air dry. A thin paper towel or toilet paper will be efficient.
  7. The last stage of cleaning a hydration bladder is drying. All the cleaning will be useless without proper drying. Spread it upside down, unsealed, on a coat hanger to air dry. Simply ensure that all moisture is eliminated. Moisture facilitates the growth of mold and algae.

Essential For Maintenance

Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir Cleaning Kit

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Cleaning Tablets

Bottle Bright (12 Tablets)

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How do you dry a hydration bladder?

It is imperative to have your hydration bladder dry. This ensures top-notch hygiene. The hydration bladder is the water reservoir. A wet or moist water reservoir is a perfect breeding ground for mildew and mold. Moreover, it yields gross taste and bad smell. You can evade such health risks by ensuring that it dry after use. Sadly most people do not know how to dry a hydration bladder. Let help you unravel this through the steps below:

  1. After your run or hiking trip, drain out all the water from the reservoir. Squeeze water from the hydration bladder ensuring that it is above the mouthpiece. This will also get rid of any water in the hose.
  2. Next, you focus on the fill opening. You can wipe it dry using a clean dish towel or paper towel. Similarly, you can let it dry on its own though this is a long shot.
  3. The hydration bladder needs to be dried thoroughly. Thus, hang the bladder upside down with the cap open.
  4. Make sure that the hydration bladder is hanged in a cool dry place.
  5. Ensure the reservoir is completely dry before storage

Flexible Brush for Tube

Flexible Brush


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For Easy Drying

Foldable able support frame for drying

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How do you clean a hydration bladder tube?

The tube is the hose that channels water from the reservoir of a hydration pack to your mouth. Just like the bladder, it deserves to be cleaned. It is vulnerable to bacteria too. Cleaning the tube is easy. You simply unplug it from the valve and bladder. After that, run soap or lemon juice water through its inner surface. Allow some water to pour in through the end with the drinking valve.  Then hold it upside down using the end attached on the bladder to drain out the water. Try this several times for better results.

How do you get the plastic taste out of a hydration bladder?

Having plastic taste in drinking water is unpleasant. The bladder is the most vital part of a hydration pack as it holds water. Most hydration bladders tend to have a slight plastic taste that especially when new. It can be disgusting at times although it is pretty normal. Fortunately, the awful plastic taste can be fixed. It is achieved by soaking the bladder by a variety of disinfecting agents. The agents include lemon, baking soda, vinegar, lime juice or bleaching solution. First, disconnect the hose from the bladder then add a reasonable amount of disinfecting agent into the bladder. Thereafter, fill the bladder with water to about three quarters and seal it up. Place the filled bladder in a freezer. Let it freeze for an hour or more. Get it from the freezer, shake it, drain the water and rinse it with warm water. Rinsing gets rid of any disinfecting agent that may be stuck in the bladder. Now your hydration bladder is clean and fresh. Enjoy a plastic taste-free hydration pack on your next adventure!

Final verdict

I hope you have learned how to clean a hydration pack. You can always refer to the guide whenever you get lost. Just remember to clean, rinse and dry your water bladder in between outdoor activities. Store the water bladder in a refrigerator to avoid the formation of scum and mold.

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