Please help me clean my Camelbak!
May 29, 2012 4:23 AM   Subscribe

Cleaning Camelbak's and other water reservoirs (bottles, tubing, mouth pieces, etc).

Greetings all,

I use a Camelbal daily for biking and hiking (I am on my 3rd one now and I am very pleased). I am constantly looking for better and more efficient ways to clean my Camelbak. About 8 years ago, I did some research into this topic and found a product that I loved. It was called "Hydra Cleanser" made by a company called "Hydra Care" which no longer appears to be in business.

The Hydra Cleanser was a small bottle (2 fluid ounces) that boasted a "hypo-allergenic cleanser" and allowed for 40-60 cleanings. The major selling point for this was that it was made to safely clean these types of devices (Camelbak bladders, water bottles, tubes, mouth pieces, etc) that was naturally formulated with botanical extracts (contains no petroleum, no alcohol, and no lanolin). Apparently the active ingredient is/was "triclosan". Anyway, I would mix a solution with this, swish out my Camelbak bladder, tubing and mouth piece and I was good to go (and it left NO aftertaste). I thought it was great and it lasted a long time, but sadly I can no longer find it.

I have Googled ways to clean Camelbak's in the past, and used a lot of home made cleaning fixes (baking soda, a drop of bleach, liquid soap, etc etc etc). But with these, I found a lot of them left after tastes, even when thoroughly washing/rinsing afterwards.

Anyway, I am up for suggestions. What is the best way to honestly keep my Camelbak bladder clean without having a nasty aftertaste? I have used the Camelbak tablets, but found them to be expensive.

It should also be noted that I have only put water in my reservoirs (never sports drinks, etc, and I will need to buy any product online and have it shipped to Canada.

Thanks in advance!
posted by dbirchum to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
From today.
posted by devnull at 4:37 AM on May 29, 2012

Bleach would be (has been) my preferred solution here. If you can detect a bleach odor etc. even after rinsing then try hydrogen peroxide instead. It is a very effective antibacterial agent and if the bladder can completely dry out the peroxide should completely vaporize and be gone. Also, it has no real taste or smell so you are unlikely to smell or taste any traces left behind if the bladder does not completely dry out. It is also safe enough for addition to toothpaste so no worries about any ill health effects from traces left behind; triclosan by the way is a phenol (yikes) and can apparently form dioxins with chlorine used in tap water (double yikes) both of which are probably not issues worth worrying about but it puts the relatively clean peroxide into perspective.
posted by caddis at 6:37 AM on May 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

I use a Camelbak a lot too. When I get home I dump out any unused contents and rinse it really well. Then I pop it in the freezer for storage, which discourages mold growth. Every few weeks I bust out the Camelbak brush kit and a few squirts of Clorox Clean-Up and give the whole rig a good once-over. Rinse really well, then pop back in the freezer.
posted by workerant at 8:12 AM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

I use the cleaning tablets that Camelbak sells with their cleaning kit. After two or three rinses I never got the weird taste. In the past I have used a drop of bleach with good success and no aftertaste. One thing that I have noticed is the newer bladders clean up better and don't hold flavors as much as the old ones from a few years ago or longer.
posted by chosemerveilleux at 9:00 AM on May 29, 2012

A dribble of bleach (<1 teaspoon) in your full camelbak left overnight will kill damn near anything on earth. Drain in the morning; done.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:41 AM on May 29, 2012

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