Access Special Features, Register Now!

Cleaning a Hydration Bladder

What is the best way to clean your hydration pack and tube?


What is the best way to clean your hydration pack and tube? I sometimes get a moldy smell in my hydration bladder if I don’t air it out thoroughly.

Submitted by - Ron - Watauga, TX


The key to keeping your bladder from getting funky is actually not the washing process (which is pretty straightforward), but the drying process. Because they’re soft-sided, bladders can be tricky to dry, as they tent to collapse on themselves with the sides sticky together with little droplets of water pooling and festering. CamelBak sells a cleaning kit ($20, which has some useful tools (brushes, cleaning solution, hanger, etc). Or you can buy some Polident tablets at the drug store (yes, the same stuff grandpa uses to clean his dentures) and fashion your own hanging device. Here’s the lowdown on how to do it.

1 Comment

  1. IP

    I used the same Camelbak during SWAT training and deployments for close to 16 years – without ever cleaning! Sure, probably not the smartest thing to do but I never experienced problems. I always hung it in my locker after training, half filled with water – never empty. Never filled with anything but water. Reading what others have said, I’m surprised I didn’t get sick.

Leave a Reply