This instructable shows you how to clean the mildew, mould and accumulated dirt from the plastic hose on your CamelBak or other hydration bladder with nothing but some paracord (and some optional sterilization tablets).
I discovered this neat trick an hour before setting off on a climbing holiday after finding that my CamelBak hose was disgustingly dirty.
Being loathe to spend £20 for a brush on a wire to clean the hose and without time to get one I looked around for something that could clean the hose.
Paracord was the answer! A loose knot in the end of a length of paracord, dropped through the hydration bladder's hose can be drawn through slowly and bring all the gunk with it.
Here's how I've done it ever since.
Step 1: You will need....
- A dirty camelbak or other "hydration bladder" hose
- Milton tablets or other baby bottle sterilisation tablets. You could also use mild soapy water though not too much or you may leave a bad taste. Definitely don't use bleach.
- Paracord. About 10cm longer than the hose
Step 2: Soak
Add two Milton tablets to a clean basin full of water. Completely submerge the dirty hose and work all of the bubbles of air out of it. Soak for half an hour.
This softens up all the dried on gunk growing on the inside of the tube.
Don't pour the water away once the hose is soaked, save it for when you're finished cleaning the hose with the paracord then you can steralise the paracord before drying and storing it.
Step 3: Dry
Don't worry too much about this step. Once it's been soaking for a while, remove the tube from the basin and blow through it to remove most of the water. If it's still really wet inside the paracord won't slip down it so easily.