Cleaning Your Camelbak Hydration System




Introduction: Cleaning Your Camelbak Hydration System

Through use, your Camelbak Hydration System will gather debris and become dirty.  The accumulation of this debris can cause mold and can cause sickness.  These instructions will guide you through the simple process of cleaning your Camelbak in no more than 10 minutes.   

Required Materials

- Camelbak Backpack
- Camelbak Bladder
- Bleach (Always be cuatious when using bleach and read all instructions and warnings)
- Measuring Cup
- 1/8th Teaspoon

Step 1: Bladder Seperation

Remove Camelbak Bladder from Camelbak Backpack

Step 2: Dis-assembly

Unscrew cap of bladder

Step 3: Obtain Water

Fill measuring cup with two cups of cold water. 

Step 4: Add Bleach

Add 1/8th teaspoon of bleach to the two cups of cold water.  This bleach to water ratio may change depending on the concentration of your bleach.


Step 5: Add Solution

Pour the water-bleach solution into the Camelbak bladder being careful not to get any of the solution on any exposed skin. 

Step 6: Close Up Bladder

Screw the cap back onto the Camelbak bladder.

Step 7: Agitation

Shake the Camelbak bladder vigorously, making sure to coat every inside surface with the solution. 

Step 8: Drain

Pinch the nozzle of the Camelbak bladder being sure to allow all of the liquid to drain from the bladder.

Step 9: Rinse

Fill the bladder once more, this time with two cups of water only!  

Step 10: Shake

Shake the Camelbak bladder vigorously, making sure to rinse every inside surface.

Step 11: Drain

Pinch the nozzle of the Camelbak bladder being sure to allow all of the liquid to drain from the bladder.

Step 12: Dis-assembly

Remove the mouthpiece from the end of the hose and unscrew the cap.

Step 13: Re-assembly

Allow the bladder to completely dry before reattaching the mouthpiece and screwing the cap on.  

Step 14: Finish!

Reinsert the Camelbak Bladder into the Camelbak Backpack.

Congratulations!  You have successfully cleaned your Camelbak Hydration System and it is ready for use. 

Throughout the cleaning process you may run into issues with removing the plastic mouth piece or bladder cap.  In both cases, typically the only thing required to help dislodge the components is to apply a greater amount of force.  

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    8 years ago

    I used to put my in the freezer but my water started tasting of oven chips!


    8 years ago

    I used miltons too, run some of the fluid through the bite valve too, i like to fill my camelbak up with ice cubes on a hot day, keeps your back cool too

    Scarface Claw
    Scarface Claw

    8 years ago on Step 14

    Great Instructable, now I've no excuse not to go for a run.

    Is Milton (ie., for cleaning baby's dummies etc.,) just as good as bleach?


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Scarface Claw,

    Milton would be a good substitute for bleach! It has germ killing properties like bleach and does not require as much caution as when using bleach.


    This is a better way to clean out the pack than I was using - I was using baking soda and water, and it took forever to get the residue of the baking soda out. Thanks for the great post.