How to Clean a CamelBak

How to Clean a CamelBakCamelBak is a trademarked brand that makes hydration packs for outdoor enthusiasts. Each reservoir system is designed to promote hiker hydration with hands-free water capability. A CamelBak has removable pack components that require cleaning: the water reservoir (also called a bladder), plastic hydration tube and mouth piece, and a durable fabric pack. Thorough cleaning of each CamelBak piece will contribute to a healthy and comfortable excursion in the outdoors.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Take the water reservoir out of the CamelBak pack. Rinse both the outside and inside of the bladder with a tiny drop of liquid dish soap and warm water. Do not use hot water. Use a foam paint brush or baby bottle brush to gently cleanse the interior of the reservoir.
Step 2
Rinse the water bladder with clean, warm water and repeat the scrubbing process. Flush the reservoir with water after each scrubbing. After several cleanings, the water should run clear and soap-free throughout the water reservoir.
Step 3
Leave the unsealed water reservoir out to air dry. Ensure the bladder is completely dry before replacing in the CamelBak, storing or using out on the trail.
Step 4
Deodorize and disinfect CamelBak water reservoir on a regular basis. Soak the unsealed water bladder overnight in warm water with 2 tbsp. of bleach. The next day, gently scrub, rinse and flush out the water bladder until fully clean. Leave the unscrewed reservoir out to completely dry.
Step 5
Lengthen the hydration tube for washing. Use a small amount of dish soap mixed with warm water and flush the tube. Use an all-purpose pipe cleaner or thin sponge to gently scrub the interior of the water tube. Be careful to not pierce the delicate plastic tube.
Step 6
Flush the water tube with clean, cold water. For tough jobs, soak the hydration tube overnight with 2 tbsp. of bleach and warm water. Fully rinse the tube and set out to dry before storage and use.
Step 7
Handwash the fabric CamelBak pack in cold water. Use a mild cleanser to remove stains, deodorize and disinfect. Soak in the sink for up to 30 minutes, if necessary. Flush pack with cool water and hang dry. Never put your CamelBak in the washing machine, as this will void the warranty and possibly damage the pack.
Step 8
Reassemble the clean, dry CamelBak components. Hang pack on a hanger and store in a clean, dry place (such as a hall closet) between uses.

Tips & Warnings

Try hydration pack cleansing tablets (see Resources) to help remove water reservoir bacteria.
CamelBak reservoir and hydration tube cleaning kits are available for purchase.
Only use water in your CamelBak bladder, as sugary drinks (such as Gatorade) increase the growth of bacteria and make cleaning a CamelBak a more difficult job.
Be careful when using strong cleaning agents (such as bleach) on CamelBak components, as harsh solutions can harm the plastic lining. Never use more than 2 tbsp. of bleach.
Fully rinse and clean all hydration parts after each use to ensure user safety and promote healthful outdoor recreation.
CamelBak parts that reveal discoloration may need replacement.


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