Cleaning your Camelpak

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  • Cleaning your Camelpak
  • The inside of my camelpak is pretty grose and it is slightly concerning, the hose is pretty much just black.

    Are there any cheaper alternatives to the really expensive camelpak cleaning kit about?

    Premier Icon Onzadog

    If the hose is more black than blue, I’d say bin it and buy a new one! I tend to occasionally drop a baby bottle sterilising table in there, fill with water and leave for a few hours, then give it a good rinse through. I also only ever put water in mine and when there’s room, I store them in the fridge.


    Seconded on the Milton washing — much cheaper than the Camelbak stuff, although be sure to rinse it well, otherwise it can taste a bit funny.

    If the hose is black, take it off the bladder, and stick something through it. I’ve got a long, thin brush that gets rid of all the gunk. That seems a better idea to me than replacing the tube, ‘cos once you have a brush you can clean the tube after each use instead of letting gunk build up again.

    I use denture cleaning tablets rather than Milton for cleaning out my Camelbak bladder.

    Plnk two in, fill with warm water and in the morning its spotlessly clean.

    Premier Icon Onzadog

    guess that mas the advantage of tasting minty fresh as well. Does it kill off all the bugs in the same was a bleach though?

    I have a good tip –
    I clean my camelbak with warm water as soon as I get back from a ride and whilst it is not in use, keep the bladder and hose in the freezer. When I need it again I run the bladder under warm water for 30 seconds and it’s ready to use again.
    Hope this helps.

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes

    Separate the hose from the bag, stick it in hot water to soften it. Then get some regular kitchen/parcel string and feed it through. Tie a chunky knot, just bigger than the hose inner diameter and pull it back through, works better than the long skinny brushes you can buy. Frightening how much gunk comes out.

    second spacecadett!!

    Always rinse mine out and then freeze. Any left over ‘juice’ doesn’t go moldy and when you take it out just flick the bits of ice at the bottom out and you are good to go.

    ..guess that mas the advantage of tasting minty fresh as well. Does it kill off all the bugs in the same was a bleach though?

    Yes, but without leaving the odd aftertaste you get with Milton.

    You can also get lemon denture tablets if you don’t like mint.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Milton, end of thread. No need to faff about with the freezer.

    The cleaning kit is handy cos of the brushes, but you can improvise.


    +1 for sticking it in the freezer. Just empty whatever’s left in it (includung the tube) fill with fresh water, slosh it round and run some through the tube. Repeat a couple of times, then empty out as best as you can and lob it in the freezer.

    Just remember to remove it in enough time to let it warm up (the tube is very brittle when frozen) or as above run it under the warm tap 30 secs or so to get some flex back into it.

    Oh and I sterilise it every 4 uses or so as well.


    ooer. I’ve never cleaned mine. It hangs up in the rucsack next to my bike, and I top it up from the garden hose or Devs’ sink when I’m heading out. Hose looks OK, no visible gunk. Sometimes it’s left with water in it, sometimes empty. It hangs there for 2 weeks whilst I’m offshore, then gets drunk again when I’m home (much like myself!). Only ever has water in it though.


    soapy water and stored in the fridge/freezer.

    Premier Icon turboferret

    I am incredibly badly disciplined about storing of my Camelbak, so it’s always half full of gunk when I come to need it.

    I empty the bladder, and pour a full kettle of boiling water into it, letting it run out of the hose.

    Major potential for horrible burns, but works OK, what it doesn’t physically clean off, it’ll kill, and I’m still alive 🙂

    Cheers, Rich

    i use milton or a cheaper version of it at the local supermarket…. i swish my water carrier with the solution and pour the rest into blue tube , tie tube together and stand it overnite ! nice n clean and dterilised next morning. i do this after every ride !!!!

    if yours is black ( sorry but thats bad… if it wont come clean then id bin it and get a new one ! then clean the new one regularly !


    i’ve left mine till its smelt funny then washed it out with washing up soap and warm water. just remember to rinse it a allot.

    on the rare occasions that i do remember to empty it when i get back i rinse it out good then blow it up and pop it back in the rucksack, that way the sides don’t touch and get mankey.

    i might pop a few denture / millton tabs in there this weekend though. just to be on the safe side


    Use a pipe cleaner on a straightened coat hanger to clean the tube.

    Empty out the bladder (and rinse if you used additives). Leave the bladder out of the pack and with the lid off so it dries out. You can stuff a tea towel inside, but i don’t bother now.

    I use bicarbonate of soda disolved in hot water from tome to time to get rid of the funny taste.

    My Camelbak bladder is at lead 5 yrs old, still has that Camelbak tinge about it which has been there from day one. It used to be a lot worse. Yuck!

    Source/Vagabond make good quality bladders that have no taste at all.

    Buy a new one, rinse with fresh water and keep it in the freezer when not in use. Last years and years like that.


    Mine only ever has water in it, gets left hanging up till next ride, then rinsed and refilled. Fill it with water/milton and leave it over night every monthish.


    Freezing is the way forward. + I only ever use water in the bladder – no squash, no energy powders – I take gel and cereal bars to eat for that stuff. Bladder is years old, weekly use and still clean

    Milton, end of thread. No need to faff about with the freezer.

    Surely using Milton is more faff than bunging it in the freezer?

    Mine is always in the freezer and I wash it occasionally with the denture tablets – own brand Co-op ones cost next to nothing too.

    Parts of my expensive CamelBac cleaning kit are now only used to baste pastries when baking….


    freezing camelbaks is foolish! i’ve done that with two different ones, they’ve both sprung a leak immediately after where it’s brittle… i just rinse out after most rides and leave empty with the mouth open to dry 🙂

    Premier Icon nickc

    For the fans of freezing. Bacteria just go to sleep when you chill them, it won’t kill them. Have a guess at what comes to life almost immediately from 1km deep ice core samples taken from the Antarctic…

    Mild bleach, or Miltons.

    Premier Icon FB-ATB

    Nickc I take it you’ve done the basic food hygeiene course too!


    freezer end of thread…

    i cannot see why this is so hard???

    maybe its me 😉

    being doing this for years and had no ill effects whatsoever

    each to their own! :mrgreen:


    another one using steradent tablets over here.

    A mate of mine got a nasty kidney infection from a manky camelbak and was on the verge of surgery for while so, if you don’t already, clean the effing thing regularly!

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