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How do I clean my water bottle or hydration bladder?

Posted on October 23 2016

Plastic Water Bottle

I’m guessing you’ve thrown your Camelbak bottle in the dishwasher, hoping you wouldn’t ruin it. Well we are pleased to say the dishwasher is just fine so long as the bottle is on the top rack and away from the heating element, which can melt the lid. Warm water and soap will also do the trick. If you accidently leave juice or something else in the bottle for a few days, you might want to soak overnight with a tablespoon of bleach or baking soda per cup of water.

Cheap Cycling Bottle

You can throw these bottles in the top rack of the dishwasher (the same goes for CamelBak's bottles), but keep them away from the heating element. If you leave a sugary hydration mix in there for too long, you’ll need to soak it in soapy water. If the stank still won’t go away, then we suggest using a scrubbing brush or adding rice to soapy water and shaking the bottle to remove any gunk left behind.

Hydration Bladder

People who own a Camelbak often ask us "How do I clean it?" or "How do I stop mould growing?" the answer put simply is don't put it away wet or sealed up. But the better answer is you should immediately drain and dry your reservoir after every use. Empty all the water and then use a dish towel or paper towel to wipe the bag dry. Personally I find hanging it up with the tube stuffed inside it to keep the sides part works well, speaking of tubes don't forget to empty this, blowing down it work well. The best way to stop mould growth is to roll up your bladder and store it in the freezer, as even mould finds it tricky to grow there.

If you’re using hydration mixes with sugar, CamelBak suggests a deeper clean after every couple of uses. The brand sells cleaning tablets, or you can fill your reservoir with two tablespoons of baking soda or bleach per liter of hot water. Run that cleaning solution through the tube and into the bite valve as well, let it sit for 30 minutes, and then drain and rinse everything with hot water. A little squeeze of lemon juice will freshen the taste of the tube and bite valve. Finally, make sure you dry everything.

Vacuum-Insulated Stainless-Steel Bottle

 For hand washing, use unscented dish soap because it won’t leave any taste residue. Again, please leave it with the stopper off as this allows air to flow freely keeping mould and smells at bay, if you lose your Stanley Stopper we do spares. Just remember: stainless-steel bottles use precise welds to maintain the vacuum insulation. Throwing these bottles in the freezer or heating them over a flame could cause the steel to contract or expand, ruining those welds and thus the bottle’s ability to insulate liquids. Also think that every time you fill it with boiling liquid you are essentially sterilising it so don't panic too much about the stains and marks.


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