Has your CamelBak lost its not so fresh taste? Or worse, did you pull it out of winter storage, only to find the remains of a science experiment long forgotten? Thankfully there is a pretty easy way to restore your drink system’s freshness.
Most drink systems never taste pristine, but it’s very disheartening to get up in the mountains and have nothing to drink but throat burning brackish water when you’re terribly thirsty. The water bladder needs to be periodically scrubbed and sanitized to kill the junk that grows in that warm, moist micro environment.
CamelBak sells scrub brushes, and I’ve seen them in a couple packaging options. I bought the $10 package that included a big brush for the bladder and a little brush for the tube. More expensive packages included some special cleaning tablets. It’s unlikely that I’d have access to the cleaning tablets when I really need them, so I use just a little bleach to do the sanitizing.
I fill the CamelBak reservoir with water, and add just a teaspoon of bleach. I let it set overnight, and turn it over once to make sure all parts of the interior get sanitized. I also let a little run out the hose to make sure the bleach solution reaches this part too. The next morning, I use the brushes to scrub it out, and I rinse it several times.
The bleach can add a little taste to the water, so make sure you rinse it well. It might even be a good idea to let it set for a while with water in it, and then rinse it again. I’ve also read that a final soak with a water/baking soda mixture can further remove any aftertaste.
Does anyone have any cleaning tips or tricks they’d like to share or add?