Kelsey from ACK Houston give tips on cleaning your CamelBak.

Remember to dry after cleaning your CamelBak!
Remember to dry after cleaning your CamelBak!

“Do you have to clean your CamelBak? Even if you just put water in it?”

I’ve been asked about this several times recently and thought I would write a bit about it for our online readers.┬áThe answer is yes. Ideally you should clean and air out your CamelBak after every use, but if you are like me then sometimes after a long hike or backpacking trip, cleaning your CamelBak is not the first thing you do or sometimes forget to do all together.

The result can be a smelly CamelBak. Cleaning your CamelBak can be a little more challenging than a standard water bottle but is something that must be done to prevent bacteria from growing and bad taste and odors from developing.

You can use household cleaning supplies such as hot water and baking soda or soap and water. To clean, you fill the reservoir and flip upside down and make sure the cleaning solution runs through the hose. You may want to use a diluted bleach solution or the cleaning tablets that Camelbak makes to really clean and sterilize.

Cleaning your CamelBak is important especially if you use it for beverages other than water, like sports drinks, because the sugar in these causes bacteria to grow. Even if you do just use your CamelBak for water, after sitting or being in the heat it can develop a mildew smell or old water taste. If you are sensitive to the cleaning soaps you may want to use baking soda after cleaning with bleach or the Camelbak cleaning tablets. This is also something you can do when your CamelBak is new to get rid of any plastic odors or taste. If you do choose to use your own cleaning product you may want to consider purchasing the CamelBak cleaning brush kit for around $10. It includes a brush for the water reservoir and a small brush on a wire that is designed specifically to fit into the drinking hose and thoroughly clean that hard to reach area. This is a must have if you have left your CamelBak sitting and mold starts to grow inside of the tube, it can still be salvaged and cleaned.

Another important step to remember is after cleaning you must let your CamelBak air out to avoid any moisture from sitting inside. The CamelBak Antidote Reservoir Cleaning Kit, which cost around $20, not only comes with the two brushes and cleaning tablets but a handy hanger and props to open up the reservoir and allow the CamelBak to dry completely.

We’ve got a wide selection of CamelBak models, replacement parts and cleaning materials available in store and online. Give your local store a call to see what they have in stock and check out our online selection here.