You might be thinking, “how does something we fill with clean water ever need cleaning?” But bacteria and mould are resourceful little buggers, and will inevitably find their way into your CamelBak, Platypus or other brand of hydration reservoir. Your best defence is to clean your system regularly. It’s not hard to do, but the shapes are awkward and it helps if you have the right supplies and know a few tips.
You’re likely to clean your reservoir more often if you have the right supplies on hand. Special equipment isn’t required, but if you want to make the job easier and more thorough, it’s helpful to have tools designed for the task.
You’ll need a mild dish soap, plus any of the following cleaning solutions:
The key is to keep the bladder fully open to allow air to circulate. It’s preferable to hang or place the bladder upside down so water can drip out.
This is a two-stage process. First, you mix and add the cleaning solution to neutralise nasties throughout the system. Then, you’ll wash with dish soap to help remove all residue of the cleaning solution.
Step One: Add the Cleaning Solution
Step Two: Wash with Dish Soap, then Rinse
Step Three: Air Drying
Though using the bathroom is tempting because you don’t mind a few drips there, it’s best to find a non-humid, out-of-the-way location for drying. Then give everything in the hydration system plenty of time to thoroughly dry, because putting it away with even a small amount of moisture inside invites mould growth.