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DIY: How To Clean a Hydration Bladder

What is a hydration bladder and why is it important to that you clean yours out correctly? While you are at it, how do you clean a hydration bladder?

Anyone who takes part in a lot of outdoor activities knows the importance of having a healthy hydration bladder. Hydration Bladder is a small packet-like container that attaches to your backpack and allows you to carry water and drink on the go through a nifty hose, hands-free. Hydration bladders can be bought separately, although they are pretty standard in most survival backpacks in the market today.

When you are on a hike or a camping trip, this comes in handy. Knowing how to clean a hydration bladder comes with the territory for any outdoors enthusiast. It is important to know how to properly clean your hydration bladder to avoid getting those nasty chunks and terrible taste when you refill it. It also prevents the growth of mildew, mold and stops your water from getting a funky Smell.

This article is an important read for anyone who has a hydration bladder. Wrote it after noticed that no matter how much tried to clean my hydration bladder, my next refill always tasted a little bit funny. This became Worse once started using electrolyte Water. Went on a research mission, and found the best Way to clean my hydration pack.

What do you need for this?

This is pretty inexpensive, and the ingredients you need are probably at your house already. To clean out your hydration bladder, you need the following:

  • Warm Water.
  • One teaspoon of bleach

 If you do not have bleach, you can substitute this with antiseptic dish washing soap. I, however, recommend bleach for the best results

  • Two tablespoons of Baking soda

This is to achieve some abrasive effect to scour clean the inside of the Hydration bladder

  • Two cups of white vinegar

A small kitchen brush or a kitchen sponge if you do not have a brush. I prefer the brush for those parts that might be hard to reach with a sponge since a kitchen brush has a bit more reach and flexibility.

  • One small empty cup
  • Lemon juice for that extra freshness.

The steps on how to clean your hydration bladder are pretty simple.

Step 1

The first thing you do is to dump out everything that is in the hydration bladder. Most of us forget to pour out the remaining Water after a hike of a bike ride.

Step 2

After this, pour in some Warm Water and Swish it around the hydration bladder to dislodge anything that might be stuck in there. You can flush the hose while pouring this out. To flush the hose, simply hold the bladder over your head with the hose pointing downwards, hold the hose low while pinching the bite valve.

Step 3

The next step is to take apart your hydration bladder. This mean unscrewing the hose and the bite valve from the main compartment so that you can clean them separately. Take the empty cup, fill it with warm water a drop of bleach, and soak the bite valve in it

Step 4

Scrub out as much of the interior of the hydration bladder as you can reach with the kitchen brush and mild soap or dishwashing liquid and warm water. Once you have touched on as much of the bladder as you can, rinse it out with warm water. This is also where you flush out the hose under a running tap to clean out the inside.

Step 5

Fill the bladder with warm water; add the bleach, the two tablespoons of baking soda and the vinegar. Shake the mixture in the hydration bladder thoroughly to allow the baking soda to scour and scour all the parts of the interior, then leave it to sit for about half an hour.

Step 6

Dump out the cleaning mixture and rinse out the hydration bladder completely. Twice if necessary. After you do this, pour in the lemon juice to add that extra freshness. Swish it around and then pour it out.

Step 7

The final step is to dry out your bladder. This is the trickiest part for most since the most people have the tendency not to get this part right. The important thing is to make sure that the bladder does not close in on itself and stick together. This is going to make it impossible for the inside to dry. To avoid this, you can use balled up paper towels or a toothpick to prop it open. This allows for air to circulate inside the hydration bladder keeping it fresh as it dries.

Step 8

After drying, reassemble the hydration bladder and store it in a cool, dry, well-aerated place.

This simple to use the guide on how to clean your hydration bladder has been taken from various sources and tried and tested to fine tune it and make it easy to follow. One of them is this YouTube video

Few tips from  The Daily Prep

Other little tricks and tips

If you live in very humid places where drying out your hydration bladder is a challenge (For example some parts of Florida), you can keep the bladder in the freezer between uses. This prevents mildew and mold from growing.

Another option on how to clean your hydration is to fill it to about two-thirds full with warm water and add one denture cleaning tablet for every liter of water used. Leave it to soak until the tablets have finished working then rinse it out.

I made this easy to follow, step by step guide on how to clean a hydration bladder to make it easier for fellow outdoor enthusiasts keep their hydration bladders clean. This will help you avoid some of those stomach bugs that you can get from drinking dirty water. It will also keep your water tasting fresh and smelling great; none of that funky smell or taste.

Did you like this guide? Then let me know what you think in the comment section below. Let us know if you have any other helpful tips too. Remember to share this with others to help spread the word. Happy adventures.

image credit :amozon

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