How Do You Clean a Hydration Bladder?

Drinking water should always be kept clean and safe. However, most people find it difficult to effectively clean and maintain hydration bladders. For the record, bladders are prone to providing conducive environment for growth and development of molds and bacteria if not properly taken care of. This, as you may know, makes your water taste more funky and may also become a health hazard.

cleaning a hydration bladder

Related: Best Hydration Bladders

While hydration bladders should always be properly drained, washed, rinsed and dried in open air after use, you may not find that time after your weekend trip or vacation. Instead, you will often leave it in the backseat or toss it somewhere in the closet and rush to the house to get yourself a bottle of beer or a refreshing bath just to think of it when you begin to plan a new trip.

When the time comes for retrieval, your bladder will have accumulated chunks, flunky flavors, mildew and molds. This is the reason why it is recommended that you clean your hydration bladder after every outing but this, like many other activities, is easier said than done. Strange enough, even those who would want to obey this basic rule find it difficult to do so as they do not know how to properly clean a hydration bladder.

So, how do you clean a hydration bladder? This should not be a big issue as there are four easy ways of effectively cleaning your hydration bladder.

Method 1: Using Baking Soda or Bleach

baking soda

Method 2: Using Denture Cleaner or Efferdent Tabs

efferdent anti-bacterial cleaner

Method 3: Using Lemon Water or White Vinegar

lemon water

Method 4: Using a Dishwasher Machine

This is the simplest way of cleaning your hydration bladder. However, it only applies to bladders that are dishwasher safe. In this case, these bladders often come with cleaning instructions. Most bladders will need to be disassembled before being put in a dishwasher for cleaning.

How to Air Dry a Hydration Bladder

Drying a hydration bladder is one of the greatest challenges for outdoor enthusiasts. This is basically due to the fact that the interior of the reservoir often collapse allowing no airflow to and from the reservoir. Another reason is because the bite valve is never left open hence susceptible to the development of molds and bacteria.

It is important to always air dry your hydration bladder because if you don't, the moisture trapped inside will definitely provide a habitat and breeding environment for bacteria and molds. The best way to dry your bladder is to use a special hanger that will keep the interior of the bladder apart. For the bite valve and the hose, leave a toothpick or a small piece of stick in the hose to ensure that there is enough airflow through the valve. This will ensure that the tube and valve are completely dry before storage.

Additional Care Tips for a Hydration Bladder

Microorganisms Commonly Found in Hydration Bladders

Without proper cleaning and care, hydration bladders will host several microorganisms which in essence will contaminate your water. These microorganisms also affect the quality and taste of your water, making it less interesting. Factors that contribute to growth of microbes in hydration bladders include:

The most common microbes likely to be found in the hydration bladders include:

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