How to Clean Hydration Bladders: A Step-by-Step Guide

Natalie Cecconi
Written by
Last update:

What is a Hydration Bladder

If you are a hiker, a climber, or a biker, a hydration bladder is one of the best things you can have. Most hikers and climbers also tend to favor hydration bladders over water bottles because the water is available without having to stop and take a pull from the water bottle.

The vast majority of hydration bladders are reusable, so they are an eco-friendly option that you can rely on. You can either purchase a hydration bladder complete with a hydration mouthpiece and hose, or you can buy a bladder and then attach your mouthpiece and hose yourself.

As I already mentioned, hydration bladders come in different sizes, both in terms of the amount of water available and storage size. So, it’s a good idea to decide how much water you will need for a hike, climb, or bike ride before you buy a hydration bladder. You will find that the storage capacity available in these bladders isn’t as much as in water bottles.

If you are looking for a hydration bladder for shorter time durations (less than two hours), it’s best to go for a hydration bladder that has a small storage capacity. This is because larger bladders need to be refilled more frequently, which can be a real irritation when you’re on a trail.

The Importance of Cleaning a Hydration Bladder

You’re halfway through your morning run and realize that you forgot to put water in your hydration pack. Or maybe you just emptied out the pack the night before, and it’s time to clean your hydration bladder. Exciting, right?

There are probably other things you’d rather be doing on a Thursday morning instead of cleaning your hydration equipment. However, ensuring that your bladders are properly cared for will keep them functioning properly and protect your health. Hydration bladders cost money, but their utility is important enough that they’re a worthwhile investment.

The best way to clean your hydration bladder is to be proactive with regular maintenance. This way, you won’t ever need to pull out that disinfecting hydrogen peroxide.

How to Clean Hydration Bladders

If you’re a fan of running, cycling or hiking, having a hydration system is a must. It enables you to carry water hands-free and to access water when you need it the most.

And when you’re outdoors, the last thing you want is unclean water.

So keep these three rules in mind when cleaning your hydration bladder:

Avoid using strong chemical cleaners and try to stick to products made for cleaning water storage systems. These cleaning products are safe and effective for on-the-go cleaning.

Keep water bottles and bladders clean!

Don’t be tempted to share a bottle or bladder with other people.

Trust me!

Final Words

The best hydration bladder is essential for adventure sports and helps you stay hydrated while hiking, running, biking, camping and being an active person.

Here’re a few tips you can use to improve how long your water bladder will last and how you maintain it for easy drinking:

Carefully pick the right hydration bladder for your adventure sports.

It should have decent capacity, not too large or too small, as well as be comfortable to use.

Inspect your hydration bladder thoroughly before each use.

Make sure the bite valve is clean, check any anti-microbial treatments and thoroughly inspect to see if the bladder holds water properly and doesn’t leak.

Always clean and dry your hydration bladder to ensure bacteria don’t start festering in your bladder.

You can clean it in a regular washing machine. Don’t forget to clean the valve after each use and during a thorough rinsing in the kitchen sink (not the dirtiest).

{1}. Always inspect your hydration bladder regularly to spot any damages or defects in the material to avoid surprises when you’re out in the wilderness.
{2}. Store your hydration bladder in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight and UV rays.