How to clean a hydration bladder.
Here is my funky process for cleaning a hydration bladder. I know it sounds weird but it works!
- Disconnect the hose from the bladder.
- Hold the bite valve in your left hand pinched so it’s open, in your right put the open end under hot water in your sink and flush it out real well. I only use soap occasionally here as long as you do this pretty quick post run/ride.
- Open the bladder and flush with hot water. Basically I fill it, swash around, dump, and repeat a couple times. Again I only use soap occasionally here. Not that you can’t use it every time, but maybe every 5 uses or so I just take a sponge and wash out the inside.
- Now is the fun trick, I know it sounds weird.
- Close the bladder back up.
- Connect the hose.
- Now blow into the bite valve and fill with air. Once the bladder is full of air, hold the bladder up above the hose, and squeeze the bite valve to release any water that is in the hose/bladder.
- Blow back into it to where it’s full and leave on your drying rack. I know this step sounds weird, but it works great to dry it out and keep funk from building up!
The key to this process is getting as much moisture out as possible, then keeping the bladder from touching itself which allows it to dry. You can turn it inside out too to dry which works great, but I prefer this method.
Got a better method? Let us know!
Things binding up?
Ok, so now you have it cleaned, here is one more tip. Sometimes the slider binds up, or the connection to go into the pack for the hose is really tight. Usually a hot and soapy water flush and good rinse fixes this, but in a pinch, or in addition too, you can use a food grade lubricant to make it slide and connect easy. Chapstick is a great option here as a lube!