Why You Should Clean Your Hydration Pack?

Germs and mold will unavoidably make their way into your hydration bladder if you forget to empty and dry it after use. Even the best hydration packs can get moldy and unpleasant, so it's crucial you understand these tips. While it may seem like a pain, with a little know-how, keeping your hydration backpack clean and sanitized can be a breeze. 

How Often You Should Clean a Hydration Pack?

It's probably not necessary to clean it fully before and after every usage if you use it every day and just fill it with clean water, but it's a good idea to develop the habit of routinely rinsing and drying your hydration bladder as soon as you finish using it. This will lessen the likelihood of a musty water bladder and facilitate a thorough cleaning. And if you see visible mold that can’t be scrubbed out? Cut your losses and get yourself a new hiking hydration bladder.

How to Clean Hydration Packs?

Cleaning Solutions

If your hydration pack gets a little dusty, just wipe it down with a damp cloth. If it's really filthy and needs a deeper cleaning, here are some cleaning solutions:

  • Reservoir cleaning tablets:These tablets are wonderful and you’ll only need to use one every time you want to clean your reservoir. Ensure that the type you select is designed to get rid of deposits that accumulate in the hydration pack system over time.
  • Baking soda:This will assist you in maintaining an odor-free reservoir. For every liter of water that your reservoir can hold, simply combine ¼ cup of baking soda with ¾ cups of water.
  • Bleach:Use 2 to 5 drops of unscented bleach for every liter of water to help maintain your reservoir clear of microorganisms.

  • Lemon juice:Because lemon juice is a natural deodorizer, you can use ¼ cup of lemon juice per liter of water to keep your reservoir fresh.
  • Denture-cleaning tablets:If you already have these around the house, you may use them to keep your hydration pack clean since they are a less expensive alternative to reservoir cleaning tablets.

Bonus tip: To ensure that your reservoir is thoroughly clean and sterilized, you can combine the lemon juice with the baking soda and bleach for a stronger mixture.

Cleaning Tools

You’re likely to clean your hydration backpack 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.  

  • Cleaning brushes for the reservoir and drinking tube:These can make it easier for you to reach all the crannies and nooks.
  • Kitchen scrubbing pad or scrub brush:You probably already have these at home, but they may not get to all the hard-to-reach places.
  • A knotted cord:The cord has to be longer than your drinking tube and the knot should be large enough to fit tightly inside it. Simply pull the cord and knot through the tube a few times during the scrubbing process.

Drying Aids

The key is to keep the bladder completely open to allow air to circulate. It’s preferable to hang or place the bladder upside down so water can drip out.

  • Reservoir hanger: While the most can be used with any bladder, some are only compatible with specific reservoir models.
  • Clothespins:Put the bladder upside-down.
  • Kitchen whisk: Slip it inside to prop the bladder open
  • Clean cloth:Soak up any water lurking in hard-to-reach corne