How to clean your hydration bladder

10:42 PM
There's some weird stuff out there on how to properly clean your hydration bladder.  I've even seen someone use bleach!  WTF!

You should regularly clean your hydration bladder to ensure it stays clean and keep bacteria at bay.  You don't want your hydration bladder to be the cause of GI distress or even worse.   So make sure you keep your main h2o storage solution clean.

At a minimum, rinse thoroughly after each use with warm water and disassemble your bite valve to clean to prevent mold growth.  Yes mold!  I didn't stutter.

I bet some of y'all haven't even thought about taking your bladder apart or cleaning it with a solution to kill germs, mold, and bacteria.  Some of y'all just nasty.  And others are like me, didn't know any better until one day you wanted to go out on a run with your bladder and fortunately gave it a good look over and noticed that it wasn't...  WTF!

Routinely take your bladder apart to give it a good cleansing.  I recommend using a mouthwash of your choosing to eliminate bacteria and make sure all those bad things that can grow in moist environments are not finding a habitat in your water supply.

So if you're too lazy to watch the two minute video, here's what you should do when you do a thorough cleaning

  1. Discard existing remaining contents immediately after you shower and eat.  Or do it before you shower and eat.  The sooner the better.
  2. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.  Fill the bladder half way and force water through the tube and bite valve to remove any sugary residue from your hydration mix
  3. Remove tube from hydration pack and wash the connection point thoroughly
  4. Replace tube to hydration pack
  5. Add mouthwash of your choosing to hydration pack (cup full) and add warm to hot water
  6. Clean the top valve with contents before sealing the hydration pack
  7. Shake bag and force water through the tube and bite valve to give those items a nice bacteria fighting rinse
  8. Empty mixture and thoroughly rinse well again with warm water.  Consider rinsing twice to avoid any mouthwash residue / aftertaste.  
  9. Fill hydration pack with water and run water through tube and bite valve one last time
  10. Disassemble hydration back and invert pack
  11. Put pack aside and make sure there isn't any slick feeling to the inside of the bag.  If there is a slick feel / texture to the inside of the bag, wipe bag down throughly and begin again at step 2.
  12. Disassemble bite valve and inspect for any discoloration.  Place aside to air dry
  13. Once disassembled parts are FULLY DRY, reassemble hydration pack
  14. Store in cool dry place until your next adventure
Disclaimer:  These instructions are only good if you have been properly maintaining care of your bag from day one.  If you find mold or other growth in your hydration pack, then that's some ish that you need to resolve on your own.  Consult a doctor or nutritionist on how to proceed there's no info here for you.  Also, I'm not a biologist or a germatician (yes that's my word) so follow these instructions at your own risk.  I'm only posting this as a Public Service Announcement that you need to pay attention to your hydration pack.  Figure that ish out on your own.  Just saying.  

And for Pete's sake (who the hell is Pete anyway), wash your hydration packs when they are new!  It would benefit you to go through a cleaning procedure upon purchase to remove that plastic taste some of you experience when you get new gear.  

Take care of your equipment that you rely on to take care of you.  Be good to the equipment that your body relies on to be good to you.  Be good folks.  Do you.  ✌

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