Cleaning the hydration bladder and the entire hydration system is one of the nastier duties of equipment care – but it’s not that difficult. How do I clean my bladder properly? And how often? You should pay attention to this when cleaning!
Drinking bladders and hydration packs have revolutionized the market for beverage transportation and supply in the open air in recent years. Belonged 20 years ago, the tinny (or made of aluminum) bottle was standard equipment for every mountain climber, cyclist, and hiker, drinking bottles now have a firm grip on the market – whether as an ideal complement to drinking bottles or as a replacement.
Also, hydration systems – and this is the most significant advantage over the bottle – can be conveniently operated during the activity with drinking tubes attached to the shoulder strap. Without stopping the hydration pack, cumbersome operation of zippers, dislocations when opening bags, or fiddling with cords. Also, new drinking bubbles have large openings that allow for easy filling and cleaning and ensure that sufficient air gets into the interior during the drying process.
- How are the different hydration systems different? All about it in our purchase advice hydration pack and hydration system.
Which parts do you have to clean with the hydration system?
Counter question: What consists of a hydration system? Right, from hydration bladder, hose and mouthpiece. These parts should be laid and cleaned as far as possible after each use.
How often and how intensive cleaning is necessary for drinking bottles and hydration systems depend on various factors:
- Necessary cleaning: After each use, the hydration system should be rinsed and dried.
- Intensive cleaning: How often intensive cleaning is necessary depends on the duration of use and the content.
How do you clean a hydration bladder or hydration system?
The necessary cleaning of hydration systems should be done after each use, similar to drinking bottles. Here you proceed as follows:
- Disassemble hydration bladder, tube, and mouthpiece (as far as possible)
- Rinse all parts of the hydration system with hot, non-boiling water (maximum 60 degrees!). If there were juice, syrup, or powder additives in the bladder, you should use some detergent and then rinse thoroughly.
- Shake out the hose
- Hang the bubble and hose dry to allow the water to drain well
- Well dried (check!)
Cleaning of drinking bubbles – it depends on the content!
At regular intervals, you should give your hydration pack more intensive care. Mainly if you often use fruit juices or effervescent tablets, your hydration system should be carefully cleaned because residues can cause mildew or an unpleasant taste. So the question is: what do you fill in your hydration bladder – and how often do you have to clean it intensively?
Scenario 1: Water
“I only fill my hydration bladder with pure water – fruit juices or pills are rather the exceptions!”
Then you are in a comfortable position. It is sufficient to rinse the bladder carefully with clear water after the tour, to remove the tube (this is possible with most handles with a handle), cleaning this also, and then to dry. It is best to shake out water drops from the hose and then hang this lengthways so that water vapor can escape, and steady air circulation is given.
The bladder should be opened, excess water should also be removed by shaking, and the bladder then hung up. Whether opening up or down – this is what the ghosts are about. Although water vapor can escape more efficiently at the top, excess water collects at the bottom of the drinking bladder.
With the opening down, the excess water runs off, but the water vapor collects in the bubble. It depends so much on how much care you take when shaking/draining the bubble and whether the bubble is hung in a well-ventilated room to dry!
Scenario 2: Fruit juices and effervescent tablets
“Pure water is rather the exception for me; I occasionally mix with fruit juices or use effervescent tablets.”
Then you should pay attention when cleaning your hydration bladder that no sugary residues or particles remain, which could cause mold. “Thorough rinse with hot water” (maximum 60 ° C) is the basic rule. Due to the hot water, most of the impurities and germs say goodbye to the hydration bladder on their own.
But beware – the water should not boil. Otherwise, the hydration bladder can be damaged and made permanently unusable. Further residues are best removed with a detergent solution and brush; the bubble is then dried as in Scenario 1.
Scenario 3: Various contents and widespread use
“I am a power user and use my hydration bladder frequently and with a variety of content. Also, I do not always come to clean the hydration bladder quickly after my sporting activities – I’m still on the road anyway! “
We understand that – but you should always pay attention to regular and thorough cleaning. The easiest way is to make sure you clean the bubble whenever you have the opportunity. The brook beside the path or the well in the valley is also sufficient for necessary cleaning. In every apartment, there are Spüli and hot water. Because mainly, if you use your bladder frequently, you should be aware of the importance of good hygiene for your health. Also, drinks from clean bubbles just taste better. We suggest using the following frequently when using juices and other sugary drinks:
- Thoroughly rinse the bladder and drinking tube with hot water (60 ° C, not boiling!) And a little washing-up liquid.
- In doing so, use a brush to remove more dirt at the welds and in the last corners of the hydration bladder.
- Finally, rinse the bladder and hose thoroughly!
- Dry as in scenario 1
TIP: Power users can buy a second bubble. If one is dirty, the other can be used. But you can not get around cleaning one way or the other …
Aids for cleaning
Although individual manufacturers offer special tablets for cleaning the hydration bladder or bottle – but you can even manage with grandma’s tablets for teeth cleaning (Corega tabs). Home remedies like vinegar are also useful – but beware, rinse thoroughly! You should refrain from using stronger detergents – they pose a significant health hazard.