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  1. #1
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    My CamelBak reservoir = Totally disgusting

    OK - I admit that I have not cleaned my reservoir in over two years. And yes, I use it on average 5 days a week and when I get home I just hang the whole bag with the left over water in it until the next ride.

    As a 40 year old father of 7 and counting (hey, sounds like a TV show?! Any money in this for me?!) I try and watch out for my health and longeveity. My brother suggested a good step in that direction would be to take all that black muck out of the CamelBak tube. Sometimes ya; just gotta listen. So I took my two year old and never used CamelBak cleaning kit and followed all the steps. ANd yes, I shoudl have taken a picture to post of the roughly tablespoon of thick black muck that I got out of it. But sorry - no pics.

    For the future: I will not be able to take the whole thing apart after each ride and hang it to dry. So what can I do to keep it cleaner?

    I read of one guy who rolls it up after each ride and keeps it in the freezer and it is still spotless after years of use with sports drink!!

    What can I do?

  2. #2
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    Filtered water only, and store it in the freezer. Still requires the occasionally cleaning ... but not often enough to make it a chore.

  3. #3
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    Dish soap. Clean the reservoir and then put your mouth over the opening and blow hard enough to send the water and soap out the hose. Rinse and repeat until clean.

  4. #4
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    Yes - I use filtered water only. I do like to put ice in it and I think it's been a while since I changed the filter on the icemaker...like 4 years...

  5. #5
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    Let me clarify:

    I want to know what the quickest and easist thing to do after every ride to keep the system as clean as possible.

    Some take the tube and bite off and let all three pcs dry. Too much hassle for me.

    Some put the empty bladder and tube in the freezer - cute but my wife may kill me.

    Next...?

  6. #6
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    One Way or Another

    Quote Originally Posted by yehudanachum
    Let me clarify:

    I want to know what the quickest and easist thing to do after every ride to keep the system as clean as possible.

    Some take the tube and bite off and let all three pcs dry. Too much hassle for me.

    Some put the empty bladder and tube in the freezer - cute but my wife may kill me.

    Next...?
    You wan to stop mold. Either dry it out or cool it down. Either move to New Mexico where it'll dry out on it's own or throw it in the freezer or fridge.

    I use Oxyclean or 5 Star Powdered Brewery Wash followed by StarSan for cleaning mine. I store it in the freezer with a bit of water in it so my beer stays cold on rides.

    If you're wife will cut you off for putting something in your freezer, you might have other problems. I recommend you start drinking heavily now.

    Slow-core. -.. .-. .. -. -.- .... --- -- . -... .-. . .--

  7. #7
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    Mouthwash works pretty well for cleaning also. It will kill just about everything but you.
    "Confidence is the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation".

  8. #8
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    I put about a beer cap full of bleach in mine (full of water) about once every other month, shake it up real good, get some in the hose, then leave it in for about 5 minutes, rinse & re-fill. Seems to work great, & stops the mold from growing.

  9. #9
    Seeeriously easy Livin
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    Camelbak water tastes terrible anyway, what's a little bleach or dish soap added to the mix?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by inkpad
    I put about a beer cap full of bleach in mine (full of water) about once every other month, shake it up real good, get some in the hose, then leave it in for about 5 minutes, rinse & re-fill. Seems to work great, & stops the mold from growing.
    A dilution of hydrogen peroxide works well to sanitize too. Denture cleaning tabs work too & leave a nice minty-fresh taste... Both a lot cheaper than the Cambelbak branded cleaning tabs.

  11. #11
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    Might I suggest:

    http://www.hydrapak.com/packs/tech2.php

    These reservoirs absolutely rock, and all you have to do is unzip the top, turn them inside out, and hang them up to dry. No black muck, and it will fit in a Camelbak pack.

  12. #12
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    CmdrChode - will that reservoir fit nicely in my 2007 M.U.L.E. ? I need to 3 ltr capacity.

    "Might I suggest:

    http://www.hydrapak.com/packs/tech2.php

    These reservoirs absolutely rock, and all you have to do is unzip the top, turn them inside out, and hang them up to dry. No black muck, and it will fit in a Camelbak pack."

  13. #13
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    I have used the 50 oz (1.5L) Hydrapak in my daughter's Mini MULE without issue. I assume that 3L dimensions between the two brands are similar and I would expect the answer to be yes. If you want to be 'extra' sure, just email them at info@hydrapak.com or give them a call at (510) 632-8318. I have contacted them once or twice for questions and they have been super-helpful.

    Here is a video that illustrates it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Bn23alrjIc. And no, I do not work for them. I just believe in the product and find it VASTLY superior to their competitor.
    Last edited by CmdrChode; 09-21-2009 at 02:48 PM.

  14. #14
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    I second the Denture cleaning effervescent tablets - very inexpensive and I usually break off a chunklet or two and put them in the bite valve and tube for a little extra scrubbin'.....

  15. #15
    what...?
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    throw it out and get a new one. I replace mine every year.

    rinse out after every ride, remove the bite valve and stick it in the freezer till next ride. simple
    Without love in a dream it will never come true

  16. #16
    I think I need to Upgrade
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokermtb
    I second the Denture cleaning effervescent tablets - very inexpensive and I usually break off a chunklet or two and put them in the bite valve and tube for a little extra scrubbin'.....

    This is the best way to go!! Cheap and easy, dump out the reservoir and refill with hot warer drop in 2-3 tabs squeeze out the air and let it do its thing. An hour or day later dump rinse and fill!

  17. #17
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    I second the Hydropak bladders. Light years better than Camelbacks. I use mine in Deuter packs, Camelback packs, and Hydropak packs. I prefer the Deuter's though. So yes, they will fit in most any pack.

    The reversible bladder is quick and easy to use. The hoses are made to snap on and off easily. The bladder will not leak with the hose detached. They also connect well with portable water purifiers.

    With all these great features, it still would be wise to replace them every once in awhile.

    Camelback bladders suck.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by notaknob
    You wan to stop mold. Either dry it out or cool it down. Either move to New Mexico where it'll dry out on it's own or throw it in the freezer or fridge.

    I use Oxyclean or 5 Star Powdered Brewery Wash followed by StarSan for cleaning mine. I store it in the freezer with a bit of water in it so my beer stays cold on rides.

    If you're wife will cut you off for putting something in your freezer, you might have other problems. I recommend you start drinking heavily now.


    Dude, your wife kicked you to the sofa for far less than that

  19. #19
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    well two things for someone who likes low maintenance. One, just throw the whole thing in the fridge when you are done riding. That cuts back on the muck a whole lot. Two, use tap water instead of filtered water. Tap water will have more trace amounts of chlorine and and other anti microbial stuff in it and should help. Most people will tell you that mold grows faster in filtered water.

  20. #20
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    +3 on the Hydropaks. I use a 100 oz/3 liter in my Dakine Nomad pack and it works really well. Not as many "moving" parts as compared to camelback/nalgene bags, what with twisting caps and whatnot. I usually just dump leftover water out, roll it up, and throw it in the freezer.
    Bend, Oregon. Proof you don't have to die to get to heaven.

  21. #21
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    Good thread.

    I was just thinking about cleaning or replacing my c'bak bladder. Some mold in the tube and a pinhole near the top.

    I'll give the denture cleaner a go. Hopefully it'll get the tube clean without having to take it apart.

    FWIW I use filtered water and keep the bag in the fruit drawer in the fridge. I clean it with dish soap a couple of times a season. Mold spots still seem to grow in the tube and on the cap threads.

    I'll start using tap water, and have a look at that hydropak.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  22. #22
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    Mold will still grow in the bladder if you keep it in the fridge. It has already been stated a couple times that the freezer is better for storage. I toss mine, water and all, in the freezer after every ride. It's a minor inconvenience to thaw it before the next ride, but I haven't had that black mold growing in my tube and bite valve since I've been doing this...going on a few years now.

  23. #23
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    Yep, 5 years in the freezer with no mold.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by moff_quigley
    Mold will still grow in the bladder if you keep it in the fridge. It has already been stated a couple times that the freezer is better for storage. I toss mine, water and all, in the freezer after every ride. It's a minor inconvenience to thaw it before the next ride, but I haven't had that black mold growing in my tube and bite valve since I've been doing this...going on a few years now.
    i've been using camelbacks (and other brands) of bladders ever since they became available years and years ago. from the start i stored in the refrigerator, and never could figure out why riding buddies would screw around trying to dry out the bladders each time.

    after all those years, i've never seen even a single speck of discoloration or mold.

    so the OP's wife doesn't want him to put it in the freezer--no big deal. find a spot in the back of the refrigerator. problem solved.

    or, mess around with all the other 'solutions'. personally, i'm a busy guy, so i'm kind of fond of solutions that are 100% effective and take zero time....like putting the damn bladder in the refrigerator.

    edit to add: i've never found it necessary to use filtered water either. regular tap water, zero issues. but i ride pretty regularly; it's not like the camelbak bladder is sitting in the refrigerator for months, filled with water.
    Originally posted by bucksaw87
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  25. #25
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    I don't often plan my rides. When everything else gets done I grab my crap and jump in the truck. Thawing a frozen 'pac bladder is just too much planning for me. Hell I don't even wrench on my bike unless it's unrideable or an unexpected rain kills a foray.

    As for the sigoth who's agin' keeping it in the fridge... Well, who paid for it? Simple as that.
    I come through the door and first up, I put all my mtb gear away. Bike, pads, shoes, colthes, pack... is the sigoth's stuff all properly stowed? *

    *= Pangalacticgargleblaster fueled tirade concluded.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  26. #26
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    Just drink things the critters won't like.
    <a href="https://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="https://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y228/lidarman/temp/camelbakb.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla
    I don't often plan my rides. When everything else gets done I grab my crap and jump in the truck. Thawing a frozen 'pac bladder is just too much planning for me. Hell I don't even wrench on my bike unless it's unrideable or an unexpected rain kills a foray.

    As for the sigoth who's agin' keeping it in the fridge... Well, who paid for it? Simple as that.
    I come through the door and first up, I put all my mtb gear away. Bike, pads, shoes, colthes, pack... is the sigoth's stuff all properly stowed? *

    *= Pangalacticgargleblaster fueled tirade concluded.
    takes less than 10 minutes to thaw. Take it out of the freezer, then get the rest of your gear ready and make filling it the last thing you do -- easy.

  28. #28
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    Who has room in the fridge?

    After forgetting one bladder out in the garage over the winter and having funky funky stuff growing in it which easily cleaned out with bleach, I started bleaching mine regularly. The funkiest stuff I get is in the mouthpiece, where it isn't visible.

    I rinse mine with tap water after each ride and hang it to dry in the downstairs bath. If I forget to clean it, or my young son has been blowing it up like a balloon, I'll just dump a cap full of bleach in, fill it with water, squeeze out the air, and let it sit for awhile. A couple rinses with clean water and it is back to tasting like new (plastic).

  29. #29
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    A new reservoir or at least new tube with valve every few years and you are good to go. Meanwhile clean with water and let to dry.

  30. #30
    MK_
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    Interesting. I've been running mine for at least 2 years, only water, from tap, throw it in the basement after a ride, sometimes leave it in a car. Never cleaned it, never had any mold. I guess that's the testament to the quality of water where I live or maybe you guys dump a lot of backwash into the tube after every sip?

    _MK

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  31. #31
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    Until this spring - for the last 4 or 5 years I've used the same Hydrapak bladder. Great stuff IMHO. For drinking all I've ever used is tap water with a squirt of lime juice for flavor and to mask the bladder-plastic taste. I always store it in the closet with water inside. Maybe the citric acid helps keep it fresh and clean? I've never dried mine out or anything like that - but I live in an incredibly dry climate so that may help keep mold away.

    I say until this spring because all the sudden crap started growing in the tube/bladder like mad. I used some bleach to scrub it out, but I don't think I got everything because it was really nasty after a couple days so I chucked it and got a new one. I figure if I can get 5 years out of each bladder I'm ahead of the game.
    The red couch has moved from Alaska to Florida...

  32. #32
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    My Camelbak stays clean but then again I fill it and drink it almost everyday. My kids packs got real gnarly. Took an old shifter cable, wiped it off once with a rag and then took the tube off, pushed cable through wrapped a small rag on it and pulled it through a number of times. Clean scrap every time. I poured some hot water and soap through before the rag. Looks great now.

  33. #33
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    There is a chance - just a chance, that the black stuff just may prevent H1N1. And I am willing to keep mine dirty just in case that it can protect me from H1N1.

    But, what I have done in the past . . . just drop $25 on a new bladder each year.

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