Cleaning the Water Reservoir

Ages ago i would fill my camel back with crystal light. Double the water, but still, well i needed to have flavor…

Oy, eventually I got over that! My camel back backpack is still stained red from a mis-hap with the valve getting squished…

It turns out that even filtered water has “something” in it that will mold if left in your camel back too long. Yuck! I have also learned the hard way, more than once that 70 ounces of water is not enough for me and the pups to share. So i upgraded, but then also needed an new holder…  I wasn’t feeling wealthy – so i went with this store near REI called GoLite- and got a 120 ounce bladder, and supporting backpack  (holds the boys baby bjorn as well)- same price as just a bigger bladder, different type of sealer, with built in valve closer and it’s been working well.


But the reason behind this story is that, i’m now paranoid about the water now and need to clean them (well talk the hubby into cleaning them) and I either don’t have a cleaning tablet or can’t be bothered to pay the price! So i went on line and low and behold camel back has a how to clean it page! Go figure!

Baking Soda – Check!


Someplace to hang the reservoir high: check!


Draining well


Some place to let reservoir dry: check!


Cleaning complete!


The best way to care for your reservoir is to clean and dry it after every use, especially if you fill the reservoir with anything other than water.  However, theoretically, if someone didn’t clean it after every single use, and mold or discoloration happens to develop…

  • Use hot water and 2 tablespoons of baking soda or bleach.  Mix the solution inside your reservoir and hold it up above your head while you pinch the bite valve, allowing the bleached water to run through the tube.  You can also use CamelBak Cleaning Tabs.
  • Let the reservoir and cleaning solution sit for about 30 minutes.
  • Wash the reservoir with hot water and mild soap. Be sure to completely rinse away any bleach or cleaning solution before using again.  You can also use CamelBak brushes from our Cleaning Kit to scrub your reservoir and tube.  Brushes are the best way to ensure you are scrubbing all of the areas of the reservoir clean.
  • Once the reservoir is clean, be sure to air dry the reservoir so no moisture is trapped inside, which can cause mold to grow.