Bladders KIA

Nalgene Bladders...

Nalgene Bladders…

I used to be really good about keeping my hydration bladders clean. Then I got lazy – very lazy. When I went to re-fill my Nalgene bladder yesterday I noticed a lot of black mold inside – yuck! 😦

So I tried my “hard to clean area trick” and used rice + warm water + soap+agitation. It actually worked pretty well in the main compartment then I noticed the mold was all over the drinking tube as well – double yuck.

I remembered I had two of these bladders so I went and grabbed #2. And to my horror it was contaminated with mold as well.


Time to buy a new bladder. Lesson learned.

Here is how I have kept bladders clean in the past:

  • after each use rinse with clean tap water and let water drain through hose to rinse it
  • store in freezer between uses

It’s a simple and effective way to keep your bladder 100% clean.

I just have to stop being lazy and take care of my gear!

PS – I have bleached bladders in the past to kill mold. It worked on the killing side of things, but I could taste the bleach for months afterwards. Gaaacckk!


6 thoughts on “Bladders KIA

  1. I too put in the freezer – no mould ever …. and I have been doing it for 11 years with one bladder and still fine.

  2. Best solution I have found is use Efferdent… yea the tablets to clean dentures. I pop a couple of them in a bladder full of warm water, run some through the hose and it seems to do the trick. After waiting 15min or so I’ll drain in, then run water through the bladder and hose to rinse.

  3. Adding water softener to the cleaning water seems to help with all sorts of cleaning problems. A friend bought a house from a smoker with decades of nicotine coating everything and I just used water softener and it came off easy where nothing she tried had worked.

  4. How much bleach did you use when you cleaned them out, and how long did you leave it sit in there? I’d maybe try some bleach water (one or two drops at the most for that size of bladder) and one of the camelback brushes to scrub it out.

    My rule of thumb now is nothing but plain water in a bladder when I use it, drain it and hang it with the lid off.

  5. I use drink mix in my bladder, but if I rinse it and freeze it nothing bad happens.

    The bleach incident was a while ago so I don’t recall the ratios used, but that flavour has never encouraged me to try it again.

    I bought a new bladder and I’ll take better care of this one.

  6. Cleaning the hose can be done by tying a cut-out piece of green scrubby to some thing string (eg dental floss). Mounting hardware, etc., can be put through the dishwasher.

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