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Old 08-21-08, 08:35 PM   #1
Zero_Enigma
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For those with a camelbak I have some questions about keeping it clean.

I plan on using mine with water only tho I have noticed that Camelbak has flavored tablets. I own a new Camelbak Thermobak 2L which has been sitting at home for a while. I just took the tags off it today as it was hot and I was working outside in the yard sweating like a pig and needed something to keep me cool. I prefer home solutions if possible.

1. What is the best way to keep it clean?

2. What is the best way to remove the plastic taste?

3. Any ways to air dry this? Some DIY way? Without buying that hanger kit?


I want to avoid having sitting water in the unit when I put it to storage later.
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Old 08-21-08, 08:47 PM   #2
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I can't seem to get the plastic taste out. I use a baby bottle brush to clean inside the plastic bag. Pull the mouthpiece off and the hose off the the bag connection first. It's a hard pull but pull it straight off. I thoroughly run soapy water through the hose. I hang the hose over the sink to drip dry. The washed mouthpiece sits on the countertop until the next use. I use papertowels to towel dry the inside of the plastic bag and then leave a loose wad of dry paper towels inside the bag to keep the sides seperate until the next use. The night before a ride, I assemble everything, rinse out once more, fill with water and keep in the fridge overnite for a cool drink.
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Old 08-21-08, 08:54 PM   #3
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The best way that I've found to remove the plastic taste is to make a mixture of hot water and baking soda and let the bag and the tube soak in it for several hours.

As far as keeping it clean, a 3:1 mixture of water and Listerine passed through the tube works okay. That's what I did when I used one, but there are probably better methods.

I've gone back to cages and bottles.
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Old 08-21-08, 09:15 PM   #4
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The plastic taste will go away fairly quickly.

As for drying, I have tried lots of things over the years but REALLY like the new yellow hanging things. They prop it open so it dries thoroughly (though I do use a paper towel to dry it a little before hanging). Other methods just don't let it dry and then the mildew starts....

Just buy the drying thingy and be done with it.
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Old 08-21-08, 09:20 PM   #5
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No way around it

I sell the stuff (CamelBak), have tried the baking soda and water thing (never heard of Listerine, but sounds like it would do ok) and it works ok too, but nothing works like the cleaning kit (comes with the brushes, dryer hanger, and a couple of cleaning tablets). I held off for 7/10 years using baking soda, but nothing works like the tablets. It makes a new one taste better too along with keeping up on your existing bladders. Lastly, if you want to keep your bladder, hose, and mouthpiece fresh keep it in your refer if you have the room. If it stays cold, you almost never have to clean it out except for maybe the mouthpiece. I also recommend using the Elixer (their brand of electrolyte replenishment) as it adds kind of a citrus-like flavor that keeps it tasting less like plastic. Good luck
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Old 08-21-08, 09:37 PM   #6
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Just get the drying kit and the cleaning tabs.
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Old 08-21-08, 10:11 PM   #7
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I sell the stuff (CamelBak), have tried the baking soda and water thing (never heard of Listerine, but sounds like it would do ok) and it works ok too, but nothing works like the cleaning kit (comes with the brushes, dryer hanger, and a couple of cleaning tablets). I held off for 7/10 years using baking soda, but nothing works like the tablets. It makes a new one taste better too along with keeping up on your existing bladders. Lastly, if you want to keep your bladder, hose, and mouthpiece fresh keep it in your refer if you have the room. If it stays cold, you almost never have to clean it out except for maybe the mouthpiece. I also recommend using the Elixer (their brand of electrolyte replenishment) as it adds kind of a citrus-like flavor that keeps it tasting less like plastic. Good luck
What store do you work at? I stop by Niagra Falls a few times a year. I'm in Toronto, Canada here so I'm ~1.5hr (legal speed limit) away. Would be cool to meet up sometime if I was in the area tho I'm only on the Canadian side only. Seeing as you're by the falls how is the walking border crossing now? What requirements are needed? What do the border guards do when you show up with a bike? How do they treat you if you have a multi-tool (traditional), bike multi-tool, and knife? I mean being a rider I can probably explain all three items.
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Old 08-21-08, 10:14 PM   #8
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I plan on using mine with water only tho I have noticed that Camelbak has flavored tablets. I own a new Camelbak Thermobak 2L which has been sitting at home for a while. I just took the tags off it today as it was hot and I was working outside in the yard sweating like a pig and needed something to keep me cool. I prefer home solutions if possible.

1. What is the best way to keep it clean?

2. What is the best way to remove the plastic taste?

3. Any ways to air dry this? Some DIY way? Without buying that hanger kit?


I want to avoid having sitting water in the unit when I put it to storage later.
I use denture tablets which leave a nice minty taste.
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Old 08-21-08, 10:20 PM   #9
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I store mine in the freezer. Nothing grows there.
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Old 08-21-08, 10:26 PM   #10
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Well right now the unit is brand new never used till today when it was a couple hours before heat of the day feeling like 27C + digging soil thermo build up. I was looking for ways to remove the plastic taste and also for the long hual how to care for it.

I'm not too sure of the Listerine method. O_o;; The denture idea also is O___o;; Tho I'm sure both works I think I may go with the bleach method and the baking soda method.

How long do I need to leave the bleach in the bladder for? How much bleach is needed? What type of bleach should I use? For the baking soda method the same questions as for the bleach.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-21-08, 10:35 PM   #11
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Ems

I work at Eastern Mountain Sports in Tonawanda, NY ( calls me there...see the below link for store information) across from the Boulevard mall. See the below link:
http://www.ems.com/locator/locator_state.jsp . Hopefully that will get you set. We are moving in a couple of months and will be just down the street closer to the 290 expressway. If you go across the Rainbow Bridge by bike on the road, make sure to ride and not walk. They have rotating gates on the U.S. side and you will not get your bike through. As far as tools, never had a problem. Make sure to bring license, birth cert, and/or passport.

Thanks,

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Old 08-21-08, 11:08 PM   #12
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I work at Eastern Mountain Sports in Tonawanda, NY ( calls me there...see the below link for store information) across from the Boulevard mall. See the below link:
http://www.ems.com/locator/locator_state.jsp . Hopefully that will get you set. We are moving in a couple of months and will be just down the street closer to the 290 expressway. If you go across the Rainbow Bridge by bike on the road, make sure to ride and not walk. They have rotating gates on the U.S. side and you will not get your bike through. As far as tools, never had a problem. Make sure to bring license, birth cert, and/or passport.

Thanks,

Erik Nowakowski
Store Manager
I don't mean to off-topic the thread much but have you crossed the border recently? Say in the last couple months and such? What do you mean bike by road? You mean with the cars border crossing? Does that mean I can scoot up to the front of the line while all the other cars are jammed up or I have to wait in line? I admit, the only thing that freaks me out right now is the gatekeepers. I'm not sure of the proceedure and don't want to get shot for whatever reason. I've been to the USA many times before. Love the people there. Only thing that freaks me out are the gatekeepers (border guards) and thier goverment other then that lots of awesome places to explore and gooooooood eats! I'm curious what would happen if I said I just wanted to see the other side of the falls on the USA side. Will they be dinks and make me test every electronic device I have so that it's not a bomb?

I had a friend fly to the USA a while ago. Granted this is by air but I do know the border guards can check your items if they want much like airport security to my knowledge. My mate was at the airport and the security must have had an bad day and vented off on him as he had to turn the laptop on (standard proceedure), get an explosives swab, and remove his shoes but security must have wanted to make an example out of him for having electronics because they made him take out the batteries on his laptop, cellphone, power on the PDA, batteries out his GPS, and tried to get him to take the batteries out of his Nintendo DS which he argued he can't because he's not allowed to bring the flipping screw driver on the flight so they can't open it to check if the battey might blow or something but they sure did make him turn the NDS on then take the game out to check the unit. It's a good thing my mate arrived an hour early. I think they took 30min just to detail him.

I hope I don't run into such a nightmare while riding in/out of the border. BTW what is the closest store in the USA that can issue a P.O Box? Can you find that out for me? Also if they need ID and if they can take monthly contacts then long term 12months? I'm thinking of getting a USA PO Box as some Ebay and stores in the USA have some stuff I like but won't ship up north of the border for whatever reasons. Not to vent, but one Ebay seller even had the balls to say they don't ship to Canada because they don't support the war in Iraq and they don't ship to any country that does not support the war. I forgot what I was looking for at that Ebay sellers site and no I did not buy from them. I figure being my close proximity I can just show up to the US side and pick up my stuff and ome back home that is if customs and duty don't bend me over proper and royally.
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Old 08-21-08, 11:15 PM   #13
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+1 for the Camelbak Cleaning Kit. The little brushes and the hanger are key if you want to clean it really well. The day I bought the cleaning kit I kicked myself for having not done it years sooner.


on a semi-related note, consider a cold-weather kit if you are planning to use it in the winter.
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Old 08-22-08, 12:08 AM   #14
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+1 for the Camelbak Cleaning Kit. The little brushes and the hanger are key if you want to clean it really well. The day I bought the cleaning kit I kicked myself for having not done it years sooner.


on a semi-related note, consider a cold-weather kit if you are planning to use it in the winter.

A cold weather kit?
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Old 08-22-08, 12:56 AM   #15
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The new bladders (for several years now) are made of a material the inhibits growth of the bad stuff. It has been a very long time that I have had to do any cleaning on one.

I put Gatorade or water in mine. After use, I rinse the bladder & tube with warm water, then fill it half full with (Gatorade or water), blow through the bite valve to fill the other half with air and then lay it on it's back in the freezer. When I am ready to use it, run the cap under warm water until you can open it, fill it the rest of the way up with Gatorade or water. You then have cold drink for a very long while.

If you fill the entire bladder with Gatorade and freeze it, then the stuff that melts first is very strong and the last stuff is mostly water. With half frozen and half liquid, the taste if pretty good the entire volume.

Before the new bladders and cleaning kits, I took a wire hanger that had a plastic coating on it and reshaped it to hold the bladder open the same as the drying kit device.
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Old 08-22-08, 03:25 AM   #16
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Make sure you really clean the tube regularly using the snake brush thing that comes with the cleaning kit. Those tubes can get pretty gross. Even though it may look clean,if you use the brush, you'll find black stuff on the white bristles after running it through the tube. Ick.
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Old 08-22-08, 04:12 AM   #17
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wha?!? you're supposed to clean them?
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Old 08-22-08, 04:26 AM   #18
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A cold weather kit?
The cold weather kit has a neoprene sleeve for the hose and a rubber cover for the bite valve. Both of these tend to freeze up in colder weather...
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Old 08-22-08, 05:26 AM   #19
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I store mine in the freezer. Nothing grows there.
Not as extreme but I kept mine in the fridge. As for drying it out for long term storage, I just wadded some paper towels in it, changed them out after a couple hours, repeated until throughly dried. I stored it with the cap off and a couple paper towels still inside.
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Old 08-22-08, 05:27 AM   #20
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The cold weather kit has a neoprene sleeve for the hose and a rubber cover for the bite valve. Both of these tend to freeze up in colder weather...
Nothing works well at -10F..............
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Old 08-22-08, 06:42 AM   #21
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denture tablets do a good job of cleaning it, getting the plastic tast out, and leaves it minty fresh. I use one a few times a month. I just bought the cheapies. i never put anything in mine but water though.
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Old 08-22-08, 07:31 AM   #22
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Just get the drying kit and the cleaning tabs.
++

Also, it's MUCH easier to remove the tube from the bladder and mouthpiece from the tube if you briefly run the connection under very hot water (got that tip from the Camelbak folks themselves, IIRC).
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Old 08-22-08, 07:48 AM   #23
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I'm not too sure of the Listerine method. O_o;; The denture idea also is O___o;; Tho I'm sure both works I think I may go with the bleach method and the baking soda method.

How long do I need to leave the bleach in the bladder for? How much bleach is needed? What type of bleach should I use? For the baking soda method the same questions as for the bleach.

Thanks in advance.
So, you're choosing to use bleach, which is fairly poisonous and binds to plastics very tightly, over using listerine (which is safe to drink in moderate quantities) and denture cleaner (also safe to drink in moderate quantities).

It's your health.
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Old 08-22-08, 09:54 AM   #24
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I've been using camel-baks for years (mostly as backpacking equipment, so I tend to use them for 5 or 7 straight days without washing them......)

The cleaning kits are awesome - the hanger they made is very good. You can also make one pretty easily out of a nonpainted/non finished wire hanger. But these things definitely need to be dried out thoroughly to prevent funk (but the new ones are a lot better).

Bleach can be safe if used correctly - one small drop / half gallon is usually a safe purification amount - and flush thoroughly with water when complete as it is quite toxic (and, as mentioned above, easily bonded with petroleum based plastics). Instead of this I'd just recommend a really really really really really gentle liquid soap - like the stuff they use for babies. I'd also recommend to, in addition to the hangar, try to dry this in a place with at good ventilation and air motion.

And get one with the neoprene sleeve over the hose - they are teh roxx0r.
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Old 08-22-08, 10:54 AM   #25
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I've been using a Northface knockoff for over a year. It has a high-quality bladder made by Nalgene.

I haven't cleaned it once. But I use water and water only.
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