I just got a Camelback Classic hyd. pack. I used it for the first time this morning, and really liked it. Any advise/comments on keeping this thing clean will be appreciated. I guess that I will go with good old soap and water for now. Thx.
First, avoid using sticky, gooey sports drinks in your Camelback. If you stay with straight water, and dry it out after riding, you don't have to worry about small creatures growing in there.
I bought one of those plastic things you stick inside to hold the sides of the bladder apart for drying, but you can make your own from a coat hanger or whatever.
Other than thorough drying, I don't think I ever "cleaned" mine....
I just drain mine and keep it open, upside down, so it can thoroughly dry out. Then every now and then, I squirt some dish soap and a little Chlorox inside, fill with warm water, put the lid on and shake. I also squeeze the bite open and squeeze the bag to force the warm soapy water through the tube. Then I refill with clean water a few times, shaking and squirting until I fill like it's thoroughly rinsed and hang it to dry for the next use.
I bought (at REI, I think) something that visually resembles a 2 foot long wire pipe cleaner (with very small bristles attached), but very flexible. If I run water through the tube and wthen et the pipe cleaner, it slides right down the entire length of the tube and removes any visible residue. It was cheap enough (< $15, maybe) that I bought it without thinking too much about the exact price.
I frequently use gatorade or cytomax in mine. Plain water isn't enough to keep you going in heat for hours at a time. I simply give it a good rinse with a little bit of bleach and then use a hanger to dry it out! No problems after 10 years!
I've had good luck keeping my camelbac bladder clean by pouring a quarter cup of listerine and a splash of water in and swishing it around for about a minute then rinsing it out with plain water. I also keep drain it the best I can and then store it in the freezer to keep things from growing in it.
I run cold water through it after each use, then hang it up to dry, open. Every few weeks I also run a little hot water and bleach through, rinse and dry. Mine is going on five years now, some of the bladder and seals look like they need replacing, but the water still tastes fresh.
wow, people putting bleach into something you drink out of... 2 words: natural selection
Using something--at a low concentration, at that--as a disinfectant not quite the same as drinking it whole. If you're that paranoid, you'll be quite surprised to find what your city treatment plant adds to the water supply after flocculation and filtration
Once in a while I run hot water & bleach through, and scrub, the bladder for cleaning. More often I'll just rinse it through with hot water before use. And, most often, I just empty the bladder and toss it in the freezer between rides. Everything's looked and tasted fine