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  1. #1
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    Fungus/Mold in Camelbak Bladder and Hose

    I bought a Camelbak about three months ago. I have used it exactly once, and it was filled with ice cubes and water (never filled it with any sugared drink). I have had cramping problems in my hamstrings in my last three rides, and I have narrowed the cause to insufficient hydration on my typical sixty mile rides. I decided to use my camelbak this morning, and I am lucky that something just made me decide to inspect the bladder and the drink tube/hose closely.

    To my horror, I found mold growing in the drink tube/hose. The hose can not be detached from the bladder, so I can't detach and clean the hose by itself. I need some help as to how and with what, I can clean the hose and the bladder to make them as good as new.

    I do not want any trace of fungus/mold left.

    Or should I just toss the whole bladder/hose contraption, and buy a new one?

    Thanks for your help.

    Regards,
    Regards,

    Jed

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    i had the same problem, i just used bleach.
    just remember to rinse it out ALOT after you bleach everything and try not to get it all over your arm like i did... it burns
    good luck
    Trance music is okay...
    Drum & Bass is way better

  3. #3
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    1/2 cap of bleach

    fill 3/4 way with water, work out the air bubbles
    run bleach mix up through mouthpart for 4 oz or so....

    wait 1/2 day

    rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse

    done

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edzo
    1/2 cap of bleach

    fill 3/4 way with water, work out the air bubbles
    run bleach mix up through mouthpart for 4 oz or so....

    wait 1/2 day

    rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse

    done
    Thanks FF6800 and Edzo. Edzo, did you mean half a cup of bleach or half a capful of the bleach bottle lid?

    Regards,
    Regards,

    Jed

  5. #5
    Banned. Jason222's Avatar
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    I'd burn it and buy a new one.

  6. #6
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    walmart has a cheap bladder cleaner in their camping section

    i heard running vodka through it cleans well
    Last edited by mx_599; 03-05-06 at 06:54 PM.

  7. #7
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LUCAS
    To my horror, I found mold growing in the drink tube/hose.
    No reason to be horrified. Dump some bleach in there, add some water, let it sit, rinse it out.

  8. #8
    Senior Member vw addict's Avatar
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    get the Camelback cleaning kit. It has cleaning tablets(not harmful like bleach), brushes to reach those hard to get to places, and a dryer so this won't happen again.

  9. #9
    Obeying Gravity
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    Another vote for bleach.

  10. #10
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    Just piss in it...

    or use bleach.

  11. #11
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    First, the hose should come off the bladder. Second, get the cleaning kit with the hose brush. They tell you to remove the hose from the bladder to clean. I just used the hose brush and really hot water...cleaned it perfectly, like it was new. I wouldn't use soap or bleach for taste reasons, although, I only put water in it, so probably don't need it to clean.

  12. #12
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    1/2 CAP, not CUP... about a tablespoon. and, rinse really well!!

  13. #13
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Lemon juice will kill the mold actually. Also, in the future, use UNFLAVORED denture tabs with hot water to clean the Camelback frequently... drop two tabs in there 3/4 full of hot water every once in awhile... I've got one CB thats 6-7 years old and it still has the original bladder, clean as can be after having beer, water, cytomax, etc etc etc in it. If you use mint, your CB will taste like mint forever.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  14. #14
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    Like my water bottles, I just rinse my Camelbak out straight after use, then fill it with water for storage between usage. I've had it sitting around for 6 months between usage and never got any mould. I think the stuff likes air to thrive. Else I've just been lucky.

  15. #15
    Fourth Degree Legend junkyard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mx_599
    walmart has a cheap bladder cleaner in their camping section

    i heard running vodka through it cleans well
    i second the vodka. or better yet, grain alcohol.
    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    The caveat with a strap-on, of course, is you will have to get creative with a couple of lock cables and an anchor point

  16. #16
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    1) Rinse, take apart, and dry when not in use. Mold needs mositure to grow. (avoid the problem before it starts)

    2) If using bleach, use hot DILUTE soapy bleach.

    3) Do not leave bleach in contact with plastics for long periods of time as it will deteriorate them, rinse thorughly, allow to dry.

  17. #17
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    For minor infestations, A soaking with one of the harsher types of mouthwash is often sufficient.

  18. #18
    Pre-med Roadie
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    Bleach doesn't work on everything....I would just use the Camelbak cleaning kit because it comes with the cleaning tablets which aren't as corrosive and oxidative as bleach, and comes with the drying hanger.

  19. #19
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by torment
    Bleach doesn't work on everything....I would just use the Camelbak cleaning kit because it comes with the cleaning tablets which aren't as corrosive and oxidative as bleach, and comes with the drying hanger.
    Bleach has killed everything I've ever managed to culture in there.

    I don't know how much this Camelbak certified cleaning kit costs, but I bet it's more expensive and less accessible than some unflavored denture tabs (as seely mentioned) and a bent coathanger to use as a dryer/hanger.

  20. #20
    Former Member
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    The little brush-on-a-wire thing is pretty cool for cleaning the hose. I dont think I'd bother with the rest of the kit myself.

  21. #21
    eert a ekil yzarc SpiderMike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    Lemon juice will kill the mold actually. Also, in the future, use UNFLAVORED denture tabs with hot water to clean the Camelback frequently... drop two tabs in there 3/4 full of hot water every once in awhile... I've got one CB thats 6-7 years old and it still has the original bladder, clean as can be after having beer, water, cytomax, etc etc etc in it...
    I agree with this part. Lemon juice would be safer than the bleach.

    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    If you use mint, your CB will taste like mint forever.
    I have to disagree on this part. I used the Aquafresh tabs and don't have the minty taste. But I give the bladder and tube a good rinsing with HOT water.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mx_599
    walmart has a cheap bladder cleaner in their camping section

    i heard running vodka through it cleans well
    Camelbak does not make the best packs in the world. They DO make the best water bladders in the world. Going from Camelbak to the POS they sell at Wal-Mart will likely be a dissapointing experience.

    Jeesh, you don't toss out your plates just because they're dirty, whey would you do this for your hydration pack. Wash the thing when it gets moldy. If you want to stop this, store it in your beer fridge. That will keep the mold from growing.

    And if you absoluetly HAVE to buy a new bladder, buy a Camelbak. Everything else is bound to dissapoint.

  23. #23
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    Im surprised everyone is suggesting bleach. Wow, that just seems kinda ridiculous. I would use baking soda and water and just rinse it out many, many times over. If you have the camelback one with the really big opening like I do, you can use soap and stick your hand in there.

  24. #24
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiderMike
    Lemon juice would be safer than the bleach.
    What is unsafe about bleach anyway? Will it have adverse effects if it mixes with the chlorine in my municipal water supply?

  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    This is what's unsafe about bleach:

    BLEACH: is a strong corrosive. It will irritate or burn the skin, eyes and respiratory tract. It may cause pulmonary edema or vomiting and coma if ingested. Never mix bleach with acid toilet bowl cleaners or ammonia. These mixtures may produce fumes which can be DEADLY.

    By the way any type of alcohol will kill the mold/fungus, but it has to be at a high enough concentration. As previous users have posted, mouthwash will most likely do the trick (since it does contain alcohol), followed by rinsing, scrubbing, and maybe more mouthwash. Lemon juice also is a good idea. I personally wouldn't risk using bleach, even if you did rinse it out thoroughly.

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