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Sanitizing & sterlizing water bottles and camelbaks??

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Sanitizing & sterlizing water bottles and camelbaks??

Old 08-18-12, 04:42 AM
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Sanitizing & sterlizing water bottles and camelbaks??

I have a Camelbak that was given to me from someone who no longer used it. They bought it and used it for about 4hrs then it was sitting idle for years with water in it. This is the model I got https://www.camelbak.com/Military-Tac...rmoBak-2L.aspx

I would like to know how to clean and sterlize it. He told me it only held water only and nothing else but I'm not sure if the water bag is all funky inside. Got it for free (cause he said I reminded him of his ex ) so not complaining as he said he paid like $50 for it. Epps expensive on those things but so handy.

I'm not sure if bleach is ok inside these camelbaks. Can the rest of the people help me out here? Thankies and *hugs*
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Old 08-18-12, 04:51 AM
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i use only metal water bottles from SIGG (swiss) and run through the steam autoclave when they get slightly smelly. i understand that not everyone has access to an autoclave, so ...

you can just submerge them in a pot with boiling water at home, although a food-based pressure cooker would be better, if you have one hand (we cook with one all the time).

https://www.amazon.com/WMF-Perfect-2-...ressure+cooker

as far as the camelback goes, it should have a stamp stating what kinda of plastic the lining is made out of (PP, PE, with a number etc...) which will tell you what specifications it can handle (boiling water or pressure cooker/autoclave.)

that should eliminate all microbes.

another option, that i do with my clothing sometimes is to freeze it rather than "washing it" (as it's easier on the fabrics), as that's extremely effective at killing "microbes" as well. that may be an option as well if you don't have access to the stuff listed above.

good luck.
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Old 08-18-12, 05:55 AM
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Just make a bucket of bleach sanitizing solution, wash the camelbak in it, then rinse the hell out of it. You could use any other sanitizing solution you wish.
Hang it up to dry.
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Old 08-18-12, 06:06 AM
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I'll spray rubbing alcohol inside a bladder or waterbottle and let it sit overnight. I then wash with hot water and dish soap.
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Old 08-18-12, 06:17 AM
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What works for me when I need to clean the bladder is good old denture tablets they kill all the bacteria fill with hot to warm water through in a tab shake let sit for about 30 minutes then rinse and dry.
I only use water in my Osprey bladder and never put in any thing else.
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Old 08-18-12, 06:30 AM
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camelback sells cleaning tablets for cleaning their water bladders.
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Old 08-18-12, 06:55 AM
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vodka
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Old 08-18-12, 08:59 AM
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Hi Poohbear,
I would try a very small amount of bleach and a mild dish washing soap I use Dawn that works best for me just make sure it is a very small amount of bleach no more than a teaspoon followed by the dish soap rinse then hang it to dry over night Please make sure you sterlize the mouth piece as well Hope this works for you. I had a camelbak and thats how I cleand mine. All the best.
John B.
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Old 08-18-12, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr Danw View Post
vodka
+1... no need to empty and rinse.
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Old 08-18-12, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I'll spray rubbing alcohol inside a bladder or waterbottle and let it sit overnight. I then wash with hot water and dish soap.
Same thing, but with Wild Turkey.
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Old 08-18-12, 02:54 PM
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Friends of ours use their camelbaks occasionally for not much more than a couple days at a time, when they get them home they drain'em and put them into the freezer until next time. They don't think it's possible to clean the mouthpiece, for instance.
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Old 08-18-12, 03:21 PM
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I clean water bottles with dishwashing detergent and water. Clean is good but sterile is, generally, overkill.
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Old 08-18-12, 04:36 PM
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In the harmonica world we have a saying: "Don't play after anyone that you wouldn't kiss."

It's almost standard to use hydrogen peroxide and 91% alcohol.

The freezing idea sounds super.

Time should have killed anything like hep3 or HIV. You main concern is probably mold and growing gunk.
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Old 08-18-12, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
Clean is good but sterile is, generally, overkill.
From what I understand, that is all that's needed. The forks, knives and spoons in the plastic bags that you get at the fast food places are not sterile---they are just very clean.
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Old 08-18-12, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
The freezing idea sounds super.
Freezing doesn't kill microbes, at least not usually, it does tend to prevent their growth though. It's why you have to thoroughly cook frozen food and then let it cool back down, you can't just heat it up to the temperature you want.

However, ******ing microbial growth is usually enough. I store my bottles empty and open, and they don't go funky. Camelback's can be tricky to get air flow in, so I usually just roll them up and stick them in the freezer.
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Old 08-18-12, 06:55 PM
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Just clean it with a bit of dish detergent and you'll be fine. Squirt a bit of detergent inside and fill with warm water from the faucet. Shake it around for a bit and then let it sit for a few minutes and rinse it out. If you have a brush or something you can scrub it out if you like. Scrub the mouthpiece with tooth brush and dish detergent or something and it'll be fine.

Assuming tap water was left inside the bladder, it would have been chlorinated to prevent stuff from growing in it. In a sealed system the chlorine should not have evaporated out. The plastic used for the bladder also has something inside that prevents growth of bacteria and such; this does not imply it is purification device.

For sanitizing things, the recommended dose is 1 tsp per 1 gal of water according to CDC so if you want to use bleach, you won't need to exceed this. Rinse it out well afterwards.

Not knowing what is in your dish detergent, I do not recommend mixing bleach with it.

Honestly, I think the bigger hurdle it sounds like is getting over the ick factor that someone drank out of the thing before you. There is bacteria everywhere including flora that is naturally present in your skin and gut. Most of this stuff won't harm you.
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Old 08-18-12, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
i use only metal water bottles from SIGG (swiss) and run through the steam autoclave when they get slightly smelly. i understand that not everyone has access to an autoclave, so ...
Aren't you worried about the lining? That's why I use kleen kanteens.
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Old 08-18-12, 09:22 PM
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A splash of bleach in a half-gallon of water, fill the bladder or bottle and let it sit for a half-hour or so, then rinse well and leave the caps off until completely dry. I've done it this way for well over 20 year and I've never had a problem. This was actually recommended to me by an RN.
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Old 08-19-12, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
Freezing doesn't kill microbes, at least not usually, it does tend to prevent their growth though. It's why you have to thoroughly cook frozen food and then let it cool back down, you can't just heat it up to the temperature you want.

However, ******ing microbial growth is usually enough. I store my bottles empty and open, and they don't go funky. Camelback's can be tricky to get air flow in, so I usually just roll them up and stick them in the freezer.
depends on the temp. sometimes i throw them in the -80c (-112f) at work and that should kill everything. should up on bike, dump water over the flower outside the building and through in freezer while walking by. yeah, maybe a household freezer won't work, but even -20C should do a reasonable job.
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Old 08-19-12, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by alhedges View Post
Aren't you worried about the lining? That's why I use kleen kanteens.
worried as in it cracking/flaking? or worried about the ridiculous BPA "scare" from a few years ago. you should see what goes into a plastic PET bottle and what happens over time in sunlight.
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Old 08-19-12, 01:09 AM
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Like just about everyone else here I either use dish soap and swish or around and/or a brush to scrub things, or a bleach solution. Then hang overnight to dry.

Also like a lot of people if I have anything left in or such as water or water with CamelBak's Elixir add or all goes in the fridge.

I do like the denture cleaning tablet idea. Especially after reading the precautions on CamelBak's cleaning tablets.
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Old 08-19-12, 06:14 AM
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Bleach kills everything. I put about 2 T bleach in, use a narrow sink brush then rinse it out good.
Then bend a wire coat hanger to stick in the opening to keep it open. Hang it upsidedown to air dry.
I would be hesitant to use dish soap.
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Old 08-19-12, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by MNBikeguy View Post
Bleach kills everything.
No it doesn't, but that's a different discussion for a different day.
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Old 08-19-12, 06:27 AM
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It kills everything I would be concerned about in a bladder full of stagnant water.
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Old 08-19-12, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by MNBikeguy View Post
It kills everything I would be concerned about in a bladder full of stagnant water.
I would agree 100% with you if water was the only thing that ever saw the inside of a bottle/camelback ... however, as soon as any sugary drink is place inside the whole microbiomic repertoire is irreversibly altered. Personally, i don't think it 's a big deal in the long term, potential ingestion of bleach is much bigger deal, but a blanket statement that bleach kills everything is nave, is it not?

FYI, certain microbes (particular nosocomial strains) are much more "bleach-tolerant" than they were even 5 years ago.
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